As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 224, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court, September 18, 1992, to take effect October 22, 1992.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 130, pages 736 - 738
Arthur Thomas Keefe, late of New London, Connecticut, distinguished member of this bar, was born in New London on September 22, 1888, the son of Jennie Cunningham Brennan and Arthur Keefe. Having graduated from the Hopkins Grammar School at New Haven in 1906, he entered Yale College in that year and received the bachelor of arts degree in 1910. The following year he entered Yale Law School and graduated from it in 1913. Immediately following his graduation he began the practice of law in New London in association with the late John C. Geary and, after a few years of this association, became a member of the firm of Geary, Davis and Keefe. At his death on May 16, 1943, he was the only surviving member of this firm. This, in brief, is the outline of his life as it might be sketched by those who did not know him intimately. It would, however, be a very inadequate summation, for here was a man possessing clearly defined qualities distinguishing him as a person apart.
He was a man of strong loyalties, so strong that he was devoted to them even when his zeal seemed unreasonable. Those who understood him, however, knew that once he espoused a matter there was no room left for criticism of it on his part. This loyalty was a tool, the evidence of which marked everything to which he gave his interest.
Dominating all, there was his loyalty to his religion. This was very strong within him. It was not a matter of ceremonials. He was intensely interested in it from a scholastic standpoint and from the standpoint of its application as a living organism. This interest on his part was singularly crowned with satisfaction in that he was given the opportunity to participate in the erection, in New Haven, of St. Thomas More House, a chapel and Catholic center at Yale University. This building was the life labor of love of the late Reverend T. Lawrason Riggs, chaplin at Yale University, and all those who shared in it had an opportunity to create a beautiful example of church architecture and to sense the importance of it as an influence for positive religion in a university giving to all the men within its membership opportunities to mold their lives along avenues of their choosing.
Yale University lost in his death one who truly loved it and its associations. This made his trusteeship of St. Thomas More House during its erection and afterwards in its operation an even greater source of satisfaction to him. He was especially proud of the fact that each of his three sons chose Yale for their Alma Mater.
The bar of the state of Connecticut has had few men in its membership who had a greater pride in the practice of law and in the functioning of its courts. From the very beginning of his practice he determined to devote the major part of his time to the trial of cases. In this field he was very successful . At the time of his death he was one of the leading trial lawyers of this state. His devotion to the interests of his clients was complete even to the degree which his opponents sometimes felt was too unyielding. This persistence, however , was not born from obstinacy or a careless scholarship but represented the intensity with which he became the true advocate in the causes that he accepted. He believed intensely that lawyers had a unique opportunity for public service through the daily practice of their profession. He was an indefatigable worker. His personality evidenced confidence, courage, energy, forthrightness, and yet he was a wise, discreet advisor, a generous, sensitive, thoughtful friend. He worked enthusiastically for the State Bar and American Bar Associations. For many years before his death he was a member of the house of delegates of the State Bar Association and served on its procedure committee. He participated in the work of the Civil Liberties Union because he sensed the importance of the protection of the individual's rights, especially when unpopularity at the moment might, to the unthoughtful, emphasize the will of the majority to the detriment of that priceless essential, freedom of the individual.
Even this brief picture of the man, inadequate as it must necessarily be, would not be complete if it did not mention his active civic interest, his contribution to boyhood activities, especially his period of service as a member and chairman of the board of education of New London, and his many years as president of the Pequot Council, Boy Scouts of America. Although he never sought political office nor to become a part of any local political organization, he was a member of the Republican Party. This he supported most vigorously. While he sympathized with the values and the need of social change, he bitterly resented and regretted developments since the depression which he thought were deceptive and not based on sound economics.
This devotion to his religion, to his profession, and to his civic duties was exemplified in and made complete by his devotion to his family. In spite of his very active practice and the necessary demands upon his time, nothing was allowed to take precedence over this. Here the inadequacy of words, even of his friends, is most impelling. One can only say that like so many of the other phases of his life, his conduct was built not upon the ever-changing influence of his environment but upon a reasoned, intelligent conclusion of the relative importance of things. In this he was blessed in his marriage, on November 11, 1915, to Mabel Virginia Foran, of New London, and in his three sons.
Death came upon him suddenly, treacherously. It did not find him unprepared. He was only fifty-four years old but he had completed a life which those who knew him and appreciated him will deeply treasure.
Surviving are his wife, Mabel Foran Keefe, and his three sons, Lieutenant Donald Foran Keefe, U.S.N.; Captain Roger Manton Keefe, U.S.A. and Arthur Thomas Keefe, U.S.A., a medical student at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York City, all justifying their inheritance by their service to their country in its armed forces.
*Prepared jointly by Charles L. Smiddy and Hon. Charles B. Waller, of the New London bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 106, pages 740 - 743
JOHN EVERETT KEELER died at Stamford, May 28th, 1927. He was born at Stamford, February 26th, 1856, the son of Samuel and Mary Jane (June) Keeler, and a descendant of Ralph Keeler, who came to Hartford from England as early as 1639 and was one of the first settlers of Norwalk.
