Court Official History

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Branch 1[1]:

  • Edward V. Whiton (1848 – 1853)[2]
  • Wyman Spooner (1853)
  • James R. Doolittle (1853 – 1856)
  • Charles M. Baker (1856-1857)
  • John M. Keep (1857 – 1859)
  • David Noggle (1859 – 1865)
  • William P. Lyon (1865 – 1871)[3]
  • Robert Harkness (1871 – 1875)
  • Ida C. Payne (1875)
  • John T. Wentworth (1876 – 1883)
  • John B. Winslow (1883 – 1891)[4]
  • Frank M. Fish (1891 – 1902)
  • Ellsworth B. Belden (1902 – 1939)
  • Alfred L. Drury (1939 – 1952)[5]
  • Elmer D. Goodland (1952 – 1966)
  • Howard DuRocher (1966 – 1978)[6]
  • John C. Ahlgrimm (1978 – 1988): County Judge: 1962 – 1978; Circuit Judge: 1978 – 1988
  • Gerald P. Ptacek (1989 – 2016)
  • Wynne M. Laufenberg (2017 – 2024)[7]

Branch 2:

  • Thomas P. Corbett (1968 – 1980)
  • Stephen A. Simanek (1980 – 2010)
  • Eugene A. Gasiorkiewicz (2010 – 2022)

Branch 3:

  • Gilbert N Geraghty (1969 – 1976)
  • Jon B. Skow (1978 – 1992)
  • Emily S. Mueller (1992 – 2018)[8]
  • Maureen M. Martinez (2019 - 2025)[9]

Branch 4[10]:

  • Emmanuel Vuvunas (1979 – 2004)
  • John S. Jude (2004 – 2016)
  • Mark Nielsen (2016 – 2022)

Branch 5:

  • Richard G. Harvey Jr. (1979 – 1980)
  • Dennis J. Barry (1980 – 2011)[11]
  • Michael Nieskes (2012)[12]
  • Michael Piontek (2012 – 2024)

Branch 6:

  • Dennis Costello (1978 – 1985)
  • Wayne J Marik (1985 – 2015)
  • David W Paulson (2015 – 2021)

Branch 7[13]:

  • James Wilbershide (1978 – 1989)
  • Nancy Wheeler (1989 – 1996)[14]
  • Charles H Constantine (1996 – 2018)
  • Jon E Fredrickson (2018 – 2025)[15]

Branch 8:

  • Dennis J. Flynn (1976 – 2002)
  • Faye M. Flancher (2002 – 2021)[16]

Branch 9[17]:

  • Allan “Pat” B. Torhorst (1991 – 2017)
  • Robert Repischak (2017 – 2024)[18]

Branch 10[19]:

  • Richard J. Kreul (1992 – 2012)
  • Timothy Boyle (2012 – 2024)

Racine County Clerk of Circuit Court[20]:

  • Henry F. Cox, Jr. (1837 – 1846)
  • Albert G. Knight (1846 – 1848)
  • Isaiah G Parker (1848 – 1852)
  • Samuel G Knight (1852 – 1854)
  • Lafayette Parker (1854 – 1860)
  • J.S. Crane (1860 – 1862)
  • Lafayette Parker (1862 – 1864)
  • Francis L. Graham (1864 – 1868)
  • A. H. Adams (1868 – 1870)
  • Charles S. Chipman (1870 – 1873)
  • Fredrick W. Bruce (1873 – 1874)
  • Charles S. Chipman (R) (1874 – 1875)[21]
  • Frederick. W. Bruce (1875 – 1886)
  • James McLaren (D) (1886 – 1892)[22]
  • Otto E. Ahrens (R) (1892 – 1900)
  • John R. Hulbert (R) (1900 – 1906) (John W. Hulbert)
  • Lemuel F. Owen (R) (1906 – 1910)[23]
  • John W. Trumbull (R) (1910 – 1914)
  • John C. Hood (R) (1914 – 1924)
  • Helen L. Blythe (R) (1924 – 1933)[24]
  • Arthur W. Simonson (D) (1933 – 1937)
  • Mildred E. Mertins (D) (1937 – 1941)[25]
  • Edward F. Daley (D) (1941 – 1974)
  • Lawrence E. Flynn (D) (1974 – 1992)
  • Phyllis Nielsen (D) (1992 – 1996)
  • Tarasea L. Wheary (R) (1996 – 2008)
  • Roseanne Lee (R) (2008 – 2015)[26]
  • Samuel A. Christensen (R) (2015 – 2023)[27]


[1] This list includes those Judges listed as ‘Circuit Court Judges.’  The Judicial Reorganization of 1977 abolished county judges and the county branches became circuit branches.

[2] Was first Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

[3] William F. Lyon appointed as Associate Justice of Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1871.

[4] John B. Winslow became Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and Chief Justice in 1907.

[5] Alfred L Drury appointed to vacancy after death of Ellsworth Belden.

[6] Howard DuRocher appointed to Branch 1 from County Court.

[7] Wynne Laufenberg appointed by Governor Scott Walker to fill vacancy of retiring Judge Gerald Ptacek.

[8] Emily Mueller appointed by Governor Tommy Thompson to fill vacancy of retiring Judge Jon Skow.

[9] Maureen Martinez appointed by Governor Scott Walker to fill vacancy of retiring Judge Emily Mueller.

[10] Branch 4 created in 1978 in Judicial Reorganization of 1977.

[11] Dennis Barry appointed by Governor Lee Dreyfus to fill vacancy of retiring Judge Richard Harvey.

[12] Michael Nieskes appointed by Governor Scott Walker to fill vacancy after death of Judge Dennis Barry.

[13] Branch 7 created in 1978.

[14] Nancy Wheeler appointed to fill vacancy by retiring Judge James Wilbershide.  She was the first female judge in Racine County.

[15] Jon E Fredrickson appointed by Governor Scott Walker to fill vacancy by retiring Judge Charles Constantine.

[16] Faye Flancher appointed by Governor Scott McCallum to fill vacancy by retiring Judge Dennis Flynn.

[17] Branch 9 created 1991.

[18] Robert Repischak appointed by Governor Scott Walker to fill vacancy by retiring Judge Allan Torhorst.

[19] Branch 10 created 1992.

[20] Clerk of Circuit Court became 4 year terms effective 2006.

[21] Charles Chipman died in office September 3, 1875 after an illness.

[22] James McLaren disappeared on August 15, 1893; allegation of mishandling trust accounts.

[23] Lemuel F Owen resigned Sept 24, 1910, Judge Belden named Helen L. Blythe to act as clerk in his absence. She was not named clerk due to women's ineligibility to vote.

[24] Helen L Blythe appointed by Judge E.B. Belden after resignation of John C Hood on November 25, 1924 based on incompetence in office vote by County Board.

[25] Mildred E Mertins appointed by Judge E.B. Belden after death of Arthur Simonson on February 27, 1937.

[26] Roseanne Lee appointed by Judges after death of Taraesa Wheary in 2008.

[27] Samuel Christensen appointed by Judges after death of Roseanne Lee in 2015.