The Office of Federal Judge John Jay Jackson, Jr.


Located on the third floor behind the Federal Courtroom, The office of Federal Judge John Jay Jackson, Jr. — the “iron judge” of West Virginia — features faux graining on the window shutters that is original to the building.

The office of Federal Judge John Jay Jackson, Jr. - The "iron judge" of West Virginia

Federal Judge John Jay Jackson, Jr.

Federal Judge John Jay Jackson, Jr.

John Jay Jackson, Jr. was born August 4, 1824, in Parkersburg, Wood County, VA, the eldest son of General John Jay Jackson and Emma G. Beeson. He had three sisters and four brothers, including Jacob Beeson Jackson, Governor of West Virginia, 1880-1884. The father performed active service in Florida during the Seminole War and was later a member of General Andrew Jackson’s staff. A strong political influence on his sons, the senior Jackson served six terms as a representative from Wood County to the Virginia House of Delegates. He was a member of the historic Virginia secession convention held in Richmond in 1861, and eloquently upheld the argument for Virginia to stay in the Union.

John Jay Jackson, Jr. was nominated to be Judge, U. S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia by President Abraham Lincoln on July 26, 1861, to a seat vacated by John W. Brockenbrough who resigned to become a Confederate district Judge, western District of Virginia, Confederate States of America.

Jackson, Jr. was confirmed by the U. S. Senate on August 3, 1861, and received the commission that same day. He was then assigned Judge, U.S. District Court of West Virginia on June 11, 1864, after WV statehood was achieved in 1863. Jackson, Jr. served as judge in this courtroom for forty-four years, earning him the nickname “iron judge.”

He retired on March 15, 1905, and died September 2, 1907, in Atlantic City, NJ.

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