Monday, October 27, 2014

Main Julius Connine (1854-1915)

Portrait from the "Men of Progress" 1900.

   Oddly named Michigan jurist Main Julius Connine logged fifteen years of service as circuit court judge for Michigan's 23rd district, being elevated to the bench in January 1900. A lifelong native of the Bay State, Connine was born in the town of Pokagon on July 7, 1854, being the son of Richard N. and Mary Holmes Connine. Main engaged in work upon the family farm during his youth and also earned income by teaching the third grade in Grand Traverse County. This income enabled him to become a student at the Dowagiac High School, and later the Valparaiso Normal School, from which he would graduate in the mid 1870s. 
   Connine earned his B.S. degree from the above-mentioned school and after a period spent as a school principal in Mt. Vernon, Indiana enrolled at the University of Michigan Law School. He remained here for one term and would leave his studies to take on the position of principal at the public schools in Douglass and Champion, Michigan. He had married in 1877 in Crawfordsville, Indiana to Ella Burroughs (1854-1912) and was the father of two sons, Ward Burroughs (born 1878) and Matthew Nelson (1882-1925).
  While serving as principal Connine studied law during his spare time, entering the law off of Allegan County Judge Phillip Padgham to further his knowledge. In the mid-1880s Connine was admitted to the Michigan bar and established his first law practice in the city of Grayling, located in Crawford County. He would ply his trade here for several years, and in 1884 became commissioner of the Crawford County circuit court. He would hold that position for one year and in the following year entered upon the office of prosecuting attorney for Crawford County, serving here until 1887.
  In 1888 Connine relocated his practice to the township of Oscoda in the neighboring county of Iosco. In 1890 he was elected to his first term as Iosco County's prosecuting attorney and continued to serve here in 1892, 1893 and 1894. In November 1900 Connine was elected as Circuit Court Judge for Michigan's 23rd district. He would continue to preside as judge until his death and in 1911 suffered a personal loss when his home in Oscoda was destroyed by fire. Connine later relocated to Tawas City to build a new home when he was dealt further tragedy with the death of his wife Ella. 
   Following Ella Connine's death in July 1912 Main Connine resided at the Isoco Hotel in Tawas City. He died in his sleep in his apartment there on March 15, 1915 at age 59. He was survived by both his sons and was later interred at the Oakwood Cemetery in Tawas City.

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