Skip to Main Content
Minnesota State Law Library Logo

Minnesota State Law Library

James H. Quinn, Associate Justice 1917-1928

James H. Quinn

Portrait of James H Quinn


Justice Quinn was elected County Attorney of Faribault County in 1888 and reelected four times.    


James H. Quinn was born in Kilbourn City, Wisconsin on June 23, 1857. His family came to Minnesota by covered wagon in 1863, settling in Blue Earth County.

In 1882, Quinn married schoolteacher Sarah Maria Annis. They had three children: Roswell James, Donald Annis, and Cecilia.

Admitted to practice law in 1884, he was elected County Attorney of Faribault County in 1888 and reelected four times. In 1897, Governor David M. Clough appointed Quinn to the office of District Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial District. Quinn served until 1916, when he was elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Sarah died in 1919, and Quinn did not remarry. He was reelected to the Supreme Court in 1922. In 1928, ill health caused his retirement from the court. Between 1917 and 1928, Quinn wrote 571 opinions, which can be found in volumes 160 - 217 of the Northwestern Reporter. He died February 15, 1930 in St. Paul.

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

Portrait of James H. Quinn from Men in Minnesota: A Collection of the Portraits of Men Prominent in Business and Professional Life in Minnesota, 2nd. ed. (St. Paul: R. L. Polk & Co, 1915),

Highlighted Resources