Robert C. Grier
The venerable Justice Grier, late of the United States Supreme Court, died at his residence, No. 1428 Spruce street, Philadelphia, at the advanced age of seventy-six years, having been born in Cumberland county, Pa., March 5, 1794. His father was the Reverend Isaac Grier, who, shortly after the birth of his son Robert, removed to Lycoming county, where he taught school, preached to three separate congregations, and cultivated a farm. Young Grier was carefully educated by his father, and when old enough assisted him in the school and on the farm until at the age of seventeen he was sent to Dickinson College. Graduating in 1812 with the highest honors he accepted the post of tutor for a year, at the end of which time he removed to Northumberland, where his father had established an academy that had gained a high character. Here Robert assisted his father, and on the death of the latter, in 1815, succeeded him as principal. He now, however, studied law and in 1817 was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice at Bloomsburg, Columbia county. After remaining there a year he removed to Danville, soon obtaining a large and lucrative business. After a successful practice of about twenty years he was, in 1838, appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth to the position of president judge of the district court of Allegheny county, and removed to Allegheny city where he lived until 1848. In that year he went to Philadelphia and continued a resident until his death. In 1846 he was appointed by President Polk an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, to succeed Justice Baldwin. As a circuit judge he also had charge of the circuit embracing Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In this capacity he presided at the celebrated trial of Castner Hanway, in Philadelphia, under the fugitive slave laws. During the war, although a life-long Democrat, he was a rigid, patriotic, and unfailing Union man, and loyally sustained the Government.
Judge Grier had resigned his position previous to his death, on account of failing health. He was one of our most eminent men. He was a brother to M. C. Grier, of Danville, who died a short time ago in this place.
SOURCE: Page(s) 52-53; Danville, Montour County Pennsylvania; D.H.B. Brower, Harrisburg; 1881