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John Wesley Longyear (October 22, 1820 – March 11, 1875) was a United States Representative from Michigan and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

John W. Longyear
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
In office
February 18, 1870 – March 10, 1875
Appointed byUlysses S. Grant
Preceded byRoss Wilkins
Succeeded byHenry Billings Brown
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1867
Preceded byFrancis William Kellogg
Succeeded byAustin Blair
Personal details
John Wesley Longyear

(1820-10-22)October 22, 1820
Shandaken, New York
DiedMarch 10, 1875(1875-03-10) (aged 54)
Detroit, Michigan
Resting placeMount Hope Cemetery
Lansing, Michigan
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceDetroit, Michigan
Educationread law

Education and careerEdit

Longyear was born on October 22, 1820, in Shandaken, Ulster County, New York,[1] the son of Petrus Longyear (also known as Peter Longyear, 1784–1845), of Dutch heritage, and Jerusha Longyear (née Jerusha Stevens), of English heritage.[2] The Longyears were descendants of Jacob Longyear Sr. (also known as Jacob Langjaer), an 18th-century immigrant to New York from Holland.[3] Longyear pursued classical studies at the Lima Academy in New York.[4] He taught school for several years in New York.[4] He moved to Mason, Ingham County, Michigan in 1844 and taught school.[4] He read law and was admitted to the Ingham County bar in 1846.[1] He entered private practice in Mason from 1846 to 1847.[1] He continued private practice in Lansing, Michigan from 1847 to 1870.[1]

Congressional serviceEdit

Longyear was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 3rd congressional district to the United States House of Representatives of the 38th and 39th United States Congresses, serving from March 4, 1863, to March 3, 1867.[4] He was Chairman of the United States House Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings for the 38th and 39th United States Congresses.[4] He was not a candidate for renomination in 1866.[4]

Other serviceEdit

Longyear was delegate to the Loyalist Convention at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1866 and to the Michigan State constitutional convention in 1867.[4]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Longyear was nominated by President Ulysses S. Grant on February 7, 1870, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan vacated by Judge Ross Wilkins.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 18, 1870, and received his commission the same day.[1] His service terminated on March 10, 1875, due to his death in Detroit, Michigan,[1] where he had moved in 1871.[4] He was interred in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Longyear, John Wesley - Federal Judicial Center".
  2. ^ Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society (1908). Michigan Historical Collections. Michigan State Historical Society. p. 194.
  3. ^ Brink, Benjamin Myer (1912). Olde Ulster: An Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Volume 8. p. 124.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i United States Congress. "John W. Longyear (id: L000434)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.