As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 145, pages 740 - 742
After completing ninety-three years of a very full and active life, Frank David Haines, formerly a justice of the Supreme Court of Errors, died on January 20, 1959.
Justice Haines was born in Colchester, Connecticut, on January 16, 1866. He was the son of David Haines and Amanda Taylor Haines. He was brought up on his father's farm and in that environment he developed the sturdiness of body and mind which characterized him throughout his life. After attending Bacon Academy in Colchester, he left that town in 1883 and went to Middletown, where he obtained work as a bookkeeper, first for a wholesale paper dealer and then very shortly for C. E. Jackson and Company, dealers in securities. He married Nellie Emeline Burke in 1887 and they lived happily together for sixty-two years until her death in 1955. Two sons were born to them. The elder, Elmer, has survived his father, but the younger, Warren, died while in military service in 1918.
In 1890, when Justice Haines was twenty-four years of age, he courageously gave up his place with the Jackson company in order to begin the study of law. He studied in the law office of M. Eugene Culver for two years and then persuaded Dean Francis Wayland to permit him to enrol as a senior in Yale Law School. He was graduated from Yale Law School in 1893 and at once commenced the practice of law in Middletown in partnership with his former instructor, Mr. Culver. This partnership, however, was terminated very shortly when, in 1895, Governor O. Vincent Coffin appointed Justice Haines executive secretary. In 1897, when he ceased to be executive secretary, he resumed the practice of law in his own office in Middletown. He engaged in general practice for the next twenty-one years very successfully, and for at least the last decade of that time he was beyond challenge the leading lawyer in Middlesex County. Early in his career, he served for two years as county liquor prosecutor for Middlesex County and later, in 1904, he was appointed state's attorney for that county. In that office he established a reputation for fairness. He was a vigorous prosecutor when occasion demanded it, but he never hesitated to nolle a case when he thought that the evidence did not warrant a conviction.
From early in his career in the law, Haines's aspiration was to become a judge in the higher courts of the state, and this ambition was satisfied when, on August 30, 1918, he started to serve on the Superior Court. As a trial judge he was universally respected - both by the members of the bar and by the general public. To a high degree he possessed what is commonly called the judicial temperament. Because of his training as a bookkeeper, he enjoyed hearing cases that involved accounting either directly or indirectly, but in any sort of case he had the ability to get at the heart of the issues, to weigh the testimony accurately and to reason his way through to the proper conclusion. These abilities served him well in his work on the trial bench and they, plus a sound foundation in the law, an industriousness in research and a facility in writing straightforward, clear English, made him a great appellate judge when he was advanced to the Supreme Court of Errors on October 18, 1925. He served on the latter court until January 16, 1936, when the constitutional age limitation required his retirement. For more than ten years after that he was active as a state referee and thoroughly enjoyed his work in that capacity.
No sketch of Justice Haines's life would give a true picture of the man without at least a brief mention of some of his activities outside the courts. Early in his career he was president of the Middletown Young Men's Christian Association. For many years he was active in the affairs of The First Church of Christ, Congregational, in Middletown, and after he moved to Portland in 1910, he was equally active in the affairs of Trinity Church, Episcopal, in that town. For several years he served on the board of education of the Middletown City School District and was for a time president of that board. He was a director of the Connecticut Industrial School for Girls, a trustee or corporator of the Middletown Savings Bank from 1906 until his death, a director of it from 1913 to 1918, and a director of several other corporations prior to his going on the bench. He was a member of the commission which revised the General Statutes in 1918. He received two honorary degrees from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in 1914 and an L.L.D. in 1927.
Justice Haines had one hobby; he loved to fish, particularly for trout. Until recent years he generally managed to be on one of his favorite trout brooks early on the morning when the trout season opened.
In summary, Justice Haines was an active, able lawyer, an excellent judge and a well-rounded man. He was the personification of integrity both in thought and action. He held the respect and affection of all who knew him.
*Prepared by Hon. Ernest A. Inglis, of Middletown.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 103, page iv
Appointed to Supreme Court February 19th, 1925, to take effect October 18th, 1925.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 121, page iii
Retired January 16, 1936, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 44, pages 612 - 614
EZRA HALL, a member of the Hartford Bar, died at Hartford on the third day of November, 1877, at the age of forty-two. He was born at Marlboro in this state, and after working upon his father's farm till he was twenty years of age, he determined to acquire a liberal education, and after a course of preparatory study at the seminary at East Greenwich, R. I., he entered Wesleyan University, at Middletown, in 1858, graduating in 1862. He read law in the office of the late Thomas C. Perkins, and immediately after his admission to the bar commenced practice in the city of Hartford, pursuing his profession there until his death. He was elected to the State Senate in 1863 from the district in which his native town was situated, and was the youngest member of the body. He was again elected to the Senate in 1871, and in 1874 represented Marlboro, in which he still kept his legal residence, in the House of Representatives. In 1874 he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and argued some important cases before that tribunal. He was taken suddenly ill, and died after a few days of intense suffering. He left a widow and two children.
The death of Mr. Hall was a painful surprise to the community and a cause of deep sorrow to his professional associates and his many friends. He had been so full of energy, so enthusiastic in the pursuit of his profession, so intent on success, making himself felt as a force wherever he went, and was still so young and full of promise, that it seemed almost impossible that such a career could be so suddenly ended.
Mr. Hall had attained an honorable position at the bar and a high place in the public esteem. He was ambitious in his profession, and indefatigable in the discharge of its duties. No client ever had reason to complain of any neglect of his interests. He was always honorable in his practice and had in this respect the entire confidence of his associates at the bar. His business had become quite large and he found himself in his later years often compelled to give up to labor many hours that were required for sleep. His constant overwork undoubtedly injured his health and perhaps hastened his death.
He had a tenacious will, showing itself in his persistency in pursuing his ends and not at all in obstinacy, a vigorous and especially active and perceptive intellect, and a rare faculty for the despatch of business. He was however made for a man of affairs rather than for a great thinker, and found his most fitting place in dealing practically with business and with men. With a shrewdness and sagacity of the traditional New England type, he was unusually skillful in negotiation. In all his business relations he commanded the confidence of all who dealt with him, as a man of perfect integrity, while his agreeable manners very generally won over those whom he met in an adverse relation.
Mr. Hall was full of cheerful good nature, always hopeful and always ready to cheer others, and where he was able, to help them. His countenance was lighted up by good will and his manners were courteous and kindly. His nature was sympathetic and generous. His pastor, the Rev. W. L. Gage, said of him at his funeral "I do not know as, during the ten years I have lived in Hartford, I have seen any one who so habitually had such a radiant and pleasant countenance, or who so often had a word of good cheer for those who needed it."
During the later years of his life Mr. Hall was a specially growing man. An earnest study, not merely of the law, but of every thing that would help him to a higher development of his faculties, was showing its fruit. Professional success was still the great object of his ambition, but it seemed to gather about itself in his conceptions higher and higher moral conditions - a wider knowledge, a more thorough self-culture, a high standard of personal honor. He was thus growing in moral purpose and in all the elements of true manhood.
He had been for many years a communicant in one of the Congregational Churches of the city of Hartford and for a long time was one of the most active laborers in its Sabbath-school.
At a meeting of the Hartford County bar, held on the occasion of Mr. Hall's death, and which was very fully attended, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That we regard with profound sorrow the death of Ezra Hall, Esq., a member of this bar. Mr. Hall has been taken away in the fullness of his manhood from the active and successful pursuit of his profession, and from a general usefulness of life that made him a most valuable member of the community. With rare industry, with enthusiasm in his profession, with untiring devotion to the interests committed to his care, and with an unusual knowledge of men and tact in the management of causes, he united a high sense of professional honor and a firm allegiance to moral duty. Without a high degree of oratorical skill, but with a vigorous intellect, clear perceptions, and a thorough understanding and preparation of his cases, he was able to make effective arguments, either to the court or to the jury. His mind was practical and sagacious. His integrity was unquestioned. With a countenance indicating natural refinement, with great kindness of heart and an affable manner, he had yet a firm will, a decided judgment, and great energy of character. He was warm in his friendships, and found great happiness in serving those whom he loved. He was a man of professed and consistent Christian life. He met death with entire composure, expressing a desire to live but a readiness to die. He leaves behind him a most pleasant memory and the influence of a good life.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 86, pages 712 - 719
The late Chief Justice Frederic Byron Hall was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, February 20th, 1843, of an early New England ancestry. He was the second son and child of Jonathan Hall, 4th, and his wife Livonia Hayward Hall, whom business reasons had drawn away from their family home in New Hampshire. The father had prepared to enter Amherst College, but lack of means compelled him to forego his cherished desire. For a time he taught in a private school, but shortly turned to the trade of a molder for his livelihood. At the time of Frederic’s birth he, in connection with two brothers, operated a foundry in Saratoga Springs. In 1849 he joined the host which was following the lure of gold to California, but the long journey did not yield the anticipated financial reward. Shortly after his return he turned again to his trade. In 1858 he removed with his family to Bridgeport, Connecticut, and was employed in the foundry department of the Wheeler and Wilson Sewing Machine Company. The mother was a woman of superior mental endowment and education. During the future Chief Justice’s early years she gave careful attention to his education, and during the trying period of her husband’s absence on his California expedition she kept a private school. She was ambitious that Frederic should become a lawyer, and it was in large measure due to her that he entered upon its study, to which he personally was not inclined.
Frederic was not yet seven years old when his father went to California. The following years saw him helping in the support of the family by industriously turning his hand to such means of earning money as were open to him. He sold newspapers, did odd jobs, and later became the “boy” on the estate of a prominent resident. Upon his father’s removal to Bridgeport Frederic, then only fifteen years of age, found employment as a molder in the shop where his father worked. His mind, however, was bent upon the acquisition of an education. His parents sympathized with his desire, so that in 1861 they determined to make the sacrifice, which the family fortunes could ill afford, of sending him to the Connecticut Literary Institute at Suffield, Connecticut, where he was graduated in 1862.
August 11th of that year he enlisted for the Civil War in Company D of the 17th Connecticut Regiment. He had not been long at the front when he was taken severely ill with typhoid fever. His death in a Washington hospital was reported home. His convalescence left him in such physical condition that he was discharged for disability December 24th, 1862. The following fall he matriculated at Brown University and was graduated from that institution in 1867. He studied law in the office of the late Henry S. Sanford of Bridgeport, and was admitted to the bar in Fairfield County April 18th, 1871. During the entire period of his preparatory and collegiate study he helped to support himself by working during his vacations at his trade, and even while he was studying law, he devoted his afternoons to the same employment.
Immediately upon his admission he associated himself for the practice of his profession with the late Goodwin Stoddard under the firm name of Stoddard and Hall. This partnership continued until he became judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Fairfield County July 1st, 1877. In 1889, while serving his third term as judge of the Court of Common Pleas, he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court, taking office April 1st. September 20th, 1897, he was made a judge of the Supreme Court of Errors to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the late Judge Fenn. Upon the retirement of Chief Justice Baldwin, by reason of age limitation, February 5th, 1910, Judge Hall became, by promotion, Chief Justice. That position he continued to fill until the day of his death, January 15th, 1913. He died suddenly in Hartford whither he had gone to attend a term of court. The morning of the day of his death he was engaged in consultation with his associates upon the business of the court. Had he lived, he would have reached retiring age the following month.
For many years Judge Hall was a trustee of the Mechanics and Farmers Savings Bank of Bridgeport, and from 1900 on its vice president.
January 1st, 1872, he married Jennie A. Lewis of Stratford, who survives him. To them were born three children, Alice Burr, wife of William D. Boardman, of the Bridgeport bar, Dwight Hubbell and Lewis Frederick, all now living.
In 1890 both his alma mater and Yale University conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Laws, and in 1909 Brown University made him a Doctor of Laws.
During the late Chief Justice’s long service upon the bench he won for himself in an unusual degree the confidence and esteem of both the profession and the public. His personal bearing toward all who came into contact with him was ever considerate and courteous. In the court room he bore himself a judge. So patient was he in his listening, so direct and straightforward in his methods, and so manifestly impartial in his dealings, that all who came before him felt that they had had their day in court and been fairly heard. His striking characteristics as a, judge were his industry, his sincerity of purpose, his fairness and, openness of-mind, his high sense, of justice, his clear thinking, his sound common sense and his moral courage. His habits of industry, acquired as a boy, remained with him to the end. With him justice was something very real, and his most earnest endeavor was to mete it out to the best of his ability. In the ordering of his judicial conduct considerations foreign to the merits of the cause did not enter into his thoughts; he was no respecter of persons; popular applause he did not court. In the determination of questions of law he held a mind always open to conviction. He was singularly clear in his thinking, and possessed a rare degree of sound judgment which kept him from being led far astray. His courage was the highest. What he believed to be right he did, and did it instinctively and unhesitatingly; what he believed to be wrong or mean or petty he scorned.
He was a most companionable and lovable man. Always dignified, he was at the same time unassuming and approachable. He made friends easily: a few he took close to his heart, and in their society he delighted. His great satisfactions came from a conscientious discharge of his judicial duties, to which he was devoted, the companionship of his intimates, and the pleasures of home and family which meant to him more than all else in life.
At the session of the Supreme Court of Errors held in New Haven on January 21st, 1913, the Hon. John H. Light of South Norwalk, Attorney-General of the State, addressed the court as follows:—
May it please the Court: It is my duty at this time to call attention officially to the death of Chief Justice Hall, and to give some fitting expression to the public sense of loss and sorrow.
He sat high in the hearts of the people, and his long and distinguished public service in the courts of the State has made his name a household word. All knew him by reputation, and many had the honor of his personal acquaintance, but you alone had the rare good fortune of being his intimate associates and fellow-workers. Therefore, save the members of his immediate family, you will miss him most of all. The freemasonry of your work, and, your friendship for each other must have made you almost more than kin. Words cannot express your loss. But it is good to know that the silver cord of memory need not be broken because your associate has gone to his long home. He will still live in the body of his work, and his influence will find expression through you. It is impossible to estimate the help you and unnumbered members of the bar may hereafter receive from the four hundred, or more, opinions written by him, and made a part of the reports of this court.
“So when a great man dies,
For years beyond our ken,
The light he leaves behind him lies,
Upon the paths of men.”
In the economy of nature, death never robs life of things worth living. The good is always permanent. Life is richer because miserable aims which end in self die with the body, while “thoughts sublime pierce the night like stars,” and persist—
“To make undying music in the world,
Breathing as beauteous order that controls.
With growing sway the growing life of man.”
Queen Caroline asked Archbishop Blackburn, — “Is Mr. Butler dead?” and that prelate responded, “No, madam, but he is buried.”
Judge Hall is not dead to the world. His posthumous influence will abide in all that was good in his character and work. He was an ideal judge. He had the vital mental temperament which gave him physical activity mental facility. He enjoyed good living and good fellowship, and was always on familiar-terms with members of the bar, and was accustomed to call many of them by their Christian names. His friendly freedom with members of the bar, however, never impaired his natural dignity, for his very atmosphere was judicial, and he looked every whit the judge. More than once in public I have known strangers to inquire if he were not a judge. So it is clear that he satisfied the eye, and filled the stage. May we not, therefore, say he was to the manner born"? His mind was astute and analytical, and his body harmonious, and practically every station in life contributed to his experience. He was in turn a newsboy, an iron molder, a soldier, a lawyer, and a judge; and through an experiencing mind everything became a part of himself. He realized that we do not see facts as they really are, but rather as they stand related to personality. He knew what Lincoln called “the common people,” for he had felt their burdens and was acquainted with all their aspirations. So his sympathies were broad and catholic, and he very naturally gave due weight to the conditions which hamper and cripple human nature. I believe every judgment of his rendered while he was on the trial bench showed a rare sense of justice. He was conservative without being a slave to precedent. Whenever he was made to realize that he had made a mistake, he unhesitatingly reversed himself. I recall a remark he made when a judge on the Common Pleas bench. In support of an argument, counsel had called his attention, to a ruling he had made on another case some time before, and, straightening up in his seat, and, calling counsel by name, he said: "If I were mistaken then, Is there any reason why I should repeat it? ” Any pride of opinion he may have had was kept in abeyance to his love of truth and justice. He had the courage of his convictions. From my knowledge of him, I am free to say that, during his thirty-six years as a judge, he was never autocratic or inconsiderate in his treatment of any member of the bar; but, on the contrary, I have known him to go out of his way to inspire self-reliance in the mind of the timid and inexperienced young lawyer.
The judicial ermine fitted him like a garment, and he always kept it unsullied. If all judges throughout the country had been like him, no statesman or party would have advocated the recall of judges. He was the twentieth in line of our Chief Justices, and he had the honor of succeeding the most learned and distinguished of them all.
His official dignities rested naturally upon him, and he was never known to obtrude them by act or word. His manhood dominated his office. Little men exalt their office while big men exalt manhood. Character always speaks louder than words, and this was eminently true of the character of Judge Hall.
Death is always a tragedy, and doubly so when it comes like a thief in the night, without warning. Caesar was once asked how best to die, and answered, “The way least expected.” Judge Hall’s sudden death was a shock to us all. The term of the court at Hartford came to an end that fateful afternoon, and he said good-bye to Mr. Andrews, and to Mr. Osborn, his assistant, and took a few steps down the hall, and turning with a waving gesture of his right hand, remarked, “I will say good-bye to this court building also.” He entered the lobby and talked pleasantly with several of the attendants. To one of them he said his work on the bench would end in February, and in answer to the remark, “I presume, judge, you will be glad to be through with your work,” he said, "No, I shall not; I shall miss the work and my associates very much.” And his manner was like that of a man bidding good-bye to old associations to travel into a new country, with a subconscious feeling that he would never return. These are surface explanations of his manner and mood while taking leave of the attendants and the building; yet there may be a mystic meaning in it all. The messenger of death may have marked him already and prompted his spirit to feel that his parting was final. The real powers of life are always veiled from mortal ken. What we see about us is but the outward expression of the spirit of things. We know but little of each other, and hardly more of ourselves. We repeat the words “life” and “death” without really understanding their meaning. Perhaps it is death that makes life worth while. We know it is just as natural as birth, especially when it comes to a man like Judge Hall, full of years, with all of the duties of life nobly done. There is then the harmony of music in-it.
“Death is the crown of life;
Were death denied, poor man would live in vain:
Were death denied, to live would not be life;
Were death denied, ev’n fools would wish to die.”
Governor Baldwin said in part;—
As one who had the honor of sitting with Chief Justice Hall on the bench of this court for a long course of years, I desire to add a personal word to the tribute just paid to his memory by the Attorney-General.
The men who are associated in a court of last resort come together very intimately. They learn to know each other’s mental characteristics well. I had previously practiced at the bar of the Superior Court before Judge Hall, and held him in great respect. It was not long after he became a member of the Supreme Court of Errors that I felt that I had found a new friend, and a close one. His judgment was always clear; his temper always even; his part in the discussions of the consultation room always straightforward and to the point. He was a patient hearer of others, and always ready to give full weight to any consideration they might bring forward. He was not a black-letter lawyer, though he was a well-read one. His turn of mind was not metaphysical. He had a vigorous intellect, strong common sense, a calm, dispassionate, judicial temperament, a clear, clean-cut style of expression. I doubt if any man ever sat continuously on our bench so long as he. The whole State can join, to-day, in saying that he served her well.
At the conclusion of Governor Baldwin's address, Judge Prentice, the senior associate judge, said:—
Your remarks, Mr. Attorney-General, conveying the official announcement of the death of the late Chief Justice Hall, and those of Governor Baldwin, find a responsive echo in the hearts of the members of this court. Our late associate and chief-was with us in the performance of his official duties on Wednesday morning last, and appeared to be in his accustomed health and spirits. Ina few hours his earthly career was ended. The first impression which the sad tidings of his so sudden taking off made upon us was one of the overwhelming personal loss we had sustained.
No member of the bar of this State need to be told of the noble qualities of manhood which were in him, of the sweetness and serenity of his disposition, or of the charm of his companionship. But to those of us who were his associates in the work of this court, where association reveals the man as few relationships outside of the family circle do, it was our privilege to gain a measure of appreciation of him on his personal side which could not, in the nature of things, be shared by more casual observers. Through that association we came to see in him a man in the best and truest sense, and a man likable and lovable as comparatively few men are. We came to see in him a man of broad sympathies, of even poise, of equable temper, and of unflinching courage of conviction. He hated shams, pretense and insincerity above all things, and there was not a particle of either in his life. For himself he knew of but one course of action, and that was the frank, straightforward and conscientious one, and he scorned those who pursued any other.
He did not wear his heart upon his sleeve; but he possessed a big and generous one, and the door to it was ever ajar for one whom he respected. There was that about him which inspired friendship, and friendship was quite certain to ripen into love. And so it came to pass during the years of his service upon this bench that his associates came to be peculiarly attached to him, and to look at him through the eyes of a man’s love for man which has its solid foundation in both respect and affection. It is not strange, therefore, that the impression which persists in finding a foremost place in our thoughts to-day is that of a keen personal bereavement.
But admirable and lovable as the late Chief Justice was as a man and friend, his qualities as a judge were equally high. The major portion of his days were spent in the service of his State in the administration of justice. Thirty-six years ago, lacking only a few months, he became the judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Fairfield County. From that time he never laid aside the ermine. Nearly twelve years upon the bench of the Court of Common Pleas, eight and one half years upon the Superior-Court, and fifteen and one half years a member of the Supreme Court of Errors, during the last three years of which period he was Chief Justice, is his honorable record.
He possessed many high judicial qualities. Among them, and prominent among them, were -the essential moral ones of high character, lofty purpose, and unflinching courage. He harbored no other thought than to do what he believed to be just and right regardless of all other considerations. He possessed a rare quality of good sense, an appreciation of the true proportion of things, an open mind remarkably free from prejudices or bias, and a judicial temperament. He did not reach final conclusions quickly, nor hold preconceived notions tenaciously. He had no pride of opinion. He was always open to conviction, and ready to revise his conclusions. In all these things he was an ideal judge. He possessed, furthermore, in large measure the faculty, so essential for judicial service, which enabled him to reason logically, clearly, and honestly. He did not, either consciously or unconsciously, reason to a desired end, but sought and discovered the end through his reasoning. His opinions disclose that this was one of his marked characteristics. His discussions in consultation witnessed it even more strongly. To my thinking it was this power of his, taken in connection with his sound common sense, which made him the able judge he was. Others might be more learned in the books than he; others might form their conclusions more speedily; but when he had thought out a subject, and taken his final stand, one who was inclined to differ with him were wise to consider well his position before doing so.
He was not a case lawyer. He spent comparatively little time in searching digests and reports in other jurisdictions to find out what other men, for the most part less competent than he, had decided. He looked long enough to gather the necessary fundamental material and to discover the principles and lines of reasoning which others had applied, and then thought for himself. This habit of self-thinking, doubtless, brought to him as time passed ever increasing strength as a legal reasoner, and helped to make him the keen analyst and accurate thinker that he came to be.
Had he lived, his judicial service would have ended, by constitutional limitation, in a few short weeks. We had hoped that his years might be lengthened that he might be enabled to enjoy the leisure and freedom from burdensome cares and responsibilities which he had so richly earned, and to continue to his friends and to us the joy of his genial friendship. But that was not to be, and we are left to mourn for a beloved friend and cherished leader parted from us. There remains to us all, and to the members of this court peculiarly, the memory of his life and example as an inspiration to high endeavor and devoted service in the work which it is appointed for us to do.
*Prepared by Mr. Chief Justice Prentice, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 69, page iv
Appointed [Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors] by the Governor, September 20th, 1897, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge Fenn, until the first Wednesday of February, 1899.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 71, page iii
Reappointed to the Supreme Court January 27th, 1899.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 83, page iii
Appointed Chief Justice April 14th, 1909, to take effect February 5th, 1910.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 86, page iii
Died January 15th, 1913.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 128, pages 715 - 716
John Manning Hall was born in Willimantic, Connecticut, October 16, 1841, a son of Horace and Elizabeth J. (Manning) Hall. He prepared for college at Williston Academy, was graduated from Yale in the class of 1866, entered the Columbia Law School and after a two-year course was admitted to the bar of New York. Returning to Connecticut, he was admitted to practice and opened an office in Willimantic. On September 17, 1870, he married Julia White, the daughter of Silas Fuller Loomer. His practice developed steadily and he was soon recognized as a leader of the bar.
A Republican in politics, he represented the town of Windham in the legislature of 1870, 1871, 1872, 1881 and 1882, serving as chairman of many important committees, and was speaker of the House in 1882. In 1889 he represented the seventeenth district in the State Senate, of which he was president pro tempore. He was instrumental in the selection of Willimantic as a county seat for the sittings of the Superior Court. Largely through his efforts a State Normal School was located there. He prepared the charter under which Willimantic became a city and inaugurated water and sewer systems.
In July of 1889 he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court. As a trial judge he administered his high office with distinction, commanding the respect of lawyers and laymen alike. One of the most difficult cases that came before him arose out of the contested election of state officers in 1890. His findings in that case occupy twenty-two printed pages in Phelan v. Walsh, 62 Conn. 260. During his five years of service as judge of the Superior Court he sat with the Supreme Court of Errors in thirty-seven cases, reported in volumes 58-63 of the Connecticut Reports.
In 1893, Judge Hall was offered the position of executive vice president of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company, which he accepted. Upon the resignation of Charles P. Clark in 1899, he became president of the railroad, which, largely as a result of his management, enjoyed a period of real prosperity. He resigned from the presidency because of ill health in June, 1903. His illness was the debt that nature claimed from the heavy strain of a strenuous life, filled with burdens conscientiously carried.
He sought recuperation in California, but the end came on January 27, 1905. His widow, a son, John L. Hall, a leading member of the Boston bar, and two daughters, Mrs. William E. Day and Mrs. John E. Owsley, both of New Haven, survived him.
The Windham County Bar by resolution paid him the following tribute:
"The Windham County Bar, of which Judge Hall was a member, recognizes that in his untiring loyalty to a client, in his faithfulness and integrity to the various important state officers, both legislative and judicial, to which he was called, in his capable and conservative, diligent and aggressive efforts and in his grasp of details in the important business position which he filled, in his unblemished private life, his personal courage, untiring and ceaseless endeavor and charming, attractive personality, he was a distinguished lawyer, a successful and thorough master of vast business interests and a clear, active, influential and companionable man."
Thus did these comrades at the bar in Judge Hall's years of active practice accurately express the estimate of his character held by those who knew him in the flood tide of his career as a judge and, later, as the head of a great railroad system.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 67, pages 598 - 604
JEREMIAH HALSEY was born in Preston, Conn., February 8th, 1822. The son of Jeremiah S. and Sally Brewster Halsey, he was descended in the seventh generation from Thomas Halsey, one of the founders of Southampton, Long Island, the first English town in New York; and on the maternal side, from Elder William Brewster, the leader of the Mayflower Pilgrims. His grandfather, Jeremiah Halsey, a member of the bar of Connecticut for nearly sixty years, was a distinguished officer of the Revolutionary War, one of the captors of Ticonderoga and the first commissioned naval commander of the United States.
