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John D. Voelker
Class of: 1928

Source: Portrait from the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society website


John Donaldson Voelker (Robert Traver) served as a Michigan Supreme Court justice from 1956 to 1960.
John D. Voelker was born on June 19, 1903, in Ishpeming, Michigan. His parents were of Bavarian descent and settled in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Voelker's father owned and operated a prominent saloon in Ishpeming until the Volstead Act, or Prohibition, put an end to his business.
Voelker attended Northern Michigan Normal in Marquette, Michigan. He later graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1928. He and his wife Grace moved to Chicago, where he practiced law with the firm of Mayer, Meyer, Austrian and Platt. Tired of city life, Voelker returned to Ishpeming and established his own practice. His public service began when he won the seat of Marquette County Prosecutor. Voelker served for several terms, and was eventually voted out of that office. After an unsuccessful run for Congress, then-Governor G. Mennen Williams appointed Voelker to take the seat vacated by retired Michigan Supreme Court Justice Emerson R. Boyles in 1957. Voelker was then elected to another term on the Court, but he retired in 1959 to pursue his passion for writing.
Before his appointment to the Supreme Court, Voelker tried the case on which he based his most famous novel, Anatomy of a Murder. Under the pseudonym of Robert Traver (Robert was Voelker's older brother who died while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War I; Traver was his mother's maiden name), Voelker wrote many books dealing with two of his passions: law and fly-fishing. Some of his other works include Trout Madness, Small Town D.A., and Laughing Whitefish.
Anatomy of a Murder was made into a motion picture in the late 1950s. Voelker worked with director and producer Otto Preminger while the picture was in production. The movie starred Jimmy Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick, and Ben Gazzara. It received seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture.
John D. Voelker died on March 19, 1991.
-- Baker, Jr., Frederick M. Secretary, The John D. Voelker Foundation, Lansing, Michigan, 1998.  From the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society.
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Members of Class of 1928
Alderton, George A.
Alexander, Joseph B.
Alexander, Ray Leslie
Allen, Harold J.
Aller, Joseph G.
Amter, Joseph A.
Aubrey, William H.
Baker, H. Leslie
Beach, Frederick S.
Bennett, John Martin
Berger, Ruth R.
Berk, Irving Stanley
Birrell, Lowell Mcaffee
Bishop, Charles S.
Blashfield, Albert Earl
Blenman, Clarence W.
Boyle, Thomas Russel
Brewster, Lyman S.
Brody, Ralph B.
Bruske, Paul Wheeler
Burk, Hal Forrest
Butterfield, Edwin S. D.
Cameron, William Robinson
Coates, Claude William
Cohn, Gabriel
Conn, Albertus Brown
Cook, John Conway
Cox, William E.
Davis, Edwin Clark
Defur, Earl Gilbert
DeMund, George Harrison
Diamond, Alexander
Dixon, William C.
Edwards, Percy L.
Ensel, Lee William
Eovaldi, Benedict William
Fasquelle, Rowan
Fauver, Worth Alfred
Feinsinger, Nathan Paul
Fillmore, Dale Howard
Findley, Paul Proctor
Fiordelis, Jospeh F.
Fordell, Joseph Frank
Fruit, Richard C.
Garlinghouse, John Gray
Garver, George P.
Gates, Benton Earl
George, Francis J.
Gillingham, Robert L.
Golden, James R.
Goodwin, Martin Gilbert
Gould, Michael Mitchell
Green, Albert
Green, Milton D.
Greene, Harvey B.
Hagemeister, Orval F.
Haggarty, George
Harkins, Walter Scott
Harman, Thomas M.
Hascall, Forbes Sabin
Hatch, Hazen J.
Hellyer, Mary Elton
Henry, Leslie
Hicks, Richard Allan
Hitchcock, Everett E.
Hoffman, Leo Wason
Holmes, John Willard
Horrell, Howard Tilman
House, Howard D.
Hoyt, Hobart D.
Jacobs, Julius
Jaffe, Benjamin David
Jones, Leon Raymond
Jones, Orrin C.
Juergens, William George
Keithley, George Waters
Kelly, Kenneth F.
Keough, Henry E.
Kipp, Adelbert Martin
Kline, Kermit K.
Krapohl, Walter G.
Levy, Sam Warshauer
Lumley, Arthur Clifford
Luskin, Morris C.
Maas, Walter Leo
Manson, Carl Hilding
Marks, Harold Abner
Markus, Oscar A.
Matheson, Carney Derr
McCarthy, John Foley
McEwen, Willard Howe
McShane, Mary Kiley
Meader, Willard James
Mellen, Ned Edward
Meyer, Sidney K.
Midgley, Kenneth E.
Miller, Robert S.
Moise, Irwin Stern
Moll, Harry F.
Moody, Alexander D.
Mulfinger, Rudolph Mark
Newman, Morton Wise
Nunneley, John Harold
Painter, Frank Clyde
Panchuk, John
Pelton, Homer Charles
Platz, James M.
Pollock, Florence A.
Raisch, Arthur
Ramsey, Russell A.
Rich, Frederic P.
Riddering, Carl James
Robinson, Sigmund Albert
Rogers, R. William
Rosenthal, Ruth
Ruegsegger, Alcid Devere
Ryan, Theodore Patrick
Salm, Jerome L.
Sandelman, Lester
Saunders, Glenn G.
Schatz, Ernest Carl
Schermer, Jack Maurice
Schoch, Orville F.
Schwartzberg, Ralph M.
Segall, Arthur A.
Seitz, Frederick W.
Shadden, Maurice J.
Signor, Wales Wilson
Sills, Henry Hart
Smith, Albert Erwin
Smith, Louis Edward
Spaeder, John Albert
Stanley, James B.
Stein, Morris William
Stern, Edward F.
Stransky, Franklin V.
Stuart, Arthur Henry
Swann, Darrel Arbaugh
Tuschman, Sidney
Uren, Charles Keith
VanOosterhout, William H.
Voelker, John D.
Vollwiler, Ernest Robert
Wagner, John Francis
Walker, Victor Ellis
Walters, Burton
Waterman, Robert Aydelotte
Weyher, Fred Charles
White, Charles F.
White, Curtis
Wilson, William W.
Winter, Robert C. M.
Wise, William H.
Zimmerman, Manuel
Ziv, Frederic W.
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