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Clarence R. Magney, Associate Justice 1943 -1953

Clarence R. Magney

Portrait of Clarence Magney

Clarence R. Magney, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1943 - 1953


Clarence Reinhold Magney was born on January 11, 1883, in Trenton Township, Pierce County, Wisconsin. He attended public schools in Bayport, Minnesota. He went on to attend Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. In 1908, he received his law degree from Harvard Law School. Upon graduation from law school, he began practice at the law office of Jenswold & Jenswold in Duluth. On April 26, 1911, Clarence Magney married Lillian Lundgren and they had one daughter and two sons. 

In 1917, Clarence Magney ran for mayor of Duluth and was elected. He resigned as mayor in 1920 and entered the primary election as a judicial candidate. He was elected District Court Judge and took office in 1921.

Clarence Magney was appointed an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on July 1, 1943. He was elected in 1944 and reelected thereafter. He retired as a justice at age 70 in 1953. Upon retirement, he was appointed a Commissioner of the Supreme Court and continued in that role until his death on May 14, 1962.

He was involved in many boards, including the Lakeview Memorial Hospital Board, Two Harbors, Minnesota Council of State Parks, Grand Portage National Monument Committee, and others. He was specifically interested in preserving and improving the state parks and natural resources. A Minnesota State Park is named for him "Judge C. R. Magney State Park" in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

You may read more about the life and work of Justice Magney in his memorial, and in the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society's book: Testimony: Remembering Minnesota’s Supreme Court Justices, which is the source of this brief biography. 

Clarence R. Magney Signature

Image Credit: Clarence Reinhold Magney, portrait by Lee Brothers, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, por 14662 Lee 1,; Clarence Magney's signature from the Minnesota Supreme Court's Roll of Attorneys,1858-1970, p 299 (March 25, 1909), available online at: