Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
This Day in Wisconsin History

A Celebration of Wisconsin's Women Jurists

The Whole Tapestry

Wisconsin's Women Lawyers - Past and Present



Interesting Fact:

Sells originally practiced law in Florence with her brother. She also served on the Florence School Board.

Study Questions:

  • What is a circuit court?
  • What were Gov. LaFollette's reasons for appointing a newly graduated lawyer as a circuit court judge?
  • Did Sells continue her law practice while she was judge?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on December 1:

    1913: The country's first drive-up gas station opens in Pittsburg.
    1955: Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to move to the back of the bus.

  • December 1

    December 1, 1889: Lawyer and judge Verle E. Sells is born in Eagle River on this date. She was admitted to the bar on Feb. 14, 1936, and practiced law in Florence, Wis. Sells was Wisconsin's first female circuit court judge when she was appointed to the Florence County bench by Gov. Philip F. LaFollette on March 5, 1936. Judge Sells died in office on April 23, 1940.

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