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Judge James Hillary Mulligan (November 21, 1844 - July 1, 1915), was born in Lexington, Kentucky, son of the locally prominent businessman Dennis Mulligan and Ellen Alice (McCoy) Mulligan. He graduated from St. Mary's College (Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal) in 1864 and received his law degree from Kentucky University (now Transylvania University) in 1869.

Judge Mulligan was an editor, attorney, judge, legislator (Kentucky House 1881-1889 and Senate 1889-1893), consul-general to Samoa (1894-1896), and orator. He wrote "In Kentucky," perhaps the best known poem about the state, which he delivered at the close of a speech at the Phoenix Hotel in Lexington in 1902.

He married Mary Huston Jackson in 1869 and they had four children. Mary Mulligan died in 1876. Judge Mulligan married Genevieve Morgan Williams in 1881 and they had six children.

His home, Maxwell Place, is now the official residence of the president of the University of Kentucky. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Lexington.

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