Shelby County Indiana
The Shelbyville Democrat
Washington, September 15 -- (UP) -- President Truman today reached into the ranks of his old-time New Deal comrades to pick Hoosier Judge Sherman Minton for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Associate Justice Wiley B. Rutledge.
Thursday, September 22, 1949
Page 1 column 1
NAME MINTON TO
U. S. HIGH COURT
THE PRESIDENT told his White House news conference that the high court post will go to Minton, 58, an Indiana Democrat who once sat next to Mr. Truman in the U.S. Senate.
Minton, who has been on the Federal Court of Appeals in Chicago since May, 1941, became a dark horse in the Supreme Court competition only yesterday, when some highly placed persons passed the word that he as "in."
UNTIL THEN, speculation had centered on Attorney General J. Howard McGrath, who appeared to have moved into line for the high court a month ago when Attorney General Tom C. Clark succeeded the late Frank Murphy on the Supreme Court.
New Albany, Ind., Sept. 15 -- (UP) -- Judge Sherman Minton today said he was "profoundly grateful" for President Truman's announcement that he would be nominated for a vacancy on the U.W. Supreme Court.
I'M PROFOUNDLY grateful for the President's confidence in me." Minton said. He learned from the United Press of the President's announcement.
"I hope I may prove worthy and I shall endeavor to the best of my ability to do so."
MINTON ONCE was told by President Truman during a law school class discussion that he'd have to get an appointment to the Supreme Court to interpret laws his way.
At Yale, where Minton was a graduate student and Taft his professor, Minton took exception to an explanation made by Taft concerning a certain law. They argued heatedly when Taft interrupted and said:
"I'M AFRAID, Mr. Minton, that if you don't like the way this law has been interpreted you will have to get on the Supreme Court and change it."
The statement was prophetic for Minton, who was born into a poor family and didn't have enought clothes to keep him warm until he was earning his own money in high school.
Minton was born near New Albany on Oct. 20, 1890. His father, John, was a small-time farmer in the hilly lands along the Ohio river. His mother, Emma, died when he was eight.
LATER, THE family moved to Texas and Minton worked in a Fort Worth meal packing plant.
But Minton liked Indiana and soon he returned to live with a grandmother and attend New Albany high school. There, he played football and baseball and put the shot on the track team.
He entered Indiana University in 1911, waited tables in a fraternity house and studied law as a classmate to Wendell L. Wilkie and Paul V. McNutt. He won a Yale scholarship on the strength of his debating and oratorical ability.
HE OPENED a law office in New Albany, joined the Army in World War I as an infantry captain, and married Miss Gertrude Gurtz. They were the parents of three children, Sherman Jr., Mary Ann and John Evan.
When McNutt was elected governor of Indiana in 1932, he appointed Minton public counselor for the Indiana Public Service Commission. But Minton resigned in 1934 to run for U.S. Senator and was elected over Republican Sen. Arthur R. Robinson, seeking another term.
When he ran for re-election in 1940, he was defeated by Raymond K. Willis, R. Angola, publisher.
Then Minton returned to his home town to resume law practice. But President Roosevelt called him to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals bench in Chicago for a life position.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
Note: Sherman Jr. married Madge Rutherford, of St. Omer, Decatur County.
To contact researchers listed above, please use the Surname Index