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Matthew Birchard (January 19, 1804 – June 16, 1876) was a judge in the U.S. State of Ohio who was an Ohio Supreme Court Judge 1842–1849.

Matthew Birchard
3rd Solicitor of the United States Treasury
In office
January 16, 1840 – March 17, 1841
Preceded byHenry D. Gilpin
Succeeded byCharles B. Penrose
Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
February 15, 1842 – February 22, 1849
Preceded byPeter Hitchcock
Succeeded byWilliam B. Caldwell
Personal details
Born(1804-01-19)January 19, 1804
Becket, Massachusetts
DiedJune 16, 1876(1876-06-16) (aged 72)
Warren, Ohio
Resting placeOakwood Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jane E. Weaver

Matthew Birchard was born in Becket, Massachusetts, and came to Trumbull County, Ohio, near Warren at age eight.[1] He was admitted to the bar in 1828, and formed a partnership with future governor David Tod,[1] and six years later was elected Common Pleas Judge.[2]

Birchard accepted an appointment with the Federal Government for a time from his friend Andrew Jackson, first as Solicitor for the General Land Office, and then to succeed Henry D. Gilpin as Solicitor of the United States Treasury.[1][3] He returned to Warren in 1841. He was elected from Trumbull County by the Ohio General Assembly as a judge of the Ohio Supreme Court for a seven-year term, and served 1842–1849.[4]

He was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1853 and served in the 51st General Assembly, 1854–1855.[5] He lost election to Congress in 1856 as the Democratic nominee in the 20th district.[6]

In 1867, Birchard purchased the newspaper Warren Constitution and ran it with his son until his death in 1876 in Warren.[1] He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery.[7]

One author appraised Birchard thus: "His written opinions are characterized by felicity of expression and perspicuity of thought. His pertinacity has been bluntly denominated stubbornness."[2] Another opined : "The opinions of Judge Birchard were characterized by fluency of expression and clearness of logic. He was known as a man of strong convictions, great will of power, and possessed pertinacity of the sort that causes one juror out of twelve to dissent from the opinion of colleagues."[4] While a third stated: "...his opinions show him to have been a man of learning and research, with a strong sense of justice."[1]

Birchard married Jane E. Weaver of Bella Vista, Virginia in 1841 and raised two children.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Medico Legal Journal : 179-180 of supplement
  2. ^ a b Reed 1897 : 21
  3. ^ Poore 1878 : 230
  4. ^ a b Neff 1921 : 59-60
  5. ^ Ohio 1917 : 285
  6. ^ Smith 1898 : 66
  7. ^ a b "Matthew Birchard". The Supreme Court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System. Retrieved 2012-01-12.