Bert Fesler

Bert Fesler. (Image: Minnesota Historical Society

Judge Bert Fesler, a member of the Duluth bar for a quarter of a century, has recently rounded out a decade of service in the office of district judge. His associates recognize him as a lawyer of splendid qualifications, and as a jurist whose work and character have contributed much to the dignity and service of the Bench.

He was born July 22, 1866, at Franklin, Indiana. The only surviving field commander of an Indiana regiment in the great battle of Gettysburg is his father, Col. John R. Fesler, now nearly eighty-five years of age. Colonel Fesler was lieutenant colonel of the Twenty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry at Gettysburg and served nearly three years in the Union army. He was a native of Ohio, was a carpenter by occupation, but for many years has been a successful business man. For eleven years he was in the commission brokerage business at the Indianapolis Stock Yards. He is now assistant adjutant general of the Grand Army of the Republic for the Department of Indiana.

Of five children, four of whom are still living, Judge Fesler grew up in his father’s household, was educated in the Franklin High School, and holds his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Indiana. He came to Duluth in 1893 to engage in the practice of law, and for a number of years was a hard working lawyer, giving little attention to politics.

He served as city attorney of Duluth from 1904 to 1910. In the latter year he was appointed judge of the District Court, and on April 1, 1913, was elected for the regular term of eight years to the District Bench, beginning his term in 1914. He is also a member of the Duluth City Charter Commission, is affiliated with the Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America, and on many occasions has exemplified the character of a disinterested and public-spirited citizen.

On March 28, 1890, Judge Fesler married Miss Vennie L. King. They have four children: Ruth and Rachel, twins, John and James Williams Fesler.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
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