Remarkable Ohio

Serpent Mound Marker
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4-46 William H. West 1824-1911

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Side A: William H. West 1824-1911. Judge William H. West of Bellefontaine led a distinguished career in law, public service, and politics. In 1854 West helped found the Republican party in Ohio and six years later he participated in Abraham Lincoln's nomination for the presidency. West served consecutive terms in both houses of Ohio's General Assembly from 1857 to 1865 and was elected the state's attorney general at the end of the Civil War. He became an Ohio Supreme Court justice in 1871 and in 1877 was his party's nominee for governor. After losing his sight, Judge West retired from the court but continued to practice law. At the Republican party's convention in 1884, the "Blind Man Eloquent" nominated James G. Blaine as the G.O.P.'s presidential candidate. Defining Republicans as a party for "union, freedom, humanity, and progress," the judge's nomination speech sparked a celebration that historian David McCullough described as "one of the most memorable events in the whole history of national political conventions." Side B: Same. Same