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Benjamin C. Hilliard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benjamin C. Hilliard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1919
Preceded byGeorge Kindel
Succeeded byWilliam N. Vaile
Personal details
BornJanuary 9, 1868
Near Osceola, Iowa
DiedAugust 7, 1951 (aged 83)
Denver, Colorado
Political partyDemocrat
EducationUniversity of Iowa College of Law

Benjamin Clark Hilliard (January 9, 1868 – August 7, 1951) was an American lawyer, jurist, and politician. He served two terms as a U.S. Representative from Colorado, and was a two-time chief justice of the Supreme Court of Colorado.[1]

Early life and education

Born in a log cabin 8 miles (13 km) north of Osceola, Iowa,[2][3] Hilliard was the son of Albert George Hilliard who was a farmer and served as private in the 37th Illinois Infantry Regiment under Colonel John C. Black. He was severely wounded during the war, and carried bullets within his body and his right eye was destroyed.[3]

His mother, Euphema Ellen Clark, was an educated and cultured woman who died in 1881. At the time of her death, Hilliard had two siblings.[3] His father remarried and moved to Kansas, where he died due to accidental drowning in 1906.[3]

Hilliard attended the public schools of Iowa and Kansas.[1] He taught school in Kansas. He graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1891.[1]


He was admitted to the bar in Iowa in 1891 and in Missouri in 1892.[4] He commenced practice in Kansas City, Missouri.[1] He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1893 and was admitted to the bar in Colorado that year.[1][4] He served as city attorney of Highlands, Colorado[1][a] in 1896 and 1897, as county attorney of Elbert County, Colorado from 1897 to 1907, and as county attorney of Grand County, Colorado 1909-1913.[1]

Initially a Republican, Hilliard joined the Democratic party in 1902.[2] He served as member of the Colorado House of Representatives in 1902. He served as member of the Denver Board of Education 1900-1902 from 1904 to 1909, and 1913-1917.[1] Hilliard was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1919). On April 5, 1917, he voted against declaring war on Germany. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1918.[1]

He resumed the practice of law. Hilliard was elected justice of the Supreme Court of Colorado in 1930 and served as chief justice in 1939, 1940, 1944, 1949 and 1950.[1][8] Due to his many minority opinions, he was frequently called the state's "great dissenter".[2]

He was a member of the Denver Civic and Commercial Association and the Denver and Colorado bar associations.[4] He was active in the local Masonic Temple and his church.[3]

Personal life

On May 22, 1889, Hilliard married Tida Zimmerman in Carroll County, Missouri. Her parents, John and Dora Zimmerman, were wealthy farmers and provided a good education for their daughter, Tida.[3] They had four children,[4] two sons and two daughters.[2] Both of his sons became lawyers. His wife died in 1946.[8]

He had a heart attack on August 1, 1951 and was taken to St. Luke's Hospital.[9] He died in Denver, Colorado, August 7, 1951. He was interred in Crown Hill Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ Highlands was then a suburb of Denver.[3] Highlands, also called Highlandtown, was a settlement in Arapahoe County, Colorado that was annexed to Denver about 1897. There was also a settlement called Highland, Denver near downtown Denver, that with its neighbor, West Highland, was sometimes called the "Highlands". It became part of Denver in 1896.[5] His house at 3132 Federal Boulevard[6] is located in what is now the Highland neighborhood.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k
    • United States Congress. "Benjamin C. Hilliard (id: H000620)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website
  2. ^ a b c d "Justice Benjamin C. Hilliard of State Supreme Court Dies Today". The Daily Sentinel. August 7, 1951. p. 1. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Stone, Wilbur Fiske (1919). History of Colorado. S. J. Clarke. pp. 786–787.
  4. ^ a b c d Lewis, George E.; Stackelbeck, D. F. (1917). Bench and bar of Colorado. Denver : Bench and Bar Publishing Co. p. 124.
  5. ^ "Place Names of Colorado" (PDF). The Denver Public Library. pp. 299, 300. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  6. ^ Who's who in Law. 1937. p. 437.
  7. ^ "3132 Federal Boulevard, Denver, Colorado (zoom out to see neighborhoods)". Google maps. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Benjamin C. Hilliard obit part 2". The Daily Sentinel. August 7, 1951. p. 10. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "Hilliard Condition Serious". The Daily Sentinel. August 3, 1951. p. 2. Retrieved February 3, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Kindel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1919
Succeeded by
William N. Vaile
This page was last edited on 15 October 2020, at 15:29
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