District Attorney Profile

Russell W. Fleming

Russell W. Fleming (DA 1915-1921)

RUSSELL W. FLEMING (1879 - 1923)

Eighth Judicial District, 1915 - 1921  

Russell W. Fleming began his law practice in 1898 when he was admitted to the bar in his native state of Georgia. In 1904, he moved to Colorado to improve his health and set up practice in Fort Collins, specializing in irrigation law.

In 1915, Fleming was appointed to serve out George A. Carlson’s term as District Attorney. Fleming ran on his own in 1916, was elected, and served through 1921. In June of that year, he convicted Alex Miller, a deaf mute who could neither read nor write, of the murder of six members of the Schank family at their home in Platteville.

Fleming declined to run for re-election, but in 1922 he was elected Colorado Attorney General to serve with incoming Governor William E. Sweet.

After a few months in office, however, Fleming, age forty-four, died of blood poisoning. His colleagues called him “one of the best attorneys in Colorado,” adding that “He gave his attitude irrespective of party politics and without fear or favor.”

Photo: Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder, CO