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Donald George Abel
Born (1894-12-23)December 23, 1894
Lincoln Center, Kansas
Died July 8, 1980(1980-07-08) (aged 85)
Mercer Island, Washington
Residence Chehalis, Washington
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Washington School of Law, LLB
  • prosecuting attorney
  • judge
Spouse(s) Marion Ross

Donald George Abel (December 23, 1894 – July 8, 1980) was an American attorney who served as a Washington State Supreme Court Justice from 1946 to 1947.[1]

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

His father, George D. Abel, was a Superior Court Judge of Grays Harbor County, the center of the state's logging industry. In 1913, Don graduated from Hoquiam High School. He attended the University of Washington, where he played football under coach Gil Dobie, and received a B.A. degree in 1917.

In WW I, Abel served in the 91st Division of the U.S. Army, was decorated for gallantry in the Battle of the Argonne, and rose to the rank of Captain.[2][3]

Following his discharge, he returned to the University of Washington School of Law, and was graduated with a LL.B. degree in 1919.

Career[edit | edit source]

After graduation, Abel engaged in the private practice of law in Chehalis, and then held a series of government posts. From 1922 to 1926, he served as the Prosecuting Attorney of Lewis County. In 1932 he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination to Congress in the Third District. From May 1936 to February 1940, Abel was state administrator of the federal Works Progress Administration.[4][5][6][7]

In September 1942, he ran unsuccessfully for a position on the state Supreme Court, losing to John S. Robinson.[8] In 1946, Abel was appointed to Supreme Court as acting Justice during the absence of Walter B. Beals, who was Presiding Judge at the International Military Tribunal I in Nuremberg, Germany.

In 1957, Governor Albert D. Rosellini appointed Abel to the State Public Service Commission, and later to the Washington State Liquor Control Board, where he served as member and chairman.[9]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

He was married to Marion E. Ross. They had three children, including a daughter, Janice Abel Colby, and twins born on January 20, 1920: Margaret Louise Abel and Don G. Abel, Jr.[10] Don, Jr., graduated from the University of Washington Law School, as did his father, served as Grays Harbor Prosecuting Attorney, and practiced law in Seattle.[11]

Abel, Sr. died July 8, 1980, and is buried in Claquato Cemetery in Chehalis, Washington.[12]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Opinions authored by Donald G. Abel, Washington Supreme Court. CourtListener.com. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  2. "Don Able to take over WPA," Seattle Times, May 24, 1936. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  3. The Story of the 91st Division. San Francisco, CA: 91st Division Publication Committee. 1919. p. 119. https://books.google.com/books?id=9qkBAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=%22donald+g.+abel%22&source=bl&ots=aTjcSpsf90&sig=sGg8D5rKOmOMo1dknSkvgw1Mg48&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjmke-sgNLSAhUrs1QKHe17BvA4ChDoAQg9MAk#v=onepage&q=%22donald%20g.%20abel%22&f=false. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  4. "Don Abel, Chehalis attorney, named head state WPA," Spokane Chronicle, May 29, 1935. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  5. Bestor, Dorothy (June 10, 1965). "Oral history interview with Don G. Abel, 1965 June 10". Archives of American Art. https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-don-g-abel-11611. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  6. Donald G. Abel Papers, 1936, Archives West, Orbis Cascade Alliance. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  7. Press releases (1938-1939). Works Progress Administration. Washington State Library. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  8. Election results, State Supreme Court position #3, September 1942, Secretary of State, State of Washington. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  9. Baker, Mike (June 14, 2013). "FBI files allege corruption by former Gov. Rosellini". Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA). http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/jun/14/fbi-files-allege-corruption-by-former-gov/. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  10. "Obituary: Margaret Louise Abel Slusher". Seattle Times. Legacy.com Obituaries. March 21–22, 2010. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=margaret-louise-abel-slusher&pid=140923401. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  11. "Obituary: Don George Abel [Jr."]. Seattle Times. Legacy.com Obituaries. December 21–26, 2008. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=don-george-abel&pid=121615901. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  12. "Claquato Cemetery grave search". Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=76740. Retrieved April 21, 2017. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Walter B. Beals
Associate Justice of the Washington Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Walter B. Beals

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