Oliphant, Ethelbert P.

Born: 1803-10-04 Fayette County, Pennsylvania

Died: 1884-05-08 Washington, D.C.

Flourished: Uniontown, Pennsylvania

Ethelbert P. Oliphant was an lawyer, prosecuting attorney, state representative, and associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Washington Territory. After receiving his pre-collegiate education, Oliphant matriculated to Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College), graduating with the class of 1825. He read law with Nathaniel Ewing in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, earning admission to the Fayette County bar. In April 1828, Oliphant gained admission to the Allegheny County bar. He served as prosecuting attorney for Fayette County and represented the county in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1830 to 1831. Oliphant moved to Springfield, Illinois, where he practiced law. Upon the commencement of the Black Hawk War, Oliphant volunteered for militia duty, serving as a private in Captain Levi W. Goodan's company of Samuel Whiteside's brigade of mounted volunteers before transferring to John Dawson's company. Returning to Pennsylvania after the war, Oliphant served as clerk of the Law Department at Harrisburg, from 1833 to 1836. He subsequently practiced law in Uniontown and Beaver. In May 1840, he married Elizabeth C. Howe. In 1850, Oliphant was practicing law in Union Borough, Fayette County. In 1860, he owned real property valued at $500 and personal estate of $300. In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Oliphant associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Washington Territory, a position Oliphant would hold until 1865.

Biographical and Historical Catalogue of Washington and Jefferson College (Cincinnati: Elm Street Printing, 1889), 41; The Twentieth Century Bench and Bar of Pennsylvania (Chicago: H.C. Cooper, Jr., Bro., 1903), 2:826; Illinois Black Hawk War Veterans, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 107; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Union, Fayette County, PA, 187; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Union, Fayette County, PA, 95; Gravestone, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, DC.