Justices of the Florida Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Florida
500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee Florida

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Justice Rivers Henderson Buford

Served December 4, 1925 – April 3, 1948 as Justice
Served March 5, 1931 – January 10, 1933 and January 1943 – January 9, 1945 as Chief Justice  [appointed at age 47]
b. Pulaski, Tennessee, January 18, 1878     d. March 17, 1959, Tallahassee, Florida
County Judge:  No.          Circuit Judge:  No.
Rivers Buford’s family moved to Calhoun County Florida in 1882, when Rivers was four years old.  His work life started when he was 10 as a day laborer and cook in a logging camp.  The logging camp owner, a federal judge, noticed Buford’s talent and intelligence and sent him to Tallahassee in 1899 to study for a law career.  In 1900, he was accepted into the Florida Bar.  He formed a partnership with William Ellis, who was soon to become a Florida Supreme Court justice.  Buford also began a political career, getting elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1901.  He held other offices over the following years and became the Florida attorney general in 1921.  At the end of 1925, Buford was appointed by Governor John Martin to the Florida Supreme Court, where he served until his retirement in 1948.  He was known as a “colorful” personality during his years on the court and holds the record for the most opinions published (2,657).  He retired just before the justices started wearing black robes in court, swearing he would never wear one.  Buford pursued real estate in Tallahassee in his retirement.

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