Madison Leaders

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Stephenson, M. L.

M. L. Stephenson, a Union officer from Illinois, fought in several major Civil War battles in Missouri and Arkansas, was wounded three times, and eventually settled on a law career in Arkansas that climaxed in a very brief but eventful term on the Arkansas Supreme Court, where he participated in one of the critical episodes and law cases of the post–Civil War era—the dispute that became the Brooks-Baxter War. Stephenson was one of the Republican justices who ruled that Joseph Brooks, not Elisha Baxter, had been elected governor in 1872—a decision that President Ulysses S. Grant effectively reversed. Marshall Lovejoy (M. L.) Stephenson was born on March 29, 1838, in rural Nicholas County, Kentucky, northeast of Lexington. His parents, Robertus …