(Sept., 1837-Mar. 3, 1911). Born in Shelby County, Indiana, George W. Stubbs was studying law when the Civil War began. Enlisting as a private in the 16th Indiana Volunteer Regiment, he later served in the Signal Corps. After the war, he resumed his law studies and eventually opened a law practice in Shelbyville. In 1871. He moved his practice to Indianapolis.

Stubbs, who lost his left arm in an 1899 hunting accident, was elected Marion County Police Court judge in 1901. He soon became concerned about the large number of children who were tried as adults in the court system. Aided by Indianapolis Police Chief G. A. Taft and Judge James A. Collins, Stubbs prepared a bill in 1903 that gave jurisdiction over juveniles to circuit courts, except in Marion County, where a special juvenile court was established.

Appointed by Governor Winfield Durbin to be the juvenile court’s first judge, Stubbs’ efforts on behalf of children attracted worldwide attention. European social workers and court officials came to Indianapolis to study the new Juvenile Justice system, and similar courts were created in Italy and Sweden.

On his way home from working at the juvenile court, Stubbs was struck by an Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction car while crossing Delaware Street in front of the Marion County Courthouse. Taken to his home at 2460 Bellefontaine Street, he died later that evening.

Revised April 2021

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