The Mystery Of Eugene Scott: MU Law School’s First (?) African-American Male

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Although the career of Mabel Raimey, the first black woman to attend Marquette Law School is well documented — see Phoebe Williams’ wonderful article in the  Marquette Law Review — we do not know with certainty the name of the first African-American male.

For the post-1908 period, when the Milwaukee Law School became part of Marquette University, Eugene W. Scott appears to be a likely candidate for the institution’s first African-American student.  Scott was one of the 46 first-year students enrolled in the Law School’s day program in the fall of 1911.  (One of his classmates was future dean Francis X. Swietlik.)  He is also one of 35 students listed as “Day Juniors” in the following year’s College of Law bulletin.  His photograph also appears as “E. W. Scott” in the Class of 1914 group picture which currently hangs in the hallway outside the Dean’s Office on the first floor of Sensenbrenner Hall.

There is also evidence that Scott did well as a student at Marquette.  Continue reading “The Mystery Of Eugene Scott: MU Law School’s First (?) African-American Male”

James G. Jenkins:The First Dean of Marquette Law School

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 00600737When Marquette University acquired the Milwaukee Law School and the Milwaukee University College of Law in the summer of 1908, one of its first tasks was to find a well-known dean for the institution now to be known as the Marquette University College of Law.  Although the new faculty was largely recruited from the ranks of the faculty of the two private law schools that it was to be absorbing, Marquette turned to retired federal judge James Graham Jenkins to be its first dean.  Although he was reportedly reluctant at first to take the position because of his age, Jenkins eventually agreed and served in that post for seven years. 

Like many Wisconsin lawyers of his generation, Jenkins was a native New Yorker who had moved to Milwaukee prior to the Civil War.  He was born in Saratoga Springs on July 18, 1834, the son of New York City merchant Edgar Jenkins and Mary Elizabeth (Walworth) Jenkins. His maternal grandfather was Reuben Hyde Walworth, a former United States congressman and New York chancellor who in 1844 was nominated, unsuccessfully as it turned out, to the United States Supreme Court by President John Tyler. 

Jenkins did not attend college or law school but instead studied law in the office of the New York City firm of Ellis, Burrill, and Davison for five years. He was admitted to the bar at age 21 and worked as “head clerk” for a New York law office for two years.  In 1857, he relocated to Milwaukee.   Continue reading “James G. Jenkins:The First Dean of Marquette Law School”

Lavvie Dilweg (’27): MU Law’s Contribution to the NFL (and to Congress)

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History, Sports & Law6 Comments on Lavvie Dilweg (’27): MU Law’s Contribution to the NFL (and to Congress)

slide0005_image008Marquette University eliminated its varsity football team in 1960, and the heroics of the Golden Avalanche, Hilltoppers, and Warriors (as the team was variously known) are now dimly remembered, if at all.  There was a time, however, when Marquette produced a steady supply of players for the National Football League.   Beginning in 1920, a total of 70 former Marquette players found their way into at least one NFL game.

The first Marquette alumnus to play in the NFL was Edward Lewis “Bo” Hanley, a Milwaukee native who played wingback for the Detroit Heralds in 1920, the league’s inaugural season when it was known as the American Professional Football Association.   The 5’7”, 150 pound Hanley was born in Milwaukee in 1887, and was thus 33 years old during the 1920 season, his only year in the NFL.  When the Green Bay Packers entered the NFL in 1921, their center was 29-year old Marquette alumnus, Richard John Murray, the second Marquette student to play in the NFL.  “Jab” Murray, as he was known, was a native of Ocanto and was 6’1” tall and weighed a hulking 219 pounds. 

The last Marquette player to join the NFL ranks was defensive back John Martin Sisk, Jr. who played for the Chicago Bears in 1964.   Sisk—whose father starred at Marquette in the 1920’s and with the Bears in the 1930’s—had played at Marquette as a freshman and then had transferred to the University of Miami when the school dropped football.   The last two Marquette football players to appear in the NFL were Minnesota Viking safety Karl Kassulke, who transferred to Drake University after Marquette dropped football and who entered the NFL in 1963, and Dallas Cowboy defensive lineman, George Andrie, who remained at Marquette for his senior year after the school dropped football and was then drafted by the Cowboys.  Both Kassulke and Andrie appeared in the Pro Bowl during their careers—Andrie did so on five occasions–and both appeared in the Super Bowl, albeit on the losing side.  Both players retired after the 1972 season.

