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George F. Comstock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George F. Comstock
George F. Comstock

George Franklin Comstock (1811–1892) was an American lawyer and politician. He was Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1860 to 1861.[1]

Personal life

Comstock was born on August 24, 1811 in Williamstown, then Oneida, now Oswego County, New York.[2] He graduated from Union College in 1834. Then he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1837. He was married to Cornelia, daughter of his friend and law partner, B. Davis Noxon, and had a son and daughter.[3] Comstock died in Syracuse on September 27, 1892 and was buried at the Oakwood Cemetery.[2][3]


Comstock was Solicitor of the United States Treasury from 1852 to 1853, during the administration of President Millard Fillmore.[4]

He was a judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1856 to 1861, elected on the American Party ticket to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of Charles H. Ruggles who had resigned in October 1855.[5] In 1856, Union College conferred the honorary degree of LL.D. on him. He was Chief Judge from 1860 to 1861. He published the first four volumes of the law reports of the Court of Appeals. In 1861, he ran for re-election on the Democratic ticket, but was defeated by the Union candidate William B. Wright.

Syracuse University

Comstock was an influential figure in the founding of Syracuse University and a member of the new university's board of trustees. In 1870, he donated fifty acres of farmland on a hillside to the southeast of the city center, then valued at $60,000, to establish the university. He also donated additional $35,000.[6] Comstock intended Syracuse University and the hill to develop as an integrated whole; a contemporary account described the latter as "a beautiful town ... springing up on the hillside and a community of refined and cultivated membership ... established near the spot which will soon be the center of a great and beneficent educational institution."[7]

Comstock tract of buildings

The Comstock Tract Buildings, a historic district of older buildings on the Syracuse University campus, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[8] Three buildings on campus—the Crouse Memorial College and the Hall of Languages, and the Pi Chapter House of Psi Upsilon Fraternity—are individually listed on the National Register.[9]


  1. ^ Hough, Franklin Benjamin (1858). The New York Civil List. Weed, Parsons and Company. p. 348. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Obituary" (PDF). The New York Times. New York, New York. October 9, 1870. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b "The Noted Jurist of Syracuse Dies this Morning". Star-Gazette via Elmira, New York. September 27, 1892. p. 1. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  4. ^ The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1853. Gray and Bowen. 1853. p. 352. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  5. ^ "American Party ticket" (PDF). The New York Times. New York, New York. October 18, 1855. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Religious items". The New York Times. New York, New York. October 9, 1870. p. 5. Retrieved 11 October 2020 – via A site has been selected for the proposed Syracuse University, in the eastern part of that city. It embraces about fifty acres, valued at $60,000, and is a gift from the citizens of the place. Five different sites were offered. The largest subscription made for the benefit of the University is from Judge Comstock, who gives it $35,000.
  7. ^ Gorney, J (2006). Syracuse University: an architectural guide. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0-8156-0810-1.
  8. ^ Robert Mann; Alice Jean Stuart (1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Syracuse University-Comstock Tract Buildings". Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 12, 2009. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved January 13, 2010.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Alexander S. Johnson
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
Samuel L. Selden
This page was last edited on 25 December 2020, at 01:44
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