In moral attributes, in mental characteristics and in personal appearance, Mr. Halsey bore the stamp of his illustrious Puritan ancestry. A lover of truth and justice for their own sake, of intellect broad, clear and penetrating, of temperament calm and self-controlled, lucid in expression and convincing in logic, deeply learned in the principles, practice and detail of his profession and gifted with a power of discrimination which made easy the practical application of them, he was as counselor, trier and advocate at once, unequaled at the bar of this State. Before court or jury he possessed that convincing power which character, candor, learning and thoroughness must always wield. As man and as lawyer he was of the highest type, and, acknowledged as such, his opinions and his arguments were ever attentively regarded.
Always of delicate constitution and hampered by defective eyesight, his early education was acquired at home, and only by the most persevering and often painful application. He was nevertheless a man of broad attainments and culture, and the enforced methods of his early instruction had cultivated in him a memory tenacious and accurate. In his youth he was compelled to seek a milder climate in the South, and at Hawkinsville, Georgia, he studied law and was there admitted to the bar on April 23d, 1845. Returning to Connecticut he was admitted to the bar of Windham County, December 11th, 1845, and in September, 1849, opened an office at Norwich in partnership with the late Samuel C. Morgan. From that time to within a few months of his death he continued in active practice at Norwich, interrupted only by a single absence of a year spent in travel and recuperation abroad. How long continued and uninterrupted that practice was, may be gathered from the fact that, with a single exception, every volume of the Connecticut Reports from 22 to 65 inclusive, contains cases in which Mr. Halsey's name appears as counsel. In 1870 he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, and before that tribunal gained some of his most notable triumphs.
Always interested in public affairs, Mr. Halsey was not fond of office nor did he seek it. He represented Norwich in the General Assemblies of 1852, 1853, 1859 and 1860. From 1853, until his resignation in 1871, he was city attorney of Norwich, and from 1883 to 1888 corporation counsel. In 1873 Mr. Halsey was appointed by Governor Ingersoll, a member of the new State House Commission, authorized by resolution of the General Assembly of that year, and continued a member of that board until the completion of the new Capitol, devoting to the business of the commission the same careful attention to thoroughness and detail which he gave to his professional duties.
Unassuming and simple in manner, he was possessed of an unusual cheerfulness and sweetness of disposition which impressed all who came in contact with him. His charity was great and far reaching, and he was intimately associated as director or adviser with all the principal educational and charitable institutions of his home city. A consistent christian and devoted churchman, he was for many years connected with Christ Church, Norwich, as member, vestry-man and warden. In 1882 Trinity College conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws.
Mr. Halsey was married June 1st, 1854, to Elizabeth M. Fairchild of Reading, who survives him. During the later years of his life it was the custom of Mr. Halsey to spend the winter months in Washington, and it was in that city on February 9th, 1896, having just completed his seventy-fourth year, that he peacefully passed away, retaining to the end a mind unclouded and courage unimpaired.
At a meeting of the New London County Bar held February 28th, 1896, a committee presented for adoption resolutions commemorative of Mr. Halsey. In the eloquent and appreciative tribute paid to his memory by those of his brethren longest and most intimately associated with him, may fittingly be found the just and final estimate of his character and attainments.
The bar of New London county, called together by the death of Jeremiah Halsey, desire to place upon record this tribute to their departed brother.
Mr. Halsey was a conspicuous example of the highest type of the lawyer. His acute and powerful intellect, directed and controlled by his innate sense of justice, and supplemented by habits of industry which carried his application to the business of his profession to the limit and perhaps beyond the limit of his physical strength, united to make him a master of the science and the practice of the law without a peer at the bar of this county. His superiority was too marked to admit of rivalry, and the modesty with which he wore his honors disarmed envy. His brethren were proud of his success and carne to look upon his fame as one of the treasures of the bar.
He was equipped equally well for the duties of the court room and the office. His clear perception of legal principles, his power of lucid statement, his irresistible logic, his ability to disentangle and arrange the facts of a complicated case, made him a formidable trier of causes, while his sound judgment, his candor and hatred of unnecessary litigation made him the best of counselors. He was by nature a peacemaker. The prospect of a fee never tempted him to bring into court a case which could be fairly settled outside of it. The memory of his labors as a trial lawyer will be perpetuated in the records of our courts and the traditions of the bar, but much of his best work is known and will be known only by the clients who found him the wisest and most faithful of advisers.
Mr. Halsey's private virtues were in keeping with his qualities of mind. His integrity was such that he could not do a mean act or entertain a mean thought, and nothing aroused his indignation like dishonesty or meanness in another. Joined to these qualities was a serenity of temper, a cheerfulness of disposition, a kindness of heart, which made his character one of remarkable symmetry. He was a great and good man. It is some consolation to his brethren in their grief at his loss, that he was not cut off in the midst of his career, but was permitted to round out a life of usefulness. His memory will be one of the cherished possessions of the bar.
In moving the adoption of the resolutions, Mr. John T. Wait spoke as follows:
"As chairman of the committee appointed by the members of the bar to prepare resolutions of respect to the memory of our deceased brother, Hon. Jeremiah Halsey, it is my special duty and privilege to present the same to the court and request that they be entered upon its records.
"In discharging this duty I cannot refrain from paying a brief tribute to the memory of the great man and the good man who has left us. From the time Mr. Halsey commenced practice in this county to the close of his life, the closest friendship has existed between us, and I can emphatically say that nothing ever occurred in our intimate association, personal or professional, that in the least marred my sincere love and high regard for him, or weakened my warm attachment to him.
"I can unhesitatingly declare that the bar of Connecticut never had in its organization a purer or more honorable member. Associating, as I have, with Mr. Halsey in all the walks of life, and especially in the practice of our profession, I have been deeply impressed by his nobility of character, his unquestioned integrity and his masterly knowledge of the law. I can hardly find language strong enough to picture the power of his mental and moral forces. The rich development of his faculties, an enlightened heart and an elevated spirit kept him growing stronger and stronger in the profession which he adorned, and in the love and respect of his brother members of the bar.
"In the practice of his profession he was eminent for his great ability and power, his unswerving integrity in the discharge of all professional duties, and his polished and courteous manner to all who approached him. In his private life he was loyal to every duty, to all the obligations of friendship, and obedient to every claim of good citizenship. In making these declarations I am confident that I only voice the sentiments of the entire body that I have the honor to represent in presenting these resolutions."
ADDRESS OF HON. AUGUSTUS BRANDEGEE.
The melancholy privilege of age assigns to me the duty of formally seconding these unanimous resolutions of the bar, and expressing the sentiments of his professional brethren at the loss of their great leader. The proprieties of the occasion do not permit any labored or extended review of his life, his character and abilities. But it is fitting that while still standing in the shadow of our great loss, we place upon the imperishable records of the court this last feeble tribute of our respect, admiration and love for our departed brother.
Jeremiah Halsey was born at Preston on the 8th of February, 1822. He was admitted to the bar in 1845. He practiced continuously, in all the courts of this State for just half a century, and died at Washington, D.C., on the 9th of February, 1896, in the ripeness of his fame, and the full maturity of his powers.
He was a great lawyer; great in every department of that profession which calls for the exercise of the highest and most varied powers of human intellect. Whether he stood before the learned judges or a jury, or an arbitrator, or a committee of the General Assembly or other tribunal upon whose decision the lives, the property and the rights of men depend, he was master of himself, his subject and his audience. In that wonderful system founded upon the principles of everlasting righteousness, wrought out by the wisdom of ages, and sanctioned by the experience of mankind, at once the handmaid and the sure defense of human society, which men call law, he was easily "primus inter pares." The principles of this system he had explored to their deepest foundations. His comprehensive and philosophical mind had sought out their reasons, their application, and their limitations. He knew how and when to apply them in their rigor and when to make them elastic enough to meet the requirements of an ever changing and ever advancing civilization. He was no mere "case lawyer," such as are the weaklings of our profession, whose sole equipment consists of a catalogue of authorities and whose ill digested citations only serve to "make confusion more confounded." He was not one of those who darken counsel with "profane and vain babblings," "striving," as saith an apostle, "about words to no profit, but to the subverting of hearers." He rightly divided the word of truth, seeming by an intuitive alchemy to know how to separate the dross from the pure gold, how to marshal, to reinforce, explain, apply, and, if needs be, to reconcile the authorities.
He loved the law. To him it was not a trade for hire, nor even a profession for furnishing one's daily bread. It was rather a sacred ministration. He looked upon it as that portion of the scheme of eternal justice committed to man by the Supreme Lawgiver for the advancement of the human race; a rule of righteousness to be administered here, as at once a preparation and a foretaste of the more perfect law of the Grand Assize, when we shall no longer see as through a glass darkly, but face to face. A judge was to him a representative of Him of whom it is written: "Justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne." A court room was a sacred temple, and while he ministered at the altar, he had no part or lot with those who in the outer courts "were changers of money and sellers of doves." And for this exalted part in the noblest of all professions, Providence had endowed him with great and peculiar gifts of intellect, temperament and character. And these fitted into and worked in harmonious action with one another, as in the most nicely adjusted piece of mechanism ever devised by the skill of man. His intellectual equipment was of the highest order. He possessed a mind strong, vigorous and acute, capable of close and continuous application, and of comprehending the most abstruse and complicated problems. Nothing seemed too high, nothing too deep, nothing so hidden or involved as to baffle or obscure that penetrating vision. When once he had grasped the underlying principle of a case, he followed that clue through all the Daedalian windings and turnings of the labyrinth to its logical results, as though guided by the fabled thread of Ariadne. He was not unmindful of the rule "Stare decisis," but he looked beyond the decision to the reasons and the philosophy of it, and if it had not these credentials he boldly challenged it, as not having entered by authority through the lawful door of the fold, but as a thief and robber that had climbed up some other way. To this clearness of vision there was added a lucidity of statement which has never been surpassed, in our time, by any member of the Connecticut bar. What he saw so clearly he had the faculty of so expressing that his hearers saw it as clearly as he did himself. This is a rare gift, and if it be not eloquence, is akin to it. It was a delight - in some tangled and complicated cause, rendered still more tangled and complicated by the efforts of others who had struggled hopelessly in the Serbonian bog to listen to the pure, clean cut Anglo-Saxon, with which he extricated and unfolded the real issue and stripped it from all incumbrances. He rarely made excursions outside his argument by way of illustration, into general literature. But at times there came a flash of humor to irradiate and illume - as lightning sometimes comes from a clear sky as a warning of the approaching thunder.
In him was happily united to these qualities a temperament which acted with them in harmony and gave them full opportunity for exercise and development. He was calm, serene, self-poised, and equable, no matter how important the issue or how desperate the contest. Whether victory or defeat hung trembling in the balance - amid the smoke and confusion of the battle, amid "the thunder of the captains and the shoutings" - like the great Marlborough, he was imperturbable. He never lost his self-possession. He never failed to employ all his resources. He never retreated till the last man was brought up, and the last gun was fired, nor until all was lost save honor. And his fight was always in the open - a fair fight and no favors. There were no mines or counter-mines, no breaches of armistice, no firing upon flags of truce - "Noblesse oblige." The law and the testimony, truth and honor, right and justice, these and nothing more, and nothing less, were his watchwords.
It was these and such qualities as these that placed him in the front rank of our profession and caused his name to become a household word in our State, from the Bronx river to the Providence plantations. But he was more than these - was a pure, spotless, honest, simple, unaffected, truthful, just, honorable, white-souled gentleman. There was never one so conspicuous who bore his honors more unostentatiously. There was never one whose life had been spent in contest and in combat, more free from "envy, hatred, malice and all uncharitableness." He was not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. "When the ear heard him it blessed him, and when the eye saw him, it gave witness to him."
I may not on this public occasion draw aside the veil which covers our personal relations. But it may be permitted me to say that to me he was more than a Brother in Law. For forty years we have been associated in the battles of the bar, always together, except as I remember, on only two or three occasions. He was my inspirer, my guide, my counselor and my friend. "We took sweet counsel together and walked in the courts of law as friends." We have been together in many a hard fought battle, have sympathized in many a defeat, and have rejoiced together in many a well earned victory. It was assigned to me, as junior, to lead the "light brigade" and dash at the enemy with sound of trumpet and slashing broad sword. But I knew full well whether in attack or retreat, that behind me was drawn up the heavy artillery, and that my great commander stood there as fixed and immovable as "the rock of Chickamauga."
His personal appearance harmonized with the dispositions of his mind and character. He was tall and slim, with straight black hair, a pale intellectual countenance, the eye of an eagle, and that prominent nose which is the unfailing sign of indomitable will and forceful character. His manners though mild and affable were decorous and dignified, inviting friendship while repelling undue familiarity. There was an indescribable something about him which inspired confidence. As you passed him in the street you felt "that Goodness had come that way." One knew at his mere presence - here is a man to be trusted. And he was trusted - as a counselor by his clients, as a lawyer by his brethren, as a legislator by his constituents, as a neighbor by his fellow citizens, as a man by all men with whom he came in contact.
"His life was gentle and the elements so mixed in him
That nature might stand up to all the world and say - This was a Man."
Alas ! Alas ! The inexorable law of human existence, which spares not rich or poor, young or old, great or humble! "He hath given his honors to the world again, his blessed part to heaven, and sleeps in peace." He has gone "to join the innumerable caravan which ever moves to that mysterious realm, where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death." And so, for a season, we bid our brother "Farewell." He has fought a good fight. He has kept the faith. He has walked circumspectly amid the pitfalls of life. He has rejoiced not in iniquity, but has rejoiced in truth. He was first pure and then peaceable. He provided things honest in the sight of all men. He recompensed to no man evil for evil. He overcame evil with good; in all things showing himself a pattern of a perfect Christian gentleman.
And as we stood by his open grave, banked with flowers and watered by tears, as in the presence of the judges who honored him, the bar who admired him, and the great concourse of townspeople who loved him - and whom he loved - as we committed "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust," as we caught the solemn refrain of the church he loved so well - "This corruptible hath put on incorruption, And this mortal hath put on immorality," - our hearts responded to the triumphant paean, Yea - even so - it is well, "Death is swallowed up in victory."
*Prepared by W. A. Briscoe, Esq., of the New London County Bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 120, pages 704 - 706
William Hamersley, the subject of this sketch, was born in Hartford, September 9th, 1838, and died there September 17th, 1920 aged eighty-two years. His adult life was devoted to the service of the State, first in prosecution of crime and later to the discharge of his judicial duties.
Fortunate in his ancestry, his mother Laura Sophia, a daughter of Oliver Dudley Cook of Hartford, could readily trace her American lineage back to Puritan sources; while the Hamersley line started in this country with William Hamersley, an officer on the British warship Valeur which was stationed on 1716 in New York harbor. This officer resigned his commission, married a woman of Dutch descent, and settled in New York. The genealogy of the Hamersley family, distinguished in England, can be traced back there for several centuries.
But aside from their noted ancestry, William's parents were themselves prominent. His father, William James Hamersley, was twice Mayor of Hartford (1853, 1862), once postmaster, was editor of the American Mercury for two years or more, and always a welcome contributor to the newspapers of the day. One describing the "Times" office of the period "before the war," wrote: "Pleasantly and lovingly remembered as important individuals in that lively group, were William James Hamersley, Thomas H. Seymour, Charles Chapman and many more." Mrs. Hamersley was conspicious in good works as well as in her social life.
It may not be amiss to recall here the fact that the Hamersley family in Hartford had for many years the unique distinction for sayings and doings of an odd, whimsical, and usually laughable, character, happily devoid of malice and ill-will, thus unconsciously enlarging the circle of their amused and delighted friends.
But to return to our own William. His education was gained in the public schools, plus one or more years of study at Trinity College, an abbreviated course in the Harvard Law School, and finally study in the law office of Welch and Shipman in Hartford. Admitted to the bar in 1859 he practiced independently; became a member of the city common council, its vice-president and president; was elected city attorney, and in 1868 resigned that post to accept the position of State's Attorney for Hartford County. This office he filled for twenty years to the complete satisfaction of everybody except the criminal classes.
It was in this field that William Hamersley, in the opinion of many, rendered his most valuable service, and is entitled to remembrance accordingly. Possessed of mental, as well as moral honesty, high-minded and broad of view, he scorned pettiness of all kinds and had little patience with prosecutions actuated by local or personal prejudice. Akin to these traits was his kindliness of heart, manifested occasionally in behalf of one who was down and out through pure hard luck. His zeal and sincerity impressed his hearers, and jurors seldom disappointed him in their verdicts. When his convictions were aroused he would follow up the culprit with a tenacity that was relentless. He possessed, and well did he merit, the confidence of the community. Take it all in all, he was a great prosecutor, not only for what he did, but also for what he refused to do. Sometimes the public overlooks this distinction.
Hartford County has been happy in the character and ability of its State's Attorneys. With a single exception of two years, we have had since 1846 but four incumbents of that office: Richard D. Hubbard, William Hamersley, Arthur F. Eggleston and Hugh M. Alcorn. What a quartet! Another triumph for the land of the steady habits.
In 1886 Mr. Hamersley was elected a member of the lower house in the General Assembly, serving on the judiciary committee. His interest in simplifying the cumbersome methods of legal procedure in the State led him to advocate the adoption of the Practice Act which he had helped to frame. The passage of this bill redounded to his credit and speeded the administration of justice.
It was in 1893, when Mr. Hamersley was again a member of the lower house, that Governor Luzon B. Morris named him for a judgeship upon the Superior Court. He at once resigned his legislative post, accepted the nomination, and served somewhat less than a year on the bench, when he was promoted to the Supreme Court of Errors. Here he continued for nearly fifteen years, when he was obliged to retire, having reached the age of seventy, the constitutional limit.
Mr. Justice Hamersley was essentially a lawyer, and a somewhat original one at that. He did his own thinking from the ground upward. Probably his inability to use his eyes in a normal way encouraged this self-reliant tendency; but its existence while he was a member of the Supreme Court was obvious. Our system of limited government was one he loved to dwell upon, and he could not understand those who, in his estimation, would do away with these restrictions by judicial legislation or interpretation. But he dug even deeper than that. The three departments of our governmental structure, executive, legislative, and judicial, he believed should be kept essentially separate, and that each should mind it own business; and when the occasion permitted, he expressed himself accordingly. SeeMcGovern V. Mitchell, 78 Conn. 545. Judge Hamersley's opinion in the case cited (increase of the judges' salary) also suggests another trait he possessed and that was courage - moral courage. Popular opinion adverse to the increase ran high, and the court was, as it declared, greatly embarrassed and "reluctant" to hear the cause. Justice Hamersley regarded the distasteful matter in the line of his judicial duty, and wrote the opinion of the court uninfluenced by the views of the public.
The variety and scope of his written opinions attest his legal scholarship, but his literary style hardly did justice to the clarity and vigor of his mental conceptions. His oral consultations, however, left nothing to be desired in that line. Few men can qualify to shine in all three departments of our governmental system, but Judge Hamersley possessed those qualities and generously brought them to the service of his fellowmen.
A lecturer on constitutional law at Trinity College for many years, Judge Hamersley was given the degree of L.L.D. in 1893.
In private life and to those who were admitted to his limited circle he was a charming, cultured gentleman; kindly in heart and mind, fond of humor, an excellent listener as well as a story-teller, loyal, gentle, and true; it was no wonder that his friends soon came to have an abiding affection for him which death alone could sever.
William Hamersley was twice married: first to Cynthia Williams of Painesville, Ohio, October 19th, 1870; and second, to Jane Allen of Old Saybrook, October 25th, 1882. Two children were born of the latter marriage, a daughter, Janet, who died December 16th, 1910, and a son William James Hamersley, who died October 25th, 1918, from influenza contracted while doing Red Cross work at Camp Devens. He was a fine type of young man whose demise was deeply deplored.
The son (William James) married December 5th, 1916, Emily Brace Collins (now Mrs. J. Hamilton Scranton) and their daughter, Jane Hamersley, is the only direct living descendant of Judge William Hamersley.
*Prepared by James P. Andrews, Reporter of Judicial Decisions of the Supreme Court of Errors from 1894 to 1924. Due to an oversight, an obituary of Judge Hamersley did not appear in the Connecticut Reports at the time of his death.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports volume 63, page iii (also printed in volume 64, page iii)
Appointed to the Supreme Court January 14th, 1894.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 81, page iii
Retired September 9th, 1908, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 120, pages 708 - 712
Charles Storrs Hamilton was born at Walbrook, in Nova Scotia, January 3d, 1843, the son of James Edward Hamilton and Anna M. Gesner Hamilton, and died in New Haven March 19th, 1934. His paternal ancestors were of Scotch-Irish descent, and the original ancestor in America came to Rhode Island in 1640, and thence to Norwich, Connecticut. His maternal ancestors were of Knickerbocker-Dutch and French-Huguenot descent, being among the earliest settlers of New York, and his maternal grandfather was a lineal descendant of Konrad Von Gesner, the Zurich scholar and philosopher. The Storrs family of New England was allied to his father's line by marriage - hence his middle name.
Mr. Hamilton's ancestor in the Storrs line was a man of distinction in Connecticut. Samuel Storrs, the progenitor of the Connecticut family, came from Nottinghamshire, England, to Barnstable, Massachusetts, in 1663, and later to Mansfield, Connecticut.
James Edward Hamilton, father of Charles S. Hamilton, was a merchant in the West India trade, and died at the age of eighty-three years.
Mrs. Anna M. Gesner Hamilton, mother of Charles S. Hamilton, was born in New York, daughter of a farmer and trader, and died at the age of seventy-three years.
Of their six children, one, Anna Maria Hamilton Patterson, survives and is now living at Aylesford, Nova Scotia, and at the age of eighty-eight years her physical and mental powers remain unimpaired.
Charles S. Hamilton was a direct descendant of Miles Standish and a lateral descendant of Alexander Hamilton.
With such an ancestral background, it was natural that he should have been a virile, active, brilliant, fearless, independent, leader of the Connecticut bar up to the time of his death at ninety-one years of age. About one week before he died, he tried a case in the Superior Court in Hartford, and he prepared an appeal to the Supreme Court in another case which he had tried in the Superior Court at Waterbury.
Despite his ninety-one years, he remained a strong, erect, forceful figure to the very end and was ever ready to go forth to battle for a cause with great power and ability and with superb disregard of personal consequences involved in conflicting with powerful interests and personalities or of the unpopularity of his cause.
It was also natural that he should have a great love for the sea and that his chief recreation was yachting. At the time of his death, he owned one of the largest and finest yachts which entered New Haven harbor, and several other smaller boats. He was a real deep water seaman with a complete knowledge of the Atlantic seaboard, and when at sea or in a race he took the wheel and was a capable master of his craft in most difficult situations. He was a member of the New Haven Yacht Club, of which he had been a trustee and manager, and also a member of the Shelter Island Yacht Club.
Patents for several inventions, including an adjustable center board, a rudder hinge and a mooring line attachment, were taken out by Mr. Hamilton.
In the summer of 1901, Mr. Hamilton carried the flag of the New Haven Yacht Club for the first time into the British Provinces, flying it on his Schooner Yacht, well named "Fearless."
In his youth Mr. Hamilton was an outstanding scholar, and graduated with honors from Kings College in Nova Scotia, with a B. A. degree. He was a lover of the classics and could quote freely from Shakespeare, the great English poets and the Bible. He read and translated Greek and Latin and spoke French and German.
After his graduation, Mr. Hamilton went to Boston and began the study of law with Congressman Clark, and at about that time he became principal of the High School in Dedham, Massachusetts.
In 1873, he entered Yale Law School, from which he graduated about one year later with an LL.B. degree. He then took a special course in the Yale Medical School in order to fit himself to adequately handle personal injury cases, of which he undoubtedly tried far more than any other member of the Connecticut bar.
During the winter following his graduation from the Law School, he traveled in the Southern States.
In May of 1875, Mr. Hamilton opened an office for the practice of law in the Yale National Bank Building in New Haven, where he remained until 1918, when the building was remodeled.
He then opened his office in the Malley Building, in which office he practiced law until the time of his death.
His fame as a trial lawyer and his practice grew until he became an outstanding figure in the State of Connecticut, with a practice which extended into Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York. Absolutely fearless and resourceful, a master of his profession, both of practice and pleading, he served his clients with unswerving loyalty. He was a commanding, brilliant trial lawyer before a jury, and an inspection of the court records of this State will show that he tried more jury cases than any of his contemporaries covering a period which began a few years after the Civil War and ended a few months ago.
Some years ago, during one session of the Superior Court in New Haven County, he appeared in court every court day from January to June on one side or the other of every case that was tried.
The records of the Supreme Court will show that he participated in about five hundred appeals. His cases will be found in almost every volume of the Connecticut Reports from the forty-first, including the next volume to be published.
By actual experience, he was familiar with the development of the common and statutory law of the State of Connecticut during the last half century and he saw the present law of appeals developed from the writ of error, and he contributed much to that development.
By actual experience he was also familiar with the changes in political, social and commercial conditions during that period and the development of law in accord with those changes.
In 1888, he was elected a member of the Common Council of New Haven, and the following year was elected alderman. At that time he compiled the Charter and revised the Ordinances of the City of New Haven.
During his long career, he drafted many of the statutes concerning courts and court procedure which now appear in the Revision of 1930. At bar meetings he took an active interest in all proposals for the betterment of the bar. Thus, by his activity in the Superior and Supreme Courts, at bar meetings, and in the Legislature he has contributed in a great degree to the development of the law of the State of Connecticut, and of its court procedure during the past sixty-one years.
Early in his career, Mr. Hamilton caused the enactment of the statute which requires receivers to file semi-annual accounts, despite the opposition of powerful personalities and interests; and he caused the enactment of many other statutes which have been beneficial to both lawyers and litigants.
He had a great capacity for labor. While a member of the bar he performed an enormous amount of legal work; but his mind was so powerful that he enjoyed performing it.. His work was never any burden to him, even though, as was often the case, he had many cases about to be reached on the assignment lists in the several Superior Courts and the Supreme Court at the same time. On one occasion he tried a case in the Superior Court at New London and returned to New Haven and tried another case in the court here on the same day. On another occasion, after trying a case in the Superior Court all day, he returned to his office and prepared briefs in three appeals to the Supreme Court.
He was frequently consulted by other lawyers who had difficult problems to solve, and in recent years a large part of his work consisted of trying cases for other lawyers, and he was ever ready to help a lawyer who sought his assistance, and to them he was gracious, kind and genial.
The basic principles of the common law and of the statues were ever available in his mind to be instantly applied to any statement of facts presented to him. Though he was in active practice since the reconstruction period after the War of the Rebellion and saw generations come and go, and saw most of his contemporaries retire from the field of battle, he remained a militant figure before the court and jury to the very end. He had a marvelous memory, and the events which we read as history of the United States since ante bellum days were to him but matters of personal recollection.
Mr. Hamilton was a man both of vision and action. When the coal strike occurred and there was a shortage of coal in New Haven, he arranged for the delivery of a cargo of coal from Scotland. When he was unable to secure lumber in New Haven, he chartered a ship and bought a cargo in Canada. When the Town Pest House was moved to a residential section of the western part of New Haven, he organized opposition to its location and, under the supervision of the Fire Marshal of the city of New Haven, he ignited the match which sent it up in flames. When a charter had been secured to run a railroad through the western part of the city of New Haven to compete with the New Haven Road, he organized opposition to the plan, and in the Legislature and before the then Railroad Commission and by force of an old statute which he called to the attention of the Commission, he succeeded in preventing the construction of the road.
He appeared as counsel in many of the celebrated cases of public interest of his time, and he was in his element when he was directing a great legal battle and dominating the scene of a great legal drama. Although his criminal practice was not extensive, he was retained by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and successfully defended in the criminal side of the Superior Court at New Haven, the engineer of the ill-fated Bar Harbor Express, two sections of which had collided, resulting in many deaths. By his connection with that case he acquired considerable influence with railroad employees. He also, with associate counsel, successfully defended the accused trolley men in what is known as "The Strikers' Case" in the criminal side of the Superior Court at Waterbury in a trial which lasted eight weeks. The verdict in that case was brought in at a late hour of the evening, and Mr. Hamilton, when having the court house, was greeted with a great public demonstration of approval.
While he never attempted to curry favor with anyone, and was ever a brave, hard, able fighter, and appeared austere and uncompromising in a legal battle, those who knew Mr. Hamilton best found in him a genial companion, a wise counsellor and a loyal friend.
He was to a great degree responsible for the creation of Edgewood Park which has contributed greatly to the development of the western part of the city of New Haven into a fine residential district.
Independent in politics as in all things, he supported candidates and measures that he deemed worthy, irrespective of political affiliations.
He was a member of Hiram Lodge No. 1 A. F. & A. M., and attended St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
On August 13th, 1878, he was married to Mary Elizabeth Chipman and is survived by two children, Mary G. Hamilton, of New Haven, and William S. H. Hamilton, of Larchmont, New York.
*Prepared by John J. Sullivan, Esq., of the New Haven bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 121, pages 712 - 714
Elbert Bacon Hamlin was born in Troy, New York, on November 21st, 1874, and died at his home in Litchfield on March 5th, 1936. Although Judge Hamlin was born in the State of New York, four generations of his family had resided in Litchfield County. His earliest paternal ancestor, James Hamlin (1630-1690) of London, England, landed in America in 1639 and settled in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Nine generations of his family have lived in this country since that time. He was the son of Reverend Teunis S. Hamlin and Frances Bacon Hamlin and his father was the first pastor of the Church of the Covenant in Washington, D. C., and was president of the Union College Alumni. Judge Hamlin's mother, Frances Bacon, dated her ancestry back to the time of the Revolution and she was the first Chaplain General of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
He prepared for college at Westminster School, which was then located in Dobbs Ferry, New York, from which he was graduated in 1892 and received his A. B. degree at Yale in 1896 and his L. L. B. degree at New York Law School in 1898. He was admitted to the bar of New York State in 1898 and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1903. His clerkship was served in the office of Manice and Perry in New York City. In 1906 he formed a partnership with his classmate, Lewis R. Conklin, under the firm name of Hamlin and Conklin with offices at 59 Wall Street, New York City. He was a general practitioner giving special attention to estate matters. For a time he was a lecturer on commercial law in the Y. M. C. A. schools in New York. He moved to Litchfield in 1910 and was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1913 and continued general practice in Litchfield until 1925 when he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Litchfield County. He acted as food administrator in Litchfield during the world war.
Judge Hamlin was affiliated with many organizations which evidence the esteem in which he was held and his usefulness. While at Yale he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, later became a member of the advisory board at Westminster School, belonged to the Litchfield County University Club, Litchfield Country Club, Sons of American Revolution, Yale Club of New York. He was first vice-president of the Yale Club of Naugatuck Valley during 1928-1930, member of executive committee of Yale Club of Naugatuck Valley from 1926 through 1929 and again in 1932 to 1936, a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar Association of Connecticut and Litchfield County Bar Association. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church until he moved to Litchfield, when he became a member of the Congregational Church in Litchfield and was chairman of the First Ecclesiastical Society in Litchfield from June, 1930, to the time of his death.
He was married December 9th, 1908, to Elizabeth Shields, who survives him with two children, Mrs. Frederic P. Humphreys and Elbert B. Hamlin, the latter being a student at Yale.
Judge Hamlin was a keen and continuous student of the law, and took great interest in writing on various legal subjects. Many of his articles were published, some of the principal ones, appearing in the Connecticut Bar Journal, being: "Intoxication - How Proven and Defined," Vol. 1, No. 4, p. 294, Oct. 1927 (incidentally this article was widely publicized and used in a Manual by the State Police of Connecticut); "the Jury," Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 256, Oct. 1928; "Nolle on Payment of Costs," Vol. 5, No. 4, p. 265, Oct. 1931; "The Court of Common Pleas," Vol. 9, No. 3, p. 202, July, 1935. He also contributed to the Yale Law Review.
His writings were not confined alone to the law; as a lover of children and animals he wrote a number of articles for John Martin's Magazine for Children. His understanding of human beings and animals is well shown in the following excerpt from one of his stories: "I think dogs often love us more than we love them, but of course they can't tell us about it in words. They can tell us about it only with their gentle eyes and loving actions. This should teach us that our actions toward those whom we love often say more about our real feelings than words do." Those who were so fortunate as to know Judge Hamlin most intimately could see that his thoughts thus expressed were carried out in his life, as his actions toward mankind always manifested thoughtfulness of others, not only of his family and friends but also of those who served under him in any capacity.
His love of his work as a lawyer and judge is shown by the loyal and faithful, indeed enthusiastic, performance of his duties, especially all those that pertained to the courts. He was ever zealous to place the Court of Common Pleas on a higher plane and worked enthusiastically to build up the usefulness of his own court, the business of which increased materially from the time that he became judge. Largely through his efforts the Legislature, in 1927, passed an amendment to the General Statutes whereby the Criminal Court of Common Pleas, in Litchfield County, was established and thus added Litchfield County to the counties having such courts. Further criminal jurisdiction, concurrent with the Superior Court, was given to the Litchfield Court of Common Pleas of offenses in violation of the statutes relating to motor vehicles, to automobile homicide, and to enforcement of the liquor law. He was ever alert to improve and extend the usefulness of the Courts of Common Pleas and was very active in the association of the judges of the Courts of Common Pleas in Connecticut and was the first secretary of such association.
The tribute paid to Judge Hamlin by his successor, Judge Seymour, at Litchfield at the opening of the Court of Common Pleas in March, 1936, was the most appropriate and deserved:
"The same thought must be in your mind that is so strongly in mine: That an able, conscientious and just judge has passed to his final reward. This is a serious loss to the Litchfield County Bar and its Court of Common Pleas. Judge Hamlin was a jurist of marked ability, a sound lawyer, indefatigable in labor, proud of his court, and loved to combine mercy with justice.
"He was a good citizen, respected by everyone who knew him, and loved by his friends."
*Prepared by J. Howard Roberts, Esq., of the Litchfield bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 61, pages 602 - 604
JACOB BRODHEAD HARDENBERGH, of North Canaan in this state, died April 4th, 1892, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. He was born at Wawarsing, Ulster County, in the state of New York, August 4th, 1833, of sturdy Dutch ancestry, his great-grandfather, Johannes Hardenbergh, having been the owner of the Hardenbergh patent or grant in what is now known as Ulster County. He received a common school education, and at the early age of fifteen years entered the office of Judge Linderman of Kingston, New York, as a law student, remaining with him until twenty-one years of age, when he was admitted to the bar in that state. He practiced his profession at Kingston, associated with Judge Hardenbergh, his cousin, and Augustus Schoonmaker, until the war of the rebellion. He early responded to the call for troops, and served with the 20th regiment of New York state militia for its first term of three months. After the expiration of its three months of service, the regiment was re-organized as the 80th New York volunteers, with Mr. Hardenbergh as its major, and re-entered active service in October, 1861, remaining until the close of the war. The commanding officer of the regiment, Colonel Pratt, was killed in the second battle of Bull Run, and Major Hardenbergh succeeded Lieutenant-Colonel Gates, who then took command. On the muster out of Colonel Gates in December, 1864, he was promoted to the colonelcy; and for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Petersburgh he was brevetted brigadier general. It was by the title of "Colonel" he was generally and familiarly known. His regiment was attached to the army of the Potomac and participated in many of its severest and fiercest battles, including those of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburgh, Petersburgh, and the wilderness. Colonel Hardenbergh was mustered out on January 27th, 1866, thus completing an active service of nearly five years.
After his muster-out he resumed the practice of law at Kingston, New York, where he remained until September, 1867, and then removed to North Canaan in Litchfield County, Connecticut, taking the law office and business of Hon. Miles T. Granger, who had gone upon the bench. He was married in 1869 to Miss Delia Watson of North Canaan, who, with two sons, of sixteen and eleven years respectively, survives him. He represented his town in the lower house of the General Assembly in 1870, and was elected senator of the old seventeenth senatorial district in 1876. In 1872 he was chosen judge of probate for the district of Canaan, consisting of the towns of North Canaan and Canaan, and held that office continuously until the time of his death. He was appointed coroner of Litchfield County at the time of the creation of that office in 1883, and held the position up to his decease. He also held for many years the offices of town clerk and town treasurer. Politically he was affiliated with the Democratic party, but received the support of many of his political opponents, commanding the entire confidence of the community in his unswerving justice and fairness in administering these offices. He was a member of Christ's Protestant Episcopal Church, uniting with it in 1878.
In personal appearance Col. Hardenbergh was tall, dignified and stately, a distinguished figure among his fellow-men, apparently, but not in reality, somewhat stern and severe. He was unassuming , modest and retiring in his disposition, but instinctively inspired the respect and consideration of all with whom he came in contact, and the offices with which his townsmen delighted to honor him came to him entirely unsought. His war record is a most enviable one, and a heritage of which his children may well be proud. Dauntless in his own courage he inspired his men with his own fearlessness, and thus was earned by the regiment its high and honorable record for gallant conduct and service. On the rare occasions when, with intimate friends, he has been induced to describe some of the battles in which he participated, notably that of Gettysburgh, where his regiment, with others, withstood the shock of Pickett's famous charge, his hearers have been thrilled by the fervid eloquence of the man, and have known instinctively that the narrator, who with his characteristic concealment of self, so vividly portrayed the scene, must have been in the very thick and front of battle, and deserved the reputation of unshaken courage his comrades so freely accord him. He was possessed of a fine intellect, and was a profound and logical reasoner, but owing to health shattered by his long and arduous military service, he was unable and disinclined to give that assiduous attention to the details of his profession and the preparation of causes for trial which are so indispensable to the success of attorneys. He was a ready and logical speaker, but it needed the stimulus of strong opposition to bring forth his best efforts. On occasions when thus urged he has displayed masterly ability and towered to the heights of real eloquence in advocating his client's cause.
As a citizen, the universal grief manifested at his death by the community in which he dwelt testifies in the strongest manner how deeply, without any conscious effort of his own, this quiet, unpretentious man, gallant soldier, and upright judge, had entrenched himself in the respect and esteem of his fellow-men.
*Prepared, at the request of the Reporter, by Donald T. Warner, Esq., of the Litchfield County bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 272, page iii
Appointed to the Appellate Court January 1, 2005, to take effect January 26, 2005.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 93, pages 723 - 724
WILLIAM THORN HAVILAND was born in Ridgefield, Fairfield County, March 29th, 1866. His family, shortly afterward, removed to Brooklyn, New York, but later returned to Connecticut and resided in Danbury until 1868, and afterward in Bridgeport, where Haviland completed his preparatory studies and entered Yale College, graduating in the Academic Class of 1880, and afterward in the Class of 1882 at the Yale Law School. He was admitted to the bar June 28th, 1882, and entered upon the practice of his profession in Bridgeport. For some years prior to assuming the duties of clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, he was a member of the firm of Stoddard, Bishop and Haviland, and engaged actively in general practice.
On May 11th, 1891, he was appointed clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, and assistant clerk of the Superior Court, and in June, 1908, he became clerk of the latter court.
For the brief period in which he was engaged in general practice, he was careful and studious, and evinced that mastery of detail and capacity for orderly conduct of affairs which were afterward so conspicuous in his official life.
His administration of the clerkships which he held was distinguished by accuracy and minute attention to the orderly arrangement and preservation of the records in his care, and in facilitating the general conduct of the numerous and varies matters which are incident to such a position. He lightened the labors of the bench, and of the bar, and his efforts were justly appreciated by the public at large.
His success in these particulars was due to a conscientious industry combined with the capacity for disposing of the multitudinous and often conflicting details of business in a manner unruffled, and apparently effortless, a sure indication of mind vigorous and well balanced, and a temperament undisturbed by pressure or distraction.
His death was keenly felt by all of the members of the bar of the county, by reason of the uniform kindliness, courtesy and gentleness which he manifested in all his dealings. He was never too busy to give of his valuable time in aiding the youngest lawyer. He was never too tired or fretted to be other than a courteous gentleman.
Although his spirit was the very gentlest, he was firm in having all members of the bar rigidly live up to the rules and regulations covering their dealings with the clerk’s office. He had no favorites, and was the same alike to the leaders and the youngest members of the bar. Malice had no place in his character, and in him was no root of bitterness. If he could say no good of anyone, he refrained from speech. He knew and appreciated human weakness, and he sought to find the good in all men rather than indulge in criticism or censure. He wished to be kindly thought of by kindly people, and his desire was obtained.
He had a keen sense of humor, and the leisurely observation of life’s shifting scenes gave him great pleasure, while his bright and witty comment on events as they passed was a source of mingled instruction and amusement to his friends. He enjoyed life, he wished others to enjoy it. To a remarkable extent he contributed to that enjoyment.
He died February 23d, 1918, after a brief illness, survived by his wife, to whom he was married June 4th, 1902, and two children, a son and a daughter.
*Prepared by Hon. John E. Keeler of the Fairfield County Bar, at the request of the Reporter, and compiled mainly from the memorial resolutions presented to the Bar by a committee consisting of Messrs. John S. Pullman, John R. Booth and Judge Keeler.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 32, pages 598 - 600
CHARLES HAWLEY died at Stamford, on the 27th day of February, 1866, in the 74th year of his age. He was born in that part of Huntington which now constitutes the town of Monroe, on the 15th day of June, 1792. He retained his faculties in full vigor till the close of his life. He argued several cases, some of them involving intricate questions of law, at the last October term of the Supreme Court in Fairfield County. The thoroughness and energy with which he presented them were a subject of remark, both with the bar and the bench.
Mr. Hawley graduated with honor at Yale College in 1813. As an undergraduate he was somewhat distinguished for wit and humor, and gained a high college reputation by writing a dialogue for one of the college exhibitions, which furnished much amusement by its sarcastic exposure of the follies and absurdities of the time.
He studied law, partly at Newtown with Hon. Asa Chapman, soon after a Judge of the Supreme Court, and who generally had a number of students in his office, and partly at Litchfield with Judge Gould. Under the influence of such teachers he acquired a taste for special pleading, and attained to a skill in it which was of essential service to him, particularly before that looseness of practice which has resulted from allowing almost every kind of special matter to be given in evidence under the general issue, had begun to prevail. He was admitted to the bar in Fairfield county in 1815, or early in 1816, and soon after opened an office in Stamford. Meeting with those discouragements which almost invariably dishearten the young practitioner, he went to East Haddam for the purpose of locating himself there, but fortunately for himself, judging from his future success, he soon abandoned the idea and returned to Stamford, where he remained till his death.
In 1821 he married Mary S. Holly of Stamford, who with most of their children survives him.
It was very fortunate for Mr. Hawley that in 1824 he received the appointment of Judge of Probate for the district of Stamford, which then embraced several towns, which office he held till 1838, discharging the duties of it to the general satisfaction of the public. The receipts from this source for this long period of time, thus early in his professional career, which though not large were sure, with the aid of a moderate patrimony, enabled him to lay the foundation of an estate, larger probably than has been left by any lawyer in the state. His pecuniary success was owing however in a great measure to a minute attention to every legitimate source of income and to great care and caution in making investments. He never risked any thing in hazardous or even doubtful experiments.
He repeatedly represented the town of Stamford in the House of Representatives of this state, and the twelfth district in the Senate. He held the office of Lieutenant Governor of the state from the year 1838 to 1842.
As a lawyer Mr. Hawley stood in the first rank. His mind was quick, acute and logical. His industry in his profession was almost without a parallel. He never remained from home longer than business absolutely required, and while there he could be found at almost any hour of the day and evening engaged in the thorough investigation and preparation of the large docket of cases which occupied his attention for nearly half a century. No point that could possibly be made available in behalf of his client was either overlooked or disregarded, and a memorandum with references to authorities was made for future use. Hence his opponents were often surprised on a trial with points which they had not anticipated. On the trial of a case which he feared might result adversely to his client, be was careful to lay a foundation for further proceedings. On a trial to the jury he relied chiefly on a critical examination of the evidence and logical inferences from the facts established by it. He never addressed the bystanders instead of the jury. He never traveled out of the case to drag in facts to prejudice their minds.
Although a slight acquaintance with him would satisfy any one that he was a man of fine taste, and that he was familiar with literature, both ancient and modern, yet it was rare that any thing of the kind could be discovered from his efforts at the bar, unless it could be inferred from the chasteness and correctness of his language. Even in cases which are generally considered as justifying the giving a looser rein to the imagination, he seemed to avoid it, either as an unworthy artifice, or from fear of a failure. This was the more surprising as he was occasionally led by overpowering emotions to exhibit bursts of genuine eloquence. Yet the arguments of Mr. Hawley produced a strong impression on a jury. They gave him credit for addressing their understandings instead of their feelings. As he was well known throughout that county in particular, his personal character gave his views much weight with the jury. As he was of good height and a large frame, and had a fine intelligent countenance, his personal presence was commanding. He had also the advantage of a deep strong manly voice.
His deportment was uniformly correct and dignified. He never engaged in any unseemly wrangles with his brethren. He treated them as well as the court with constant though not obtrusive courtesy. Though not peculiarly liberal in his practice, he never resorted to any dishonorable trick or stratagem. His example had a strong influence to raise the tone of professional character in the bar of the county.
Rev. Mr. Thurston, the pastor of the Congregational Church in Stamford, at which Mr. Hawley habitually worshiped, gives, in a sermon preached at his funeral, the following testimony as to his religious character:
"Mr. Hawley was a firm believer in the Christian religion, and in that form of it expressed by the doctrines which are usually called evangelical. His intellectual convictions were perfectly clear and solid, and had been for many years. But he himself discriminated sharply between the assent of the understanding and the acceptance of the heart. As to the latter he was cautious, on his guard against self-deception, possibly self-suspicious even to an extreme. He said, (they are his own words,) "I hope and I tremble." This, with a deep sense of unworthiness, was probably the reason why he never united with the church. The evidences are numerous which indicate that religion with him was far more than a speculation of the reason, or a cold dogma. The few days since his death have brought me repeated testimonies of those who have known of his deep concern for many years. His constant attendance upon public worship marked his life and example to the citizens of this town. Probably there is no other person who has been within the walls of the House of God so many Sabbaths for fifty years. His reading was characteristic of a profound religious mind. Edwards on the Affections seems to have been a hand-book with him. The works of John Foster, Chalmers and Robert Hall, men of great thoughts and elevated piety, were his study; and his frequent marks upon the margin of the most emphatic, pungent and evangelical passages, are significant of his own sentiments and feelings. Accustomed to use forms in family worship, he wrote during the war supplications for his son in the public service and for the country, in most fitting terms of paternal love, Christian patriotism, and unaffected piety."
*Prepared, at the request of the Reporter, by Judge Dutton of the Supreme Court.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 15, appendix page 34
Was born at Reading, Conn., and was a graduate of Yale-College in 1789. He acquired his professional education under Thaddeus Benedict, Esq.; was admitted to the bar in 1791; and soon after, commenced the practice of law at Greenwich, and subsequently at Reading; where he continued until 1798; when he removed to Woodbury, and there continued his practice until 1803; which he then relinquished for other pursuits, chiefly of a mercantile character. He was a member of the House of Representatives, in 1802 and 1805.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 213, pages 817 - 819
REMARKS BY CHIEF JUSTICE ELLEN A. PETERS ON THE OCCASION OF JUSTICE ARTHUR H. HEALEY'S LAST DAY OF HEARING CASES AS A MEMBER OF THE CONNECTICUT SUPREME COURT
January 9, 1990
Before we start hearing the cases on today’s court calendar, I want to take note of an event of singular importance to this court. With profound appreciation for his outstanding judicial service, and great regret at his imminent departure, I must record that today is the last day on which Justice Arthur H. Healey will be sitting to hear cases as a member of this court, because he will be celebrating his seventieth birthday this spring.
The people of this state are indebted to Justice Healey for his many years of service as a Connecticut jurist. He has been a judge, on virtually all of our courts, for a total period of close to thirty years: first on the Court of Common Pleas, then on the Superior Court, which he came to lead as Chief Judge, and finally as a member of this court for the past ten and one-half years. Those are impressive numbers, but they do not begin to convey the depth of Justice Healey’s commitment to the judicial enterprise. Justice Healey has met his judicial obligations with scholarly enthusiasm and endless patience. Whether seeking to protect human rights or to improve the Connecticut Rules of Procedure, Justice Healey has worked diligently, and effectively, in the service of justice in this state.
If I were to report, even in encapsulated form, on all of the 290 majority opinions that Justice Healey has written during his distinguished tenure on this court, we would be ready for our midmorning recess, if not for lunch, before any of today's cases could be reached. Let me therefore simply select a few cases to illustrate the proposition that every aspect of Connecticut jurisprudence has benefitted from Justice Healey’s renowned talent for careful and penetrating analysis. State v. Kimbro invigorated important provisions in our state constitution with respect to the law of search and seizure, while Builders Service Corporation v. Planning & Zoning Commission established that restrictive zoning regulations may not impose insuperable burdens to the construction of smaller housing units. Gordon v. Bridgeport Housing Authority redefined the scope of municipal immunity for tortious conduct, while Bottone v. Westport defined the boundaries of environmental protection under our wetlands laws. On the procedural front, Pet v. Department of Health Services clarified the scope of judicial review of administrative proceedings, while Pandolphe’s Auto Parts, Inc. v. Manchester elucidated-a favorite Healey expression-then novel Practice Book provisions about appellate review of trial court decisions. The occasionally controversial nature of Justice Healey’s opinions only attests to the significance of their contributions to the development of the law in this state.
Crafting these opinions, with the painstaking care that is Justice Healey’s hallmark, takes time. In addition to his judicial duties, Justice Healey has, however, spent countless hours as chairman of the Rules Committee, patiently and conscientiously leading that committee to develop procedural changes for the improvement of the administration of justice in this state. His tenure as chairman has been marked by a cheerful willingness to consider suggestions for change from many segments of our society, including not only attorneys but also members of the legislature and individual citizens. Among the recent amendments to the rules that are attributable to his leadership are those that have reformed grievance procedures and have strengthened ethical oversight for the performance of members of the legal profession.
Justice Healey, I salute you for your salient achievements and for being a model of high aspirations that all judges should seek to emulate. As your fellow judges, we have profited from your wise counsel, your compassionate concern for others, and your devoted dedication to making ours a just and caring legal system. We will miss your probing questions at oral argument, your thoughtful comments in the conference room, your farsighted guidance as chairman of the Rules Committee, and your warm personal friendship.
In closing, I speak on behalf of every member of the judicial department in thanking you, Justice Healey, for your many years of faithful service in the past and in extending to you our best wishes for good health and much happiness for the future. We are fortunate that, starting in May, you will continue, as a state trial referee, to serve the cause of justice in Connecticut for many years to come.
It is now my pleasure to introduce Marilyn Seichter, the president of the Connecticut Bar Association.
REMARKS OF MARILYN PAULA SEICHTER, PRESIDENT OF THE CONNECTICUT BAR ASSOCIATION
I am pleased to join you this morning, on behalf of the Connecticut Bar Association, to honor Justice Arthur H. Healey, a man who deserves the greatest respect and admiration of the legal profession.
Our profession has benefitted over the past forty years from Justice Healey’s numerous contributions, including his distinguished service as Chief Judge of the Superior Court and as Presiding Judge of the Appellate Session of the Superior Court, and from his careful guidance of the profession during his ten year tenure as chairman of the Rules Committee. Throughout his career, he has given his fullest support—as have the other Justices of the Supreme Court—to the many activities of the Connecticut Bar Association, and for that we are most grateful.
Our association, I am proud to note, recognized the extraordinary talents of Justice Healey over a decade ago, in June, 1978, when we named him the first recipient of our Judiciary Award—the bar association’s highest form of praise for a member of the Judiciary. Justice Healey was given that award for qualities that later guided his outstanding career in the Connecticut Supreme Court, which began in 1979.
It is those same qualities—his dedication to the law and the legal system, his selfless commitment to his duties as a judge, his compassion and concern for each litigant, and his tireless efforts to render justice promptly, effectively and fairly—that make us grateful for this opportunity to honor him again, and yet remind us of how great the loss will be—to the citizens of Connecticut and to the entire legal profession— upon his retirement from the bench.
Thank you again for inviting me to join you on this special session.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 264, pages 928 - 931
Justice Arthur H. Healey, a lifelong New Haven resident who spent most of his adult life serving the people of the state of Connecticut, died on July 25, 2003, at the age of eighty-three. Justice Healey was born in New Haven on May 5, 1920, and graduated from New Haven High School in 1937. He received his B.A. from Trinity College in 1944, and earned his L.L.B. from Harvard Law School in 1947. After having served with distinction in the United States Army during World War II, he was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1948, and the United States District Court for Connecticut in 1953.
Justice Healey began his public service career in the state legislature as a three term Democratic state senator for the tenth district from 1955 to 1961. During that period of time, he held the position of both Senate minority leader and Senate majority leader. Additionally, he served as chairman of the State Legislative Council from 1959 to 1961.
Thereafter, Justice Healey served for more than forty years as a judge on virtually all of the state courts. He was first appointed to the Court of Common Pleas in 1961. In 1965, he became a judge of the Superior Court, which he came to lead as Chief Judge in 1977. Subsequently, he served as the Presiding Judge of the Appellate Session of the Superior Court from 1977 to 1979. On September 24, 1979, Justice Healey was elevated to the Connecticut Supreme Court and served as an associate justice on that court for ten and one-half years until his retirement in 1990.
Upon leaving the Connecticut Supreme Court after having reached the mandatory retirement age of seventy, Justice Healey continued his service to the judicial branch. He served on both the trial court and the Appellate Court as a judge trial referee from 1990 until his death in 2003.
During his tenure as a justice on the Supreme Court, Justice Healey authored 290 majority opinions, twenty concurring opinions, and thirty-five dissenting opinions. Justice Healey authored an additional sixty-one majority opinions while serving as a judge trial referee on the Appellate Court. Many of his opinions reshaped the law in a manner that enriched the lives of the citizens of this state.
Two of Justice Healey’s opinions illustrate the significant contributions that he made to the jurisprudence of Connecticut. In the 1985 decision of State v. Kimbro, 197 Conn. 219, 496 A.2d 498 (1985), writing for the majority, he concluded that article first, § 7, of the Connecticut constitution affords more substantive protection to the citizens of this state than does the fourth amendment to the United States constitution in the determination of probable cause with respect to the law of search and seizure.
In 1988, Justice Healey authored the majority opinion in Builders Service Corporation v. Planning and Zoning Commission, 208 Conn. 267, 545 A.2d 530 (1988), which promoted the construction of smaller affordable housing units by striking down certain restrictive municipal zoning regulations that were not rationally related to any legitimate purpose of zoning, including the promotion of health, safety and general welfare, as required by state statute.
