Viewing Douglas A. Hedin: "Judge Lewis Cass Branson (1825-1905)."
On October 13, 1857, thirty-two year-old Lewis Cass Branson was elected the first judge of the Sixth Judicial District, encompassing eight counties in southeastern Minnesota. He held that position from 1858 to 1865, surviving a four-year long quo warranto challenge by his opponent, Luther L. Baxter. After his term ended, he and his family left for the golden west, settling for a while in Nevada, Colorado, California and finally Washington Territory. He practiced law in Tacoma for years, amassing or claiming to amass a fortune in real estate, and earning a reputation for eccentricity that ended sadly in November 1895 when a jury found him "insane." He was committed to a state asylum near Tacoma, and died there in mid-1905, at age eighty.