Justice Rivers Henderson Buford

Former Justice 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 at age 47, 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.

Justice Buford served as Justice from December 4, 1925 to April 3, 1948. He served two terms as Chief Justice from March 5, 1931 to January 10, 1933 and January 1943 – January 9, 1945. He was born in Pulaski, Tennessee, on January 18, 1878 and died on March 17, 1959, in Tallahassee, Florida.

Former Justices

Contact Information

Florida Supreme Court
500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee, Florida
32399-1925 | EMAIL
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