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The Honorable
Bruce F. Beilfuss
22nd Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court

In office
May 24, 1976 – July 31, 1983
Preceded by Horace W. Wilkie
Succeeded by Nathan Heffernan
Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court

In office
January 1, 1964 – July 31, 1983
Preceded by Timothy Brown
Succeeded by William A. Bablitch
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 17th Circuit

In office
April 15, 1948 – January 1, 1964
Appointed by Oscar Rennebohm
Preceded by Emery Crosby
Succeeded by Lowell D. Schoengarth
District Attorney of Clark County

In office
January 2, 1941 – April 15, 1948
Preceded by Hugh F. Gwin
Succeeded by Clarence Gorsegner
Personal details
Born Bruce Frederich Beilfuss
(1915-01-08)January 8, 1915
Withee, Wisconsin, US
Died August 18, 1986(1986-08-18) (aged 71)
Middleton, Wisconsin, US
Resting place Middleton Junction Cemetery, Middleton, Wisconsin
  • Helene B. Hendrickson (m. 1941–60)
  • De Ette Knowlton (m. 1961–2016)
  • Mark Beilfuss
  • (b. 1950)
  • Karen Johnson
  • (b. 1940, died 2015)
Alma mater University of Wisconsin
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1943–1946
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg Lieutenant J.G.
Battles/wars World War II

Bruce Frederich Beilfuss (January 8, 1915 – August 18, 1986) was an American lawyer and judge from Wisconsin. He was the 22nd Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, serving from 1976 to 1983, and served 19 years on the Supreme Court prior to his time as Chief Justice.


Born in Withee, Wisconsin, Beilfuss graduated from Neillsville High School in 1932. Beilfuss then received his bachelors of economics (1936) and law (1938) degrees from the University of Wisconsin.[1] He served on the Clark County, Wisconsin, Board of Supervisors and was district attorney of Clark County. During World War II, Beilfuss served in the United States Navy as a PT Boat Commander in the South Pacific. In 1953, Beilfuss was elected a Wisconsin Circuit Court judge. In 1963, he was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, reelected in 1973 and became chief justice of the court in 1976, retiring in 1983.[1][2]

Beilfuss was active outside the judiciary. He served as chair on the Board of Visitors of the University of Wisconsin Law School, was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and a founder of the Dane County Big Brothers program.


External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Hugh F. Gwin
District Attorney of Clark County, Wisconsin
1941 – 1948
Succeeded by
Clarence Gorsegner
Preceded by
Emery Crosby
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 17th Circuit
1948 – 1964
Succeeded by
Lowell D. Schoengarth
Preceded by
Timothy Brown
Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
1964 – 1983
Succeeded by
William A. Bablitch
Preceded by
Horace W. Wilkie
Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
1976 – 1983
Succeeded by
Nathan Heffernan

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