Norman W. Isbell (1855 - 1856)
Served on the Iowa
Supreme Court from his election by the General Assembly January 16, 1855, until
he resigned June 2, 1856.
Born in Charlton,
Saratoga County, New York, April 7, 1818. After reading law in an office he was
admitted to the bar in 1839. Because of ill health he decided to seek a home in
the west, locating at keytesville, Missouri, in 1842, later moving to Marion,
in Linn County, Iowa in 1845.
His first public office
was that of County Judge in 1847. His election to the Supreme Court came during
a political reversal which completely changed the structure of the court. After
a little more than a year however, he felt compelled to resign because of
failing health. He returned to Linn County where in 1862 he was elected a Judge
of the District Court. Soon, however, he was again forced to retire, migrating
in 1864 to California.
While on the District
Bench, he aroused much criticism by deciding adversely to the constitutionality
of an Act permitting soldiers of Iowa regiments, in the Civil War, to vote
while beyond the limits of the state. Justice Isbell died at Napa City,
California, March 10, 1865.