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The Honorable
Charles M. Webb
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 7th Circuit
In office
1883 – August 12, 1911
Appointed by Jeremiah McLain Rusk
Preceded by Gilbert L. Park
Succeeded by Byron B. Park
United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin
In office
July 1870 – February 14, 1878
President Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
Preceded by
  • John B. D. Cogswell
  • (District of Wisconsin)
Succeeded by H. M. Lewis
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 11th district
In office
January 1, 1883 – April 1883
Preceded by Thomas B. Scott
Succeeded by Merritt Clarke Ring
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 27th district
In office
January 1, 1869 – January 1, 1871
Preceded by E. L. Browne
Succeeded by Myron Reed
Mayor of Grand Rapids, Wisconsin
In office
1880–1881
District Attorney of Wood County
In office
January 1, 1859 – September 1861
Personal details
Born
Charles Morton Webb

(1833-12-30)December 30, 1833
Towanda, Pennsylvania
Died August 12, 1911(1911-08-12) (aged 77)
Grand Rapids, Wisconsin
Resting place Forest Hill Cemetery
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
  • Prudence Jane Pierce
  • (m. 1857; died 1914)
Children
  • Clara (Harvie)
  • (b. 1865; died 1948)
  • 2 other daughters
Parents
  • John Leland Webb (father)
  • Annis (Hammond) Webb (mother)
Relatives William C. Webb (brother)
Occupation lawyer, judge
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861–1862
Rank Union army 1st lt rank insignia.jpg 1st Lieutenant, USV
Unit 12th Reg. Wis. Vol. Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War

Charles Morton Webb (December 30, 1833 – August 12, 1911) was an American lawyer, judge, and politician. He was a Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for 28 years, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, and a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.

Biography

Charles Morton Webb was born on December 30, 1833, in Towanda, Pennsylvania, the youngest of five children born to John L. Webb and Annis (Hammond) Webb. Webb received a basic education there, but left school at age 12 to work as a typesetter in a printing office. He attended the United States Military Academy for one year, in 1850, but then moved to Washington, D.C., to work for three years in the Government Publishing Office, where he was exposed to many of the debates taking place in the pre-Civil War capitol. He was inspired to a career in law and returned home to study with the leading lawyer in his home city. He was admitted to the bar in 1857 and that same year he married Jane Pierce.

His brothers, William and Henry had earlier traveled west to Wisconsin, and, in 1857, Charles Webb and his wife followed. In 1858, Charles worked as a clerk for the Wisconsin State Assembly while his brother William was a member. He moved to Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, in April 1858, where he would reside until his death. He was elected District Attorney of Wood County, Wisconsin, in 1858 and was re-elected in 1860, but resigned in 1861 to volunteer for service in the American Civil War.

Webb was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant for Company G in the 12th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment as it was organized in Madison, Wisconsin. They mustered into service in October 1961, and marched out in December en route to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. They were attached to the Department of Kansas, operating in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War. The regiment patrolled and garrisoned in the Leavenworth area through the spring of 1862. In May 1862, after serving eight months, Webb resigned his commission and returned to Wisconsin.

Back in Wood County, he was elected Clerk of the County Board of Supervisors in 1864, and was re-elected in 1866. In 1868, he was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate as a Republican, serving in the 1869 and 1870 sessions. In the summer of 1870, after the end of the legislative session—which ran from January 12 through March 17—Webb was appointed United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin by President Ulysses S. Grant. He was re-appointed in 1874 and continued in office until 1878. In 1880, he was elected Mayor of Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, and was re-elected in 1881. In the fall of 1881, he was appointed register of the U.S. Land Office in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, but resigned the following summer to return to Wisconsin.

He was elected to another term in the State Senate in 1882, but he would again leave before the end of his term in late 1883, when he was appointed to the Wisconsin Circuit Court by Governor Jeremiah McLain Rusk. Webb would remain Judge of the 7th Circuit for the remaining 28 years of his life, winning re-election five times, in 1884, 1890, 1896, 1902, and 1908. However, he would attempt several times to seek higher office: In 1893, he ran for election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but was defeated by Alfred Newman; in 1894, he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Governor against William H. Upham. Webb was, after the 1894 election, offered an appointment to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Governor Upham, but he declined.

Webb died on August 12, 1911.

Electoral history

Wisconsin Supreme Court (1893)

Wisconsin Supreme Court Election, 1893
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, April 7, 1893
Independent Alfred W. Newman 123,476 61.93%
Independent Charles M. Webb 73,803 37.02%
Scattering 2,092 1.05%
Total votes 199,371 100.0%
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