He obtained his preliminary education in the public schools of Stamford, and in his eighteenth year entered Yale College, from which he was graduated with the Class of 1877. He then entered the law office of the late Calvin G. Child of Stamford, and in 1879 was admitted to the bar. Then began his long career as a practicing lawyer in Stamford which lasted until his elevation to the Superior Court bench in 1918. In 1887 he formed a partnership with Nathaniel R. Hart, which continued, under the firm name of Hart and Keeler, until Mr. Hart’s death in October, 1906. From January, 1913, until he entered upon his Superior Court appointment, he was in partnership with John C. Durey under the firm name of Keeler and Durey. One year after his admission to the bar he was appointed attorney for the Borough of Stamford, which office he held for two years. From 1883 to 1887 he was judge of the Borough Court. His appointment to the bench of the Superior Court was made some thirty years later and took effect May 19th, 1918. In 1921 Governor Lake appointed him to the Supreme Court of Errors, effective August 30th 1922, and he was an associate justice of that court until February 26th, 1926, when he reached the constitutional age limit for judicial office. Upon his retirement he became a State Referee, and was associated as counsel with the firm of Taylor, Durey and Pierson of Stamford until the time of his death.
From the beginning to the end of his long professional life, Judge Keeler was a diligent reader and student of the law. To a remarkably retentive memory, he joined the faculty of assimilating his book knowledge to the observations and experiences of his practice, so that as this developed he became, especially in the important branches with which his office was mainly concerned, a profoundly learned lawyer. Among the intricacies of the law of testamentary succession, of trust dispositions, of land titles and mortgages, of banking and corporations, of contracts and covenants, and other subdivisions of the law of property, he was at his best,—thoroughly informed, clear-thinking, unconfused.
He had, to an unusual degree, a class of clients who looked to him for regular guidance, less with a view to litigation than to prevent its occasion. With the affairs of many persons, families and corporations, he was in constant touch, that by his precept and guidance the ways of controversy might be avoided. With a fine sense of verbal values, he developed great facility of concise and lucid expression, so that the many documents of all kinds produced by him, though often treating of the most intricate matters, had a clarity and precision which left little room for dispute as to meaning or construction. It was a frequent saying of his that documentary ambiguity was the main source of litigation in property matters, and that the remedy was to write simply and concisely in correct terms just what was intended to be said. This is not so easy as it seems, but with his keen sense for phrasing and understanding of the accurate use of terms, it was easy for him.
While he was much more the office counselor than the trial lawyer, his logical mind took delight in the subtleties and rational bases of the law of pleading and evidence, and his advice on both was much sought. Many lawyers whose trial practice in volume greatly exceeded his, went to him for assistance in the solution of difficult problems of court procedure. He excelled in the preparation and argument of points of law on demurrer or appeal. His briefs were models of thorough, clear, scholarly presentation.
He had the character, learning and temperament, united with broad practical experience of legal problems and shrewd common-sense and knowledge of men which finely equipped him for the high judicial offices which came to him in the last decade of his life. His record on the bench of the Superior Court was level with its highest standards. The quality of his work on the Supreme Court of Errors is indicated in some measure by the scholarly opinions which bear his name in the reports, but the writing of opinions is only a part of the work of an associate justice of that court. To those consultations and discussions which precede decision, he brought the full measure of his learning, wisdom and long experience, and his associates bear testimony to the value and helpfulness of his contribution and to the high regard and affection in which he was held by all of them. His service, though comparatively brief, was notable.
Though not an aspirant for office, he was well informed in all civic matters and deeply interested in public affairs, and his influence was considerable and salutary in the political life of his home town. He had high public spirit, and served helpfully on the boards of many charitable institutions in Stamford. He was an incorporator of the Stamford Hospital, a director of the Ferguson Library and of the Stamford Children’s Home, and a member of the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Among the business corporations of which he was an influential director, were the Citizens’ Savings Bank, the Stamford Water Company, the Stamford Trust Company, and the Western Connecticut Title and Mortgage Company. He was president of the Stamford Bar Association in 1917-18.
The groundwork of his character was an inborn honesty, without effort or parade because native and matter of course. This cardinal trait found expression in fidelity to trust, loyalty to client, fairness to opponent and the conviction that due service required the best that he could render.
He was thoroughly imbued with the spirit of his profession. To him membership of the bar was a high privilege carrying a correspondingly high responsibility, and demanding full faith and loyalty to the best traditions of a noble vocation. Anything in the nature of trickery, sharp practice, abuse or misuse of process, or other violation of the strictest code of professional ethics, met his abhorrence. This trait especially qualified him for the eminent services which he rendered the bar of his county as a member of its Grievance and Character Committees.
His professional spirit was most graciously evident in his willingness at all times to aid his brethren from the store of his learning and experience. He received applicants for advice as those bearing the gift of a compliment and he gave freely, and in most cases without remuneration. It is given to few lawyers to be of so much help to other lawyers, and to few men to be so sincerely mourned by the beneficiaries of their kindness.
His social qualities were most agreeable. With his large experience and many contacts and his faculties of observation and memory, he had stored up a great fund of incident and anecdote, and he had a homely, dry, kindly humor which was most effective. He was a delightful companion,—a wise, just and upright man.
A professional life of nearly half a century is thus briefly sketched. It was a career not much cast in spectacular roles and almost free of dramatic incident, lived simply along the way which the daily duties of a high calling opened before him. It was a worthy life lived to the full measure of a large capacity,—filled with many satisfactions to the schooled mind and fine appreciations of the actor, of great usefulness in service, and of high inspiration to the many who had his friendship and knew him as he was.
*Prepared by Frederick C. Taylor, Esq., of the Stamford bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 97, page iii
Appointed April 21st, 1921, to take effect August 30th, 1922, and afterward, by the Governor of April 29th, 1922, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Gager.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 104, page iv
Retired February 26th, 1926, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 102, pages 761 - 762
JOHN PRESCOTT KELLOGG was born on the 31st day of March, 1860, and died before he completed his sixty-fifth year, having just attained the final aim of his ambition. He came of a race of legal ancestors, those who thought in terms of legal phrase. That he should early have shown both leaning toward and aptitude for the family calling was not surprising. His father, Stephen Wright Kellogg, practicing in Connecticut, was a lawyer of the highest eminence, and was known throughout the country for his legal attainments, as well as by reason of the fact that he represented this State in Congress.
