AARON VANCE McALVAY was born at Ann Arbor, Michigan, July 19, 1847, son of Patrick Hamilton and Sarah (Drake) McAlvay. His father was Scotch-Irish; his mother was born in New Jersey, of Puritan ancestry. He received his preparatory education in the public schools of Ann Arbor and entered the University of Michigan in 1864. After three years he changed to the Law Department, and was graduated Bachelor of Laws in 1869. In 1881 the Regents conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts as of the class of 1868.
After his graduation in law he spent a year in the law office of Hiram J. Beakes, of Ann Arbor, and one year in the law office of Lawrence and Frazer, also of this city. He entered upon the practice of his profession at Manistee, Michigan, in November, 1871. He was city attorney at Manistee for three terms, prosecuting attorney for one term, supervisor for two terms, and deputy collector of customs for two terms. He was also Circuit Judge by appointment in 1878-1879, and again in 1901-1902. In 1901 he was elected Circuit Judge for the full term of six years from January 1 following, but resigned the office after three years, having been chosen at the November election of 1904 a Justice of the State Supreme Court for the term extending from January 1, 1905, to January 1, 1908.
In 1897 he accepted a call to the University of Michigan, serving the first year as Acting Professor of Law, and from 1898 to 1903 as Professor of Law. His subject the first year was Equity Jurisprudence; after that he lectured on Wills and Administration and on Domestic Relations.He was married at Ann Arbor, December 9, 1872, to Barbara Bassler, and they have had six children: Harry S., Carl Emil (Ph.B. 1898), Bayard T., Sarah Drake (A.B. 1904), Barbara Hamilton (now a student in the University), and Margrethe (deceased). Residence, — Lansing, Michigan.
-- From "History of the University of Michigan" by Burke Aaron Hinsdale. Published by the University of Michigan in 1906.
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