Frank Hooker

Frank Hooker

Served from 1893 through 1911

Chief Justice: 1893, 1902, 1903

Born on January 16, 1844, Frank A. Hooker descended from a family that was noted for its contribution to the development of democracy. He is related to Rev. Thomas Hooker, “a man… who is credited in history with the origination of the doctrine that, “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” (Reed, George I. The Bench and Bar of Michigan: A History and Biography. Chicago: The Century Publishing and Engraving Co., 1897.)

Frank Hooker was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1844. “When fourteen years old he learned the trade of brick mason and enlarged his education, preliminary to that in the law, by the study of the higher mathematics, history and Latin under the tutelage of an older sister who had enjoyed superior educational advantages in New England.” (Reed.) During the summer months, he taught in country schools. In 1863, he entered the Law Department at the University of Michigan.

Hooker eventually settled in Charlotte, Michigan, and practiced law. He worked in the firm of Hooker and DeGraff. Hooker became the superintendent of schools for Eaton County and served as Prosecuting Attorney for two terms from 1873 until 1877.

Hooker was appointed Judge of the Fifth Circuit in 1878 by Governor Charles Croswell. He served the Fifth Circuit for 15 years and left upon his election to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1893. He served on the Supreme Court until his death in 1911. He was revered by his colleagues. Claudius B. Grant said that, “As a jurist his sole aim was to reach justice by the shortest cut – -justice based upon reason, common sense, and the experience of centuries. In a marked degree he was uninfluenced by prejudice, passion, friendship, or enmity.”

Frank A. Hooker died on July 10, 1911. (Michigan Supreme Court. Michigan Reports: Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of Michigan. Chicago: Callaghan and Co., 1879 – 1948, Vol. 166.)

Frank Hooker

Justice’s Name:
Frank Hooker

Years Served on Court:
1893 – 1911

Portrait Artist:
Earle, L.C.

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
86.36cm X 61.91cm (34″ X 24 3/4″)

Owned by:
State of Michigan

Current location:
Hall of Justice – 6th Floor: Justice Young’s Suite

Portrait photo by:
Doug Elbinger, Lansing – June 1996