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George P. Wanty 1900-1906

George Proctor Wanty, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Proctor) Wanty, was born on March 12, 1856, in Ann Arbor Michigan. His parents had immigrated to the United States in 1853, settling first in Brooklyn, then moving to Detroit, and finally to Ann Arbor in 1855. His primary and secondary education was received in the common and high schools of Ann Arbor.

After graduating from high school, Wanty became a bank clerk in Ann Arbor, and later worked as a bookkeeper for an iron manufacturing company at Bay City, Michigan. After several years of working in Bay City, he took his savings and entered law school at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1878. One of the original directors of the Grand Rapids Law Library, Wanty was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan on May 9, 1878.

Wanty entered the practice of law in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1878, as a founding partner of the firm Fletcher & Wanty. After Fletcher’s death, Loyal E. Knappen joined the firm and together they practiced law until 1900 when Wanty was appointed to the federal bench. In 1894, Wanty was elected president of the State Bar of Michigan. It was said of him that "his executive management of the affairs of the association was able; his duties as presiding officer at its meetings were discharged with ability, dignity and impartiality.”

On March 7, 1900, President William McKinley nominated Wanty to the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan. Wanty received his commission on March 13, 1900, and served on the federal bench until his death in London, England, on July 9, 1906. He was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Wanty married Dr. Emma Nichols in Chicago, June 22, 1886. She was an associate of Dr. William H. Byford and a lecturer at the Women’s Medical College in Chicago. The Wantys had two children, Helen and Thomas.