Harlow South Orton
Madison's 15th Mayor 1877 – 78
Lived: Nov 23, 1817 – Jul 4, 1895
Buried: Forest Hill, Madison, WI
The former Village Cemetery
land was renamed
in his honor on May 15, 1883.
In 1852 set up a law practice in Madison.
Private secretary and legal adviser to
Governor Leonard J. Farwell
In 1854 Orton switched his allegiance from the Whig to the Democratic party, and in
1855 was one of the attorneys for William A. Barstow (q.v.) in litigation growing
out of the contested Barstow-Bashford gubernatorial election. Orton was an independent
Democratic state assemblyman (1854, 1859, 1871), and from 1859 until his resignation in
1865 served as circuit court judge of the 9th judicial district.
Dean of the Univ. of Wisconsin law school (1869-1874), senior member of the law firm
of Orton, Keyes and Chynoweth (1870-1878), and a member of the commission that compiled
the Revised Statutes of the State of Wisconsin (1878).
In 1878 when the state supreme court was expanded, Orton was elected to one of the new
judgeships. He served on the high court bench from Apr., 1878, until his death.
In 1894 he became chief justice (ex officio) of the court.