Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Ruggles, John

John Ruggles, courtesy Maine State Museum

John Ruggles, courtesy Maine State Museum

(1789-1874) a Senator from Maine, born in Westboro, Massachusetts on October 8, 1789, attended the common schools, graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1813. He studied law was admitted to the bar and began his practice in Skowhegan in 1815. Ruggles moved to Thomaston, in 1817.

A member of the State House of Representatives from 1823 to 1831, he served as Speaker (1825-1829, 1831), and later as justice of the Supreme Judicial Court (1831-1834).

Ruggles was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Peleg Sprague, and at the same time was elected for the full term beginning March 4, 1835. He served from January 20, 1835, to March 3, 1841, but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1840. While in the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on Patents and Patent Office (Twenty-fifth Congress) and a framer of the bill for the reorganization of the United States Patent Office in 1836.

He resumed the practice of law in Thomaston and was also an inventor, orator, and writer. Ruggles died in Thomaston, on June 20, 1874 with interment in Elm Grove Cemetery.

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