John James Jenkins (1910-1911)

John James Jenkins  (1910-1911)John James Jenkins was born in Weymouth, England on August 24, 1843, where he attended the public schools. He emigrated to the United States in June 1852 with his parents, who settled in Baraboo, Wisconsin. From 1861 to 1865 he served in the Civil War as a member of Company A, Sixth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.

After the war, Judge Jenkins was the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Sauk County, Wisconsin from 1867 to 1870, when he moved to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He studied law, was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar, practiced law privately, and served as City Clerk and City Attorney of Chippewa Falls. In 1872, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, and was a County Judge for Chippewa County from 1872 to 1876. In March, 1876, Judge Jenkins was appointed United States Attorney for the Territory of Wyoming, a position he held until 1880, when he returned to Chippewa Falls and resumed his practice of law.

Judge Jenkins was elected a Congressman for six consecutive terms, from 1895 to 1909, serving as Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary during the fifty-eighth, fifty-ninth and sixtieth Congresses.

President William Howard Taft appointed Judge Jenkins to the federal bench in Puerto Rico in 1910. During the short time he was a United States District Judge, Judge Jenkins appointed four women (out of 350 total applicants) to key positions in the Court - the court reporter, and deputy clerks for San Juan, Ponce and Mayaguez.

From the moment he arrived in Puerto Rico, Judge Jenkins was unable to carry out all his official duties because of illness. He returned to Wisconsin and died at Chippewa Falls on June 8, 1911, two months shy of his 68th birthday.