His maternal great-grandfather, Stephen Titus Hosmer, was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors of this State from 1819 to 1833. It is given to but few of us to follow in such footsteps. A man of such ancestry has something of a burden by reason of the knowledge that he will be measured by the standing of those who have gone before. We of the profession, long saturated with its theories and beliefs, sometimes in our generalizations fail to realize the real impelling motives of the life of any man. With each man goes the knowledge of what was in his mind.
If there be such a thing as a legal dynasty, as it is sometimes called, this man was of the inheritance. Immediately after his graduation from Yale Law School in 1884, it was no light thing for him, having been graduated from Yale College in 1882, to go into the practice of law with his father and Lucien F. Burpee of the class of 1879 (afterward Mr. Justice Burpee of this court) and be the junior member of the firm of Kellogg, Burpee and Kellogg. It undoubtedly gave him certain advantages; also, without a doubt, it likewise imposed upon him unescapable responsibilities. In a few years Mr. Burpee took up other professional lines, and the firm became Kellogg and Kellogg; then the responsibility was largely that of the son, for the father did not carry the burden.
Probably no other group of men have ever been as thoroughly known to each other as are those who practice law. Every lawyer realizes full well, as he sits in a conference with his brother practitioners, that, so to speak, his soul is naked. We say much, then, when we say of any given man, who has gone through our perilous paths for forty years, that he was known for industry, ability, and lofty ideals, that he was an unfaltering advocate, that he walked the straight path. Possibly we are not doing our duty to those who are to come after us, unless we do take advantage of such an opportunity to point out to those who have yet this race to run, the life of one so distinguished for his many admirable qualities. His tastes and associations led toward political life. No man can expose himself to the scrutiny of fellow citizens as voters, and fellow petitioners as rivals, without being made the subject of criticism. We must admit with a trifle of sadness that it is but too easy for humans to hear and listen to that which is not of the best. Here was a man who was much in the public councils of his native city; often in the public eye; he was known there as a boy, youth, and man. He was for years corporation counsel of the City of Waterbury, prosecuting attorney in the District Court of Waterbury; he was State’s Attorney at Waterbury from 1887 until 1917, when he was elevated to that work, the Superior Court bench. That lawyer who can perform to the satisfaction of the judges of the Superior Court and the public, the duties of a State’s Attorney for twenty years, and yet be commended, must of necessity be possessed of high qualifications. Thus this man showed himself to the world. Upon the happening of that event which left vacant a position of a justice of the Supreme Court, the death of Justice Burpee, Judge Kellogg was appointed by the Governor to fill the place. In January, 1925, the new governor appointed our friend a justice of the Supreme Court of Errors. His name came up for confirmation in the General Assembly in the usual manner. Then occurred the unknowable. Between the end of one week and the beginning of the new, he received his final call. That would have been his last appointment and his final professional attainment, for had he further lived for a very few years, he would have attained the age of seventy, provided by our Constitution as the age limit for service of our judiciary.
Cheerful of demeanor and friendly, he maintained on the bench that dignity which is its due; assiduous in the performance of the duties which compel justices of our Supreme Court to lead lonely lives in their studies; and in the family circle looked upon by his wife and three daughters as being all that husband and father could be.
If, then, being mortals, we realize that in all of us are limitations of necessity, where can we find a man whose life shield may better be held up to be read by those of our profession, which is so full of soul peril, a better example of what each should profess and may attain than in the case of John Prescott Kellogg?
*Prepared by Nathaniel R. Bronson, Esq., of the New Haven County Bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 100, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court May 15th, 1924, by the Governor, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Burpee.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 80, pages 722 - 723
Stephen Wright Kellogg was born in Shelburne, Massachusetts, April 5th, 1822, and died at his home in Waterbury, January 27th, 1904. Near the end of his eighty-second year and the fifty-sixth of his professional career, he was the oldest practicing lawyer at the bar. Both his great-grandfather and his grandfather were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. He worked upon his father's farm until he was twenty, in the winter attending or teaching school. In the fall of 1842 he entered Amherst College, but remained there only two terms; then he joined the class of 1846 at Yale and was graduated with highest honors. Among his classmates was the Hon. Henry B. Harrison, his lifelong friend. After a few months of school teaching he entered the Yale Law School, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1848. First he began to practice in Naugatuck, where he remained until 1854, and then having been elected judge of probate for the district of Waterbury, he removed to that then small city. He held this office for seven years. In 1854 the legislature appointed him judge of the New Haven County Court. From 1866 to 1869, and 1877 to 1883, he was the City Attorney of Waterbury; and until a short time before his death he was constantly occupied in the practice of his profession.
Meantime his active mind and restless energy found congenial occupation in the stirring political events of the times. In 1851 he was clerk of the State Senate; in 1853 a senator; in 1856 a member of the House; and he was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1860, of 1868, and of 1876. Three times he was elected to Congress from the usually Democratic second district, and his perseverance and success in protecting and advancing both the public and personal interests of his constituents were remarkable.
He was Colonel of the Second Regiment, Connecticut National Guard, from 1863 to 1866, and Brigadier-General from 1866 to 1870. He was the author and promoter of legislation organizing the active militia in an efficient body known as the Connecticut National Guard. He never lost interest in public affairs, and to them, until within a few weeks of his death, his voice and pen were often devoted.
