Lewis Linn McArthur

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Lewis Linn McArthur

Birthplace: Virginia, United States
Death: Died
Place of Burial: Nesmith Family Cemetery Rickreall Polk County Oregon
Immediate Family:

Son of LTC William Pope McArthur and Mary Stone McArthur
Husband of Harriet K McArthur
Father of Clifton N. McArthur, US Congress and Lewis A. McArthur

Managed by: Private User
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About Lewis Linn McArthur


Lewis Linn McArthur (March 18, 1843 – May 10, 1897) was an American newspaper publisher and judge in the state of Oregon. He was an Oregon Supreme Court associate justice and the father of Lewis A. McArthur, the first editor of the Oregon Geographic Names publications. He served on the court from 1870 to 1878. Another son, Clifton Nesmith McArthur, would serve in the United States Congress.

Early life

Lewis McArthur was born on March 18, 1843 in the state of Virginia. Born in Portsmouth, his father was a US naval officer and hydrologist, Lieutenant Commander William Pope McArthur, and his mother was Mary Stone Young McArthur. McArthur's father died at sea in 1850 while returning from a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey mission to survey the Oregon Coast. His father was the nephew of Missouri Senator Lewis F. Linn. Lewis McArthur grew up in Portsmouth and Baltimore, Maryland, before attending Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he started in 1857, but did not graduate. He then went to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In Rhode Island he passed the bar in 1864 and then moved to Oregon.

Once in Oregon he began working for various newspapers in Eastern Oregon before founding the Bedrock Democrat in 1870 at Baker City, Oregon. He was also the first city recorder for Umatilla, Oregon, after its incorporation. During this time also mined and practiced law.

Judicial career

In 1870, McArthur won election to the Oregon Supreme Court. He was re-elected in 1876 to the state’s high court, but the term ended in 1878 when the court was reduced from five justices to three justices. Prior to 1878, Supreme Court justices rode circuit and sat on the Supreme Court bench. In 1878, the circuit court was split off and Supreme Court justices no longer served as circuit court judges. McArthur returned to the bench as a circuit court judge in 1883, serving until 1886. In 1886, he was appointed as the United States attorney for the state of Oregon serving until 1890.

Later life

McArthur married Harriet K. Nesmith in 1878. They had two sons, Clifton Nesmith McArthur and Lewis A. McArthur. The latter would start the Oregon Geographic Names series, while Clifton would serve in Congress. Clifton is the namesake for McArthur Court at the University of Oregon. Harriet was the daughter of Oregon Senator James W. Nesmith. From 1890 until his death, Lewis Linn McArthur practiced law in Portland, Oregon. He died in Portland on May 10, 1897.


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Lewis Linn McArthur's Timeline

Virginia, United States
Age 36
The Dalles, Oregon
Age 40
Age 54
Nesmith Family Cemetery Rickreall Polk County Oregon