|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
The United States Federal District was established on March 3, 1817. The first judge appointed to the Federal bench in Indiana was Benjamin Parke. The court opened its first session on May 5, 1817 in the State Capitol at Corydon.
Benjamin Parke (September 2, 1777 – July 12, 1835)
A native of New Jersey, Parke migrated to Lexington, Kentucky and studied law under the tutelage of James Brown. He gained admittance to the bar in 1799. Upon moving to Vincennes, he opened a practice in 1799. Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison appointed him as Attorney General in 1804. He gained election to the Territorial Legislature in 1805, serving until selected to represent the Indiana Territory in the United States House of Representatives from 1805 until 1808. Governor Harrison selected Parke to serve as his a judge in the Indiana Territory. During Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812, he commanded troops during both conflicts. After the wars, he served in Indiana's Constitutional Convention in 1816 and is one of its signers. President James Monroe appointed him to the United States District Court for the District of Indiana. He held that position until his death in 1835.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning