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01. Maverick, The Thirty-Ninth Star (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails

Somervell, Judge


Federal judge[1] in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory,[2] in 1876.[1] (December 30, 1810February 3, 1890)[2]


Appointed as federal judge to Utah Territory by President James Buchanan in 1860.[2] Advocate for Utah statehood.[1]


In early July of 1876, a citizen of Grantsville,[1] Utah Territory,[2] gave Judge Somervell a bundle of documents incriminating Charles Sanderson Stuart and his corrupt political operation known as the Stuart Machine. Later that day, the citizen was murdered. On July 4, Somervell gave a speech in the streets of Grantsville predicting statehood for the territory within a year. Afterwards, traveling with a suitcase containing the incriminating papers, he shared a stagecoach ride to Salt Lake City with Bart Maverick, Janet Kilmer, Charles W. Farfan and Quincy Bigelow. Upon arriving at the Capital City Hotel, Bart and Somervell's suitcases were switched accidentally. After giving a speech in the capital, Somervell was shocked to discover he had the wrong suitcase. Tracing his own luggage to Bart at the hotel, he returned Bart's suitcase and asked for his own. Bart informed the judge the other suitcase had been stolen. Desperate to regain the documents, Somervell didn't believe Bart until it was clear that Bart's suitcase contained $2,600, Farfan had apparently been killed for the contents of the suitcase and the marshal was looking for the culprit. Somervell left the hotel and went to see the marshal to ask him to hush the affair up until the papers could be recovered. After the death of Stuart, the judge intended to hide the evidence to expedite the territory's becoming a state. But hearing of the continuing violence and murder by the remnants of the Stuart Machine, he began to change his mind, believing the territory was not worthy of statehood until the corruption could be exposed. Two days later, Bart was able to recover the missing documents and, after killing Hazelton and his thugs over them in self-defense, turned them over to Somervell. Grateful and declaring his intent to make the documents public, he expressed his hope that Bart would settle down as an honest citizen of the territory.[1]


See: The Thirty-Ninth Star

Judge Somervell

Portrayed by John Litel









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