In addition to his judicial duties, Justice Healey served from 1980 to 1990 as chairman of the Rules Committee of the Superior Court seeking to improve the Connecticut Rules of Practice. His patience and conscientious stewardship led the committee to develop procedural changes for the improvement of the administration of justice in this state. As chairman, Justice Healey exhibited a willingness to consider suggestions for change from attorneys as well as from members of the legislature and individual citizens. Amendments to the rules that have reformed grievance procedures and have strengthened ethical oversight for the performance of members of the legal profession were enacted during his tenure as chairman.
At the ceremony marking Justice Healey’s retirement from the Connecticut Supreme Court, Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters summed up his contributions quite well when she stated the following: “Justice Healey, I salute you for your salient achievements and for being a model of high aspirations that all judges should seek to emulate. As your fellow judges, we have profited from your wise counsel, your compassionate concern for others, and your devoted dedication to making ours a just and caring legal system. We will miss your probing questions at oral argument, your thoughtful comments in the conference room, your farsighted guidance as chairman of the Rules Committee, and your warm personal friendship.”
Justice Healey was also greatly respected and admired by the members of the bar as well as the entire legal profession. In June, 1978, he was named the first recipient of the Judiciary Award—the state bar association’s highest form of praise for a member of the judiciary. On the occasion of his retirement from the Connecticut Supreme Court, Marilyn P. Seichter, president of the Connecticut Bar Association, praised Justice Healey for “his dedication to the law and the legal system, his selfless commitment to his duties as a judge, his compassion and concern for each litigant, and his tireless efforts to render justice promptly, effectively and fairly.”
Justice Healey, a devoted family man, was survived by his wife of many years, Frances Murphy Healey, and their nine children, Theresa Healey, Monica Waldron, Moira Healey, Arthur Healey, Alicia Sledzik, Francis Healey, Michael Healey, Matthew Healey and Anne DeBiaso, as well as eighteen grandchildren.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 179, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court May 25, 1979, to take effect September 24, 1979.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 132, pages 704 - 706
Frank Edward Healey was born in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on November 8, 1869. He died December 28, 1945. His parents were emigrants from Ireland who came to Windsor Locks before the Civil War.
He attended the grade schools at Windsor Locks. After leaving school he was employed in a local cotton mill where he earned $6.60 a week for six days of twelve hours each. He was an omnivorous reader and so educated himself that he entered the Yale Law School in 1891 and was graduated therefrom in 1893. While at law school he won the Kent prize for oratory.
Mr. Healey started his law practice in Hartford, where he continuously practiced for fifty-three years. At the time of his death he was the oldest active member of the Hartford County bar. As a lawyer he prepared his cases well. He tried them with ability and skill. He guarded closely the interests of his client but was always fair to his opponents. He was honored and respected by bench and bar.
Early he turned to politics, where he established many records for Connecticut and perhaps for the entire country. He was a delegate to every Republican state convention for fifty-one years. He served on the state central committee from the Seventh Senatorial District for forty-five consecutive years. He was chairman of the Republican town committee of Windsor Locks for fifty-two years and was still chairman at the time of his death.
In 1897 the clerks of the House of Representatives were elected by that body. Mr. Healey contacted personally every member of the session for that year and was elected assistant clerk. At succeeding sessions he was clerk of the House, clerk of the Senate, clerk of bills and engrossing clerk. In 1903 he was clerk of the constitutional convention. In 1913 he was appointed state tax commissioner. In 1913 he was a member of the House from Windsor Locks and was House leader with an unprecedented Republican majority of only five, while the Senate was Democratic. The Democrats of the House were led by the redoubtable William E. Thoms of Waterbury. It was a stirring session and here Mr. Healey showed his ability as a leader. He was returned to the House at the following session and was elected speaker.
In 1915 he served as a member of the statute revision committee. In 1919 he was elected attorney general and was re-elected in 1923, thus becoming the first attorney general to serve two terms. He became coroner for Hartford County in 1935, an office which he held at the time of his death. He served as a member of his local draft board from the beginning and never once missed a meeting.
In political matters he was always independent and vigorous in the stand which he took. If he differed from those in control he did not hesitate to carry his fight into the state central committee and, if need be, to take it to the floor of the state convention. In politics, as in his private life, his word was his bond. For fifty years he took part in every political contest in the state.
He was intensely human. He liked to mingle with his fellow men and exchange views on the day's happenings. He had a wonderful memory and was always ready with a story for any occasion. His outstanding characteristics were his loyalty and his love of fair play. He hated cant and hypocrisy. He was overgenerous with his time and money. No worthy cause ever appealed to him in vain. His whole life was spent in Windsor Locks. He was its outstanding citizen, and his fellow townsmen deplore his loss.
He was devoted to his family. Surviving are his wife, Florence Bragg Healey; a daughter, Anne Healey, teacher of English at Vassar College; and a son, Frank E. Healey, Jr., recently discharged from service in World War II.
Full of years, an esteemed and well-beloved member of the Hartford County bar and a public spirited and outstanding citizen of this state has passed on. His memory will long remain among us. He now rests from his labors. May he rest in peace.
*Prepared by William S. Hyde, of the Hartford bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 150, pages 733 - 735
Frank T. Healey - born in Waterbury, Connecticut, July 8, 1897; died in Waterbury, Connecticut, March 15, 1963.
In such few words it is possible to fix accurately in time the life of a human being. Indeed, in reference to Frank T. Healey, the same words quite accurately describe his life as to place or geography since, although his professional and social interests ranged throughout Connecticut and occasionally beyond its boundaries, Waterbury was the center of his existence. The man, the lawyer, and the judge always remained a hometown boy.
Such few barren statistical words are not sufficient, however, to bring to our attention the warm human qualities which distinguished Judge Healey or to recall to our memories the incidents of his good and fruitful life. For those who knew him well, no memorial is necessary, since each has in his mind and heart his private memorial based on his associations with Judge Healey. For those who knew him not quite so well, and for those who knew him not at all, it is most appropriate to have this record permanently established in the reports of the judicial system to which he devoted his adult life.
Judge Healey was the son of John and Catherine Slavin Healey, each a representative of old and respected Irish Catholic families. This fact is mentioned because Judge Healey would have wanted it so. He never left anyone in doubt about the fact that he was of Irish descent, and he was an almost militant Roman Catholic. He was proud of both distinctions.
His early education was at St. Mary's Parochial School and Crosby High School in Waterbury. In 1921, he received his bachelor's degree from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He then taught mathematics in Wilby High School in Waterbury for a short time. In 1925, he was graduated from the Law School of Yale University. A few days thereafter he was admitted to the Connecticut bar.
Almost immediately he entered into association in the general and active practice of law with his brother, Patrick Healey. In later years, his son Frank T. Healey, Jr., and a nephew, James T. Healey, joined in this legal association. As the years progressed, the firm gradually began to specialize more and more in real estate, probate and public utilities law. Before his accession to the bench, Frank Healey frequently was legislation representative for a group of Connecticut Public Transportation organizations. Possibly his most noteworthy accomplishment in the public utilities field was in acting as receiver for the Cooke Street Bus Lines, a company which in 1952 was in a state of collapse. By January, 1955, he was able to return the company to its management on a sound financial basis.
Judge Healey distinguished many public offices. At one time he served as prosecutor for the City Court in Waterbury. In 1951, he was appointed special assistant United States attorney for Connecticut, and acted as chief of the trial section of the state Office of Price Stabilization. He was a member and a vice chairman of the board of fire commissioners for the city of Waterbury. During World War II, he acted as coroner while the incumbent was in federal service. In 1955, he was appointed a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1957, he was elevated to the Superior Court on nomination of Governor Abraham Ribicoff. Judge Healey served on that court until his death. In the conduct of his office as judge, he showed not only a sound training in the fundamentals of the law but a universal courtesy to counsel, and he was able to bring a great deal of litigation to an end by settlement through the application of his advice and common sense.
Even before he attained voting age, Judge Healey became most interested in politics, and until his accession to the bench he was an active and constant worker for the Democratic party. He did not start at the top, but as a very young man cheerfully did the rather thankless chores which have to be done in any political organization at the lowest level. He had a phenomenal memory, particularly of the ramifications of the old Irish families. This knowledge stood him in good stead, and he gradually rose in the party's councils, so that from the early 1930's onward his advice was constantly sought and was received with the greatest respect. For many years he was a member of the Democratic state central committee.
In spite of his busy professional and political commitments, Frank Healey gave generously of his time and abilities in social service activities. He was a director of St. Mary's Hospital Corporation, and for many years was most active in the management and development of the hospital. He was a director of the Roman Catholic Cemeteries in Waterbury, was closely connected with the Diocesan Bureau in Waterbury, at one time being its president, and was a trustee for the Diocesan Bureau for the archdiocese. No one really knows how much time and effort Judge Healey gave in actively and personally assisting people who required the help of the local diocesan bureau.
In the ordinary sense of the word, Frank Healey was not a "joiner." He was, however, a member of various associations in which he had a real interest. He was a past exalted ruler of the Elks, a past president of the Lions Club, and a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Knights of St. Patrick. He was, of course, intensely interested in the activities of the Holy Cross College Alumni Association. Judge Healey was a founder and president of the Serra Club of Waterbury, a laymen's organization dedicated to assisting young men studying for the priesthood. In 1957, in recognition of his services to his church, Frank Healey was designated a Knight of St. Gregory by the late Pope Pius XII.
With all his professional, political, fraternal, social and religious activities, Judge Healey was deeply attached to his family and home. Unless it was unavoidable, he rarely stayed away from home overnight and usually made an effort to leave parties and meetings at an early hour in order to get home to his family. In 1927, he was married to Anne Dowling, to who he was devoted until her untimely death in 1956. There were three sons of this marriage, Frank T. Healey, Jr., of Waterbury, an attorney; Joseph E. Healey, of Waterbury, who is on the staff of the American-Republican Inc., in Waterbury; and Edward P. Healey, of Clifton, New Jersey, a physician. In 1958, Judge Healey was married to Jeannette Blake, who had been closely associated with the Healey family for many years.
Besides Judge Healey's widow and his three sons, survivors include his brother, Patrick Healey, who is still actively practicing law, and his two sisters, Kathryn Healey and Helen Healey, both of Waterbury. Judge Healey also left two nephews and a niece and, although he was a comparatively young man when he died, ten grandchildren.
Judge Healey will be remembered as a man of great human kindness, great good humor, and staunch integrity.
*Prepared by J. Gregory Lynch, of the Waterbury bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 224, page 931
1918 - 1992
The Honorable James T. Healey, of Waterbury, who served as a judge of the Superior Court for ten years, died on November 19, 1992. He was seventy-four years old.
Judge Healey was born in Waterbury on October 15, 1918, son of the late Probate Court Judge Patrick J. and Kathleen Healey. He graduated from Crosby High School in 1936 and from Yale University, where he received his B.A. degree in 1940. He served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1945, attaining the rank of major. After his discharge, he enrolled in the Yale Law School, where he received his law degree in 1947. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar that same year.
Judge Healey entered the private practice of law in Waterbury and was a partner in the law firm of Healey and Healey until his appointment to the bench. He served five terms in the Connecticut House of Representatives beginning in 1967, during which he was Vice-Chairman of the Banks Committee in 1971, Ranking Member of the Judiciary committee in 1973 and House Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1975.
Judge Healey was nominated to the Court of Common Pleas in 1977 and to the Superior Court in 1978. He reached the mandatory retirement age in 1988, after which he continued to serve the judicial system as a state trial referee.
Judge Healey and his wife, the former Marie Tedeschi, were the parents of one child.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 216, page iii
Appointed to the Appellate Court December 21, 1990, to take effect December 21, 1990.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 243, page iii
Died November 5, 1997.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 223, page 930
1913 - 1992
The Honorable James F. Henebry, of Waterbury, who served as a trial judge from 1967 until his retirement in 1983, died on August 23, 1992. He was seventy-nine years old.
Judge Henebry was born in Waterbury on July 14, 1913, the son of James L. and Elizabeth Henebry. He graduated from Crosby High School in 1931 and from the College of the Holy Cross, where he received his B.A. degree in 1935. He enrolled in the Hartford College of Law (later the University of Connecticut School of Law), where he received his L.L.B. degree in 1940. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar that same year.
Judge Henebry joined the United States Army in 1942, serving in the European Theater with the Judge Advocate General Department until being discharged as a lieutenant in 1946. Returning to Waterbury, he was engaged in the private practice of law from 1946 until his appointment to the Circuit Court in 1967. He was actively involved in Democratic politics in Waterbury in the 1950s.
Judge Henebry was elevated to the Court of Common Pleas in 1975 and to the Superior Court in 1977. He served as administrative judge for the Waterbury judicial district from 1980 until becoming a state trial referee in 1983. He told an interviewer that his most memorable case involved the Bridgeport teachers' strike in 1978, during which he jailed seventy Bridgeport teachers.
In 1945, Judge Henebry married the former Katherine M. O'Connor. They were the parents of six children.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 231, page iii
Appointed to the Appellate Court September 1, 1994, to take effect September 23, 1994.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 254, page iii
Retired September 11, 2000, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 220, page 936
1912 - 1991
The Honorable Milton J. Herman, of Bridgeport, who served as a state trial judge for sixteen years before becoming a state referee in 1982, died on November 22, 1991.
Judge Herman was born in Hudson, New York, on July 29, 1912. He graduated from the University of Bridgeport in 1932 and the New York University Law School, where he received his L.L.B. degree in 1937. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar the following year. A former prosecutor in the City Court of Bridgeport, Judge Herman was elected to the state House of Representatives from 1941 to 1943 and from 1945 to 1947. He also served in the state Senate during the 1949 and 1951 sessions.
Judge Herman became a judge of the Circuit Court in 1966. He was elevated to the Court of Common Pleas in 1975 and to the Superior Court in 1978. He became a state referee on July 29, 1982.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 90, pages 722 - 724
GEORGE EDWIN HILL was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 2d, 1864. His parents were Charles Edwin and Susan Frances (Wilbur) Hill. He prepared for college in Stamford and was graduated from Yale in the class of 1887. After teaching for two years he entered the Yale Law School where, at his graduation in 1891, he received the Townsend prize for the best oration.
On October 1st of that year he began the practice of law in Bridgeport and on July 1st, 1893, became associated with John H. Perry and Winthrop H. Perry in the firm of Perry, Perry & Hill. This firm was dissolved in 1902 by the retirement of the senior partners from active practice. Soon thereafter he became associated with the late Edwin F. Hall and after Mr. Hall’s decease he formed with William B. Boardman, in November, 1907, the firm of Hill & Boardman which continued until his death.
The Judges of the Superior Court appointed him in 1894 the first Health Officer for Fairfield County, and continued him in that office by successive reappointments thereafter. He was president of the Bridgeport Bar Association in 1910, and from 1910 to 1912 president of the State Bar Association of Connecticut.
He was active in the organization of the University Club of Bridgeport, of which he was the second president, and has been president of the Seaside Club, the Mill Hill Golf and the Contemporary Clubs, and of the Yale Alumni Association of Fairfield County. From 1890 until his death he was secretary of his college class. The character of his work in that connection led to his election as president of the Yale Association of Class Secretaries, by virtue of which office he sat in the Council of the New England Federation of Yale Clubs and in the Yale Alumni Advisory Board. At the time of his death he was a trustee of the Mechanics’ and Farmers’ Savings Bank in Bridgeport, and an active and useful member of numerous organizations for social and civic betterment. Always without his effort and generally against his will, he became an officer in every body to which he belonged. He was strongly Republican in politics and much sought after as a speaker.
In the action brought by the National Government to compel the New Haven railroad to surrender its control of the street-car system of Connecticut, five trustees were appointed by the Federal Court in the fall of 1914 to take over that system and manage it. The conspicuous position to be occupied by this board and the duties devolving upon it called for the recognized possession of exceptional ability in its members and the fact that Mr. Hill was one of the appointees serves to indicate the position he had come to occupy in the State.
He died suddenly September 30th, 1916, leaving his wife, Catherine Marea Utley, whom he married April 20th, 1910.
It is easy to thus enumerate the leading features of his scholastic, professional and civic life, but who can adequately portray the comrade of our daily association and the friend we loved?
The man of our acquaintance was never consciously a president or director, a wearer of honors or a person of distinction, but always a cheerful and considerate companion possessed of an ever ready humor which never degenerated into sarcasm, and an unstudied courtesy which was as attractive as it was unfailing. Born of a long line of Quaker ancestors and exhibiting to a marked degree their lack of pliability before temptation, he always kept himself unflinchingly erect without ever making rectitude offensive.
As a lawyer he was conscientious and competent, leading his clients by well-trodden ways to safe results and therefore constantly instrusted with matters of large concern. He was keenly solicitous for the ethics of his profession and never consciously competed with his fellow practitioners for its emoluments. He lost many employments because he deemed it unfitting to pursue them. As their needs appeared, he gave of the best he had to rich and poor alike and was always among us as one who served.
For reasons which are beyond our knowledge, an all wise Providence took him from us when honors in an ever ascending progression were plainly awaiting him, and his funeral, attended by those of high and low degree, the noted and the little known, all in a manifest and common grief, bore convincing witness to his worth.
A man to love and enjoy and trust while with us and to miss increasingly as we remain behind.
*Prepared by John H. Perry, Esq., of the Fairfield County bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 124, pages 699 - 701
The death of Harrison Hewitt, at his home in New Haven, on February 23d, 1938, was a great loss not only to his family and the firm of which he was a member, but to his profession and to the whole State, for his influence and activities extended far beyond his native city. He was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage on Sunday, and died on the following Wednesday. His funeral was held at the United Church, of which he was a member, and which be often served in an advisory capacity.
On October 2d, 1901, he married Miss Helen L. Sanford, of New Haven. They had two children: Sanford, a graduate of Yale in 1925, now of North Hollywood, California, and Catharine, a graduate of Vassar in 1925, now the wife of Robert M. Russell, of South Manchester, Connecticut. Mr. Hewitt also left a sister, Mrs. Sydney K. Mitchell, of New Haven.
He was born in New Haven on February 15th, 1877, the son of William H. H. Hewitt and Catharine (Harrison) Hewitt. Nearly all of his earliest ancestors in this country, on both sides of the family, came from England prior to 1650. He attended Hopkins Grammar School, at New Haven, and was graduated from Yale College in 1897. He was graduated from the Yale Law School in 1899. At college he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was secretary of his class in the Law School. Soon after graduation he was admitted to the bar. He first became a member of the firm of Newton, Church & Hewitt, and later the firm of Hewitt & Clark. On January 1st, 1918, he became a member of the firm of Watrous & Day, and continued in its successive firms. At his death the firm name was Watrous, Hewitt, Gumbart and Corbin.
In co-operation with the late Livingston W. Cleaveland and Charles E. Clark, now dean of the Yale Law School, Mr. Hewitt rendered a great service to the bar of this State in publishing "Probate Law and Practice in Connecticut" - a second volume of which was put out by him in 1929, with the assistance of Miss Mary E. Manchester, now a member of this firm. Of late years he had been but little in the courts; then mainly in cases involving probate law and estates, upon which subjects he had come to be recognized as an authority. In earlier years, he tried many cases, preparing them thoroughly and intelligently, and with a generous measure of success. With Mr. Henry G. Newton, he was counsel for William J. Bryan in the celebrated Bennett will case. As administrator of the much involved Beattie estate he was a party in several cases in the Superior and Supreme Court. Whether as advocate or counsel, he displayed an unusual keenness of mind, and resourcefulness of ideas.
In connection with the professional side of his life, he had lectured at the Yale Law School for several years on legal ethics; had been a member of the New Haven bar library committee; president of the New Haven County Bar Association; president of the State Bar Association of Connecticut; member of the Yale Law School Association, American Bar Association and the American Law Institute. He was a member of two law clubs, the Benchers and the Lawyers' Club. He had held but few public offices; he had twice been corporation counsel for the city of New Haven, and had served as a member of the board of education, the board of councilmen, and of the city sinking fund commission.
In politics he was classed as a Democrat, though not a strong partisan. He was at one time a candidate for the office of attorney general of Connecticut, on the Democratic ticket, but was not elected. He was at one time tendered an appointment to be a judge of the Superior Court, by a Republican Governor, but he preferred to remain in the practice of law. He was a director of the Union & New Haven Trust Company, a corporator of the New Haven Savings Bank, and director or advisor of various charitable organizations. He had been president of the Graduates Club, vice-president of the Quinnipiack Club and a director of the New Haven Colony Historical Society.
He had the tastes of an antiquarian and a historian, and read and wrote much upon these subjects. For the "History of Connecticut," edited by Col. Norris G. Osborn, he wrote what was really an exhaustive and valuable treatise on "The Administration of Justice in Connecticut," 252 pages in length. He also wrote many articles for the Yale Law Journal and other legal publications. He was a member of the General Humphreys Branch of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of Colonial Wars, Historical Museum of Richmond, Staten Island, New York, the Antiquarian and Landmark Society, Inc., and the Acorn Club.
He was a veteran of the Spanish War, having served in the United States Naval Militia. As counsel for the trustees of "The Anna Fuller Fund" for research into the cause and cure of cancer, he became deeply interested in the subject, and read much in current journals and publications. His advice to the trustees was deemed by them of great value. With Mrs. Hewitt he traveled extensively in the last few years; often by airplane, which he much enjoyed. He was fond of walking, fishing and golf, and was a member of the New Haven Country Club.
Notwithstanding his many accomplishments, positions of honor and trust, it will be as a man that Harrison Hewitt will be best and most affectionately remembered by those who knew him. His very countenance bespoke an open-minded, kindly and generous nature. These good qualities he had, and many more. He had a strong love of justice and for the ethics of his profession. No man's judgment on a question of ethics was more sound than his.
During the twenty years of the writer's association with him, never an unkind word passed between us. If sometimes we at first disagreed upon a question of law or ethics, after full discussion that disagreement disappeared. He had a large fund of stories and anecdotes. Often during a tense discussion, it was enlivened by an anecdote, so fitting that the tension relaxed. He was conscientious in the extreme. He was often solicitous lest an ethical conclusion which he had reached might not be sound. One of his favorite expressions was: "I may be seeing ghosts, but I am not sure that I am right." The ghosts were never there.
Of Harrison Hewitt it may well be said, as was said of another by Governor Ingersoll, many years ago: "He was emphatically a strong man, intellectually and morally a very strong man."
*Prepared by George D. Watrous, of the New Haven bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 148, pages 737 - 740
George Elijah Hinman, the son of William C. and Mary A. Gates Hinman, was born in Alford, Massachusetts, on May 7, 1870, and died at his home in Willimantic on March 19, 1961. His ancestors were from Connecticut, those on his father's side having first settled in Litchfield County and those on his mother's side in Norwich. Upon graduation from high school in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1888, he entered newspaper work, first as a reporter and advertising manager of the Berkshire Courier, published in Great Barrington, and later as its local editor. After coming to Connecticut, he became city editor of the Willimantic Daily Herald. In 1892, he was appointed editor of the Willimantic Journal, a position which he resigned in 1895 to devote himself to the study of law. This he pursued in the office of William A. King, in Willimantic, and later, during 1897 and 1898, in a special course in the Yale Law School, where he won the Thompson prize for scholastic achievement. In 1899, he was admitted to the Connecticut bar, and shortly afterward, on September 26 of that year, he was married to Nettie P. Williams, of Willimantic, who died June 14, 1932. Two children were born of this marriage, Russell William, now a paper manufacturer in Penacook, New Hampshire, and Mrs. Virginia Gates Allen, with whom Justice Hinman made his home until his death. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Mrs. Norman Kiss of Willimantic, Mrs. Thomas DiNardo of Philadelphia, Mrs. George Bacon of Penacook, and George Russell Hinman, also of Penacook.
Until his appointment to the bench, Justice Hinman was active in the Republican party; he was secretary of its state central committee from 1902 until 1914. In seven consecutive biennial sessions of the General Assembly he held clerkships, starting as assistant clerk of the house in 1899. He became clerk of the house in 1901 and clerk of the senate in 1903. While these positions gave him a wide acquaintance among legislators and a thorough knowledge of legislative procedure, his first real opportunity to put to use his outstanding ability in legislative draftsmanship came with his appointment as assistant clerk of the constitutional convention of 1902. In the sessions of 1905, 1907 and 1911 he was clerk of bills, and in the session of 1909 engrossing clerk. Both of these positions principally involved the drafting of legislation.
In 1914, Justice Hinman received the Republican nomination for attorney general of Connecticut. He was elected to that office and served the full term from 1915 through 1918. On February 13, 1919, he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court for the term of eight years commencing the following August 23. On February 19, 1925, he was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of Errors, effective February 26, 1926, and served with distinction until May 7, 1940, when he was retired under the constitutional limitation as to age and automatically became a state referee. In this latter capacity he worked steadily and conscientiously until a few years before his death, when a hearing impairment which had first manifested itself some years after his retirement from the bench finally forced him to give up this work in spite of the fact that he enjoyed relatively good health and in other respects he had the full use of his faculties almost until his death.
As a lawyer, he was outstanding for his legal scholarship and painstaking attention to detail. This brought him, almost from the date of his admission to the bar, an excellent practice which steadily grew in volume and importance. It also contributed in no small degree to his success in the drafting and preparation of legislation in the General Assembly. Good draftsmanship of even a simple piece of legislation requires an accurate knowledge and understanding of the common law applicable to the subject matter of the bill, the extent to which that law has already been modified by other legislation, and what change in the existing law the proposed bill is intended to make. Finally, and perhaps most difficult of all, it requires the clear expression of that change, so phrased as properly and fairly to apply generally to the myriad of unforeseeable factual situations which the enactment will affect. It was in this field of legislative draftsmanship that Justice Hinman's knowledge of the law, clear mental processes, and precision of expression first won state-wide recognition. Later on, as attorney general, these attributes stood him in good stead. Perhaps in that office more than in any other place, legislation is likely to receive its initial construction. Seldom did his opinions as attorney general, whether concerned with the interpretation and application of legislation or with other fields of law, fail to meet with the approval of the courts.
While his service of less than seven years as a judge of the Superior Court was unusually short for Connecticut, it was from every point of view most successful, and so demonstrated his judicial capacity that his elevation to the Supreme Court of Errors met with universal approval.
Probably it is by reason of his fourteen years of service on the Supreme Court of Errors that he will be best remembered. Here, his legal learning and broad experience in the law, his clarity of mental processes and his command of English resulted in opinions which stand in the forefront of those of any court of last resort. They are free from uncertainty of concept. They lay down rules not only readily understandable by bench and bar but sound and workable - the product of a mind familiar with the actual problems of trying a case and recognizing that no rule of law, however appealing in vacuo, can be a good rule, or productive of justice, unless it can be successfully applied in the courtroom. It would be without profit, and probably impossible, to evaluate the effect, on Justice Hinman's opinions, of his early experience in newspaper writing or in the drafting of legislation. It is enough that for sound legal scholarship, clarity of thought and expression, style, and felicitous use of English, his opinions have seldom been equaled and are outstanding.
