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Will Prettyman Stephenson served as a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio from 1932 to 1936.

Will Prettyman Stephenson
Will P. Stephenson.jpg
Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
February 9, 1932 – December 31, 1936
Appointed byGeorge White
Preceded byJames E. Robinson
Succeeded byGeorge S. Myers
Personal details
Born(1868-07-31)July 31, 1868
Bentonville, Ohio
DiedApril 23, 1943(1943-04-23) (aged 74)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Stella Stivers
Alma materCincinnati Law School


Will Prettyman Stephenson was born in Bentonville, Adams County, Ohio on July 31, 1868 to Robert Amasa and Arcadia Hopkins Stephenson. He was a member of the first graduating class of Manchester High School in 1886.[1]

From 1881 to 1891, Stephenson taught school in Adams County. He studied law with Judge Henry Collings during vacations. He later graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1895, was admitted to the bar of Ohio that year, and began a practice in Manchester.[1]

In 1901 Stephenson became deputy county auditor under his father. He moved his practice to West Union. In 1910 and 1911 he was special prosecutor in an election fraud case. One-third of the voters in Adams County were indicted for accepting bribes, and Judge A.Z. Blair fined 2,000 people.[1]

In spite of his prosecution of voters, Stephenson was elected Common Pleas Judge in 1914, and was re-elected in 1920 and 1926. He was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Supreme Court of Ohio in 1930.[1]

On January 27, 1932, Justice James E. Robinson of the Ohio Supreme Court died. On January 30, 1932, Governor White appointed Stephenson to fill the term until the next election. He was administered the oath of office on February 9, 1932. On November 8, 1932, he won election to the remaining years of the term, ending December 31, 1936. He lost to Roy Hughes Williams on November 3, 1936 when he sought a full six-year term.[1]

On December 7, 1936, Ohio Attorney General-elect Herbert S. Duffy appointed Stephenson to the Office of Special Counsel. He served January 1937 to January 1939.[1]

Stephenson married Stella Stivers on March 14, 1893. They had one son. Stephenson died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati on April 23, 1943.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Will Prettyman Stephenson". The Supreme Court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System. Retrieved 2011-08-08.