Of Stephen W. Kellogg's life work this is the incomplete, meager, and colorless outline. He did much in other fields of action and usefulness, in which he gave generously and effectively of his time, of his abilities, and of his means. To him, in no small measure, is due the credit for the excellent military record of Waterbury in the Civil War; and his skill and influence framed and erected the structure of municipal government in that city, and were potent in guiding its development from the beginning to its present prosperous state. In religious and social activities, he was earnest and sincere, courteous and kindly.
He left surviving, his wife, a granddaughter of Chief Justice Hosmer, and six children : - Mrs. Lucy K. English; Mrs. Frank C. Plume; Commander Frank W. Kellogg, United States Navy; John P. Kellogg, City Attorney of Waterbury and Assistant State's Attorney for New Haven County; Mrs. Irving H. Chase; and Charles P. Kellogg, Secretary of the State Board of Charities.
By his death the State of Connecticut lost one of its most useful and eminent citizens, and the bar one of its most respected practitioners. It is just and fitting to express recognition and admiration for the qualities of intellect and character that made Stephen W. Kellogg a conspicuous example of the patriotic citizen and of the successful lawyer. A strong intellect, well trained and well directed; an intelligent and unceasing activity in all public affairs in which the welfare of the State and Nation was vitally concerned; a quick perception of legal principles, a shrewd common sense, a conscientious industry; a sagacity, persistence and subtlety of method of trial; a power of clear and eloquent statement; genial kindness, courtesy, fidelity and integrity, in all the relations of private life - these were the characteristics that made the result of his fifty-five years of professional and public labor successful, useful, admirable, and worthy of commemoration.
*Prepared by Col. Lucien F. Burpee, of the New Haven County Bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 213, page 820
Superior Court Senior Judge Eugene T. Kelly, of Manchester, died on November 1,1989, at the age of sixty-eight.
Judge Kelly was born in Manchester and graduated from New Britain High School in 1937. He served in the United States Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II. He attended Trinity College from 1945 to 1947 and then enrolled at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he received his L.L.B. degree in 1951. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar the following year.
Judge Kelly was elected the mayor of Manchester in 1958 and served in that capacity until 1960. In 1961, he became prosecuting attorney in Manchester, which was the position he held until his appointment as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1976. He was elevated to the Superior Court in 1978.
During his years of service as a judge, Judge Kelly held the post of administrative judge for the Tolland and Windham judicial districts. He elected to become a senior judge in 1986.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 90, pages 724 - 725
MICHAEL KENEALY, son of John and Johanna Kenealy, was born in Stamford, Connecticut, July 8th, 1855. As a boy he attended the local schools, acted as clerk in his father’s store, and in 1873 entered the law office of Olmstead & Scofield of Stamford to take up the study of law. He was of studious habits, and utilizing the excellent opportunity afforded in the office of this firm, gained there a good working knowledge of the law and its practice. He was admitted to the bar in 1876. Three years later, upon the dissolution of the firm of Olmstead & Scofield, he became associated with Mr. Scofield, in whose office he remained until 1893. At that time he opened an office of his own in Stamford, and built up a large practice. In 1901, John F. Keating became associated with him in business, and later became his partner. This partnership continued, with the addition of his son, Matthew H. Kenealy, as a partner in this firm, until Mr. Keating was elected Judge of Probate in November, 1912. In 1904 he also became a member of the firm of Brandegee, Kenealy & Brennan of New London. This firm later became known as Kenealy, Brennan & Whittlesey. Mr. Kenealy, up to the time of his death, remained in active practice, dividing his time between Stamford and New London, but spending much of his time in the preparation and trial of cases in court. Since 1914 he has acted as associate counsel with the firm of Fessenden & Kenealy, of Stamford, one of the members of which is his son Matthew H. Kenealy. Employed as trial counsel in the famous action of the United States against the directors of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, he taxed his strength so severely that, after making his closing argument, he collapsed, and, after lingering a short time, died in the Stamford Hospital on January 17th, 1916.
He was made Prosecuting Attorney of the Borough Court of Stamford at its establishment, and later, for a number of years, served as Prosecuting Attorney of the Criminal Court of Common Pleas for Fairfield County. He also was a member of the Commission which prepared the Revision of 1902 of the Connecticut Statutes.
He early developed an aptitude for politics. At first he allied himself with the Democratic Party. When Blaine was the Republican candidate for President, Mr. Kenealy came out openly as one of his supporters. Since that time he has been an active Republican, and rose to a high place in the party councils. In May, 1904, he was elected chairman of the Republican State Central Committee and held that place for eight years. He entered heartily into this work, and proved himself an enthusiastic, successful and respected party leader.
His career in the General Assembly was especially notable. He was a member of the House of Representatives in 1897 and again in 1899. In this latter year he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and therefore House leader on the Republican side. In 1901 he served in the Senate, where he was Senate chairman of the Judiciary Committee and also leader. In 1903 and again in 1905 he was a member of the House, and in the former year, its speaker. He took an active part in the senatorial contest of 1909 in support of his friend and associate Senator Brandegee, and again upon his re-election in 1914.
In the arena of politics and legislation, he was in his natural sphere, and rendered a distinguished service for his State and city for many active years.