In spite of all this, his was in no sense a cloistered life, surrounded by lawbooks. He was not oblivious to the joys and demands of the world about him. He participated actively in the work of professional societies including the Windham County Bar Association, the State Bar Association of Connecticut, and the American Bar Association. He devoted much time and effort to the Windham County Law Library Association and was its librarian at Willimantic until shortly before his death. He enthusiastically enjoyed association with his fellowmen. He was a member of Cincinnatus Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Great Barrington and, in Willimantic, of Trinity Chapter No. 9, R.A.M., and Olive Branch Council, No. 10, R. & S.M.; he was past commander of St. John's Commandery, K.T. He was also a member of the Willimantic Lodge, Knights of Pythias. He belonged to the Thread City Cyclers, a club which flourished in Willimantic around the turn of the century and was composed of persons interested in bicycling. Justice Hinman was a slight man, almost frail appearing, but actually he had a strong constitution. During the period in question, he regularly engaged in "century runs" - bicycle trips in which the participants rode over one hundred miles in a single day. When the unpaved and upgraded dirt roads of that era are borne in mind, it is obvious that only the physically fit could engage in such an activity. Throughout his life, Justice Hinman maintained his interest in the business advancement of Willimantic. He was a member and past president of the Chamber of Commerce, and an organizer, incorporator and stockholder of the Willimantic Trust Company.
But most important of all, he was ever conscious of the duty which each person owes to society and to his fellowmen and was always responsive to its call. For years he served as president of the Willimantic Welfare Bureau, an organization devoted to relieving the needs of the unfortunate regardless of race or creed. He devoted much time to the administration of the Card Home for the Aged and to the Y.M.C.A. Throughout his life in Willimantic, he was not only a member of the First Congregational Church but gave much time and effort to its work, including service on its board of trustees and its board of deacons and in many other capacities, such as the teaching of a Sunday school class for boys of adolescent age - a class of which the writer himself was once a member. In recognition of this long service, the church created, and appointed Justice Hinman to, the honorary position of permanent deacon.
He had a keen, but always kind, sense of humor. He readily laughed with a person but never at him. He was always emotionally stable and had a calm, sympathetic and wholesome attitude toward life and his fellowmen which, when combined with his profound knowledge of law, made him an ideal judge. He had no enemies, because his considerate attitude towards others gave no ground or occasion for offense. He was respected and beloved by all with whom he came in contact. Both as a judge and as a man, he left the world the better for having lived in it.
*Prepared by Hon. John H. King, of Willimantic.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 104, page iv
Appointed to Supreme Court, February 19th, 1925, to take effect February 26th, 1926.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 126, page iii
Retired May 7, 1940, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 35, pages 599 - 603
JOEL HINMAN, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors of this state, died of pneumonia at his residence in Cheshire on Monday, February 21, 1870, aged 68. He was buried on Thursday, February 24, in the yard at Cheshire adjoining the Episcopal church, where he had been for years a faithful attendant. In accordance with a wish expressed some time before his death and entirely characteristic of the man, no sermon was preached and no eulogy pronounced. But he was followed to the grave by a large concourse of his old neighbors and friends, by the judges of the courts and by representatives of the bar from all parts of the state.
Judge Hinman was born at Southbury in this state, January 27th, 1802. The Southbury Hinmans are an old family, well known in the history of the region. They are a hardy, prolific, strongly individualized race; generally men and women of great physical proportions, vigor and strength, of strong wills and strong feelings, having considerable humor, not much veneration either by nature or cultivation, but very decided conservative tendencies, sound judgment, native shrewdness and good common sense. The family seem always to have gravitated towards the legal profession, and probably no name in the state is so frequently repeated on its rolls. They trace their descent from one Serjeant Edward Hinman, who is said to have held office in the body-guard of King Charles I., but who appears to have settled at Stamford in this state previous to 1650. From him doubtless they inherited their passion for the military profession, which seems to have been as marked and characteristic as their love for the law. The history of the family, compiled by one of its members, states that "there were more commissioned officers during the war of the Revolution by this name than by any other in Connecticut, being in all thirteen from the town of Southbury," and some conspicuous military title has been borne by a large proportion of its representatives. The grandfather of the judge, Col. Benjamin Hinman, rose to the rank of Lieut. Colonel in what is known as the "French war," and on the breaking out of the Revolution was appointed colonel of one of the Connecticut regiments and served with distinction during the war.
Col. Joel Hinman, the father of the judge, was a well-to-do farmer in Southbury, who inherited the family traits and transmitted them to his son. He had participated in the Revolution, was wounded in the attack on Danbury, and carried the ball in his thigh for many years.
The judge was the twelfth in a family of fourteen or fifteen children, and after having received a common school education early applied himself to the study of the law, first with Judge Chapman at Newtown, and afterwards with Messrs. Staples and Hitchcock at New Haven. He was admitted to the bar not long after reaching his majority, and settled in Waterbury in 1824. The following year he married Miss Maria Scovill, daughter of James Scovill, Esq., of Waterbury. In 1830 he was appointed Judge of Probate for the Waterbury district and continued to hold the office for ten years. He twice represented the Fifth District in the State Senate and several times the town of Waterbury in the House of' Representatives. While a member of the House in the year 1842 he was elected a Judge of the Superior and Supreme Courts, to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Hon. Roger Minot Sherman. There were at that time five judges who performed the duty now devolving upon both the Supreme and Superior Courts; holding the circuit singly and sitting in banc for the determination of questions of law. They received a salary of one thousand dollars per annum, with an extra allowance of fifty dollars to the presiding judge, probably added to mark and maintain the dignity of the position. The remaining judges at that time were Thomas Scott Williams, Chief Justice, Samuel Church, Henry Matson Waite, and William Lucius Storrs. Each of these in turn filled the office of Chief Justice, Judge Hinman having been elected upon the decease of Judge Storrs in 1861. Judge Hinman continued to reside in Waterbury until 1845, when he removed to New Haven, where he remained several years, and subsequently to Cheshire, where he died. He left a widow and four children; one son and three daughters.
The Judge was forty years of age when he was elected, and is said to have been the youngest man who had up to that time filled that position. His election was quite unexpected to him and to the public. The judges on the bench were mostly past the prime of life and men of marked ability. He was comparatively young and had attained no eminence at the bar. As a legislator he spoke seldom and then briefly, though he was acknowledged as one of the leaders and his opinion had much weight. In his profession he was possessed of considerable ability and on occasions showed it; but he was unsuited to active practice, slow of utterance, indolent and unmethodical in his business habits, and needed a spur to exertion which the limited practice of a country town did not supply. But he was much better adapted by nature for the bench than for the bar. He had an eminently judicial mind, and having now a sufficient inducement to exertion he soon won the respect in his new position both of his associates and of the bar; a respect which steadily increased during the remainder of his life. The whole action of his mind was deliberative, perpending, judicial. "Well - now let's see," was his favorite connecting and lubricating clause, in all the breaks and joints of conversation, discussion and argument. The members of the bar both old and young throughout the state regarded him with much respect, mingled with a feeling of complacency closely bordering on affection.
He was a man of close observation both of men and things, and a shrewd judge of character; not given to over-confidence in human nature. Before his election to the bench he was a successful manager in party politics, but afterwards, though he did not disguise his preferences and views, he took no active part in political matters. He was a rounded man in character if not in culture, presenting few salient points to lay hold of either for purposes of intercourse or of description. He was a large man, about six feet high, slightly inclined to stoop and quite fleshy. His ordinary weight must have been front 250 to 300 pounds. He had a large round head set upon a very short neck between broad, square, high shoulders. His gait was slow and ponderous. He had light, slightly curling hair, a fair fresh complexion, rather short nose, expressive mouth and light blue eyes. He wore a frock-coat and a full broad-ruffled shirt, and he had made no deviation in his style of dress for forty years. He had a keen relish for a certain quiet kind of humor, and in his social every-day life presented a pleasant picture to recall. With his slow, ponderous gait, his beaming though slightly cynical smile, his hearty chuckle at a joke, either of his own or another, rising up and spreading with a visible tremble all over his great surface and dying away with a suppressed gurgle, but rarely cropping out into a laugh; his easy good nature approaching indifferentism under nearly all the circumstances of life; his broad expanse of ruffled shirt and still broader expanse of face diffusing a sort of warmth about him. He was fond of young men and enjoyed their society and conversation. He called people by their first names, he knew the children and stopped to talk with them. He made equability a study, and though by no means devoid of temper he rarely showed more of it than a passing flush. "Whatever happens," was his advice to a young friend, "make it a point never to get angry. Lawyers will abuse you, witnesses disappoint you, clients deceive and cheat you, and judges will decide against you when you know you are right; but, whatever happens, take it all coolly, laugh if you can, if you can't laugh, smile, and wait for time to make things right."
In his habits and feelings he was the simplest and most unassuming of men. He had that sort of dignity of presence which attaches of necessity to large, slow-moving persons filling important positions; but it was wholly unconscious and was plainly seen to be so. An able jurist and intimate friend of the judge, in response to a request for a description of such traits of character as had most impressed him, says "The trait in Judge Hinman which most strongly attached me to him was his entire simplicity and directness. There was nothing artificial in his conduct, manners or opinions; everything about him was easy, quiet and natural. He seldom was excited, scarcely ever angry, keeping his emotions within easy control. His instinct was quick and remarkably correct, and he was disposed to rely with a good deal of confidence upon the impression which the first view of a subject made on his mind; but he was ready to correct the first impression if on further examination he found grounds for change. He had as little pride of opinion as any one I ever knew, and yet in general his opinions were fixed and definite and not changed except upon full consideration. I remember a case I tried before him where, when the testimony was closed, he asked the counsel opposed to me if he thought he had any case. The counsel very quietly stated the claims which he made, and the judge remarked that he had not looked at the case in that light, and after taking the matter home with him he told me on his return that his first impressions were wrong and that he must decide the case against my client. He was but little influenced by outside opinions, and though he did not disregard the good opinion of the public he made no unworthy sacrifices to be popular. The turn of his mind was eminently practical, and he seldom indulged in generalizations and philosophical speculations. He was not given to very hard study and was inclined to spend his leisure hours with a friend rather than in his library. His nature was kind and genial, incapable of malice or ill-will, and patient almost to a fault. His legal opinions are without the graces of style, but they are attractive because they come directly to the point and cover the whole ground in a manner quite peculiar to the judge himself. He seems without labor or effort to find the true solution of intricate questions, and the conclusions are so natural that the reader adopts them with confidence as being those of his own mind."
He was not a man of much constructive faculty and neither originated new enterprizes nor had any faith in them when originated by others. He had very small sympathy with what is called "progress" of any sort. By frugality and economy he raised and educated his family and accumulated a modest fortune on the very moderate salary of a Connecticut judge, but it was the slow accretion of small gains. Honesty, just judgment, was with him an instinct - a nature; the most intimate relations between him and your opposing counsel would never have caused you uneasiness. As has been well said by a distinguished member of the bar, "his honesty seemed rather to be constitutional than to come from any very nice conscientiousness. He seemed to go right because he could not help it."
The state of Connecticut has been extremely fortunate in the presiding judges of her highest court; and, though some have excelled him in legal acumen or brilliant genius, for that rarely balanced common sense which equals either of these gifts in utility, and for sterling honesty, few names will hold a higher place than that of JOEL HINMAN.
*Prepared, at the request of the Reporter, by Frederick J. Kingsbury, Esq., of Waterbury.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 14, page iii
Appointed [Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors], May, 1842, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Judge Sherman.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 30, page iii
Elected by the Legislature, at its May Session 1861 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Chief Justice Storrs.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 36, page iii
Died, February 21st, 1870.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 17, pages 50 - 51
This was the last case* argued by Mr. Hitchcock in this court. I had collected some facts and dates for a biographical notice of him, to be inserted here; I have since met with one, embracing the same facts and dates, already prepared, which I am happy to avail myself of, for this purpose. It is contained in The Law Reporter for November, 1845, vol. 8. no 7. p. 836.
Samuel Johnson Hitchcock was born of worthy parents in an humble condition of life, at Bethlem, in Connecticut, in February, 1786. His childhood was favored with no superior opportunities for intellectual cultivation. His father was poor. and required his assistance in the mechanical business by which his family was to be supported, and was unable to educate him or assist in his education. But he so well improved his privilege of attending the common schools, that at fourteen he was employed to teach for the winter in a neighboring parish. He afterwards received gratuitous instruction from Dr. Azel Backus, the minister of the pariah, and by teaching school in the winter, he was at last, in the autumn of 1806, just as he was coming of age, enabled to enter the sophomore class in Yale-College. He was graduated, with the most distinguished honor among his class-mates, in 1809. He was obliged to pursue the business of a teacher, for some years afterwards, in order to pay off the debts which he had contracted. He was four-years a tutor in Yale-College. He selected the legal profession as the employment of the remainder of his life, and in 1815, having been admitted to the bar of the New-Haven county court, he established himself in New-Haven, as a counsellor at law. He pursued the business of his profession with diligence and success. His habits of business were in the highest degree methodical; his judgment was clear and sound; and his manner of speaking ready and fluent, though not brilliant. His manners were unobtrusive and retiring; but his talents. learning, industry and integrity won for him a high rank in the profession. Some five or six years after his admission to the bar, he began to be a professed teacher of the science and practice of the law. His connection with the law school in New-Haven gave it a great reputation, and his pupils have everywhere been loud in his praise. He avoided office rather than sought it, and declined a seat on the bench of the superior court of the state, because he deemed his acceptance of that honor incompatible with his duties in other relations. When he had modestly withdrawn himself from the bar, he consented to serve the state, for a while, upon the bench of the county court for the counties of New-Haven and Hartford. As mayor of the city, and afterwards, as a recorder under the altered charter, he presided in the city court. His influence in society, and especially upon the growth and prosperity of New-Haven, was strong and beneficial. He was a consistent Christian, and for nearly twenty-nine years was a devout and constant communicant in the Centre Church of New-Haven, of which, in 1833, he was chosen a deacon. He died, at his residence in New Haven, on the 31st of August, 1845 in the sixtieth year of his age.
*The Enfield Toll Bridge Company against The Hartford and New-Haven Rail-Road Company, 17 Conn. 40
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 115, pages 735 - 736
Marcus Hensey Holcomb was born at New Hartford November 28th, 1844, of earliest Connecticut ancestry, one of his forbears being a member of the General Court when the Fundamental Orders were adopted. He was the son of Carlos and Ada (Bushnell) Holcomb. He attended Wilbraham Academy, but was balked of a college education by poor health. He taught school for a number of years, meanwhile studying law in the office of the Hon. Jared B. Foster. Admitted to the bar in 1871 and settling in Southington, he was thereafter a member of the bar of Hartford County until his death, March 5th, 1932, in his eighty-eighth year. Throughout all the active years of his life, though rarely if ever seeking public office, he was continually sought for it. Elected judge of probate for the district of Southington in 1873, he held that office for thirty years. He served for a number of years as judge of the Town Court of Southington. In 1893 he was elected to the State Senate. From 1893 to 1908 he was treasurer of Hartford County. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1902. In 1905 he served as speaker of the House of Representatives. Elected Attorney-General in 1907, he held that office until 1910 when, yielding to persuasion against his own desires, he became a judge of the Superior Court. This office he held until compelled to retire by reason of age limit on November 28th, 1914. Learning that there was a strong sentiment in favor of nomination as republican candidate for Governor that year, he gave to a leading member of the convention a letter in which he stated his unwillingness to accept the nomination, to be used if circumstances made it necessary, but the situation so developed that the letter was never laid before the convention and he was nominated and elected. For six years, during the storm and stress of the World War, he was Governor of the State and so administered that office as to win commendation, not only from its citizens but from the nation at large, for his patriotism, wisdom, foresight and forcefulness. Something of the confidence in which he was held by the people of the State may be seen in the provisions of an Act of the General Assembly passed at the time the United States entered the war: "The Governor is directed to render to the government of the United States, in the present crisis, any assistance within the power of the State; and he is authorized, either to that end or for the purpose of providing for the public safety, to organize and employ any and all resources within the State, whether of men, properties or instrumentalities, and to exercise any and all power convenient or necessary in his judgment."
No less active in private life than in public, he was for thirty years president of the Southington Savings Bank and a director in the Southington Bank and Trust Company, the National Fire Insurance Company, and the Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company, the Aetna Nut Company, and the Southington Hardware Company. He was affiliated with First Baptist Church of Southington, acting for many years as chairman of its board of trustees and superintendent of its Sunday School. He had many fraternal relations, being a Thirty-Second Degree Mason and a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, the Red Men, and the Foresters. On October 16th, 1872, he married Sarah O. Bennett of Hartford. They had one child who died early in life. Mrs. Holcomb died December 3d, 1910.
Throughout his life Governor Holcomb was first and foremost a lawyer; he was a keen, able, courageous practitioner; a student and lover of the law, he brought into every public office he held the high regard he had for it and his faith in it and its orderly processes; and in nothing did he take so much pride as in the feeling that by wise appointments of judges when he was Governor he had built up and strengthened our courts. At the time of his death, every Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors then upon that bench had been originally appointed Judge of the Superior Court by him. To his own service upon the bench he brought not only a thorough knowledge of the law, but patience, understanding, sound sense and an unusual balance of judgment. As a man he was honest, fearless, human, and simple in his ways of life. It was characteristic of him that he would never take credit for any act, the credit for which he felt properly to belong to another. He was friendly to all whom he found honest and sincere, with a dry humor which would frequently flash out when least expected; and he was in turn held in great affection by the people of the State, being generally known in his later years as "Uncle Marcus." No man loved his State more or knew it and its people better. He was a true son of Connecticut, not by birth alone but in loyalty, and in spirit and understanding. He was a wise man, a truly great man and a very gentle man.
*Prepared by Hon. William H. Maltbie, of Hartford, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 124, pages 701 - 703
Walter Holcomb, son of Carlos and Adah Lavina (Bushnell) Holcomb, was born at New Hartford on October 13th, 1853. He died at his home in Torrington on August 17th, 1938. Mr. Holcomb was the youngest of a family of six children - five brothers and one sister. The brother next older than Walter was Marcus Hensey Holcomb, affectionately known during his long term of Governor of Connecticut as "Uncle Marcus." Of this family only the sister, Adah Adeline Holcomb Weaver, survives.
Known always as Walter to all of his contemporaries of the bench and bar of Connecticut, he was educated in the public schools of New Hartford, at the Connecticut Literary Institute of Suffield, the Lewis Academy of Southington, and at Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University, graduating in 1877 with the degree of Ph.B.
His first employment was that of principal of the South Center School, Southington, and while thus engaged he studied law in the office of his brother Marcus H. Holcomb. After being admitted to the Litchfield County bar in 1881, he migrated to the West and was employed as a railroad construction engineer in Missouri and Arkansas, and later he became construction engineer of the St. Paul-Minnesota water works. He practiced law at St. Paul from 1884 to 1896, when he returned to Connecticut and opened a law office at Torrington. This practice he continued until his death.
After having served one term as town clerk, he represented Torrington in the General Assembly at the session of 1905, serving as a member of the judiciary committee. He was city attorney for ten years and judge of the local court of Torrington from 1903 to 1917, when he was appointed state's attorney for Litchfield County. In this important office he served for a period of seventeen years, resigning as of July 1st, 1934. His whole career in public life extended over a period of thirty-six years and was notable throughout, but as state's attorney his political integrity and high regard for the traditions of the bench of Connecticut were known to all. He was fearless, knew nothing of evasions, yet he was strong, big hearted and kind. Mr. Holcomb's long record as state's attorney for his county is deserving of the great praise which it has received.
In the life of his community he was active and public-spirited, being engaged continuously in church, Sunday school, musical, lodge and bar association work.
In 1888 Mr. Holcomb married Edith Adelia (Sanford) Holcomb, who died in 1934. Three children were born of this marriage, two of whom, Carlos Sanford Holcomb, a member of the Hartford and Litchfield County bars and for several years trust officer of the First National Bank of Hartford, and Ada Caroline (Holcomb) Roberts, survive their father.
Walter Holcomb's personality was that of the individualist type. All knew him as he actually was. He was content to let the world put its own appraisal upon his work and his worth. As a lawyer, he was vigorous and forceful, but he was kind in spirit, never losing opportunity to assist and encourage the younger members of the bar, who always felt free to approach him, wherever he might be, with their difficulties and problems. He loved truth and justice, and fought for it to the end of his allotted time. As a lawyer, Mr. Holcomb prepared his cases with a thorough understanding of the principles involved. He discriminated keenly, tried his cases in a manner to inspire the highest measure of confidence of the court and jury. His rugged integrity and candor were among his outstanding and observable personal characteristics. Judge Holcomb had the esteem and confidence of his associates at the bench and bar to a high degree. He was known throughout Connecticut, but more intimately of course among his immediate associates of the Litchfield County bar, who realize that in his passing they have lost a great leader, a helpful and commanding figure. He was of the old school, loved the law, and gave all he had toward applying it to the complexities of human affairs.
*Prepared by William H. Blodgett, of the Litchfield bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 48, pages 590 - 592
Gideon Hiram Hollister was born at Washington, in this state, on the 14th of December, 1817, and died at Litchfield, March 24th, 1881. At Yale College, whence he graduated in 1840, he ranked among the foremost writers and speakers of his time, was class poet, editor of the Yale Literary Magazine, and first president of Linonian Society - the highest of society honors at a time when those honors were very highly considered. Studying with Judge Seymour in Litchfield, he was admitted to the bar in 1842, and, after a brief stay in Woodbury, came to Litchfield. There, in 1843, he was appointed clerk of the courts, a position which he held, a single year excepted, till 1852, though all the time in active practice at the bar.
Mr. Hollister became a State Senator in 1856; was instrumental in procuring the election of the Hon. James Dixon to the U.S. Senate, and, during the years in which Mr. Dixon was a power in Connecticut politics, exercised great political influence in the western part of the state. In 1868 he was sent Minister to Hayti, and on his return lived for several years at Stratford, practicing law in Bridgeport. He returned to Litchfield in 1876, and represented that town in the legislature of 1880.
In 1855 he published a history of Connecticut, and at the time of his death had partly completed a revision of that work. In 1866 he published a volume of poems, showing marked power, and greatly increasing his literary reputation.
Mr. Hollister was not learned in the law; he seldom read text-books, and was little familiar with decisions, though thoroughly grounded in the elementary principles of the science. The books he loved were the English classics; he eschewed trash, but read and re-read the great writers of our tongue, from Chaucer to Tennyson, with a persistent interest not common in these days when literature is so very light, and when books which need to be studied are seldom opened. As a lawyer his strength lay in the trial of matters of fact to a jury, in which he had few equals.
In cross-examination he was wonderfully adroit. Most witnesses, consciously or unconsciously, incline to swear with the examiner, against the cross-examiner. This stumbling-block of natural antagonism he avoided with great skill. A studiously polite and considerate manner allayed hostility; and, if the antagonism was proof against kind treatment, he would often lead the witness the way he wished by seeming to desire him to take the opposite direction. When severe he was terribly severe, but shunned indiscriminate severity - rarely attacking a witness harshly unless under circumstances which would fully justify him with the court and jury.
Mr. Hollister's delivery was slow; his manner impressive; his action dignified and effective; and he had in remarkable degree the advocate's power of portraying parties and witnesses with such a subtle coloring of apt words as impressed his own bias upon juries without their being at all aware of the effect his art produced. At times he was magnificent, though, like all born orators, often disappointing. When at his best he overflowed with wit, pressed his attack with terrific weight and vigor, and electrified his hearers with passages of exceeding beauty and eloquence. His skill with the pen had a marked effect upon his spoken utterances, giving them all the variety, correctness, and elegance of good writing. No doubt, also, his thorough acquaintance with Shakespeare and Tennyson, with Burke and Webster, contributed largely to the formation of a style of such unusual excellence; but more, perhaps, was due to powers and aptitudes such as nature has bestowed upon few.
Mr. Hollister was a most interesting man in conversation. His original way of treating every-day subjects, of illuminating dull facts with irresistible flashes of wit, and of illustrating men and things with touches of poetical fancy, gave him a truly wonderful power of fascination by talk. Nor was he in the least overbearing in conversation, as is often the case with good talkers, but added the influence of unfailing politeness to marvelous powers of persuasion, such as one must have felt to appreciate.
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter by George A. Hickox, Esq., of the Litchfield Bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 58, pages 595 - 599
Frank LeRoy Holt, who died at Bridgeport on January 14th, 1890, was born at Rockville, in this state, on July 12th, 1852.
He was graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in 1874, and in the fall of the same year carne to Bridgeport, and pursued the study of the law in the office of the late Israel M. Bullock.
After his admission to the Fairfield County bar in January, 1877, he entered the office of Henry T. Blake, Esq., who was at the time clerk of the Superior Court, and remained therein for a number of years, during a portion of the time assisting Mr. Blake in the performance of his official duties. With robust health and vigor, with a capacity for work excelled by few, with a charming personality, and with absolute honesty and integrity in all dealings with his clients and complete devotion to their interests, he was not long in attaining a creditable position in his profession. Careful and painstaking in the preparation of his cases, and with a certain magnetism and earnestness in their presentation, his efforts at the bar were frequently so brilliant as to surprise even those who best knew his powers. In the argument of questions of fact or of law he rarely indulged in rhetorical flights, his language was always fair, argumentative and convincing, and his thoughts flowed in a clear and undefiled stream.
During his brief career he held several honorable and responsible public offices. From 1877 to 1879 he was deputy judge of the City Court, and in 1879 the prosecuting attorney of the city of Bridgeport. He was afterwards assistant state's attorney, and also held for one year the office of town attorney. In 1883, he was appointed coroner of Fairfield County, and continued in this office until his death. He was appointed under a new statute which completely changed the former methods of holding inquests. Many of the coroner's forms now in general use in the state were originated by him, and his skill in investigating the numerous cases of homicide arising in the county was well and widely known.
Not alone in the performance of official duties, or in the practice of his chosen profession, was his active mind absorbed. Municipal, state and national politics aroused his earnest attention and enthusiastic labor. Among men of his own age and experience he was an acknowledged political leader, and men of maturer years and greater experience in politics, ofttimes sought his counsel and aid.
He was a bold and courageous man. He had the courage of his convictions, and a frank and manly manner of declaring them, which won the respect even of those opposed to him. He had keen perceptions and a power of penetrating into the hidden motives of others to a remarkable degree. He was an excellent judge of human nature. He despised shams; he hated hypocrisy. He was a man of force, of energy, of tireless endurance, one not discouraged by difficulties or obstacles, but aroused by them to the fullest exercise of his physical and intellectual powers.
The successful lawyer, the masterly politician, the faithful and competent official, all of these qualities were well known and recognized in him by the community in which he lived, but to those whose privilege it was to know him intimately were revealed the inner life, the poetry, the sentiment, the lovable traits of character. In the sharp political and professional contests in which he was often engaged these finer qualities may have found little place, but no one can estimate the feelings of relief and comfort, and positive delight, with which he turned from these contentious scenes to the peaceful paths of literature or to mingle in the congenial society of chosen friends.
He was a loyal and steadfast friend, having a full appreciation of friendly acts, and was never content until he had more than reciprocated for favors rendered.
With a fund of anecdote, with remarkable gifts of mimicry, added to a decided oratorical ability, he was the life of every social gathering of the bar. He had a vein of originality, and a sparkling wit which possessed the quality of arousing mirth, but left no poison in the breasts of those against whom the shafts were aimed.
He was, as has been well said by Judge DeForest, "possessed of a nature and constitution that specially delighted in the mirthful, joyous, and robust features of our existence, and, until his last illness, was among the very foremost in our ranks in physical strength, activity, and vigor." He was apparently an ideal of physical development, and his chances for a long and useful life seemed to be of the best.
