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John D. Works
United States Senator
from California

In office
March 4, 1911 – March 4, 1917
Preceded by Frank P. Flint
Succeeded by Hiram Johnson
Los Angeles City Council member

In office
1910
Succeeded by Robert Martin Lusk
Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

In office
October 2, 1888 – January 5, 1891
Appointed by Governor Robert Waterman
Preceded by Elisha W. McKinstry
Succeeded by Ralph C. Harrison
Judge of the San Diego County Superior Court

In office
1886–1887
Appointed by George Stoneman
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives from Ohio County and Switzerland County

In office
January 9, 1879 – January 6, 1881
Preceded by William Freeman
Succeeded by Stephen H. Stewart
Personal details
Born John Downey Works
(1847-03-29)March 29, 1847
Rising Sun, Indiana, U.S.
Died June 6, 1928(1928-06-06) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Alice Banta (m. 1868)
Signature
Military service
Service/branch Union Army
Unit 10th Indiana Cavalry Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War

John Downey Works (March 29, 1847 – June 6, 1928) was an American politician and lawyer. He was a U.S. Senator representing California from 1911 to 1917, and an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court from October 2, 1888, to January 5, 1891.

Biography[]

Works was born in Ohio County, Indiana, and attended public schools there.[1] During the American Civil War, he served as a member of the 10th Regiment of the Indiana Cavalry. Once discharged, he returned home, read law and in 1868 was admitted to the Indiana bar.[2][3] In November 1878, he was elected as a representative in the Indiana General Assembly, serving during the 1879 term.[4] In June 1883, he published a book of practice, pleading and forms to match the revised code of Indiana.[5]

In 1883, Works' poor health forced a move to San Diego, California, where he became active in the Republican Party, and rose in California politics. In September 1886, he ran on the Republican ticket, and prior to the election was appointed by Governor Robert Waterman as a judge of the San Diego County Superior Court.[6][7] In September 1887, he resigned to return to private practice, and Governor Waterman appointed Edwin Parker to fill the vacant seat.[8]

In 1888, Governor Waterman appointed Works as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court to fill a vacancy after the resignation of Elisha W. McKinstry.[9][10][11] In August 1888, the Republican Party nominated Works and he was elected to the remaining portion of McKinstry's term ending January 5, 1891.[12][13] In 1891, after stepping down from the bench, Works became president of the San Diego Sun company, and then returned to private practice with his son in the firm of Works & Works in San Diego.[14][15][16]

In January 1896, Works moved to Los Angeles, California.[17] On December 7, 1909, he was elected as a council member of the Los Angeles City Council, and chosen as its president, but he resigned shortly after on March 22, 1910.

In 1911, Works was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served on the committee on Expenditures in the War Department (Sixty-second United States Congress) and the Committee on Fisheries.[18] In February 1917, he and other Progressive Senators, under the moniker "twelve willful men," blocked by filibuster legislation empowering President Woodrow Wilson to arm merchant vessels prior to the United States entering World War I.[19][20]

After retiring from the Senate he wrote two books: Duty to Man: A Study of Social Conditions and How They May Be Improved and What's Wrong With the World?

On June 6, 1928, he died in Los Angeles and his ashes were placed in Inglewood Park Cemetery.[21]

Personal life[]

On November 7, 1868, he married Alice Banta, in Vevay, Indiana, and they had two sons, Thomas L. and Louis R., who became an attorney and practiced with his father, and later the presiding justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Division;[22][23] as well as five daughters: Josephine (who died as an infant), Ida, Laura, Ethel and Isabel.[24][25] He is said to have been a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist.[26]

Notes[]

