James G. Day (1870 - 1833)
Served on the Iowa
Supreme Court from September 1, 1870, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy
occasioned by the retirement of George C. Wright, until December 31, 1883, For
three years he was Chief Justice.
Born in Jefferson County,
Ohio, in 1832. He was graduated from Richmond College, Ohio, and later from the
Cincinnati Law School in 1857. Soon thereafter he came to Afton, in Union
County, later moving to Sidney, in Fremont County. He enlisted in the Union
Army in the Civil War and was promoted to the rank of captain. He was severely
wounded at the battle of Shiloh.
Justice Day's most famous
decision was the rehearing opinion on the constitutionality of the
prohibitionary amendment to the Iowa Constitution. His independence of thought,
as to the inviolability of that document, is well exemplified by this decision,
declared in spite of the strong popular feeling which he probably foresaw would
retire him from the bench at the coming election.
He died in Des Moines in