Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Ranney, Rufus Percival

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RANNEY, Rufus Percival, jurist, b. in Blandford, Mass., 13 Oct., 1813; d. 6 Dec., 1891. When fourteen his father removed to a farm in Freedom, Portage co., Ohio, where Rufus was brought up with small educational advantages, yet by manual work and teaching he obtained the means to fit himself for college. He studied for a short time at Western Reserve college, which he left to study law in Jefferson, Ohio. He was admitted to the bar in 1838, and was taken into partnership by Benjamin F. Wade. In 1845 he opened and office in Warren, Trumbull co. He was the Democratic candidate for congress in 1846 and 1848, and in 1850 was a member of the State constitutional convention, and took an active part in the discussions. He was chosen by the legislature, about the same time, a judge of the supreme court, and in 1851 was elected by the people, under the new constitution, to the same office, which he held till 1857. In that year he was appointed United States district attorney for Ohio, and in 1859 was defeated as the Democratic candidate for governor. In 1862 he was again elected a judge of the supreme court, but in 1864 resigned, and resumed practice in Cleveland.