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J. Stanley Webster

John Stanley Webster (February 22, 1877 – December 24, 1962) was a Justice of the Washington Supreme Court, a United States Representative from Washington and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

J. Stanley Webster
J. Stanley Webster (Washington state Congressman and Judge).jpg
From campaign advertisement printed in October 6, 1922 Leavenworth Echo (Leavenworth, WA).
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
In office
August 31, 1939 – December 24, 1962
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
In office
April 28, 1923 – August 31, 1939
Appointed byWarren G. Harding (recess)
Calvin Coolidge (commission)
Preceded byFrank H. Rudkin
Succeeded byLewis B. Schwellenbach
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1919 – May 8, 1923
Preceded byClarence Dill
Succeeded bySamuel B. Hill
Personal details
John Stanley Webster

(1877-02-22)February 22, 1877
Cynthiana, Kentucky
DiedDecember 24, 1962(1962-12-24) (aged 85)
Spokane, Washington
Resting placeOakesdale Cemetery
Oakesdale, Washington
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceSpokane, Washington
EducationUniversity of Michigan Law School

Education and careerEdit

Born on February 22, 1877, in Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky, Webster attended the public schools and Smith's Classical School for Boys. He attended the University of Michigan Law School. He was admitted to the bar and entered private practice in Cynthiana from 1899 to 1906. He was prosecutor for Harrison County from 1902 to 1906. He moved west for his health to work a small ranch near Colbert,[1] Washington, just north of Spokane, Washington in May 1906.[2] He was chief assistant prosecutor for Spokane from 1907 to 1909. He was a Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Washington for Spokane County from 1909 to 1916. He was a lecturer on criminal and elementary law at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Webster was easily elected to a six-year term as an associate justice of the Washington Supreme Court in Olympia in 1916, and appointed early, November 20 by Governor Ernest Lister, to fill the vacancy. He resigned in May 1918 to run for United States Congress.[2][3]

Congressional serviceEdit

Webster was elected as a Republican from Washington's 5th congressional district to the United States House of Representatives of the 66th, 67th and 68th United States Congresses and served from March 4, 1919, to May 8, 1923, when he resigned to accept a federal judgeship.[4]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Webster received a recess appointment from President Warren G. Harding on April 28, 1923, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington vacated by Judge Frank H. Rudkin.[5] He was nominated to the same position by President Calvin Coolidge on December 15, 1923.[5] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 16, 1924, and received his commission the same day.[6][7] He assumed senior status due to a certified disability on August 31, 1939.[8][9][10] His service terminated on December 24, 1962, due to his death in Spokane, where he resided. His remains were cremated and interred in Oakesdale Cemetery in Oakesdale, Washington, his wife's hometown in Whitman County, where her father John Lathrum (1853–1902)[11] had been sheriff.[12] Mary Gertrude (Lathrum) Webster (1887–1956),[13] his wife of 48 years,[1] had died six years earlier.[14] His older brother, Richard M. Webster (1869–1953), moved to eastern Washington in 1904 and also served as a judge in Spokane.[14][15][16]

Other serviceEdit

Webster briefly served as the president of the Western International League (WIL) in minor league baseball,[17][18][19] a predecessor of the Northwest League, and resigned in February 1941.[20][21]


  1. ^ a b "Is the blushing bride of John Stanley Webster". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 2, 1908. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b "J. Stanley Webster, statesman and jurist, has had remarkable career". Issaquah Press. June 1, 1923. p. 3.
  3. ^ "W.W. Tolman to supreme bench". Spokesman-Review. May 12, 1918. p. 1.
  4. ^ "Webster Wins". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 6, 1918. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b John Stanley Webster at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  6. ^ "Webster sworn in as judge". Spokesman-Review. May 10, 1923. p. 6.
  7. ^ "Lawyers honor, praise Webster". Spokesman-Review. May 10, 1923. p. 6.
  8. ^ "Judge Webster to retire soon". Ellensburg Daily Record. Associated Press. August 21, 1939. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Stanley Webster sits in U.S. Court". Spokesman-Review. July 22, 1944. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Errors made in story about judge". Spokesman-Review. November 22, 1960. p. 7.
  11. ^ "Oakesdale Cemetery, Whitman County, WA, surnames H-L". Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Death of John Lathrum". Spokesman-Review. October 20, 1902. p. 9.
  13. ^ "Oakesdale Cemetery, Whitman County, WA, surnames R-Z". Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Ex-judge Webster is dead". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 24, 1962. p. 1.
  15. ^ "Richard Webster announces self in run for bench". Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 16, 1916. p. 1.
  16. ^ "Richard Montgomery Webster, papers 1847–1953". Washington State Libraries. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  17. ^ "Judge Webster drafted for president of Western International body". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. November 18, 1940. p. 9.
  18. ^ "Webster made baseball chief". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. November 19, 1940. p. 13.
  19. ^ "Judge Webster starts on job". Spokesman-Review. December 16, 1940. p. 9.
  20. ^ "Judge Webster resigns as president of league". Spokesman-Review. February 28, 1941. p. 1.
  21. ^ "Wenatchee officials face life banishment from baseball". Spokane Daily Chronicle. February 28, 1941. p. 11.


External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clarence Dill
United States Representative for Washington's 5th Congressional District
Succeeded by
Samuel B. Hill
Legal offices
Preceded by
Frank H. Rudkin
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
Succeeded by
Lewis B. Schwellenbach