John Dean Caton (March 19, 1812, Monroe, New York
July 30, 1895) was an associate justice
and chief justice
of the Illinois Supreme Court
Caton attended the Utica Academy in Utica, New York
. After graduation, he worked as a teacher in Utica. During this period, Caton studied civil engineering
. In 1833, Caton moved to Chicago, then a small town, and opened the first law office
there with his partner, Giles Spring.
In his book, ''Early Bench and Bar of Illinois'', inspired by an 1893 speech given to the Illinois Bar Association
, Judge Caton claims to have tried the first jury
case in a court of record
in Cook County, Illinois. He recounts his experiences riding the circuit in the early days of Illinois statehood, and his later appointment to the Illinois Supreme Court, a period of some sixty years. He relates a number of humorous anecdotes about his days as a circuit rider
was an attorney in 214 cases in the Illinois Supreme Court in which Caton was a justice.
Category:Chief Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court
Category:19th-century American judges