Justice William Allen Woods

On July 2, 1894 Judge William A. Woods of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Judge Peter L. Grosscup of the U.S. District Court issued an injunction requested by Attorney General Olney against the American Railway Union (ARU). Later Judge Woods and Judge Grosscup issued criminal indictments charging Eugene Debs and other ARU officials with obstructing the U.S. mail and conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce. In September 1894 Judge Woods presided over the civil contempt proceedings in which Debs and other ARU leaders were charged with violating the injunction. In December Judge Woods found the defendants had violated the injunction in United States v. Debs, 64 F. 724 (C.C.Ill. 1894). He later sentenced them to jail. Photo is from the official portrait of Justice Woods, which hangs in the Supreme Court Courtroom in Indianapolis.