*Prepared by John F. Keating, Esq., of the Fairfield County bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 30, pages 605 - 607
DENNIS KIMBERLY was born in West Haven, a part of New Haven which now belongs to the town of Orange, on the 23d day of October, 1790. He fitted for college at Morris Academy, in South Farms, now the town of Morris, in Litchfield county, and entered Yale College in 1808. He graduated with honor in 1812, having already commenced reading law in the office of Hon. R. I. Ingersoll. Soon afterwards he entered the office of George Bliss Esq., of Springfield, Mass., but finished his preparatory course with the late R. M. Sherman, of Fairfield, who will long be remembered as a profound jurist, a finished scholar and an eloquent advocate. Judge Sherman while at the bar was pre-eminent as a special pleader, and it may be owing to the influence of his precept and example that the legal papers of General Kimberly were drawn up with consummate accuracy and precision. In March, 1814, he was admitted to the bar, and immediately opened an office in the city of New Haven. He was sincerely attached to his profession, and allowed nothing else to interfere with it. He was soon engaged in an extensive and lucrative practice, which he retained without diminution until ill health compelled him to go abroad in 1852.
He had a decided taste for military affairs, and soon after he commenced practice was elected captain of the New Haven Greys. He took great pleasure and pride in bringing this fine company, which embraced many of the first young men of the place, to a high state of discipline. He was rapidly promoted, till he finally, in 1824, received the appointment of Major-General of the militia of the state. Probably no one has ever discharged the duties of these several grades of office to more general satisfaction.
Possessing a fine figure, and managing a steed with uncommon grace and skill, he was on public occasions an object of admiration, and this may be the reason that to the day of his death he retained the appellation of "General," to the exclusion of all other titles of honor.
Although he never sought office his fellow citizens gave him the opportunity of receiving the highest in their gift. He represented the town of New Haven in the General Assembly in the years 1826, 27, 28, 29, 32, and 35. He was mayor of New Haven in 1831, and declined the appointment, though elected, in 1833. In 1838 he was chosen United States Senator. But he had suffered some pecuniary losses, particularly in consequence of the worthlessness of the stock of the Farmington Canal, a considerable amount of which his public spirit had induced him to take, and from a conversation which the writer had with him while he was deliberating whether he should accept that appointment, which to most men is the object of their highest aspirations, he has no doubt that it was owing to his somewhat straitened circumstances at the time, that he ultimately declined it. It is a satisfaction to know that he afterwards retrieved his losses, and died possessed of a handsome estate.
It is well understood that the nomination of Governor was once tendered to him by the Whig party, to which he belonged, and which was then in power, but he refused it.
He was State Attorney for New Haven County from 1845 to 1848, when he declined to serve any longer. During the last years of his life, until his health prevented his discharging the duties of the office, he was an active director of the New York and New Haven Railroad Company.
In 1852 he crossed the ocean in search of health, and remained on the Continent, sometimes at Naples, Rome, and other places in Italy, but chiefly at Paris, which was a favorite place of residence with him, till 1854, when he returned somewhat improved in health, but with a constitution still incurably enfeebled by disease. During the last six months of his life he was confined to his chamber and was scarcely for an hour free from suffering.
General Kimberly was never married, a circumstance which in the latter part of his life, he did not hesitate to speak of with regret.
It would not be easy to improve the following estimate of his character, contained in the address of Rev. Dr. Cleaveland at his funeral. "General Kimberly's chief strength lay, not in any brilliant gifts of genius, nor in profound and comprehensive scholarship, but rather in the possession of sterling good sense, of sound ripe judgment. He was well read in his profession; he was master of its principles and precedents; but what gave special value to these acquisitions was his thorough knowledge of human nature. He knew how to use his learning, because he knew so well the manifold phases and subtle workings of the human mind to which his learning was to be applied. He studied law much, but he studied men more. His insight into character was truly remarkable. He read men at first sight, and sometimes on the assurance obtained at a single interview, ventured on pecuniary responsibilities which, but for the accuracy of his discernment, would have been perilous. This knowledge of human nature gave him great advantage in the examination of witnesses. He would quickly discover whether they knew more than they were willing to tell, or whether they were falsifying the truth, and he was sure to find a way of drawing out the desired information or of exposing the falsehood.
"Another characteristic of General Kimberly was his high sense of honor and right. Dishonesty, meanness and trickery of every kind and degree he heartily detested. He scorned to take underhand advantage, even of an opponent. This perfect fairness secured to him the confidence of the court and jury. Whatever they might think of his argument, they never doubted that he was dealing honorably and truthfully with them. This was one secret of his success.
As a speaker General Kimberly was graceful rather than vehement, pleasing rather than powerful. His voice was not strong, and in late years was touched with a slight huskiness, but he had an easy command of language, and his diction was always chaste and rich. He never failed to receive the gratified attention of whatever audience he addressed."
General Kimberly died on the 14th day of December, 1862. He had never made a profession of religion, but Dr. Cleaveland, who repeatedly visited him and conversed with him on religious subjects during his last sickness, thus expresses the conclusion to which he came as to his religious character: -
"I could not but think that the Holy Ghost had at last led him to the Cross, and enabled him to lay down his weary burden there."
*Prepared, at the request of the reporter, by Judge Dutton of the Supreme Court.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 174, pages 811 - 812
John Hamilton King, of Willimantic, was born in Stafford, Connecticut, April 21, 1900, the only child of William Albert and Jennie Stella (Cady) King. His father was a distinguished member of the Connecticut Bar and Attorney General of the state of Connecticut from 1903 to 1907. When Judge King was only a young child, his parents removed to Willimantic, and it was there that he spent his life. He was graduated from Windham High School and, in 1923, from Yale University. In 1925, he was graduated from the Yale Law School and admitted to the practice of law.
