Oscar M. Fritz (1878-1957)
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice (1929-1954)
Chief Justice (1950-1954)
"His every action as a judge was motivated by conscientious devotion to duty...His opinions, with their accurate and often lengthy detailed statement of the facts, bear witness to this industry." - Justice George R. Currie, Fritz's memorial service (1957)
Oscar Marion Fritz was born on March 3, 1878, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father, Theodore Fritz, was a state senator. The Fritz family lived in Milwaukee for more than 55 years.
Fritz graduated from a Milwaukee public high school and attended what is now Marquette University Law School. In 1901, he received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Fritz practiced law from 1901 to 1912, when he was appointed a circuit judge for Milwaukee County, where he served for 17 years. He was chair of the Wisconsin Board of Circuit Judges for six years.
In 1929, Fritz was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Justice Edward T. Fairchild commended Fritz's opinion in School District v. Callahan (1941) as an influential and well-researched work. The case addressed reorganization of school district administration and the constitutional and statutory provisions regarding public instruction.
In 1950, Fritz became the chief justice. He retired in 1954, just one year before his term expired. He spent 42 years in the judiciary, more than 24 of them on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
During retirement, he enjoyed gardening, reading and traveling throughout the United States. Fritz was married to Ena Lorch and had two children. Ena died in 1945 and he later married Anna Marie Millmann. Fritz died October 5, 1957.