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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Serranus C. Hastings

SERRANUS C. HASTINGS was born in Jefferson County, New York, on the 22d of November, 1814. He was liberally educated and at the age of twenty became Principal of Norwich Academy. In 1834 he removed to Lawrenceburg, Indiana, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. In the presidential campaign of 1836 he was employed as editor of the Indiana Signal, supporting Martin Van Buren for President. In 1837 he removed to the “Black Hawk Purchase,” locating at Bloomington where he opened a law office. When Iowa was organized as a Territory Mr. Hastings was elected a member of the House of the First Legislative Assembly, serving two terms. In 1840 he was elected to the Council where he served in the Third, Fourth, Seventh and Eighth Legislative Assemblies and was President of the Council of 1845. He exercised wide influence in framing the laws of the Territory and was one of the compilers of the “Blue Book” of Iowa laws, being associated in that work with James W. Grimes. He was commander of three companies of militia, with the rank of major in the Missouri boundary conflict. In 1846, when Iowa became a State, Mr. Hastings was nominated by the Democrats for Representative in Congress for the State at large and elected over G. C. R. Mitchell the Whig candidate. In 1848 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa. In 1849 he removed to California where he served as Attorney-General and later as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of that State. He died in San Francisco, February 18, 1893.