Bliss was born in Canton, Connecticut in 1813 to Asahel Bliss and Lydia Adams (Griswold) Bliss. He attended Fairfield Academy and Hamilton College, where he studied law. He moved to Elyria, Ohio, where he studied law under his brother Albert. In 1840 Bliss passed the bar and began practicing law, first in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and later in Elyria, Ohio. On November 16, 1843 he married Martha W. Thorpe. They had three children. He served as presiding judge of the 14th Judicial Circuit of Ohio from 1848 through 1851. Bliss ran for congressional office as a republican and was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He served in the 34th Congress as an Oppositionist and 35th Congress as a Republican, but did not run for re-election in 1858. President Abraham Lincoln appointed Bliss chief justice of the Supreme Court of Dakota Territory in 1861. He also served as associate justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri from 1868 through 1872.
After his retirement from the bench, Bliss became Law Dean for the University of Missouri, where he served until his death in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1889. He is buried at the Columbia Cemetery in Columbia, Missouri.
The Philemon Bliss Scholarship was established at the University of Missouri School of Law in his honor.
Famous quotes containing the word bliss:
“Frau Stöhr ... began to talk about how fascinating it was to cough.... Sneezing was much the same thing. You kept on wanting to sneeze until you simply couldnt stand it any longer; you looked as if you were tipsy; you drew a couple of breaths, then out it came, and you forgot everything else in the bliss of the sensation. Sometimes the explosion repeated itself two or three times. That was the sort of pleasure life gave you free of charge.”
—Thomas Mann (18751955)