He began the general practice of law immediately in Willimantic in the office of his father. An indefatigable student of the law, he became skilled in all of its many parts, a formidable trial adversary in both civil and criminal matters, and learned in corporate, municipal and, especially, banking law. He was familiar with the courts and councils of the various towns and executive offices throughout Connecticut.
From 1929 to 1931, Judge King was an Assistant Attorney General of the state of Connecticut. He was law clerk for the committee on judiciary of the Connecticut General Assembly from 1927 to 1937 and secretary law clerk for the commission to review the General Statutes of Connecticut from 1927 to 1930.
Judge King was appointed to the Superior Court bench effective May 7, 1940. The trial bar soon came to know that he was generous and courageous, with a Puritan sense of conscience and a no-nonsense attitude about the law and the relentless demands it makes on those who practice it. Although not a martinet, he always maintained strict decorum in his courtroom, and the lawyers who appeared there never ceased to marvel at his ability to cite legal precedent by volume and page from memory, the cases in some instances going back to colonial days.
In 1957, Judge King was appointed to the Supreme Court of Connecticut and in 1963 he became its Chief Justice, serving until his seventieth birthday in 1970. The many opinions he wrote as a Justice during his thirteen years of service on the Supreme Court are printed in volumes 144 through 159 of the Connecticut Reports. They are models of cogent legal reasoning and are eloquent evidence of his knowledge, wisdom, capacity and industry. It could safely be said that he was without peer in the knowledge of Connecticut law.
Judge King never married. He was a man of diverse interests and hobbies. He spent many hours in the Boy Scouts movement, both as a counselor and as an examiner for merit badges. From childhood, photography was a hobby with him. His collection of photographs of mills and factories both active and abandoned has proved to be of historical significance. Probably the most satisfying of his pastimes was that of canoeing in the many lakes and streams of Connecticut, with an occasional arduous trip like the one from the source of the Connecticut River to Long Island Sound, or the one covering the length of the Allagash River in Maine. One typical facet of Judge King was revealed when, while in his sixties, he took up flying. Once he had flown solo and was satisfied that he had mastered the operation of the airplane, he did not fly again except on commercial planes. His interest in old automobiles began in childhood and never diminished. His knowledge of the mechanical workings of old engines was astonishing in view of the fact that he probably never changed a spark plug in his life.
As with all judges who have had considerable experience on the bench, in moments of relaxation he was fond of telling unusual stories and recalling events which occurred during the course of a trial and his reactions to those episodes. Although his manner was deliberate and his language precise and direct, he was a delightful conversationalist in social gatherings or in chambers with attorneys.
He died on August 22, 1977, at the age of seventy-seven. For the previous seven years he had been in ill health, finally having to enter a hospital for the last two years of his life.
Judge King will be long remembered as one of the greatest of Connecticut judges.
*Prepared by Hon Alva P. Loiselle, of Willimantic.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 144, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court April 9, 1957, to take effect April 16, 1957.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 151, page iii
Appointed Chief Justice May 29, 1963, to take effect August 31, 1963.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 159, page iii
Retired April 21, 1970, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 123, pages 691 - 692
William Albert King, of Willimantic, was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, July 22d, 1855, a son of Patrick and Mary (Whitaker) King. When he was yet a young boy his parents removed to Orcuttville, in the town of Stafford, Connecticut, where he spent his boyhood and attended the local schools and Monson Academy in Monson Massachusetts. He graduated (Phi Beta Kappa) from Amherst College in 1878, studied law in the office of Samuel E. Fairfield, in Stafford Springs, and was admitted to the bar September 18th, 1879, at Tolland, Connecticut. Mr. King began practice at Stafford Springs, where he remained until the fall of 1889, at which time he removed to Willimantic, continuing there to practice his profession until 1932, when advancing years had so weakened his body that he was unable to continue work and was virtually confined to his home.
He was elected a representative to the General Assembly from the town of Stafford for the session of 1882, and was afterward elected a representative from the town of Windham for the sessions of 1899, 1901 and 1919. In each of the four sessions in which he served, he was a member of the committee on the judiciary, and in the last two sessions was majority leader of the House of Representatives and house chairman of the committee on the judiciary. Mr. King was appointed county health officer for Windham County in 1894, being the first appointee in his county after the creation of the office by the General Assembly in the session of 1893. He held office under successive appointments until he resigned to become attorney-general. Subsequently, in 1915, he was reappointed county health officer and continued to serve until his retirement from active affairs. He was a member of the commission to revise the general statutes which prepared the Revision of 1902, and in 1902 was elected attorney-general of Connecticut for the term beginning the Wednesday after the first Monday in January, 1903. For many years he had been president of the Windham County Bar, an office, which he held until his death.
On August 26th, 1889, Mr. King married Jennie Stella Cady, of Stafford, who died June 26th, 1915, at the age of fifty. He left one son, John Hamilton King, who was admitted to the bar in 1925, and has since practiced law in Willimantic. He was a member of the Eastern Star Lodge A. F. & A. M. and Willimantic Lodge B. P. O. E.
