Biography of Judge John C. Hutchins
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

HON. JOHN CORYDON HUTCHINS. One of the best known and most highly honored members of the Cleveland bar is Judge John C. Hutchins, who has been in the practice of law for fifty eight years, fifty six of those years in Cleveland.

Judge Hutchins is a native of Ohio and is of the third generation of his family in the state. His grandfather, Samuel Hutchins, a native of Connecticut, came to the Western Reserve in 1798, before Ohio was admitted as a state, and was then known as the Northwest Territory. He assisted in the survey of Vienna Township, Trumbull County, receiving for his services in that capacity a deed for 100 acres of land, and established his home on this land, near what is now known as "Payne's Corners" in that township. In January, 1803, Samuel Hutchins married Freelove Flower, who was born in Connecticut, and their marriage was the first one solemnized by a white couple in Trumbull County.

Hon. John Hutchins, son of Samuel and Freelove (Flower) Hutchins, and father of the Judge, was born on his father's farm in Trumbull County, in 1812. When he was a young man he studied law in the office of Governor David Tod at Warren, and after his admission to the bar became a member of the law firm of Tod, Hoffman & Hutchins. He was one of the distinguished lawyers and public men of Ohio during his time, serving for five years as clerk of courts of Trumbull County, as a member of the Ohio General Assembly for several terms, and in 1858 he was elected a member of Congress and reelected in 1860, he being a member of that body at the beginning of the Civil war. From 1868 until his death in 1891 he resided in Cleveland. He married Rhoda M. Andrews, the daughter of Hun and Phoebe (Woodford) Andrews, natives of Connecticut and pioneers of the Western Reserve. She died in 1890. To them were born three sons and a daughter: Horace A., who was a pioneer oil refiner and identified with the Standard Oil Company; Mrs Mary (Hutchins) Couzzens, a widow at Cleveland, aged eighty one years; Albert K, of New York City, aged seventy seven years; and John C.

Judge John C. Hutchins was born in Warren, Ohio, on May 8, 1840. He attended the common and high schools of Warren and Oberlin College, and was graduated from Albany (New York) Law School in 1866.

In the summer of 1861 he volunteered and enlisted as a private in the Second Regiment, Ohio Cavalry, and served in the Civil war two and a half years, rising from the ranks to the grades of second and first lieutenant, later serving for a time in the pay department of the army in the City of Washington. Owing to an accident, he resigned his commission in the army in 1863, returned to his home in Warren and studied law in his father's office, graduated from Albany Law School and in 1866 was admitted to the bars of both New York and Ohio in the same year and entered the practice of law in Youngstown in association with Gen. T. W. Sanderson. Coming to Cleveland in 1868, he became a partner with his father under the firm name of Hutchins & Hutchins, and later was a partner with J. E. Ingersoll, O. J. Campbell and Thomas L. Johnson (the latter still being in practice).

In 1877 Judge Hutchins was elected prosecuting attorney of Cuyahoga County, serving one term; in 1880 he was the defeated candidate for Congress on the democratic ticket; he was elected judge of Municipal Court in 1885, and reelected in 1887; in 1887 he was defeated as the candidate of his party for judge of Common Pleas Court, but in 1892 he was elected to the bench of that court and served for three years, resigning in 1895 to accept appointment from President Cleveland as postmaster of Cleveland. Leaving the postmastership at the expiration of his term in the fall of 1899, Judge Hutchins returned to the private practice of law and has since continued.

Judge Hutchins served as a member of the Cleveland School Board in 1872, and as a member of the Cleveland Public Library Board for thirteen years, of which board he was president for nine years. For the last three years he has been serving as president of the Cuyahoga County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument Commission, in which he takes an active interest. He is a member of the Cleveland Bar Association, of which organization he was one of the founders; he is a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion and served as junior vice commander of the Ohio Commandery of the order in 1897; he is a member of the Euclid Club and a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

In early manhood Judge Hutchins was a member of the republican party, but left that party in 1872 to support Horace Greeley for the presidency. He continued to affiliate with the democratic party until in 1896. His views on the money question caused him to support Mr. McKinley for the presidency, and since that campaign he has been and is a "free lance" politically, with decidedly independent views.

Few men of Cleveland, or of Ohio, of the present day have played, or been given the opportunity to play, a better or more notable part in the history of the community than has Judge Hutchins, for during his long career he has rendered faithful and unselfish service to his city, county, state and nation, serving so ably that his career reflects credit alike to both the community and the man himself. His well rounded life as a soldier, attorney, jurist, political official and citizen has won for Judge Hutchins the respect and esteem of the public and the love and veneration of his intimates.

At Ravenna, Ohio, in 1861, Judge Hutchins was united in marriage with Jennie M., the daughter of James M. Campbell, of Cuba, New York. Mrs. Hutchins died in 1904, leaving the following children: Helen Eugenia, who was married to Dr. T. B. Salisbury, of New York City; Jane Campbell Hutchins, unmarried, who resides with her father; Horace C., residing in Buffalo, New York; J. Frank, residing in California; and Carleton C., residing in Cleveland.

Horace C. Hutchins married Elizabeth Sellers, of Chicago, and they have a daughter, Rosanne, who married William A. Morgan, Jr., of Buffalo, New York, and they have a son, John S. Hutchins, now (1924) a student at Yale University.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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