George Washington Henley, Jr.


George Washington Henley, Jr.



George Washington Henley, Jr. has the distinction of serving just sixty-nine days on the Indiana Supreme Court, the second shortest term of any justice. Born in Washington, D. C., in 1890, Henley’s parents moved to Bloomington, Indiana, when young George was five year’s old. Henley attended local public schools before entering Indiana University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1913. A year later he received his law degree from the I.U. School of Law. Upon graduation, he began practicing law in Bloomington with his uncle.

Henley was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1939, serving until 1949. He was majority leader of the House in 1943, 1945, and 1947. He served on the Wendell Willkie Notification Committee in 1945 and was the permanent chair of the 1946 State Republican Convention. He served as the attorney to the I.U. Board of Trustees, and ultimately was elected to the Board, serving from 1945 until 1951.

On March 15, 1955, Henley was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court by Governor George S. Craig to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Frank Earl Gilkison. According to historian Colleen Pauwels, “Henley accepted the appointment as the Courts eighty-sixth judge with the understanding that it would be for no longer than the remainder of the term of the Court, which was to conclude on May 21, 1955.” Craig made the temporary appointment to give himself time to find permanent appointees for two vacancies on the court. After his court service, Henley returned to Bloomington where he became active in a variety of civic organizations and served on numerous boards of directors. Henley died, in Bloomington, on February 19, 1965 and is interned in that city’s Rose Hill Cemetery.


Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Supreme Court Justices, Indiana House of Representatives, Maurer Alumni


Judges | Law | Legal Biography | Legal Profession



For additional information on Judge Henley, see the following site:

And in:

  • “George W. Henley, Jr.” by Colleen Kristl Pauwels, in Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court, edited by Linda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair, pp.343-345. Available in the Jerome Hall Law Library, KF 354 .I56 J87 2010.

Other Repository materials relating to Judge Henley include:

George Washington Henley, Jr.