On August 20th, 1937, death liberated him from the physical infirmities which had caused his retirement from active practice and thereafter progressively disabled him. In his passing the Connecticut bar parted with one of its most able, brilliant and outstanding members. Despite inducements to locate in a larger city affording greater opportunities for the exercise of his special forensic talents, he preferred remaining in general practice in a relatively small community. However, participation in the trial of important cases attracting much attention, his rare oratorical ability demonstrated in the courts, in the General Assembly, in political campaigns, and on other public occasions, his able service as attorney-general, and numerous other activities of his long and busy career extended his reputation and won him friends and admirers throughout the State and beyond its borders. His learning and general qualifications for successful practice were ample, his mental operations brilliantly quick and accurate, but he possessed, in addition, and in a degree vouchsafed few, gifts of magnetic eloquence and logical presentation which were most effective in court and on other occasions for persuasive argument. As a result he was much engaged in important jury trials, including defense of the accused in many homicide and other serious criminal cases. His reputation and success were such that he might well have specialized in this type of practice - most men similarly endowed and established would have done so, - yet his preference and policy was to continue in the varied activities of a general country practice. He not only served as counsel for his own city and for numerous towns, for many financial and business corporations, and for individuals of large interests but also, to the end of his active practice, often sacrificingly devoted valuable time to the affairs of clients in humble circumstances and participated in occasional trials in minor courts, for which he never lost his penchant.
In his professional and personal contracts he was most genial and companionable, - acquaintance with him speedily begot friendship, and association, in court and out, engendered confidence, respect and warm regard. He consistently afforded a laudable example to other members of the bar in his willingness to consider adjustment of controversies without resort to court trial and to do all that fairness permitted to achieve that end. To the many who shared intimacy with him his personality is a treasured memory. His qualities and career are fittingly summarized in the resolution adopted by the bar association of his county: "A learned and able lawyer, an eloquent advocate, an honest and conscientious citizen and official, our beloved friend, his was a long and eventful life and honor and integrity attended him throughout."
*Prepared by Hon. George E. Hinman, of Willimantic.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 201, page 817
REMARKS OF CHIEF JUSTICE ELLEN A. PETERS ON THE DEATH OF THE HONORABLE FRANK J. KINNEY, JR.
October 1, 1986
On behalf of the justices of the Supreme Court, I want to pause for a moment before the opening of court to take note of the untimely passing on Sunday of Judge Frank J. Kinney, Jr.
Judge Kinney was one of the most widely respected judges in the Connecticut judiciary. He was a person to whom you would point as the best example of that unique blend of legal knowledge, human compassion and professional dedication that makes an individual an outstanding jurist. He epitomized the good judge. His excellence in the courtroom was matched by administrative talents which placed him in the forefront of those judges to whom Judge Ment and I turn for counsel.
Judge Kinney wore many hats. As Chief Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division, Administrative Judge of the New Haven Judicial District, and presiding judge on the criminal side in New Haven, he displayed a breadth of talent rarely seen in any one individual. He approached every assignment with the same unwavering commitment to excellence.
It was, however, as an individual judge, sitting in a courtroom, that Judge Kinney was most respected. He was compassionate in his dealings with others, yet tough when firmness was appropriate. Most important of all, he conducted the proceedings in his courtroom with steadfast dedication to the principles of equal justice under law that are the foundation of our court system.
I hereby charge the Reporter of Judicial Decisions with taking whatever steps are necessary to make these remarks a part of the official record of the proceedings of this court and to see that these remarks are printed in the Connecticut Law Journal.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 207, page 813
The Honorable Joseph E. Klau, of Bloomfield, who served as a judge of the Superior Court for fifteen years, died May 10, 1988, at the age of eighty-five.
Judge Klau was born in New York city on July 25, 1902, and was educated in the Hartford school system. He graduated in 1924 from Harvard College with a B.A. degree, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and received his LL.B. degree from the Harvard Law School three years later. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1927.
Judge Klau became a judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1941. Two years later, he returned to private practice until his appointment to the Court of Common Pleas in 1957. He became a judge of the Superior Court in 1959, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1972. He served as a state trial referee for many years until shortly before his death.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 131, pages 723 - 724
On November 11, 1943, Charles Kleiner, the oldest member of the New Haven bar, died in his ninetieth year, ending a long and distinguished career as a lawyer and public official. He was born in New Haven on June 4, 1854, a son of Israel and Eva Meyer Kleiner. His parents came from Bavaria, Germany, in 1848.
When Charles Kleiner was graduated from Webster Grammar School in New Haven at fourteen, he became an apprentice in the printing trade. His first job was on "The Lever," a newspaper published in New Haven. Afterwards, he worked on the Yale Courant and the New Haven Register. From the late seventies until 1881, he was superintendent of the Stafford Printing Company on State Street. After thirteen years in the printing business, he entered the Yale Law School in 1881 and was graduated in 1883 with the degree of LL.B. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar on June 27, 1883, and in the same year, to practice in the state of Minnesota. For a year and a half he practiced law in St. Paul, but returned to New Haven on account of the death of his father in 1884.
In 1886, Mr. Kleiner was married to Miss Clara Lautenbach, who survives him. They had two daughters and two sons. One son was Dr. Israel Kleiner, who died in 1929, cutting short what promised to be a brilliant career in medical research. Their other son is engaged in business in Cleveland, Ohio. Their daughter Leah is principal of the Ezekiel Cheever Public School of New Haven and their daughter Estelle is sewing teacher in the city schools.
Mr. Kleiner was first associated in the practice of law with Henry G. Newton, who for many years was referee in bankruptcy in New Haven. In 1891, Mr. Kleiner and William P. Niles took offices in the Exchange Building at the corner of Church and Chapel Streets. About 1911, the late Judge Sheridan T. Whittaker became associated with Mr. Kleiner. In 1919, the latter formed a partnership with Michael J. Quinn under the firm name of Kleiner and Quinn; with the firm were John V. O'Brien, James A. Morcaldi, and William B. Turley. The firm was dissolved in 1923, when Mr. Kleiner was appointed compensation commissioner for the Third Congressional District and gave up the private practice of the law. He continued as compensation commissioner until 1938, when he retired at the age of eighty-four because of ill health.
