John Blaisdell Corliss Edit Profile
He attended the common schools and the Fairfax, Vermont Preparatory School and graduated from the Vermont Methodist University at Montpelier in 1871 and from the law department of Columbian College (now The George Washington University Law School), Washington, D.C., in 1875.
Corliss settled in Detroit, Michigan, in 1875 and was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice there. On December 5, 1877, in Barnard, Vermont, he wedded Miss Elizabeth N. Danforth, who died in 1886. He was city attorney of Detroit 1882–1886 and prepared the first complete charter for Detroit which was passed by the Michigan State Legislature in 1884.
He was also president of the Michigan Lubricator Company and of the Shipman Koal Company of Pennsylvania. From 1887 to 1892 he was commander-in-chief of the Michigan Sovereign Consistory and he was one of the promoters of the consolidation of the Masonic order in the Valley of Detroit, resulting in the establishment of the Masonic Temple Association and the building of the Masonic Temple on Lafayette avenue, having exclusive charge of the legislative and legal work. This association owns property to the value of more than a million dollars, title being held by the corporation created for the purpose and controlled by the board of trustees elected by the respective Masonic bodies.
In 1890 the honorary thirty-third degree was conferred upon Corliss. For many years he served on the board of trustees of the Temple Association and he has been president of the Old Guard of Detroit Commandery. In 1894, Corliss ran as a Republican and defeated incumbent Democrat Levi T. Griffin to be elected as a United States Representative from Michigan's 1st congressional district to the Fifty-fourth and to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1895, until March 3, 1903.
He served as chairman of the Committee on Election of President, Vice President, and Representatives in the Fifty-fifth through Fifty-seventh Congresses. He lost to Democrat Alfred Lucking in the general election of 1902. Also in 1920, Corliss issued an authoritative history of the Detroit lodge of the Scottish Rite, relating in detail the early struggles of the lodge before it became firmly established in Detroit.
He died in Detroit at the age of seventy-eight and is interred there at Woodlawn Cemetery.
He was also a member of the Detroit Board of Commerce. After leaving Congress, he reengaged in the practice of law in Detroit where he became senior member of the law firm of Corliss, Leete & Moody. In 1920 he was chosen a member of the executive committee of the American Bar Association.
Married Elizabeth N. Danforth, December 5, 1877.