It had been his hope that when the call of death came it should find him in possession of every physical and mental faculty, and that he might be spared the agony of a long and painful dissolution. Nothing however seemed sufficient to stay the progress of a lingering and most distressing malady.
To this active, self-reliant man this experience was dreadful to endure, but he bore his great affliction with wonderful fortitude, and when fully conscious of the immediate approach of death, met it with characteristic calmness and serenity.
The esteem in which he was held by his brethren of the bar appears by the following brief quotations from their remarks made at a meeting held after his death, at which appropriate obituary resolutions were adopted.
Mr. CURTIS THOMPSON said: - "We have lost in the death of Brother Holt one of the most promising of the younger members of the bar. He had evinced ability to conduct important and difficult suits, and a successful career in his chosen profession seemed certainly before him. In many respects our brother was unique and original. He was one of the brightest and most genial of our number. His nature was warm and generous, full indeed of sentiment and tenderness. Whether at work or at play he was full of life and enthusiasm, and was noted for his quick wit, pointed anecdotes, and perfect characterizations. We loved and respected him for his admirable qualities of mind and heart, and the recollection of his words and deeds will ever abide with us."
Mr. C. S. CANFIELD said: - "Brother Holt had many qualities of mind and heart that endeared him not only to myself but to the bar as well. He had a noble and generous disposition, and a strong and rugged loyalty to his friends. I look back with great pleasure upon his steadfastness and true devotion to those who were fortunate enough to be numbered among his friends. He was possessed of a temperament that fairly bubbled over with good humor and native wit. Nowhere shall we miss him more that at our annual bar dinner. The merriment he always occasioned as an after-dinner speaker, still lingers in my mind, and I still hear the tumultuous applause which greeted him as he concluded his remarks. In his practice at this bar he has left nothing but pleasant reminiscences. He was honest, upright, and capable, a manly opponent and a generous friend."
Mr. FRANK L. ROGERS said: - "Brother Holt was my senior at the bar by several years. He was always ready to extend a helping hand to me and to every brother with whom he was acquainted, and while ready to be helpful to all, he was never weary of rendering offices of special kindness to his friends. He loved his profession and devoted himself to it, yet withal had a taste for political life, and he had that force of character, that knowledge of the hearts of the people, that intuitive perception of the plans of his opponents, which would have made him a leader of men in his party had he lived. He detested small things, and was true to all principles of honesty, integrity and candor. He could not bear trick or chicanery in politics or in his profession, and was loud in denouncing disreputable practices in either."
Judge D. B. LOCKWOOD spoke as follows: - "I became acquainted with Brother Holt before his admission to the bar. He had a genial way about him that made him very companionable. His career at the bar was brief but brilliant. I often met him in the practice of our profession, and we were almost always on opposite sides. I thus had a good opportunity to observe his skill and adroitness in the management of a case. He prepared his cases with a good deal of care and marshaled his witnesses with all the tactics of a general. In all my intercourse with him I cannot recall an unpleasant circumstance. He was fast forging his way to the front rank of the profession when disease overtook him and carried him away. His memory will be cherished by all who knew him."
Mr. W. H. O'HARA spoke as follows: - "I cannot refrain upon this occasion from paying a passing tribute of esteem to the memory of our deceased brother. My acquaintance with him extended over a period of ten years and during all this time it was my pleasure to have found in him a friend, faithful and just. About thirteen years ago he began the practice of the law in this city. The honor of professional supremacy which was then enjoyed by five or six, now belongs to twice or three times that number, and among those to whom that honor is due is the name of our departed friend. Yet not alone in the law were his acquirements such as the ambitious could well be proud of, but in literature, in art, and in science, his attainments were of a high order. He passed away in the morning of his growth, while the mist and the dew of dawn still faintly obscured the certain brilliancy of his meridian. It is true that the qualities of his mind had not been tested and were not disciplined in the struggle of many years, yet it was apparent to those of us who knew him best that they were of the temper which make great men. A lofty manhood, a self reliance tempered with wisdom, a loyalty to friends that was not shaken by adversity, were virtues which made him conspicuous among his fellows."
Judge L. M. SLADE said: - "Brother Holt was a man of more than ordinary method, which was always made manifest in his official records which were executed with exquisite taste and skill. He was faithful in his profession, true to his clients, and untiring in his efforts to further their interests. No one was ever heard to utter a word of suspicion as to his integrity in all his public career."
Mr. JAMES H. OLMSTEAD spoke as follows: - "During a portion of the time that I held the office of state's attorney, Brother Holt was the prosecuting attorney of the city of Bridgeport, and I was brought into very close relations with him. I soon perceived that he was a young main of promise, and always perfectly reliable. He was energetic and thorough in all his professional engagements. Wherever and whenever duty called, he obeyed. All state cases from Bridgeport entrusted by me to his care were thoroughly prepared, and when the day assigned for trial arrived, he was sure to be present with the witnesses, ready for the conflict. His recommendations to me regarding cases that came from the City Court of Bridgeport demonstrated a maturity of judgment rarely exhibited by a man so young in our profession as he then was. He was inflexible in determination to rigorously punish the guilty and hardened criminal, and yet his heart was so tender and his disposition so forgiving that he pressed earnestly for gentle dealing toward young offenders, who had committed their first offence, especially if their youth had been spent among those who cared for neither body nor soul. He was truly one who urged justice tempered with mercy."
Mr. HENRY T. BLAKE said: - "Mr. Holt was in my office for several years while I was clerk of the Superior Court, partly as an assistant in my official duties, and I had a good opportunity to see all sides of his character, and I can truly say that the result was on my part an ever increasing confidence and esteem. He was one of those noble, manly men who know no fear and wear no disguises. He was, as such men are apt to be, generous in spirit, noble in his ambitions, and steadfast in his friendships. He never wore a double face; he never deserted those who trusted in him, nor failed in their support from motives of timidity or policy. With his fine abilities, his high purposes, and his general popularity, all combined with an apparently robust and vigorous health, he had every prospect of a successful and brilliant future. The fortitude with which he struggled against the progress and the terrible sufferings of his long malady, the patience with which he met the disappointment of all his hopes, and the resignation with which he at last succumbed and passed away, illustrate his strength of mind and character, and awaken our deepest and tenderest sympathy. In his professional and official career his impulsive and fearless nature doubtless brought him into collision with many individuals, but I cannot believe that there is a person living who retains any other impression of him than that of kindness and esteem, or who could look with any feeling but that of sadness on his grave."
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter, by A. M. Tallmadge, Esq., of the Bridgeport bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 73, pages 745 - 746
JOHN HOOKER - late reporter for this court - died at his residence in Hartford, February 12th, 1901. He was born in Farmington, April 19th, 1816. His father was Edward Hooker, the fifth in direct descent from Thomas Hooker, founder of Hartford and first minister of its first church. His mother was Elisa Daggett, first cousin of the mother of Roger S. Baldwin.
At the age of sixteen he entered Yale College, but within two years his health failed and he never completed his course. The college, however, afterwards granted him a degree and recorded him graduate in the class of 1837.
To recover his health he shipped twice before the mast, first for Spain and afterwards for China - the two voyages occupying fourteen months. After his return he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1841, and opened an office in Farmington. The same year he married Isabella, daughter of Dr. Lyman Beecher and sister of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. In 1851 he removed to Hartford and practiced law till 1858, when he entered on his life work as reporter for this court, which office he held 36 years, a period only surpassed by the marvellous service of Thomas Day, who reported from 1802 to 1853, being 51 years, but he reported only 26 volumes, while Mr. Hooker reported 38. These reports will remain a proud and lasting monument to his memory. Possessing "that last infirmity of noble mind," the love of distinction, he often spoke of his lifelong ambition to be a judge of the Supreme Court of Errors, which he regarded a higher honor than that of reporter.
It is doubtful if his estimate was correct. The office of reporter requires special and extraordinary gifts. He must have not only the faculty of lucid statement, which is very rare, but a quick, acute, logical and analytical mind, giving an intuitive perception of the real merits of the case, and furnishing a solvent that will extract the little particles of gold concealed in the incumbering verbiage. Mr. Hooker had these qualities and they have given him lasting fame.
It would be unjust to him, however, not to recall his zeal in behalf of the abolition of slavery when that cause was by no means popular, and later, his advocacy of the civil and political rights of women. Upon these questions his convictions were clear and deep.
His personal and private character had many attractive traits. His hospitality was delightful. His friendship was not mere partiality or any form of selfishness, but absolute devotion.
All who knew him well will long remember his cheery and cordial greeting, his pleasant reminiscence, his amusing anecdote, his incorruptible character, his moral courage and his ministries of love and sympathy to the poor and suffering.
Mr. Hooker was religious from early life. In later life he discarded much of the orthodox creed, but the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man grew more vivid and precious, and he ever exalted and endeavored to follow the precepts and example of Christ as a divine teacher. In short he believed: "It is the deed and not the creed That serves us in the hour of need."
*Prepared by the Hon. Dwight Loomis, ex-Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 63, page xv
Mr. Hooker, for many years the reporter of the court, presented to the judges his resignation of the office on the 2d day of October, 1893, in the following communication:
"To Chief Justice Andrews and the Associate Judges of the Supreme Court of Connecticut: "I hereby resign my office of reporter of judicial decisions, the resignation to take effect, with your assent to the delay, on the 1st day of January, 1894.
"In retiring from this office, which I have held for thirty-six years, I desire to express my sense of obligation to you and your predecessors for keeping me so long in the office, and for the familiar and exceedingly pleasant companionship to which I have from the first been invited. I wish to express also my great respect for the court and for the members who have composed it, and who seem, as I look back over the years, to be a constantly moving procession. I have reported the decisions of seven chief justices and fifteen associate judges. My attachment to some of them has been very great, and it has rarely occurred that one has left the bench, or above all has passed from earthly life, without a feeling of personal bereavement on my part. Now that I am the one to withdraw, I leave my best wishes for your welfare and happiness.
"Respectfully and truly yours,
At the opening of the October term of the court at Hartford the next day the chief justice read the following paper prepared by the judges: -
"In accepting the resignation of the reporter, the judges of the court desire to express not only their high appreciation of his services to the state, but the warm sentiment of regard and attachment which he has inspired not only in them, but, as they well know, in their predecessors in office, during a long course of years.
"Mr. Hooker began his labors as reporter in 1858, and by far the greater part of the whole series of Connecticut Reports has been his work. From the first to the last of these volumes he has shown a rare mastery of the power of analysis and discrimination, as well as of concise statement and clear expression.
"The judges part from him with sincere personal regret, and only consent to his retirement at his earnest and repeated request."
The chief justice then announced that the bench had appointed James P. Andrews of Hartford as Mr. Hooker's successor, his term to commence on the first day of January, 1894.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 3, page iii
Appointed [Chief Justice] May, 1819.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 9, page iii
Ch. J. Hosmer retired from office, on the 10th of January, 1833, having, at that time, arrived at the age of seventy years.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 239, pages 965 - 966
The Honorable Charles S. House, Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1971 through 1978, and a lifelong resident of Manchester, died on November 8, 1996, at the age of eighty-eight. He was appointed a judge of the Superior Court in 1953, elevated to the Supreme Court in 1965, and appointed chief justice in 1971. In 1978, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of seventy, he became a state trial referee.
Known for his irreproachable ethics, Chief Justice House refused to enter a room where his son, who ran for Congress in 1984, was speaking. He adhered to state ethics laws barring judges from political functions, although he was retired at the time. Highly regarded for his intellectual abilities, and legal skills, he is perhaps best known as the author of the majority opinion in the 1977 Horton v. Meskill decision. The landmark ruling declared Connecticut's public school financing system unconstitutional because it relied too heavily on local property taxes.
Chief Justice House received his A.B. in 1930 from Harvard College and his L.L.B. in 1933 from Harvard Law School. He served as an assistant state's attorney from 1942 to 1946, a Republican state representative from 1941 to 1943, a state senator for the fourth district from 1947 to 1951, the minority leader for the state Senate from 1949 to 1951, and a legal advisor to Governor John Lodge before his appointment to the bench.
Chief Justice House was married to the former Virginia Brown and was the father of one son and two daughters.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 153, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court May 21, 1965, to take effect July 1, 1965.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 161, page iii
Appointed Chief Justice April 7, 1971, to take effect May 14, 1971.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 175, page iii
Retired April 24, 1978, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 62, pages 603 - 604
JAMES ALBERT HOVEY was born in the town of Hampton in this state on the 29th of April, 1815. He died at Norwich, June 27th, 1892. His parents, Jonathan Hovey and Patience Stedman Hovey, were both natives of Hampton. Having acquired such an education as could be obtained in the common and private schools of his native town, on arriving at his majority he entered the office of the late Chauncey F. Cleveland of Hampton as a student at law, and in December, 1839, was admitted to the bar of Windham County. Soon after his admission he opened an office in Windham for the practice of his profession, but in 1841, having formed a partnership with Gov. Cleveland, he removed to Norwich, where he continued to reside until his death.
His mind was clear and discriminating, and he possessed an excellent memory. Lacking a collegiate education and many of the advantages with which others enter the profession, he relied upon industry and integrity as the means to attain success. He cared little for social pleasures and devoted but little attention to them. He gave little time to general literature, but devoted himself assiduously to his profession. Always loyal to his clients and devoted to their interests he soon acquired and deserved the reputation of an honest counselor and able and learned lawyer, and gained an influential clientage. The preparation of his cases was most thorough and laborious. In their trial he was apt to be technical. As an advocate he was wanting in ad captandum talent, but expressed himself, whether addressing court or jury, with great precision and clearness. His sense of professional honor was of the highest and was apparent in all his dealings with court, client and professional associates.
In 1850 he was appointed judge of the County Court for New London County, which position he held by annual re-appointment until 1854. During this period he continued his practice in the higher courts. From 1876 to 1885 he served as one of the judges of the Superior Court, having been appointed to that office by the General Assembly at the May session, 1876. He was re-appointed for a second term, but, having reached the age of seventy years, was retired by constitutional limitation on the 29th of April, 1885. To the judicial office he brought the same industry and the same conscientiousness in the discharge of duty which characterized his professional life. It was his habit when on the circuit to prepare elaborate opinions in the cases decided by him and read them from the bench. Some of these were of such interest to the profession that they were, by request, published in the Connecticut Reports. Judge Hovey was a strong partisan, but he sought no office and had no taste for office except the judicial one. The various other offices to which he was chosen attest the esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens. He held the office of alderman of the city of Norwich for three successive terms. In 1870 he was chosen mayor of the city. He acted for several years as general assignee in bankruptcy under the law of 1841, by appointment of the United States District Court. In 1859 he was elected representative in the General Assembly from the town of Norwich, and again, after his retirement from the bench in 1886, he was elected to the same office. In 1885 Governor Harrison appointed Judge Hovey a member of the committee to revise the public statutes of the state. He served as chairman of the committee, whose report, submitted to the General Assembly in 1887, was adopted as the revision of 1888. This was the last work of his life, though he possessed his mental faculties in full vigor until the time of his death.
Judge Hovey was married in December, 1844, to Lavinia J. Barber, of Simsbury, Connecticut. A son, Albert Cleveland Hovey, was born to them, but died in 1873. Mrs. Hovey's death occurred in 1883.
Judge Hovey was an attendant of Christ's Episcopal Church in Norwich, during his residence there, and was a communicant of the church for the last fifteen years of his life.
*Prepared at the request of the reporter by Hon. John M. Thayer of Norwich, a judge of the Superior Court.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 60, pages 603 - 607
CHAUNCEY HOWARD, a member of the Hartford County bar, and for many years clerk of the Superior Court in that county, died at Hartford on the 12th of August, 1891, in the eightieth year of his age.
Mr. Howard was born in 1812, in Coventry in this state, where the family had resided for several generations and where he kept up a country home through life. He never married, and had but one brother, John Ripley Howard, who lived at the old home, a man of remarkable literary ability and strong mental powers, who was a great sufferer from heart disease and who died many years ago. To the care and comfort of this brother, while he lived, Mr. Howard gave constant thought, and devoted much of his time and means. No mother could ever watch over a child with more affection and constancy. At one time, though it had been the dream of his life to go abroad, he declined an offer made by a gentleman to send him to England on important business from unwillingness to leave his brother.
Mr. Howard graduated at Amherst College in 1835, and soon after came to Hartford and began the study of law in the office of Hon. William W. Ellsworth, afterwards governor of the state and a judge of the Supreme Court. He was admitted to the bar in 1839. In 1844 he was appointed clerk of the Superior Court, which office he held, with some interruptions prior to 1857, until 1873 when, against the wishes of the judges and the bar, he resigned the office, having held it during his last occupancy sixteen years and in all twenty-two years. With his resignation of this office his professional life ended, and he soon after retired to his country home, where he spent most of the remainder of his life. He was however elected to the lower branch of the General Assembly as a representative from Hartford in 1874, and from Coventry in 1877, and was a member of the state senate in 1875. From 1879 to 1881 he was state comptroller.
While clerk of the Superior Court he discharged the duties of the office to the greatest satisfaction of the profession and the public. His handwriting gave to his entries and records an almost artistic elegance, he was faithful and accurate in all his clerical work, and, in an office full of petty and perplexing details, was always patient, obliging and courteous.
But he was much more than a pains-taking, faithful, accurate and courteous official. He had sterling qualities of character. He was not merely a man of absolute integrity, but was of the highest moral tone, and held in abhorrence every professional or business act that fell below a high moral level. He was a perfect gentleman in appearance and in reality, tall and erect, with an elegant figure and a face of striking manly beauty, and much of that deferential courtesy which makes so large a part of the best manners. There was no assumption about him, no inclination to self-assertion, though he was quite positive in his opinions and in his views of men and measures. There was none of the proverbial American push and hurry about him, rather a disposition to be quiet and inactive, and this not from a tendency to indolence, but from a love of enjoying at his ease and in a leisurely way those things that he was specially fond of, mainly his books. He loved the society of his old friends, but was not fond of making new acquaintances; and in conversation, while brightly and intelligently and often very wittily responsive to what was said by others, especially in matters anecdote and humor, he rarely led the conversation by contributions from his own accumulated treasures. He was very fond of old English literature, and his memory was filled with the quaint and pithy sayings of the real or imaginary persons who figure in the English classics. Charles Lamb, whom he often quoted, never loitered with more affection among the old streets and inns of London than he would have done. This love of old things made him rather inhospitable towards new ideas. He was distrustful of the spirit of progress, conservative in his feelings, and adverse to change. Still he did not live wholly in the past, but enjoyed the best literature of our own time and watched with great interest the course of public affairs. In the latter he took little part, seeming to prefer that the world should pass him by and leave him outside of its whirl and sweep to enjoy his books and his quiet; and to the literature of his time he made no contribution of his own. He was indisposed to the effort which it would have required, fastidious, without ambition, somewhat self-distrustful, and greatly disinclined to submit himself to public criticism. But he has left behind him what is beyond price, the example of an exceptionally pure, upright, godly life, while with the rapidly lessening number of us who knew him well, there will abide the delightful memory of a most charming and lovable man.
Mr. Howard was, from his early residence in Hartford, a member of one of its Congregational churches. His religious convictions were decided, and dominant in his life.
At a meeting of the Hartford County bar, on the occasion of Mr. Howard's death, the following resolution, prepared by Hon. Nathaniel Shipman, Judge of the U. S. District Court, was presented by Mr. William Hammersley: -
"In following the praiseworthy custom of the bar of this county to publicly testify its appreciation of its honored dead, all can truthfully say that no one of our members received during his long life a larger share of our love and respect than did Chauncey Howard.
"He inherited the best traits of his typical New England ancestry, and was careful that in his life they received no detriment. Integrity was not merely a part, but it was the whole of his nature. It showed itself in an inability to entertain wrongness of motives or impurity of thought and speech, in tender faithfulness, in courtesy and dignity.
"Conservative by nature, he reluctantly welcomed novelties in creeds or platforms; he loved old friends and the ideas and principles of his youth. Critical in his literary tastes, he rejoiced in the books and poetry which ennoble English literature. He adorned the office which he long occupied, in the Superior Court of the county; he made the members of the bar and the bench his personal friends, and he filled with ability the positions of trust to which he was summoned by the state. He lived and he died in the comfort of a reasonable, religious and holy hope, and he has left behind him the memory of an unstained life.
"Resolved, That the state's attorney be requested to present to the Superior Court now in session the above minute and ask the court that the same may be entered on its records, and that the clerk of the bar be requested to cause a copy of the foregoing to be sent to Mr. Howard's family."
After reading the resolution Mr. Hammersley said: -
"It is difficult to add anything to the most attractive and just portrait which Judge Shipman has sketched in these few words, and I will attempt but a single suggestion. Mr. Howard possessed that highest and purest of all ambitions - the desire to do well whatever came to his hand to do; in his official duties and public trusts, in his occasional indulgences in literature, in the interchanges of friendship, in all matters private or public, trivial or weighty, he anxiously sought to act well. The more common ambition for accomplishing special results seemed to have little hold upon him.
"It is, after all, such lives that exert the most lasting and best influence - the influence of pure purpose and fair example that speaks with the tick of every passing second. In our own profession we specially cherish such a character; the outside world too often mistakes notoriety for ability, surprising results for permanent influence, but we know that the strength, the usefulness and the lasting power of the profession of the law depends upon the pure integrity, the daily and hourly faithfulness, of its members; and so it is, that the character we love to honor and keep fresh in memory as a standard gauge for our daily work was well illustrated by the life of Chauncey Howard."
Mr. Henry C. Robinson then spoke upon the resolution as follows: -
"The younger members of the bar, who never saw Mr. Howard qualify a jury, will never know what a picturesque and impressive incident of our procedure they have missed. His athletic figure, his massive, well balanced head, his open breadth of brow, his piercing eyes, beaming with the lightning of perception and the twinkling of humor and the glistening of tenderness, his voice as full of elocution as it was empty of bombast, and, in all his motions and gestures, a certain modest courtliness, a sense of the dignities and proprieties of his office which needed no symbol of uniform or insignia, return to the thoughts of some of us to-day like the memory of a lost sunset.
"Nor was it there alone that Mr. Howard fulfilled the measure of an ideal clerk of a highest court. His records and dockets were as clear and clean as a publisher's `edition of luxury.' His office manners were genial and courteous. And what a treasury of useful and delightful information he always opened to inquiry and to companionship! It was not deficient in the facts of history and the figures of statistics, but it contained much more. His mind seemed to be a chamber of reminiscence of the great and good, and of the witty and brilliant things of bench and bar, whose walls were hung with portraits of judges and advocates and counsellors whom he had known, and which echoed the fine thoughts and notable sayings which he had collected, and which he called out, as from a phonograph, in the key and cadence of the voices of oratory, which first winged them to his ear and soul. So much for our loved friend as an officer of this venerable and honorable court.
But what an atmosphere of purity, integrity and sincerity his personal character brought to all who knew him! We have had, we have, other men who are pure, sincere and honest to the last degree. We have honored them, we will honor them. But Mr. Howard in these supreme virtues was unique. His soul held them in solution with such delicacy and modesty and refinement as seldom are found in human character. And how gentle and gracious and kind and considerate he was! I often recall the words of one who is very dear to me, now ninety years of age, with unabated intellect, whose attachment to Mr. Howard was active until his death, `I feel sorry for the woman whom Chauncey Howard did not marry.' What more complete eulogy upon a man's character could discriminating womanhood make.
"His life was a story of unselfishness, and, in many of its chapters, of saintly ministrations. But under all his gentleness and modesty Mr. Howard always carried a heart full of bravery and courage and even stored with aggressiveness and combativeness for proper subjects. The blood of old England and New England heroes ran in his veins. Mr. Howard was a reverent man. He honored, without servility or obsequiousness, authority and reasonable tradition and the wisdom of the great and good of the ages. He took delight in clearing gathered mosses from old headstones. His philosophy, in jurisprudence, in statesmanship and in religion, was conservative. He was apprehensive and even timid in presence of new discoveries and new departures, but he was full of broad sympathy, and had no harbor in his mind for dogmatism nor in his heart for persecution. He was called to important offices in the service of the state, but he offered no such service until he was called.
"His culture was thorough and elegant. His studies in literature and eloquence and philosophy were with authors who are already and certainly enrolled as classic. His letters and notes were models, glowing with fine sentiment and phrased in choice words. He was a fine type of New England manhood and New England culture.
As we are gathered here at a double memorial meeting and think of Howard and Barbour and Jones, whom we have so lately carried in quick succession to the grave, I am reminded of one of Mr. Howard's favorite quotations, and I can almost hear him repeat it now in clear and impressive voice. It is a part of the opinion familiar to you of Lord Chief Justice Crew, in the DeVere case, tried in the time of the first Charles and involving the fortunes of the house of DeVere: `And yet time hath his revolutions, there must be a period and an end of all temporal things, finis rerum, an end of names, and whatsoever is terrene. And why not of DeVere? For where is Bohun? Where is Mowbray? Nay, which is more and most of all, where is Plantagenet? They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality. And yet let the name and dignity of DeVere stand so long as it please God!' "
The resolution was remarked upon by some other members of the bar and was unanimously passed.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 64, pages 593 - 596
HEUSTED WARNER REYNOLDS HOYT was born in Ridgefield in this State on the 1st day of November, 1842. He was the son of the Rev.Warner Hoyt, who was rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in that town, and of Elizabeth Phillipina Reynolds, who was a native of Greenwich. The Rev. Warner Hoyt died when Heusted was but three years of age.
His early death entailed a complete change in the life of his little family, his widow removing from Ridgefield to her father's home in Greenwich where she remained, except for a period of two years spent in New Canaan, and there Heusted Hoyt spent his boyhood days, the whole of his active manhood, and from that home he was carried to his last resting place in the neighboring cemetery of Christ Church.
As a child Heusted Hoyt is remembered as one possessed of a singularly alert mind, so that he was often spoken of as almost precocious, certainly bright, and giving the promise of keen intellectual power when he reached maturity; and these mental traits combined with gentleness, generosity and manly childlike attributes, so to describe them, brought to him even in his early days the great respect of the community, and caused the prediction not infrequently to be made that the career which lay before him was likely to be one of unusual success. He was a faithful student in the Academy of Greenwich, and there he prepared for Columbia College, to which he was admitted in his seventeenth year.
His college days, brief as they were, sustained the repute which he had gained in his own town, and he seemed likely to be graduated among the honor men of his class. But it was while he was in these early preparatory studies that he received his first warning, and the shadow of that disease to which he finally succumbed fell upon him and continued throughout his life. He was obliged, because of this illness, to leave college without taking his degree. He returned to Greenwich, and by careful habits seemed after a time so far restored that he decided to prepare for the law, a vocation to which his ambition had impelled him in his youthful days. He became a student in the office of Henry H. Owen, Esq., in New York, was admitted in due course to the New York bar, and at first proposed to practice in New York City. His brief experience at the bar in that city assured those with whom he was associated that his career would have been successful there, but an opportunity which seemed to him favorable was opened for him to practice in his own town of Greenwich, and there he opened an office just at the time when the country was beginning to recover from the turmoil and distractions of the Civil War. There he remained in practice until his illness compelled him to take to his bed.
Col. Hoyt always took an intense interest in politics, and his personal qualities, combined with a wide acquaintance and respect which he had gained by reason of his association with the military service of the State, early indicated him as a candidate for political honors. He was elected to the State senate in 1869, being at that time the youngest member of that body. But although he was youngest in years he was among the potent influences of that legislature, and gained a repute there which caused his name to become familiar throughout the State. He served a second term in the senate in 1872, was a member of the house of representatives in 1886 and again in 1887, being upon the last occasion so generally indicated as the choice of his party for the speakership that he was elected to that position with practical unanimity.