When Mr. Kleiner returned to New Haven in 1884, he resided in the old Fifth Ward. He attracted the attention of the leaders of the Democratic Party and was nominated and elected to the board of councilmen, serving from 1885 to 1887. In 1886, he was elected president of the board. His popularity with the voters was further attested by his election to the board of aldermen in 1888 for two years. When his term in the board of aldermen expired, Mr. Kleiner devoted himself exclusively to the practice of law, handling all kinds of cases and building up a large practice. In 1896 he left the Democratic Party because he could not agree with William Jennings Bryan's theory of free silver, and from that time until his death he was a Republican.
In 1909, Mayor Frank J. Rice of New Haven appointed Mr. Kleiner to the office of corporation counsel, which he held for eight years. At the time of his appointment as compensation commissioner in 1923, he was sixty-nine years old, but in spite of his age he was in full possession of his physical and mental vigor. He carried out his duties with great ability for fifteen years.
Mr. Kleiner was a lifelong member of Congregation Mishkan Israel and was president of the Temple from 1898 to 1905. He was a member of the first library board of the New Haven Library, from 1887 to 1890, and an honorary member of the New Haven Typographical Union, No. 47. For more than twenty-five years he was a corporator and trustee of the Connecticut Savings Bank of New Haven. He was also a member of Hiram Lodge, A.F. and A.M., the Free Sons of Israel, the New Haven County Bar Association, the State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
It was as a lawyer that Charles Kleiner did his greatest work. The law to him, as to so many young men of his time, was an end in itself. His experience in pleading was well known to the profession and his advice in drafting pleadings was constantly sought by young and older members of the bar. He was always accessible to the younger lawyers and got much pleasure and satisfaction from helping them with their legal problems.
Mr. Kleiner was a true gentleman, one of God's noblemen, an aristocrat in the sense that the Ancient Greeks used the word, meaning "the best." He lived a long, happy and successful life, faithful to his family, his church, his profession, his city, his country and his fellowmen, and the influence of his noble character will long remain with those who were fortunate enough to have known him.
*Prepared by Michael J. Quinn, of the New Haven bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 129, pages 720 - 722
Farwell Knapp was born in Bridgeport on November 28, 1893, a son, grandson and great grandson of lawyers of distinction. Educated in the public schools and the Taft School in Watertown, he was graduated from Yale in 1916, a leader in his class and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and of the senior honor society Skull and Bones. In 1917 Knapp left the Harvard Law School to enlist in the Army. Precluded by a back injury from admission to an officers' training school, he rose rapidly to become the highest ranking non-commissioned officer in his regiment - the 302nd Field Artillery - and served at Camp Devens and in the American Expeditionary Forces in France. On his discharge Knapp returned to the Law School to graduate in 1921. Admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1922, he commenced the practice of the law in Hartford in the office of Shipman & Goodwin. In 1925 he was appointed assistant tax commissioner of the state of Connecticut in charge of the inheritance tax division and continued in this office until 1937, when he became a partner in the firm of Marsh, Stoddard & Day. In 1941 he returned to Hartford to become a trust officer in the Phoenix State Bank & Trust Company, but soon thereafter a heart condition, which for some years he had borne with great patience and fortitude, compelled his retirement from active life, and in September, 1942, Knapp died, young in spirit, mature in mind, steadfast and majestic in his courage. His wife, Helen Bayne, whom he married in South Manchester in 1923, and two children, Emily Perkins and Elizabeth Cheney, survive him.
As a tax commissioner Knapp won early recognition not only within his own state but throughout the nation. His scholarly mind, his judicial attitude, his innate fairness brought to the administration of the tax laws and their fast growing intricacies a background and learning philosophical and deep-seated in its nature. Knapp never sought to press a doubtful point upon the taxpayer, nor did he permit the state to suffer at the hands of one versed in the gentle art of loophole escape. His knowledge and judgment won the respect and admiration of all lawyers with whom he came in contact. Frequently he appeared in tax litigation before the Supreme Court of Errors and as Connecticut's advocate he prepared and argued important cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. A member and official of the National Tax Association, Knapp took a leading part in its deliberations, serving on its executive committee and as chairman of various subcommittees. His scholarly articles on tax questions were epitomes of legal learning and his advice and counsel in matters relating to the refinements of tax procedure and administration were sought for by authorities in our sister states.
With the founding of the Hartford College of Law, Knapp became one of its instructors. As a teacher of young men he was abundantly successful. His great patience, his tolerance, his quiet strength were an inspiration to students, and his conscientious preparation, his wide knowledge and cultural appreciation instilled in them a broad outlook upon life. As a member of its board of trustees, as dean, as vice president and finally as president, Knapp was influential and instrumental in the growth of the School and in the standing and recognition which it achieved.
Knapp's splendid physique and carriage marked him as a leader. His intellectual capacity was in proportion thereto. His wit, humor and good cheer lightened the burdens of all who knew him, and despite his own physical suffering there were none before whom he would condescend to be otherwise than happy. Strong, gentle, sympathetic, he was beloved by his friends and respected by all - a servant of the state in whose life we as members of the legal profession may take an everlasting pride.
*Prepared by Lucius F. Robinson, Jr., of the Hartford bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 244, page iii
Appointed to the Appellate Court May 1, 1998, to take effect May 5, 1998.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 248, page iii
Died April 19, 1999.
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