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Iowa Time Machine: Iowa Supreme Court Justice Austin Adams - May 24, 1826



Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On May 24, 1826, Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Austin Adams was born. A twelve year member of Iowa’s highest court, Adams notably became the first chief justice to allow a woman to practice law in the Iowa Supreme Court.



Born in Andover, Vermont, Adams graduated from Dartmouth College and attended Harvard Law School before striking out with his wife Mary for Dubuque. Settling in eastern Iowa, Adams set up a law practice. The couple helped establish the city’s first secondary schools as well as the first public library and the first YMCA. 



Adams went on to serve in various capacities for the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa) including professor, president of the school’s board of education, and as a trustee. Chosen as a Iowa Supreme Court Justice in 1876, Adams went on to serve through 1887. Chief Justice in 1880-1881 and 1886-1887, Adams gained distinction as the first justice to allow a woman to practice law in the Iowa Supreme Court.



Mary Newbury Adams supported the advancement of women and was a member of many progressive and scientific organizations. Austin also enthusiastically supported the advancement of women, particularly women's education. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar



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