  1. Johnson, J. Edward (1963). History of the California Supreme Court: The Justices 1850-1900, vol 1. San Francisco, CA: Bender Moss Co. pp. 156–161. http://library.courtinfo.ca.gov/included/docs/SCJC_Vol_1.pdf. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  2. "About the Courts". Indianapolis Journal. Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. 6 May 1873. p. 4. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=IJ18730506.1.4&srpos=2&e=------187-en-20--1--txt-txIN-%22John+d.+Works%22------. "John D. Works [was] admitted to practice in the Superior Court" 
  3. "Personal". Indianapolis News. Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. 4 June 1873. p. 3. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=INN18730604-01.1.3&srpos=1&e=------187-en-20--1--txt-txIN-%22John+d.+Works%22------. "John D. Works [was] yesterday admitted to practice in the Civil Circuit Court" 
  4. "The Legislature". Indianapolis News. Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. 13 March 1879. p. 4. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=INN18790313-01.1.4&srpos=3&e=------187-en-20--1--txt-txIN-%22John+d.+Works%22------. 
  5. "Just published: Practice, Pleading and Forms". Indianapolis News. Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. 18 June 1883. p. 4. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=INN18830618-01.1.4&srpos=1&e=------188-en-20--1--txt-txIN-%22John+d.+Works%22------. 
  6. "County Tickets". Daily Alta California. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 12 September 1886. p. 5. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DAC18860912.2.66.1&srpos=3&e=------188-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  7. "State News". Indianapolis News. Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. 13 October 1886. p. 1. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=INN18861013-01.1.1&srpos=32&e=------188-en-20--21--txt-txIN-%22John+d.+Works%22------. "John D. Works, a former Vevay lawyer, has been appointed superior judge of San Diego, Cal., by the governor, being already the republican candidate for that position at the next election." 
  8. "Superior Court: Judge Parker Takes His Seat-Complimentary Resolutions to Judge Works.". Coronado Mercury. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 20 September 1887. p. 4. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=CM18870920.2.22&srpos=22&e=------188-en--20--21--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  9. "State Republicans". Sacramento Daily Union. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 1 August 1888. p. 2. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SDU18880801.2.13&srpos=38&e=------188-en--20--21--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  10. "Young Republicans". Coronado Mercury. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 7 August 1888. p. 4. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=CM18880807.2.32&srpos=2&e=------188-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  11. "Fourth Ward Republicans". Coronado Mercury. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 9 August 1888. p. 4. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=CM18880809.2.39&srpos=1&e=------188-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  12. "Local Brevities". Sacramento Daily Union. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 12 December 1888. p. 2. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SDU18881212.2.18&srpos=28&e=------188-en--20--21--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. "Yesterday the Governor issued a certificate of election to John D. Works as Associate Justice for the term expiring January, 1891, vice E. W. McKinstry, resigned." 
  13. "The Returns". Los Angeles Herald. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 7 November 1888. p. 1. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH18881107.2.2&srpos=37&e=------188-en--20--21--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  14. "Pacific Coast News". Sausalito News. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 23 January 1891. p. 1. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SN18910123.2.5&srpos=2&e=------189-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22----1891---1. 
  15. "A Pert Petition". San Francisco Call. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 4 November 1893. p. 2. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SFC18931104.2.25&srpos=2&e=------189-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22----1893---1. 
  16. "Gossip of the Hotels". San Francisco Call. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 8 July 1893. p. 6. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SFC18930708.2.48&srpos=1&e=------189-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22----1893---1. "Judge John D. Works, ex-Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, Is at the Palace Hotel. Judge Works lives In San Diego, where he has a lucrative legal practice and extensive real estate Interests. He has no desire for political or judicial honors, and declined the nomination three years ago as Chief Justice of the State." 
  17. "Festivities at San Diego". Los Angeles Herald. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 31 January 1896. p. 9. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH18960131.2.34.3&srpos=4&e=------189-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22----1896---1. 
  18. "Latest News". Hammond Times. Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. 12 January 1911. p. 1. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=LCT19110112.1.1&srpos=6&e=------191-en-20--1--txt-txIN-%22John+d.+Works%22------. 
  19. "Extra Session of Congress Seems Probable". Richmond Palladium (Daily). Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program. 9 March 1917. p. 1. https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=RPD19170309.1.1&srpos=15&e=------191-en-20--1--txt-txIN-%22John+d.+Works%22------. 
  20. Graham, Katherine (2009). Katharine Graham's Washington. New York, NY: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0307421517. https://books.google.com/books?id=ukCKZi360lsC&q=%22twelve+willful+men%22+1917&pg=PT424. Retrieved September 11, 2017.  Diary entry for March 1, 1917
  21. "Former California Solon Dies in L.A.". San Bernardino Sun. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 7 June 1928. p. 4. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SBS19280607.1.4&srpos=1&e=------192-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22----1928---1. 
  22. "Judge Lewis of San Diego County Dead After Week's Illness". San Bernardino Sun. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 31 December 1920. p. 1. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SBS19201231.1.1&srpos=9&e=------192-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  23. "Justice Finlayson Draws Long Term". Los Angeles Herald. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 30 December 1920. p. B13. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH19201230.2.541&srpos=2&e=------192-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. 
  24. "Personal". San Bernardino Sun. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 27 March 1895. p. 3. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SBS18950327.1.3&srpos=8&e=------189-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22----1895---1. 
  25. "L. A. Girl to Marry Tax Expert". Los Angeles Herald. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 27 April 1920. p. A1. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH19200427.2.3&srpos=6&e=------192-en--20--1--txt-txIN-%22john+d.+works%22-------1. "Miss Darling, who graduated from the Los Angeles high school almost three years ago, spent the winter of 1917-18 In Washington, when her grandfather was In the senate, and enjoyed a very brilliant social success." 
  26. The Political Graveyard: Christian Scientist Politicians at politicalgraveyard.com

Selected publications[]

External links[]

United States Senate
Preceded by
Frank P. Flint
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from California
1911–1917
Served alongside: George C. Perkins, James D. Phelan
Succeeded by
Hiram Johnson
Legal offices
Preceded by
Elisha W. McKinstry
Associate Justice the Supreme Court of California
1888–1891
Succeeded by
Ralph C. Harrison

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