Montana GenWeb Archives
Judge George Roszelle Milburn, Judge of the Seventh Judicial District, comprising the counties of Dawson, Custer and Yellowstone, Montana, is a resident of Miles City. He was first elected to his present position in October 1889 and re-elected in 1892 having been nominated by a Democratic convention, the district being largely Republican. He humorously claims to have been elected "by the grace of God and the help of the Republican party."
He was born in the District of Columbia, in 1850, a son of Benedict and Martha Page Milburn. His father was of a well known family in St. Mary's County, Maryland. His mother was closely related to the old Revolutionary families of the Pages of Virginia and Maryland. His father was a strong Union man during the late War Between the States.
Our subject, when a youth, took a preparatory course at Rittenhouse Academy, Washington, District of Columbia and finally graduated at Yale College in the class of 1872. In May 1873 Mr. Milburn engaged in the real estate business in Washington City and lost all his investment after which in 1877 he passed a civil service exam, ranking third in a line of 139 applicants. That was at one of the first civil service exams held which were when Mr. Hayes was President and Mr. Carl Schurz Secretary of the Interior. Mr. Milburn was appointed Examiner of Pension Claims at Washington; but close confinement so impaired his health that he had to seek another climate and another vocation.
Accordingly he went to New Mexico, as clerk to the Pueblo Indian agency. He had previously graduated in law, however, at the National University, at Washington City, received his diploma at the hands of President Hayes, who was then chancellor ex-officio of the university. In this institution Mr. Milburn ranked second in a class of seventeen.
September 30, 1882 he resigned his position in New Mexico, having in the meantime been admitted to the bar at Santa Fe, in February 1881. In November 1882 he was appointed U.S. special Indian agent and ordered to inspect agencies in Dakota, which he did, and came to Montana in February 1882 and has been a resident of this state almost continuously ever since. As special Indian agent he had charge of constructing the buildings at the Crow Indian Agency, in 1884 by order of the Government. He opened his first law office and began the practice at Miles City in January 1886. Within the same year he was nominated on the Democratic ticket for County Attorney and was elected over his Republican opponent, William H. Ross and also over another candidate, a bolting Democrat. In 1888 he was defeated for re-election by Dr. W.A. Burleigh, Republican. The latter, however, eleven months afterward was in turn defeated by Mr. Milburn when he was first elected Judge of the district. He was re-elected as District Judge, in 1892 over the prominent Republican lawyer in Custer County. But Judge Milburn declares that he will not be a candidate for re-election to succeed himself on the bench. He is a stanch Union man and on national issues is a decided Democrat so long as the party remains patriotic.
December7, 1875, Mr. Milburn married Eugenie Prentiss Bliss, the daughter of Dr. D.W. Bliss, who had principal charge of President Garfield while suffering from the fatal wound inflicted by the notorious Guileau. Her father, now deceased, had a national fame as a surgeon. He was a prominent army surgeon during the war. Judge Milburn and his wife have three sons and one daughter, vis.: Paul Willard, born October 15, 1876; Eugene, born October 2, 1882, Roszelle, March 9, 1892 and George, born January 8, 1894. The first two were born in Washington City.
The Judge is a member and Past Grand of the I.O.O. F. and a member of the Knights of Pythias and the uniform rank of the latter order.