These were the only political offices that Col. Hoyt ever held. He was, however, elected the first judge of the Borough Court which was established in the town of Greenwich in 1889, and held that office as long as he lived.
Col. Hoyt took a great interest in military matters and he possessed capacities which would, had he been able to serve in the field, have brought him great prominence and success. He earnestly desired to enlist and go to the front with a company in the Connecticut Volunteers, but his family knew better than he that, while he might escape the perils of battle, he certainly could not have immunity from those of the camp and the exposures of the field. A letter written by him on the 17th of July to an old friend then in the field contains these words, and in them there is sufficient indication of the force of his character. He says: "If there is any indication of a draft in Connecticut (and I do not think in this busy season they can get enough without) I am going to volunteer forthwith." It appears from this same letter that Hoyt and ten or twelve others were "studying up on Hardee's tactics," and probably to this discipline and this impulse may be traced the successes of his subsequent career as an officer of the State militia.
Upon his appointment in 1863 as second lieutenant of Company F, 8th Reg. C. N. G., he began a career with the militia which gave him a reputation as one of the most competent and skillful as well as popular men in the service. His abilities brought him rapid promotion until he finally was named Colonel of the 4th Regiment, which he brought to a high state of discipline. That post he held until March 24th, 1877. But his intense interest in all military matters even after his resignation, was second only to that which his practice created, and his friends many times thought that it was greater than the interest he found in the excitement of politics.
Col. Hoyt's career in the State senate revealed his unusual power and ability as a public speaker, and it perhaps was in that capacity that he became more familiarly known to the people of the State than in his power as a legislator, a quality which is not obvious to the public eye.
Form the time of his admission to the Fairfield County bar his abilities as counsel and advocate were recognized, and soon brought to him a profitable, and by no means local, business. His theoretical and practical knowledge of the law, his unyielding will, his capacity for persistent and unfailing devotion to the interests of his clients, and an unconquerable determination of nature, caused him to be greatly sought for. He was true to the cause of his client, and could never be made to acknowledge that defeat was his lot while any hope of victory remained. He was engaged in many notable cases, and as his skill was disclosed, and the cleverness which marked all of his performances appeared, he took strong hold of those who watched him. No lawyer acquainted with him would think of meeting him in a trial without the most careful preparation, for the intricacies of the law were as familiar to Col. Hoyt as the parts of an engine to a master mechanic. And then too, he never had the wrong side of a case; his service once secured he was bound to all opposing claims or principles except so far as they were forced upon him by his adversary and then he fought them with confidence, skill and tenacity. He was very properly considered a formidable opponent, for when apparently worsted, he would, without an indication of a change of front, commence a legal structure on the opposite side, and while one viewed the situation with wonder he rapidly and very substantially intrenched himself. Dislodge him you might, capture him you could not.
Col. Hoyt was ever ready and anxious to aid all of those plans which were for the benefit of his town. He never refused to give his assistance and endeavors to whatever was proposed for its improvement. His power as an orator, and his personal influence, were often sufficient to avail for the success of proposed measures, when without these influences they probably would have been defeated; and it was the very qualities which made him the able advocate that were of inestimable advantage to the community in his relation to it as a public spirited citizen.
The esteem and affection with which Col. Hoyt was held was tenderly and beautifully manifested upon the occasion of his funeral. In the midst of a blinding April snowstorm, with all the discomforts and perils attendant thereupon, his body was taken from the home of his childhood and manhood to that narrow home where it will remain until the last great day. And there followed to his grave a great company of his professional associates of the Fairfield bar, of the local bar, of those who had been with him in the days of his triumphs as a public man, of those who had served with him in the militia, and of neighbors and remoter friends, the shops being closed, the emblems of affliction being displayed, and even the houses for the most part deserted, so that the only tributes that then were possible might be paid to him by a community which sincerely mourned.
At a meeting of the bar of Fairfield County on April 15th, 1894, after remarks eulogistic of Col. Hoyt had been made by R. Jay Walsh, James H. Olmstead, Frederick A. Hubbard, Russell Frost, Ernest Staples, and others, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted : -
Whereas, the Fairfield County bar has learned with deep and sincere regret of the death of the Honorable Heusted W. R. Hoyt, one of its members, at his home in Greenwich, on Sunday, the eighth instant,
Resolved, that in the death of Brother Hoyt this bar fully realizes the loss of one of its most respected and talented members, one whose kindly and genial qualities, loyal friendship, amiable, polished and courteous manners, heroic courage, unswerving integrity in the discharge of his professional duties, and superior intellectual attainments has long commanded the admiration of his fellows, and are worthy of emulation.
Resolved, that this bar extends to the family of our deceased friend and brother the assurance of our deep and heartfelt sympathy in their great bereavement.
Resolved, that these resolutions be recorded at length in the records of the bar, and that a copy of the same, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the family of the deceased.
*Prepared by a friend at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 126, pages 724 - 726
Samuel Eugene Hoyt, states attorney for New Haven County at New Haven, met a tragic accident in Brooklyn, New York, on October 9, 1939. While on the way with his wife to visit a son, his automobile which he was driving was struck by another car, throwing him to the hard pavement, rendering him unconscious. He never regained consciousness, and a few hours later he died. Thus ended a colorful career.
Judge Hoyt was born in New Haven, where he always resided, on December 17, 1875. He was a son of Nehemiah Hardy and Emma J. Gardner Hoyt, his father being a wholesale merchant in New Haven for many years. He married Grace Alvord on June 14, 1900, who with three sons, Samuel Eugene, Jr., Spencer Steele and Alvord, survive him. His early education was in the New Haven public schools, being graduated from the New Haven High School in 1894. He immediately entered the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, and graduated therefrom in 1897 with the degree of Ph. B. He thereupon entered the Yale Law School and received the degree of L.L.B. in 1899. On his admission to the bar in the same year, he became associated with the late Isaac Wolfe, afterward a judge of the Superior Court, and the late Samuel A. York, Esq., for both of whom he formed a lifelong friendship, and they for him.
His first public office of trust was that of assistant city attorney of New Haven, which he held from 1905 to the latter part of 1908. He was later city attorney (1908-1911), judge of the City Court, New Haven, for several terms (July 1, 1911-July 1, 1913; July 1, 1917-July 1,1923). In 1925, he was appointed public defender of New Haven, which office he held until 1927 when he was appointed states attorney for New Haven County at New Haven, which office he held by successive appointments until his death.
Besides being associated with Judge Wolfe and Mr. York, he was at one time associated with William A. Bree, now clerk of the Superior Court at New Haven. From 1935 to December 1938, he was associated with him in the practice of law, his son, Spencer, and Irving Sweedler, under the firm name of Hoyt, Sweedler and Hoyt. From December, 1938, to the date of his death his son Spencer was associated with him under the firm name of Hoyt and Hoyt.
Judge Hoyt's practice was as varied as that of any lawyer. He was able, conscientious to a fault, and deeply devoted to the interests of his clients, and untiring in his efforts to serve them. Both in his private practice and in performing his duties of states attorney, his work was characterized by a spirit of honesty and fairness and sympathy for the unfortunate. Before he became states attorney, and when not a judge of the City Court, he defended many murder cases. It was not an easy matter to defend such cases at that time, as they were prosecuted by such able states attorneys as William H. Williams, later a judge of the Superior Court, and Arnon A. Alling, But Judge Hoyt was not without his successes.
One characteristic of Judge Hoyt was his ever readiness to help younger members of the bar. He was sympathetic with them in their endeavors to get started in the practice of law. This was evidenced not only by advice and encouragement, but also in a more practical way by sending clients to them, and otherwise entrusting legal work to them when occasion permitted.
"Sam," as he was genially called by all who knew him, possessed a keenly sensitive nature, but was tolerant and broad in his sympathies and above all possessed a brilliant wit and keen sense of humor. He was for two years president of the New Haven Bar Association, and for many years chairman of the New Haven bar dinner committees. Nothing pleased him more than to plan an entertainment for those functions. He loved associations with his fellow members of the bar, especially the younger men, and also others of a kindred spirit. In 1907 he joined the Second Company Governor's Foot Guard, and except for one or two short intervals, was a member of that organization to the date of his death, during which time he attained various commissions, and at his death held the rank of captain. As a member of the company he was always actively militant in its affairs, and for the pleasure of his fellow members, superintended successful theatrical and musical comedy productions, and took particular delight in arranging Christmas tree parties which were a delight to all the members.
Anything written about Judge Hoyt would be amiss if his love for athletics was not mentioned. Not particularly athletic himself, he nevertheless was fond of the "game." He was especially interested in helping and encouraging others to engage in sports. While in the law school he formed a law school baseball team and took it on a successful Easter trip through some of the southern states. After he entered the practice of law, he became interested in the development of playgrounds and recreational facilities for under privileged children in the city of New Haven, and for a long time was a member of the board of trustees of the New Haven Boys' Club. In 1938, he was elected to the presidency of the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States, which office he filled with distinction. He was re-elected in 1939. His funeral services, held in New Haven, were attended by several noted figures in the amateur athletic field of the United States.
Judge Hoyt was a member of the Quinnipiack Club of New Haven, the New Haven Country Club, Yale Club of New York, the New York Athletic Club, and of Lodge No.25 of the B.P.O.E., of which he was a past-Exalted Ruler. He was a member of the National Fraternity of Theta Xi, and its president in 1935-6.
Active throughout his life, he was never content to let others do what was to be done. His exuberant nature made him restive if he was not lending a helping if not controlling hand in what was to be done.
Yes, "Sam" Hoyt had a colorful and active life. He was successful in the practice of law as in other fields of endeavor, and in the course of his life he made many true friends who were naturally shocked at his untimely death. They will recall and miss his kindly, genial and witty nature.
*Prepared by Hon. Earnest C. Simpson, of New Haven.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 122, pages 674 - 675
South Street in Litchfield is historic. In the Oliver Wolcott house lived a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Connecticut. Directly across the wide village street is the Tapping Reeve house, and the first law school. In the next house south, in 1856, lived John H. Hubbard, a lawyer "then in large practice." In 1863 Charles B. Andrews came to Litchfield, became Mr. Hubbard's partner, lived in the next house south, became Governor, and then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Mr. Hubbard was for many years State's Attorney, and during the Civil War was a member of Congress. Mrs. Hubbard was a woman of rare spiritual power, dignity and charm. A son, John Tomlinson Hubbard, was born November 30th, 1856. For nearly four score years he trudged serenely up and down this beautiful street.
And now South Street has lost its most important, its most picturesque modern personage, for John Hubbard died January 18th, 1937, in the eighty-first year of his age. A great philosopher, he yet scorned Mr. Emerson's advice
"It is time to be old,
to take in sail."
John Hubbard did not have time to be old; "full steam ahead" was his philosophy at eighty. With his strong, rugged frame, full white beard, and great shock of white hair he was indeed a fine figure of a man. He took a cold bath every morning (even when the thermometer was fifteen below) for, as he said, "if I miss my cold bath in the morning, along about four o'clock in the afternoon I begin to feel kind of old." He was a prodigious walker, and used his old green model T Ford only for long distance travel. He wrote learnedly and delightfully for the local paper on his favorite subjects of metallurgy, Greek mythology, wild life, horticulture, probate law, and particularly concerning local history. He was in the active practice of the law; president of the Litchfield County Bar Association; a director, and vice-president of the Litchfield Savings Society; a director of the Litchfield Mutual Fire Insurance Company; senior warden of St. Michael's Episcopal Church.
All this at eighty.
Going back over the span of his years, - the opening paragraph of this memorial makes it evident that his early training, associations and precepts were of the best. Instruction came from his parents, the Litchfield schools, Yale College in the class of 1880, the Yale Law School in the class of 1883. "There followed fifty-three years of scrupulous law practice, of good deeds, of public service and charity, of honorable and dignified dealings with all persons, whether of prominent station or humble caste." Every problem known to the law, and many that were strangers to it, came into his country law office. He was Judge of Probate from a time the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, until his retirement by constitutional limitation.
John Hubbard was for thirty-five years a member of the examining board of the State Bar Association. Pause a moment and think what this really means, - what a deep impression this scholarly, kindly man has left on the minds and lives of the lawyers of today.
He had been warden of the Borough of Litchfield, perennial moderator at town meetings, town counsel, representative in the Legislature for two terms, charter member of the town fire department and active in it until 1932.
"Metallurgy and Greek mythology were two subjects which gripped the Judge in complete fascination." Add farming to this. He had been president of the Proprietors of the Ore Beds of Salisbury and for eleven years was secretary of the old Connecticut Mining Company. He was president of the Echo Farm Association. He owned farms in his beloved village of Milton, and operated a picturesque saw mill and a grist mill there, and owned many interesting abandoned mines in Litchfield County.
From this brief and incomplete sketch there emerges the portrait of an unusual man, a picturesque personage. He was strong, yet shy, and whimsical. In spite of (or because of) his many hobbies and avocations, be was a sound lawyer, a profound scholar. He loved the early days of his beloved Litchfield; he loved better the days in which he lived and worked. He was a friend to man. He did no wrong. His wish was to be useful. His endeavor was unspoiled by greed. He walked in the path of his Master.
We all come through the years "by a way we did not know." Ever burning before his vagrant feet was the kindly light of faith in mankind. John Hubbard came to the end of his days with a record of solid accomplishment, with the respect, the affection of his fellow men, full of honors, and yet his evening's twilight found him gentle still.
*Prepared by Hon. Arthur F. Ells, of Litchfield.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 50, pages 604 - 620
RICHARD DUDLEY HUBBARD, the acknowledged head of the bar of the state, died at his residence in Hartford on the 28th of February, 1884, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. He was born in Berlin in this state on the 7th of September, 1818, and was early left an orphan, with means barely sufficient for his education. He graduated at Yale College in 1839, and immediately after commenced the study of law with the late William Hungerford, and was admitted to the Hartford County bar in 1842. In 1846 he was appointed State's Attorney for the county, which office he held with the exception of two years, until 1868. During the war of the rebellion, which occurred during this period, he was an earnest supporter of the Government. In 1867 he was elected to Congress by the Democratic party, but found political life at Washington very little to his taste, and at the end of his term declined a renomination. In 1876 he was elected by the same party Governor of the state, being the first to serve under the two-years term. To the discharge of the duties of this office he brought great intelligence, an earnest desire to promote the public welfare and an absence of partisan feeling. In his first message he called the attention of the legislature in very strong language to the injustice done to women by the antiquated law governing their property rights in marriage, and under his supervision the act of 1877, making radical change in the property relations of husband and wife, and based upon the principle of equality, was drafted and passed.
It was however in the field of the law that he won his great success. Here he became a foremost figure in the public eye. He was not only the first lawyer in the state, but its greatest orator. His superiority as a lawyer was owing less to a laborious study of books, though he was always a diligent student and very thorough in the preparation of his cases, than to his perfect comprehension of legal principles. He had obtained a complete mastery of the science of law. He would detect the slightest swerving from its harmony as a fine ear would detect the least discord in music. He had a strong common sense, by which he tested everything. But with the soundest of judgments he united the greatest quickness of apprehension and brilliancy of imagination; with an apparently unlimited grasp of mind, a rare fineness of discrimination. He was however never led astray by a fondness for legal casuistry, and he had no relish and but little respect, while yet fully understanding them, for the mere technicalities of the law. His mind was eminently a philosophical one, and found recreation in the study of philosophical systems and abstract speculation; nothing interesting him more than the great mysteries and baffling questions of life.
As an orator he was best known to the general public. His success here was of course attributable in large measure to great natural powers; but he had improved these by a good classical education and by the superadded scholarly culture of a lifelong familiarity with the ancient and modern classics. Indeed it was this culture that gave to his oratory its special charm. With no attempt at rhetorical display, with never an impassioned delivery but a special quietness of manner, he yet had an exquisiteness of thought, a fertility of imagination, and a power and grace of expression, that made his addresses on every occasion captivating to his hearers; while his more studied efforts were worthy of any orator of any age. Some of his addresses at meetings of the bar called to pay tributes to deceased members, have been remarkable for their beauty. That upon Mr. William Hungerford, who had been beyond any other man in our state the representative of the ancient school of English lawyers, and who died in extreme old age in 1873, is one of the finest pieces of composition that the English language has ever known. Indeed, one gets a new sense of the power of that language in reading it. These addresses may be found in the appendices of the 35th, 39th and 48th volumes of the Connecticut Reports.
Mr. Hubbard's superiority was not limited to any circumscribed department. Before the court on questions of pure law, before the jury on questions of fact, in the halls of legislation, on the public platform, he was the same clear thinker, the same graceful, illuminating, persuasive speaker. In his professional practice he was the soul of honor; duplicity and trickery he could not tolerate. He was a man of truthfulness everywhere; he could not bear shams and pretences. His nature was a reverential one, but almost wholly towards objects that came before him as tangible, or least as veritable, realities. A noble man, a truly admirable woman, a great act, filled his heart with a real reverence. But he seemed to lack the power, with all his ideality, of penetrating the veil that hangs around our narrow horizon and filling the seeming void with realities. Ever an anxious questioner of the infinite, he seemed to get no response that he was able to interpret.
Mr. Hubbard lacked ambition; he had no fondness for appearing before the public; no desire for office or honor. Even for the law, in which he won no great triumphs, he felt no great enthusiasm. He loved the quiet of his library and the company at table and fireside of cultivated and congenial friends. In all this he was somewhat too ready to seek his ease, but he rose up manfully to meet the demands of any clear public duty. He had no ear for music and had not been educated to a taste for art; but he enjoyed greatly the beauties of nature and was charmed by foreign travel. His integrity was more than unquestioned; it had the emphatic endorsement of the whole public. In social life he was the most charming of companions, with a sparkling wit and rare conversational powers and a faculty of bringing to his service and to the entertainment of his friends quaint passages of humor and of wisdom from the old English writers.
In every position in life he was facile princeps. In his death in the full vigor of manhood the "gladsome light of jurisprudence" seems dimmed. His brilliant life passed by, and left very few memorials of itself. He filled a large place while he lived, yet how small that which his memory will fill, when, a few years hence, those who knew and admired and loved him, have passed away? Most touchingly appropriate to his own case are these concluding words of his eulogy upon Mr. Hungerford:
"And now when I consider this long life closed, these many years ended of eminent labor in the highest ranks of the forum, and nothing left of it all but a tolling bell, a handful of earth and a passing tradition - a tradition already half past, I am reminded of the infelicity which attends the reputation of a great lawyer. To my thinking, the most vigorous brainwork of the world is done in the ranks of our profession. And then our work concerns the highest of all temporal interests, property, reputation, the peace of families, liberty, life even, the foundations of society, the jurisprudence of the world, and, as a recent event has shown, the arbitrations and peace of the nations. The world accepts the work but forgets the workers. The waste hours of Lord Bacon and Sergeant Talfourd were devoted to letters, and each is better remembered for his mere literacy diversion than for his whole long and laborious professional life work. The cheap caricatures of Dickens on the profession will outlive, I fear, in the popular memory, the judgments of Chief Justice Marshall, for the latter were not clownish burlesques, but only master-pieces of reason and jurisprudence. The victory gained by the counsel of the seven bishops was worth infinitely more to the people of England than all the triumphs of the Crimean war. But one Lord Cardigan led a foolishly brilliant charge against a Russian battery at Balaklava and became immortal. Who led the charge of the seven great confessors of the English church against the English crown at Westminster Hall? You must go to your books to answer. They were not on horseback. They wore gowns instead of epaulets. The truth is, we are like the little insects that in the unseen depths of the ocean lay the coral foundations of the uprising islands. In the end comes the solid land, the olive and the vine, the habitations of men, the arts and industries of life, the havens of the sea and ships riding at anchor. But the busy toilers which laid the beams of a continent in a dreary waste are entombed in their work and forgotten in their tombs."
At a meeting of the Hartford County bar, called on the occasion of Mr. Hubbard's death, and which was very largely attended, the following resolutions were reported by a committee for adoption:
"The Bar of Hartford County, called together by the death of Richard D. Hubbard, places upon record this tribute to their honored leader and loved associate: -
"Mr. Hubbard had won the first place in his profession; but while others have done this, he took a step beyond and created a place which no one but himself could fill. It was not mere professional ability that distinguished him above his fellows - it was profound ability permeated by a personality so rare that there could be no question of equality where there was no possibility of comparison. He laid the foundations of success by grappling with the toughest drudgery of the profession with a persistence that nothing could shake. Yet all this ground work was enlivened by a spirit so fresh, a humor so sparkling, an ease so natural, that the result of his severest labors seemed rather the inspiration of the moment, and we lost sight of the fact that he was really one of the hardest of workers.
"He was eloquent; but his eloquence was entirely his own. His quiver was filled with every arrow that could legitimately be used. Logic, solid and compact; rhetoric, fresh and natural; humor, sarcasm, invective, pathos - all were used, and in his own peculiar way, not for the mere sake of use, but as occasion required to accomplish some specific object, with an unerring instinct as to the fitness of time and place. And running through all his eloquence, distinguishing his illustrations, the fitting of words, the turning of phrases, and even the putting of syllogisms, was that masterful wit which consists in pleasing surprises and holds the hearer, not only by the force of what is said, but by the witchery of constant expectation.
"He looked upon the law as an arena for professional struggle, and was, in the best sense, a stalwart fighter. Indeed, a certain healthy and vigorous combativeness that squarely met every obstacle, asking no quarter, was one of his most marked characteristics and largely contributed to his success. In the trial of a case he was like a soldier armed at every point, fighting for his client with an utter fearlessness and an energy untiring to the end. But his combats had no tinge of bitterness. They never left a sting, and were marked by a generosity that received with hearty admiration well-directed blows fairly given.
"In council, the rare suggestiveness of his mind was conspicuous, and in argument of questions of law he exhibited the highest qualities of the jurist. A broad and yet clear conception of legal principles, the power of keen analysis, often subtle, but rarely unsound, a nice discrimination in the application of law to facts, made his arguments a valuable and lasting contribution to the jurisprudence of the state.
"He never forgot the lawyer in the advocate. In the performance of every professional duty he exercised his office with fidelity as well to the court as to his client.
"As a public man, Mr. Hubbard illustrated anew the truth that the most unselfish patriotism and purest execution of public trust is found in those drawn from the ranks of our profession. He carried into public life the same industry, eloquence, fearless advocacy, broad and vigorous thoughtfulness and sterling integrity, that marked him as a lawyer. But his life was mainly given to his profession. He held office long enough to accomplish some lasting good and to prove how much the state has lost.
"The records of the courts will bear witness to Mr. Hubbard's rare professional ability, the records of the state will testify to his public service; but the virtues of the man, just, generous, loving, true - binding to him through a long life by unbroken links of firmest friendship all who have really known him - these can have no permanent record; they live only in the hearts and lives of his friends."
Mr. Henry C. Robinson remarked upon the resolutions as follows: -
Mr. Chairman and Brothers: We are all in harmony to-day. It is the harmony of minor chords. This chamber of yesterday's contests is a chamber of mourning; in this temple of justice there is no fire burning but upon the altar of affection. There is no eye here which is undimmed, no voice which is unfaltering, no heart which is untouched. And I look along the lines and circles to find one who is brave enough to tell our story of sorrow. But the lips which we should all love to wait upon to voice our grief shall open no more in eulogy. Oh, for an half hour of the living Hubbard to sketch the features of our Hubbard who sleeps. It seems as if we were standing by that great prostrate trunk in the Mariposa grove which began to build its young growth into its magnificent architecture and to toss its green braids in those crystal airs before the birth of Plato or Demosthenes. But now it lies upon the ground, its roots torn, its branches shattered and gone, its massive column stretching away in long distance and rising up in its circumference like a fortress. It is all that is left of that once supreme specimen of nature in vegetable life. They call it the "Fallen Monarch."
I shall attempt no exhaustive analysis of our friend's professional powers. There is no office in a lawyer's high calling which he did not adorn. His presence was the presence of a master, in the struggles of reflection, the flashes of insight, the responsibilities of counsel, the preparation of causes, the perils of examinations and the triumphs of advocacy. There is no weapon of honorable warfare which he did not wield; there is no method of skilful defense which he did not use. No conflict of authorities confused him, for he poured them all into the crucible of his fervent analysis, and burned away their dross. No problem of induction appalled him, nor any network of sophistry, though knit with the skill of Vulcan, bound him. He feared no antagonist however great; he despised no associate however humble. He brought to his practice great learning, but he was linked to no past which must not yield to a better present. He honored a technicality which covered a principle or was tied to a policy, but for a technicality which had only the credentials of scrupulosity and of weed-tithing, he had only contempt. The wisdom of the old judges he held in high respect, for their wigs and gowns he had only a smile.
To his profession he was ardently attached. He loved its science, its eloquence, its wit, its nobility. He was proud of its history, of its contributions to philosophy and literature, of its manifold struggles in defence of human rights, and assaults upon human wrongs. But he had no idolatries. He loved his profession with the zeal of enthusiasm, and the loyalty of chivalry, but he was bound in chains to no philosophies, or traditions, or callings. He had no theory in things political that man was made for a party or a profession; nor in things social that man was made for etiquette or wardrobe or sacraments. He believed that churches and states, parties and professions, titles, traditions, symbols, and treaties, chancels and vestments, Sabbaths and scriptures, were all made for man. And so while he was the ablest and most accomplished lawyer of our state, he was more than that; as manhood is greater than business, and life than a profession.
The great questions of life which take hold of human rights and human character; of truth, justice, love, self-denial, courage, freedom, benevolence, modesty and honesty, education and culture, are all too broad to be delivered to the trusteeship of any single profession or philosophy, to any one church or nation. They are open to the enduring power of literature and to the evanescent influence of oratory, to the shadows of art and the substances of experience. From these great things so great a man as our friend could not withhold the activities of his great nature. To them he brought that strength which characterized his efforts, and which was written legibly upon his features and form. To them he brought that aggressiveness which made him so often a victor, and always so brave. To them he bought that honesty which scorned tricks and hated lies, and that conscience which sought truth, and for it slew many a prepossession. He illustrated that rare combination in intellectual nature, of consummate powers of reasoning joined with those flights of creative imagination, bubblings of wit and thrills of pathos which are significant of insight and intuition. His processes were skeptical rather than positive. He was never over-sanguine, and was often too apprehensive. His words and sentences blazed like the sun. At times, disregarding the strictest rules of the rhetoricians, his grand thoughts found expression in pungent and incisive phrase, which sparkled with originality and freshness. He had no room for common-place things in idea or form. His arguments, addresses and eulogies are of the finest forensic efforts of our nation, and his state papers are among the best contributions of our political literature. Mr. Hubbard's culture was peculiarly his own. He sought and studied the great arguments and orations of the past and present. He was a profound student of Shakespeare and Milton; he delighted in John Bunyan, Thomas Browne, Thomas Fuller and Jeremy Taylor. He was cultivated in the French language and enjoyed the suggestive methods of French wit, and was familiar with their great dramatists and public orators. For fiction and pure metaphysics he cared little. The terms of Hegel seemed to him a tangled humbug. He was no lover of art. He was wont to ridicule men who raved over a square yard of painted canvas, but who felt no enthusiasm in a Connecticut sunset. He had no taste for music; there was a certain strength and manliness in architecture which reconciled him to it. He was exclusive in his affections, but he was broad in his sympathies. With the tumult of his whole personal force he hated despotism and oppressions, civil, social and ecclesiastical, and he held the emancipators in high honor. He waited for public office, and that in a day when political gardens blossom with claims and booms and self-pushings, and when modesty has gone out of the conventions as a lost grace. I dare not speak of what he was in the intimacies and sanctities of his personal friendship. Blessed are they who felt them; bitter is their grief as they are now but memories.
