Summers Melville Jack
Section B. Lot 111
Summers Melville Jack was a prominent Indiana attorney and a two-term United States Congressman. He practiced law for 67 years. Born in Summerville, Jefferson County on July 18, 1852, he was the son of carpenter and painter Lowry Jack and his wife Cornelia Baldwin. His unusual first name was given in honor of his mother’s uncle, Summers Baldwin, the namesake of Summerville. In 1892, his father traveled to Chicago to help build structures for the Columbian Exposition. He died in Chicago in 1893.
Summers Jack was educated in Jefferson County schools and trained at the Indiana Normal School. He taught for a while and served as principal of the Indiana High School.
Aspiring to practice law, Summers Jack studied with Judge Silas C. Clark and was admitted to the Indiana County bar in 1879. He formed a partnership with D. B. Taylor. Jack served as District attorney for Indiana County from 1884 to 1890. He served as chairman of the Congressional Conference for the Twenty-first district in 1896.
In 1899, he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives as a Republican to the Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh terms, serving until 1903. During his term in Congress, Jack served on a commission that sailed to the Philippines to explore the formation of a civil government. Once official business was completed, Jack and his wife, Margaret Mitchell Jack, continued their trip, circumnavigating the globe. After this trip, they became enthusiastic international travelers. Jack chose not to run for re-election and returned to practice in Indiana. His son James L. Jack and grandson, James L. Jack, Jr., practiced with him over the years. Jack did not entirely give up politics. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1908.
Summers Jack was active in the Indiana community, serving on the Board of the Savings and Trust Bank as well as the Board of Trustees of the Indiana State Normal School. He was a member of the Elks, the Indiana Shakespeare Club, the Indiana Country Club, and the First U P Church. Margaret Jack died in 1926. She had never recovered from an accident suffered aboard a Pullman train the couple was taking to Florida. Summers Jack married Emma Wettling Rowe in 1932. Jack continued practicing law until his death on September 16, 1945.