Robert Paine Dick

Associate Justice - NC Supreme Court

Date Born: October 5, 1823

Date Died: September 12, 1898

       
       
       
Place Born: Greensboro, NC

Place Buried: Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro, NC

   

Associate Justice 1868-1872
   

Robert Paine Dick was born on October 5, 1823 in Greensboro, NC, the son of John McClintock Dick and Parthenia Paine (Williamson) Dick. After attending local schools, he received his college preparatory training at the Caldwell Institute and entered the sophomore class of the University of North Carolina, from which he graduated with distinction in 1843. He then studied law under his father and George C. Mendenhall.

In 1845, Robert Paine Dick began to practice law in Wentworth, the county seat of Rockingham County.

In 1848, Robert Paine Dick moved to Greensboro, NC. That same year, on June 27th, he married Mary Eloise Adams, daughter of George Adams and Justinia Madelaine (Watkins) Adams of Pittsylvania County, VA; they had five children.

In 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed Robert Paine Dick as a U.S. District Attorney for eastern North Carolina, a position he retained until the beginning of the U.S. Civil War in 1861.

In 1862, upon the election of Zebulon Baird Vance as Governor, Robert Paine Dick was elected to the Council of State. He continued in this position for two years.

In 1864, Robert Paine Dick was elected to represent the 36th NC Senate District (Guilford County) in the NC Senate of the:
- 75th General Assembly that met from 1864 to 1865

From 1865 to 1868, Robert Paine Dick practiced law in Greensboro, NC.

In April of 1868, Robert Paine Dick was elected as an Associate Justice in the redesigned NC Supreme Court, which now included a total of five justices, two new Associate Justices added due to the new 1868 NC Constitution. He remained on NC Supreme Court until 1872.

In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Robert Paine Dick as a U.S. District Judge for the Western North Carolina District. He served in this capacity with great distinction but was forced to resign in 1898 because of poor health.

In 1878, Robert Paine Dick and John Henry Dillard founded Dick and Dillard Law School in Greensboro (aka Greensboro Law School), which trained nearly 300 lawyers between 1878 and 1893.

On September 12, 1898, Robert Paine Dick died of Bright's Disease, and he was buried in the Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro, NC.


Robert Paine Dick (1823 in Greensboro, NC – 1898 in Greensboro) was an attorney, North Carolina Supreme Court justice (1868-1872), and United States District Court judge (1872-1898). Originally a Democrat, Dick served as United States attorney from 1853-1861. He was a delegate to the 1860 Democratic National Convention and was the only delegate from North Carolina who did not walk out after the nomination of Sen. Stephen A. Douglas. One of Dick's daughters later married Robert M. Douglas, son of the U.S. senator.

Dick became a Republican after the American Civil War. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Dick to a new judgeship in 1872.

Dick and John H. Dillard (also a former state Supreme Court justice) founded Dick and Dillard Law School in Greensboro, which trained nearly 300 lawyers between 1878 and 1893.


Robert P. Dick was born in Greensboro in October of 1823. His father, Hon. John M. Dick, was judge of the NC Superior Court for nearly thirty years from 1832 until his death in October of 1861.

Dick graduated at the University of North Carolina in 1843; read law with his father and was admitted to the bar in 1845.

He was a US District Attorny from 1852 to 1861. He was a member of the State Convention of 1861, and signed the Ordinance of Secession.

He was a State Senator from Guilford County in 1864, and was appointed a US District Judge in 1865, but resigned because unable to take the "iron clad" oath.

In March of 1867, he was a member of the convention which organized the Republican party in North Carolina.

In April of 1868, he was elected Associate Justice of the NC Supreme Court.

In June of 1872, he was appointed a US District Judge for the newly-created Western District of North Carolina.

He died in September of 1898.



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