However, the greatest of the Marquette alumni in the NFL was clearly LaVern “Lavvie” Dilweg, who played left end for the Milwaukee Badgers and the Green Bay Packers from 1926 to 1934, winning first team all-pro honors six times. Continue reading “Lavvie Dilweg (’27): MU Law’s Contribution to the NFL (and to Congress)”

Remembering Professor Wally MacBain

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Former Marquette law professor Wallace Alexander MacBain, III passed away on July 17, 2009, as the result of complications from a fall at his home in Nashotah, Wisconsin.  Professor MacBain was born in Audubon, New Jersey, on March 21, 1933.  His father, Wallace A. MacBain, Jr., was a member of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipworkers of America. 

Prof. MacBain graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers Law School in 1959 where he was also a member of the law review.  He spent the early years of his  professional life involved with school desegregation issues and served as a consultant to the United States government on that subject.  He joined the Marquette faculty in 1965 where he remained until his retirement at the end of the 1994-95 academic year.  As a faculty member, he served under Deans Seitz, Boden, DeGuire, and Barkan.

At Marquette, he served for several years as director of admissions (when that was still a position held by a faculty member).  Over the course of his career he taught a wide variety of courses, but his specialties were Constitutional Law, Civil Rights Legislation, and Conflicts of Law.  He was frequently quoted in the Milwaukee newspapers, and his most widely cited article had to do with the insanity defense.

His colleagues remember him as a devoted academic citizen and as a wonderful story teller.  He is survived by his wife as well as two children and two step-children and a number of grandchildren.

Marquette Law School at 100: Remembering Carl Zollman

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Although now largely forgotten at Marquette, Carl Zollman was a prominent American legal scholar of the first half on the twentieth century who spent his entire academic career at this Law School.  Zollman is recognized as the founder of aviation law as an academic discipline, and the case can also be made that he is the founder of sports law as well.  The latter claim is obviously quite appropriate given the Marquette Law School’s current prominence in the field of sports law.

Born in Wellsville, New York, in 1879, Zollman was educated to be a minister in the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church.  He was ordained in 1902 and became a pastor at a small church in Williamsburg, Iowa.  In 1906, he moved to Wisconsin, where his father, also a Lutheran minister, was involved with an enterprise known as the Evangelical Lutheran Colonization Company.  For reasons that are not known, the younger Zollman resigned from the ministry later that year and enrolled in the law program at the University of Wisconsin, just a month or two shy of his twenty-seventh birthday.  He received a law degree from Wisconsin in 1909, and he joined a Madison law firm.

Over the next thirteen years Zollman moved between a variety of law and editorial positions in Madison, Chicago, and Milwaukee, all the while publishing extensively.  Continue reading “Marquette Law School at 100: Remembering Carl Zollman”

Marquette Law School at 100: Reconsidering the Law School’s Early Decades

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Legal History, Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History, Speakers at Marquette1 Comment on Marquette Law School at 100: Reconsidering the Law School’s Early Decades

The Marquette University Law School came into being in 1908 when Marquette University acquired the propriety Milwaukee Law School and a recently established competitor known somewhat grandiosely as the Milwaukee University Law School. (Milwaukee University consisted only of its law school, and the school had only ten students.) These acquisitions were part of a larger project which converted Marquette from a tiny undergraduate college to a full-fledged university.

To mark the 100th anniversary of these events, the Marquette University Law School has sponsored a series of symposia this fall focusing on various aspects of the history of the Law School. The first two sessions, focusing on the Milwaukee Law School and the first quarter century of the Marquette University Law School featured the research of historians Tom Jablonsky, Joseph Ranney, and Gordon Hylton. The third, fourth, and fifth sessions featured former students from different eras of the Law School who eventually entered law teaching as a career. (These included Jim Ghiardi ’42; Frank DeGuire ’60, Jack Kircher ’63, Michael Zimmer ’67, Chuck Clausen ’70, Christine Wiseman ’72, Janine Geske ’75, Tom Hammer ’75, and Phoebe Williams ’81.) The final session, scheduled for November 18, will feature the perspectives of three faculty members who did not attend the Law School but who have been members of the faculty since the 1980’s: Judi McMullen, Dan Blinka, and Peter Rofes.

The symposium has revealed that the Marquette Law School has a rich, complicated history that is largely unknown to most of its current faculty and students. (In this regard, one suspects that Marquette is typical of most American law schools.) Moreover, the symposium has revealed that many of the frequently repeated statements about the history of the Law School — particularly in regard to its formative era — are not quite accurate.

For example, the symposium has revealed that the most important figure in the history of the Law School is almost certainly former Dean Max Schoetz (pictured above), who was dean of the Law School from 1916 to 1927.

Continue reading “Marquette Law School at 100: Reconsidering the Law School’s Early Decades”