Ernest Snow

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Served from 1926 through 1927

Ernest A. Snow was born on April 17, 1876, in Hanover, Michigan, the only son of Eugene and Julia Snow. The family moved to Saginaw while Ernest was still young, and he was educated through high school in the public schools of that city. He attended the University of Michigan for three years and graduated with the law class of 1896. In that same year, he was admitted to the Michigan Bar and began the practice of law with his father.

The firm of Snow and Snow prospered and enjoyed “a high reputation for successful prosecution of legal suits and as counsellors at law.” In 1902 Snow was elected Judge of the Recorder’s Court, and from 1907 to 1908 he served as a member of the Constitutional Convention. In 1917, he became a member of the Saginaw Circuit Bench (Tenth Circuit) and was re-elected in 1923 without opposition. On January 1, 1926, Governor Alex Groesbeck appointed Snow to the Michigan Supreme Court. He served the people of the state for only 22 months before his untimely death on October 20, 1927, at the age of 52.

At the time of his death, Snow was already considered a brilliant lawyer and an outstanding judge. Justice George M. Clark said, “In his work on both the Circuit Bench and this Bench he was able, courageous, energetic, intent upon knowing the law and in applying it devotedly in all cases.”

In his short time on the Michigan Supreme Court, Judge Snow authored opinions in volumes 233 through 240 of the Michigan Reports. (Biography compiled by Ann Lucas. Serials Librarian of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan, 1998.)

Memorial and Portrait presented on: (Click link to read transcript)
June 12, 1929

Portrait Artist:
Alten, Mathias Joseph

Oil on canvas

115.4 x 85.1 cm (45 7/16 x 33 1/2 in)

Owned by:
State of Michigan

Current location:
Hall of Justice – 5th Floor: Rotunda

Portrait photo by:
Doug Elbinger, Lansing – June 1996