Durham, Milton Jamison

Adapted from Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Embracing Biographies of Many of the Prominent Men and Families of the State, 1896


Mr. Durham served as Judge of the Circuit Court, Member of Congress, Comptroller of the United States Treasury, and as a Cashier of the Central Bank of Lexington. He was the son of Benjamin and Margaret Robinson Durham.  He was born in Boyle County, Kentucky on May 16, 1824. He was raised on the family farm at the age of 19 entered Asbury University, Greencastle, Indiana.  After graduation he taught school for a time in Perryville, Kentucky, before he went to read law with Joshua F. Bell of Danville.

In 1861, he was appointed Circuit Judge of his district by Governor Magoffin.  He was elected to congress by the democratic party in 1872;  He was reelected in 1874 and again in 1876.  He represented the 8th Congressional District.  In 1885, he was appointed First Comptroller of the Unites States Treasury by President Cleveland; he held this office until 1889.

In 1890 his health was greatly impaired by a serious attack of La Grippe, and his physician advised him to abandon his law practice.  Following this advise he abandoned the law and moved to Lexington, where he assisted in organizing the Central Bank of Lexington, and elected to be cashier of the bank.  He also served as Treasurer of the Bluegrass Building and Loan Association.

Judge Durham was married in 1850 to Martha J. Mitchell, daughter of Judge James D. Mitchell of Boyle County.  She died in 1879, leaving four sons and one daughter.  Judge Durham again married in 1886 to Mrs. Margret Letcher Carter, daughter of the late Dr. Samuel M. Letcher of Lexington.

Judge Durham was a member of the Grand Lodge, I.O.O.F. of the United States and served as Grand Sire from 1872- 1876.  He as a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church (south).