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Bethany K. Dumas and Lisabeth G. Svendsgaard

Bigelow, Melvin Madison (02 August 1846–04 May 1921), law professor and author, was born near Eaton Rapids, Michigan, the son of William Enos Bigelow, a Methodist clergyman, and Daphne Florence Madison or Mattison, as it was sometimes spelled. The family was descended from John Bigelow, who came from England and settled at Watertown, Massachusetts, before 1642. Bigelow attended public schools wherever his father was stationed in the territory of the Detroit Conference, most of which was sparsely populated frontier country. He went on to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning an A.B. in 1866, an LL.B. in 1868, and an A.M. in 1871. In 1879 he received additional degrees, an A.M. and a Ph.D., from Harvard University. He studied law in Pontiac, Michigan, for a short time, then joined an uncle, Joseph Enos Bigelow, who practiced law in Memphis, Tennessee. He was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1868. A boyhood friend, Marshall Davis Ewell, later a well-known law teacher and writer himself, followed him to Memphis, and the two helped prepare the manuscript of H. Clay King’s ...