I cannot leave this shining death, this silence of tongue most eloquent, this gathering to dust of him, the foremost citizen of our state, this muffling of that heart which always beat in rhythm with justice and truth and friendship, without seeking for a gleam of hope through the clouds. Let him who will, believe that there are no invisibles; that logic, wit, imagination, friendship, courage, faith, love, are born in the fibres of the body, vibrate with its molecules and die with its decay. We stumble upon mystery and mystery until life seems a string of puzzling interrogation points. We fill our waste basket with puerile notions; we revise our philosophies and our creeds. But there remain as our stars in these hours of midnight, as everlasting verities, the reality of the invisibles, the universality of the divine goodness, the immortality of human love and human character, all ensphered and uplifted in that one holy life of Judea which defies definition, but which it is our sweet privilege to follow.
Mr. Alvin P. Hyde, who had been for several years one of his law-partners, addressed the bar as follows: -
Mr. Chairman and Brethren: None of you can be more aware than myself of my utter unfitness to speak on an occasion like this, and were it not that my peculiar relations to Gov. Hubbard seem to render it fit that I should say a few words, I should obey my inclination to mourn in silence. My intimate acquaintance with Gov. Hubbard commenced in 1858, when we were associated as members of the legislature. The friendship thus formed was never broken or interrupted during his life. In 1867 I became his partner, and ever since, for a period of more than sixteen years, we have occupied the same or adjoining rooms and have been in almost daily communication. During all these years there has never been a jar or disagreement between him and myself or any member of our firm, a fact of which he spoke to me a short time since, as a matter of which we might well be proud. The admiration, respect and esteem I entertained for Gov. Hubbard as a lawyer, an advocate, a citizen and a man, before I became his partner, have since ripened into a feeling of affection and love for him which overshadows all other ties. No man could live in daily intercourse with him, as I have done, without learning that the fundamental principles on which all his actions were based and governed, whether professional, personal or as a citizen, were - what do the strictest rules of honor, right and justice require? Nothing was ever allowed to interfere with that idea. His self-interest, the apparent interest of the firm, nay, even partisan interests, so far as he could control them, must yield to this inexorable rule.
His loss to me is something more than his loss to most of the members of the bar. My attachment to and affection for him could not have been stronger had he been my own brother - though had he been my brother I should have felt an infinite pride in the thought that I belonged to a family which could produce such a specimen of a man. I leave it for others to speak of his character as a lawyer, simply remarking, what no one here will gainsay, that our chief has fallen and we have no equal to take his place.
As a counselor, when called upon to advise a client as to the launching or defending a suit, he was cautious almost to the verge of timidity, indefatigable and minute in investigating the principles bearing upon both sides of the question in issue. But when the issues were made up, he cast aside his doubts and entered the contest with his armor on, equipped at every point, and fought manfully, a stand-up fight, despising all subterfuges or evasions. If he sometimes failed, as all must, it was from no fault or neglect of his.
As an advocate he possessed remarkable power. His addresses whether at the bar or elsewhere sparkled with gems of wit and illustration. He had a wonderful faculty of presenting a case involving the driest questions of law or fact in such attractive and illustrative language as compelled the constant attention of the hearers, without for a moment abandoning his line of argument or interjecting a single sentence by way of ornament and which did not serve as a part of his argument. I never have seen a member of our profession or any other, who exhibited in his speeches such evidence of rugged strength combined with literary excellence and scholarly finish as did Gov. Hubbard. His arguments were always solid, symmetrically and logically built from the foundation. There was no stucco or outside adornment to cover or conceal the barrenness of the walls. But every idea and thought, which formed one of the beams or planks of the frame-work of his structure, was so carved and ornamented that when put in its place its ornamentation added to the strength of the whole.
It is said that when a man dies, however prominent he may have been, it is like casting a pebble into the sea which causes a ripple that soon vanishes and all is forgotten. This may be so, but I do not believe that a member of this bar who has known and practiced with Gov. Hubbard will forget him or his character or his example while life lasts.
Mr. George G. Sill remarked as follows:
Thirty years ago it was my good fortune to be a student of Gov. Hubbard. There was formed a friendship which remained unbroken and never marred by one unkind word uttered in the sometimes fierce heat of forensic contests. He was not demonstrative in his friendships or affections, and one might only learn by a single word or tone of voice the degree of esteem in which he was held. It was my privilege to sympathize with him in his sorrows and disappointments and to rejoice with him in his hopes, ambition and success. It is not needful to speak of his social qualities and friendships, for these are private treasures of those whom he honored with his society and confidence. I prefer in this presence to speak of him as a lawyer and a magistrate. He came to the bar when such men as Hungerford, Toucey, Perkins and Chapman were the chiefs, intellectual gladiators, completely armed and experienced warriors. This young Ivanhoe, with vizor down, and with sword and lance, entered the lists of these Knights Templar. If the first tournaments were not joyous, if his lance was splintered, his shield pierced and he unhorsed, he obtained the respect of his adversaries for his fairness, his equipment and his fertility of resource. If Chapman, that unrivalled man in dealing with questions of fact, excelled him in cross-examination and sharpness of speech, Hubbard was his superior in application and study and knowledge of legal principles. If Hungerford, that profound and never-satisfied student, who explored all the labyrinths of the law, all the broad rivers and little streams, following them over trackless wastes to their sources, was more untiringly devoted to his profession, Hubbard had more personal magnetism and persuasive oratory. And so the youthful knight was no despised competitor, and soon came to stand shoulder to shoulder with them in contests for success and honors in the forum, and when they passed away full of years and renown, Governor Hubbard easily became the foremost man in his profession in the state.
Let us turn from his abounding successes and honors won in his chosen profession, to view his career as a politician and chief magistrate of the state. With his philosophic mind, patriotic impulses, honest purposes and economic studies, he was thoroughly fitted for the ideal governor of an ideal commonwealth. For this age and present state of political morals, he was born too early. He believed that men formed themselves into a political party from the unity of ideas and purposes, that each party had for its ultimate object the greatest good to the greatest number, while pursuing that object by widely divergent paths. He apparently forgot that all men were not like himself, and that parties are formed to secure the honors, powers and emoluments of public positions, the good of the state being a secondary consideration. With his habits of thought, love of study and quietness, and his hatred of ostentation, sham and gewgaws, he was reluctant and illy-fitted to enter the noisy and dirty arena of politics. The tramp of men, the glare of torches, the suffocating smoke, the tinkling of cymbals, the shoutings of the hustings, the applause of the people, were distasteful to him and failed to make his pulses bound or arouse his enthusiasm. Had he lived in the days of Cromwell and the English revolution he would not, like Hampden, have led his little troop of horse against Rupert's forces on the field of Chalgrove, and sacrificed a priceless life. He would have been found in his library or in a cloister, reading his breviary, or Milton and Shakespeare, or the Greek and Latin poets and historians and orators. Turmoil, confusion, blood, were not to his liking. An advanced age may admire his really wonderful qualities of mind and heart for a chief magistrate, his masterly state papers, his unsurpassed oratory and his unequalled specimens of English composition, but to-day these are appreciated by a few only. I have said he was born too early. He was born too late. With his love of philosophy, of the beauties of nature and art, and his love of discussion, he should have been born in the culminating period of Athenian patriotism and culture. I think I can see him under the soft skies of Greece walking with Socrates and Plato in the academy, the porticos, the gymnasia, the workshops and market places, and discussing the nature or origin of virtue and the immortality of the soul.
The temples, the statues, the games, and the philosophy and poetry of Greece would have been to him an unending pleasure. He had the fascination and versatility of Alcibiades without his follies and faults. He loved thought and repose. The latter he has at last found in the cold embrace of death. The mysteries of life and the grave are now revealed to him. His halting faith no longer darkens his existence. What he longed so much to believe and know he has realized in that unknown and mysterious future which lies beyond the confines of his mortal life.
Mr. William Hamersley spoke as follows: -
In the presence of the grief that calls us together I would far rather be silent. Standing by the open grave of one possessed of rare mental gifts and acquirements, but whose gifts of intellect, great as they were, seem but as sounding brass and the tinkling cymbal when compared with the wonderful gifts of heart and character that drew to him his friends with a love not to be expressed, speech seems utterly weak and empty; and yet I felt compelled to say a few words - not to sketch his life or offer a tribute of praise to his memory, but simply to join with my brothers in this very inadequate way of testifying to our great loss.
The end of any useful life is a loss irreparable to the living. In our moments of gloomy philosophy we are apt to say that no one life is of much consequence, that those who come after take the places of those who go before, and the world moves on without a ripple. This is not quite true. The creative power that never duplicates a creation, even in the countless myriads of the forest leaves, gives to every human life a different character and a peculiar work. The work that is specially given us to do, if not done in our lives, will forever remain undone. While this is true, yet the resemblances among men are so great that one generation succeeds another with little apparent loss. But now and then, as if to keep us in mind of the great truth that each life, however humble, has a work to be accomplished that can be taken up and finished by no other life, we find a character so widely different from the ordinary mold, that we say at once, here is a man whose place in life, once emptied, can never be filled. Such was the character that gave the peculiar charm to the life of Mr. Hubbard, that makes his death a loss, a void. When the healing hand of time has somewhat softened the sharpness of the grief that now fills our hearts, it would be a pleasure, perhaps a duty, to place in some enduring form an analysis of the qualities that combined to make so rare a character. To-day we can only acknowledge our irreparable loss. Doubtless the thought has this morning come to all of us, of the golden tongue that has spoken for us when from time to time we have met to pay the last tribute to the memory of some brother fallen from the ranks. We recall the brilliant and life-like portrait of Chapman, the matchless eulogy of Hungerford, the eloquent portrayal of the judicial career of Seymour and of the kindly virtues of Waldo. Bu now - where is the golden tongue that can give voice to our love for Hubbard? There is no need. He being dead yet speaketh. The throbbing of the people's heart, the thronging memories of this room, this sad gathering, these unaccustomed tears, pronounce an eulogy, more just, more eloquent, more loving than human tongue can utter.
Mr. Albert H. Walker remarked as follows: -
When Robert Burns died his townsmen went about inquiring of each other, "who will be our poet now?" as though Dumfries or Scotland might hope to have another Burns. No Burns came again to the Scotch, but that people soon after gave another great poet to mankind. In like manner, Hartford and Connecticut may be given, by the coming years, as great a man as Richard D. Hubbard; but they cannot give a man having the same combination of solid traits and brilliant qualities. He was able as a lawyer. He was more than able as a statesman. As an orator he was great. As a lawyer his superiority was philosophical rather than learned. Other members of the bar may have excelled him in command of the resources of the books; but none equaled him in command of the resources of reason. While others were basing legal conclusions upon ancient precedents, he was causing them to grow naturally out of the relation of things and the circumstances of human life. As a statesman, his superiority was ideal even more than it was actually realized. His standard was too high to be adequately advanced without ambition, and Governor Hubbard was not ambitious. It was for this reason, and this reason alone, that the light which shone in Connecticut did not shine throughout all the states. As an orator his superiority was poetic rather than passionate; rhetorical in form and in figure, rather than in fire or fury. The field of his eloquence was the field of the imagination. The devotions of patriotism; the kindly qualities of the dead; the swift approaching end of the living; these inspired his prophetic brain to fashion the language of poetic prose to mould the beautiful sentiment of eulogy. In this field he was supreme. None live to lay so beautiful a wreath upon his grave as those he laid upon the graves of Hungerford, Seymour and Waldo.
Mr. Thomas McManus next spoke as follows: -
A professional residence for many years, under a common roof with our departed friend - an intimate friendship from the date of my admission to the bar - these give the right to add my voice to the many that are this day lifted up in lamentation over the prostrate form of the great leader of the Bar of Connecticut.
An ancient maxim enjoined all utterances save in praise when the dead were the subjects. It was the singular felicity of him whom we mourn, that he experienced this delicate exemption even in life. It has been permitted him to anticipate a portion of the fame that attends the memory of the good.
Striking in personal appearance, in physique powerful, in disposition cheerful, super-eminent in abilities and irreproachable in character, with scarcely a peer and with no superior, it is no wonder that we exulted in the fact that this rare being was one of our own professional community. An ardent patriot, yet wholly unselfish; an able statesman, a jurist unexcelled, and an orator unequalled; indignant at professional uncleanness, yet merciful even to tenderness towards human weakness when repentant. Surely this generation can not hope to look upon his like again.
He had held high honors, but they were so far below his deserts that even envy murmured at the paucity of his rewards.
(The speaker closed with the narration of an incident that fell under his personal notice strikingly illustrative of the warm sympathy and thoughtful kindness of Gov. Hubbard.)
Other addresses were made by Messrs. Franklin, Chamberlin, Samuel F. Jones, Henry S. Barbour, Sherman W. Adams, Charles E. Perkins and John Hooker, after which the resolutions were unanimously adopted by a rising vote.
Eulogistic addresses were made the day before in both houses of the General Assembly, which was in session, and resolutions in honor of Gov. Hubbard were passed.
Gov. Hubbard's funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, March 1st, prayers being read at the house of Rev. Mr. Watson, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, at which he was an attendant. After this a public address was delivered by Rev. Dr. Parker of the South Congregational Church, a life-long friend, to an audience that filled the church to its fullest capacity, the bar of the county attending in a body, with delegates from other counties, and representatives of the city corporation and other companies and institutions with which Gov. Hubbard had been connected. The address was as follows: -
ADDRESS OF REV. DR. PARKER.
The public press has fitly voiced the feeling of tender sorrow that pervades our afflicted city; honorable members of the state legislature have recalled Mr. Hubbard's distinguished services to our commonwealth, and have testified of the high esteem in which his name and memory are held by the people of Connecticut; his brethren of the legal profession have justly and eloquently eulogized their illustrious and beloved chief, delineating his character, remarking his solid and shining intellectual endowments, reviewing his signal success in his chosen profession, and his no less brilliant success as a statesman and orator. It is therefore, unnecessary that, on this occasion, I should speak of him in his professional or political relations. Let me simply indicate the vital relation of the man's character to the singular success which he has achieved, and to the admiration, pride and honor in which he is justly held.
"Many are the friends of the golden tongue." But it would be a great error and injustice to attribute his power and popularity to the possession of remarkable forensic and oratorical gifts alone. The "golden tongue," the genius for convincing and charming eloquence, could never, of itself alone, have secured for Mr. Hubbard the commanding position which he occupied, or won for him the universal respect, confidence and honor accorded him throughout this commonwealth. Behind the "golden tongue" was a powerful intellect, a splendid and chastened imagination, great analytic and synthetic powers, rich and varied learning, singular skill of statement, remarkable felicity of illustration, a firm grasp of both facts and principles, a resolution commensurate with his resources, the regnant calmness of a circumspect mind which suffers no straggling word to betray its lines of march or to mar with haste the dignity of its movement. He was
"No wordy babbler, wasteful of his speech,"
even when his words fell like flakes of wintry snow, but behind all this manifold and marvelous intellectual instrumentality was the manhood and its mighty powers of truth and honor and justice and gentleness. His splendid genius rested on his granitic character. The chief secrets of his success are to be found deep in the virtues of his great manliness.
First of all, Mr. Hubbard was a truth-loving, truth-seeking, truth-speaking, truth-acting, truth-exacting man. You read this in his clear, unquailing eyes, in the firm set of his head, in the strong features of his face, in his gait and gestures, in his movements and manners. You heard it in the tones of his gentle but masterful voice. You felt it in the atmosphere of his presence. Not only in matters of business and politics, but in the affairs of society, and in the personal and intimate relations of life, this splendid sincerity, this absolute truthfulness of nature, was evident. Men knew that he was incapable of falsity and could be trusted utterly.
He was a singularly honorable man. His standard of honor was a lofty one. His sense of honor was keen. He renounced the hidden things of dishonor as heartily as he denounced their external manifestations. His God was so far medieval as to be the "Lord of Courtesy." He was in full sympathy with that early English poet who described Jesus as
"The first true gentleman that ever breathed."
He never took unfair advantage. He never dealt a foul blow. There was something knightly in his magnanimous spirit. He belonged to the nobility by birth, and accepted the obligations of the nobility, -noblesse oblige! His soul stood upright within him, - a soldierly sort of soul, loyal and reverent to authorities, but fearless, vigilant, inquisitive, circumspect, looking out thoughtfully and sadly into the all-encompassing night and mystery, but undismayed, nor ever swayed from duty or warped from uprightness.
He had a passion for justice and a fine pride therein. This inspired his unremitting labor, and explains his solid and compact character. This passion for justice now prompted, now checked his speech. It determined and regulated his argument and his conduct. I think it even made him unjust to himself at times. It made his conversation and companionship refreshing. It guided him amid political excitements, it strengthened him against the temptations of partisanship, it gave to his friendship a priceless value. It explains what has been called his lack of ambition. To deal fairly and do justly seemed to him of more importance than forensic victories, oratorical successes, party triumphs, or personal popularity. As Dean Stanley said of Mr. Grote, it may be said of Mr. Hubbard: "Let those who think it consistent with their station, or their rank, or their religion, to treat with rudeness or with scorn those from whom they differ or those to whom they are superior, remember the gracious urbanity, the antique courtesy, the tender consideration with which he met the jarring circumstances and characters of life." He could prefer others in honor, he could render to every man his due, "Honor to whom honor, custom to whom custom."
There was a great, warm, generous heart in Mr. Hubbard, overflowing in human kindness, for with him justice was not that literal and legal skeleton which does duty in the dissecting-rooms of scholastic philosophy, but a living and spiritual virtue in whose heart are fountains of mercy and tenderness. How kind, how generous he was - except to himself! How catholic his sympathies! Belonging to the aristocracy of letters, yea, to the aristocracy of souls, he was as true a democrat and as little of a demagogue as Abraham Lincoln. His whole heart went out toward the innumerable children of men in the their never-so-blind and unwise struggles for freedom against oppression and misrule. Thoroughly conversant with the history, institutions and literature of older nations, his confidence in the political constitution of his own country and in the capacity of the people to work out their political salvation with unprecedented success, was complete and enthusiastic. In the diligent pursuit of a profession which more than any other, perhaps, discovers the perversities of human character and conduct, he did not lose his faith in men, nor his respect for human nature, nor his confidence in human progress, but continually his heart was enlarged. And so, despite his reticence, his shyness of professions, his extreme sensitiveness to publicity, his tendency to seclusiveness and study, and the strain of something like melancholy that ran through his poetic and philosophic temperament, he came to be known as our least voluble, but most valuable citizen. There is mourning for him in the factory and in the college, in the store and in the study.
In the freedom of the society of his chosen friends what an altogether remarkable man he seemed. What originality of thought, what cogent reasoning, what splendid allusion, what wealth of illustration, what apt quotation from his Bible and his Shakespeare, what sallies of wit, what copious outflow of sinewy but graceful speech, what a beauty of soul, what powers of subtle, versatile, brilliant mind were unconsciously displayed!
He was unfathomable and unaccountable on the spiritual side of his nature. There was something awful in the greatness of his secrets, in his will and power to carry alone burdens and sorrows and doubts. He looked out into the unseen things, as it seemed to me, with the calm, sad eyes of the Sphynx. What he saw in that direction no man knows, I think. If he was constitutionally skeptical, his spirit was reverent and devout in unusual degree. Such a man's quiet questionings are more religious than much unquestioning faith. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely and of good report - he not only thought on these things, but was rooted and grounded in them.
And if the beatitudes are true - if the poor in spirit, the merciful, the meek, the peacemakers, and they that hunger for righteousness are blessed and the kingdom of heaven is theirs, then our friend receives the Great Master's benediction. Thinking of him, recalling him, one cannot conceive of any other kingdom in the least suitable for him than that wherein dwelleth righteousness. For each true man is citizen of one true city.
Fellow-citizens, as we review the names of our illustrious dead in Connecticut, behold how numerous they are and how they make our annals shine.
"This little planet doth adorn itself
With the good spirits that have active been
That fame and honor might come after them."
Among these bright historic names is now enrolled the name of Richard Dudley Hubbard. Among these spirits whom fame and honor follow, lives forever his good spirit. We shall see his face no more, but we have not wholly lost him since his lofty standard and bright example remain. We shall hear no more the music of his lips, but the message of his life and character shall be pondered in our hearts with his name and his memory. No one will fill his place. No one can. But his place is already filled. His work is done. Other men will come and take their own places and do their appointed work. Let us remember that Nature never blunders. Let is believe that God makes no mistakes. The destructions over which we mourn because they remove the objects on which our affections are so fixed, are preliminary to reconstructions. The decaying tree must be supplanted, the crumbling column replaced. The mysterious voice heard all along the shores of the Aegean sea proclaiming that great Pan was dead, was a herald of the birth in Bethlehem.
Our heroes die and our saints depart and our hearts are full of sorrow yet not without hope. Lying in their mothers' arms and lodged in rude mangers, it may be, are the heroes and the saints of the time to come; nor shall they be wanting to any age, nor shall God's kingdom fail to come for lack of them.
"And they made ready for Ulysses that he might sleep there without waking. Then he embarked and silently lay down, and deep sleep weighed down his eyelids - a sweet, unwakeful sleep. But when the messenger of Dawn arose, the ship touched the strand, and the sleeper awoke and stood upon his native shore."
Oh, brother sweet! What would'st thou have me say?
Sleep well, farewell; the night is for the day
And not the day for night!
Sleep well, till morning light
Shall break thy rest; then rise, and go thy way!
The verse with which the address of Rev. Dr. Parker closes, proved to be a part of a poem written by him at the time, and which has since been published. The poem is one of such exquisite tenderness and beauty that it is added as a fitting close of this memorial.
R. D. H.
The lips are silent which alone could pay
His worthy tribute. We can only lay
The laurel on his breast,
And bear him to his rest,
And say, farewell, dear soul, till the break of day!
Amid the fickle and faint-hearted throng
His heart was ever steadfast, brave and strong.
His counsel gave us light,
His courage gave us might,
To see the right, to wrestle with the wrong.
The sturdy, stalwart presence was a tower
Of strength and hope, in many a trying hour:
In friendship warm and wise,
In large self-sacrifice,
In countless kindnesses we proved his power.
Dear brother soul! within that realm unknown
Where thy good spirit far from us hast flown,
Canst thou look back and see
How lonely, without thee,
And how impoverished our world has grown?
In purer light dost thou now clearly scan
The lines of truth so dim to mortal man?
Dost see, amid our gloom,
The beauty and the bloom
Of some inclusive and unfolding plan?
Are mysteries disclosed? misgivings stilled?
Dark doubts disproved? hope's prophecies fulfilled?
We only hear our cries
Re-echoed from the skies
In the vast, awful silence God has willed.
Oh, brother sweet! what would'st thou have me say?
Sleep well, farewell; the night is for the day
And not the day for night!
Sleep well, till morning light
Shall break thy rest; then rise, and go thy way!
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 130, pages 735 - 736
Charles Hadlai Hull, of New London, died on December 20, 1934. The son of Hadlai Austin Hull, for many years state's attorney in New London county, and Mary Jane (Jenks) Hull, he was born at Stonington, Connecticut, October 25, 1883. After some years in the public school at Stonington he entered Worcester Academy, from which he was graduated in 1901. He matriculated at Brown University and after three years transferred to Yale College in 1904, graduating in 1905 with the A.B. degree. He immediately entered Yale Law School, from which he received the degree of bachelor of laws in 1907. He had a distinguished scholastic record at Brown and at Yale which he continued at the Law School. There he was appointed to the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal and in his senior year was chosen as chairman of its board of editors.
Upon graduation he became a partner in the firm of Hull, McGuire & Hull in association with his father and Frank L. McGuire. During the following year he continued his studies at Yale and in 1908 received the degree of master of arts. He at once began the practice of law in this county in association with his firm, and continued actively in practice until his death.
Possessing a keen, brilliant and analytical mind and a manly presence and loving his profession, he became a great lawyer. He loved justice and had all the virtues that equip a lawyer for trial work and for office practice. There was nothing mean or small about him. Rather, the stamp of his Puritan ancestry was so strong in him that he revolted at dishonesty and meanness. Indeed all of his virtues were in keeping with the high qualities of his mind. His knowledge of the law and ability to marshall facts and present them logically made him an able trier of cases in court. His good judgment and vision made him a safe adviser. Tried by all the standards known to the bar he was an able lawyer and a great and good man. In addition, his cheerfulness of disposition and love of his fellow man made him a delightful companion.
As a citizen his life abounded in service and friendships. He was active in the civic life of the community. He was a member of the finance board of the city of New London and gave generously of his time and counsel to the Boy Scout movement. He was one of Scoutdom's best friends in this section, and through him others were inspired to helpfulness in that cause.
At the outbreak of World War I he answered his country's call. Commissioned as captain in August, 1917, he went to France as regimental adjutant of the 68th Regiment of Coast Artillery and served there until after the armistice. He was honorably discharged from that service on March 3, 1919. Continuing his military service in the Connecticut National Guard he became successively major in the coast artillery and major, lieutenant colonel and colonel of the 192d Field Artillery. His ancestors from the time of the first settlement of New England were military people and they are to be found serving this country in each of its various wars.
His interests outside his profession were varied. He was a director of the Connecticut Power Company and the Atwood Machine Company, trustee of the Eugene Atwood Fund and the Eugene Atwood Estate, and custodian of the 68th Regiment Fund. He was a thirty-second degree Mason. From 1928-1929 he was grand commander of the Connecticut grand commandery, Knights Templar, from 1916-1918 commander of Palestine commandery in New London, and from 1922-1925 master of the Norwich chapter of Rose-Croix, Scottish Rite Masons.
He was a member of the Yale Club, the University Club of Hartford and Phi Delta Phi and Delta Upsilon fraternities.
In 1908 he was married to Grace M. Stoddard of Middletown who, with two children, Mrs. Henrietta Hull Barrows, wife of Arthur Barrows, and Hadlai A. Hull, survive him.
The story of his life presents a lesson in loyalty to God, to country and neighbor. He lived in accordance with the true law of life: he loved God, was faithful to his country and honest with his neighbor.
*Prepared by Frank L. McGuire, of the New London bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 101, pages 759 - 761
HADLAI AUSTIN HULL died at his home in New London on June 27th, 1924, after forty-four years of active practice at the bar. Major Hull, as he was familarly known, was a splendid specimen of American manhood—tall, broad shouldered, of graceful carriage, and his charm of person and manner always singled him out for notice. He came to the bar of New London County at a time when many of the ablest practitioners in the State were striving for leadership, and his early associations with such men as Jeremiah Halsey, Augustus Brandegee, John T. Waite and others helped him materially in starting his eminently successful career at the bar. By common consent he was considered the leader of the bar of New London County.
Major Hull was born in Stonington, Connecticut, August 22d, 1854. He was the son of Joseph Hull and Mary Ellen (Fish) Hull, both of whom asserted a marked influence on his mental and moral standards. On both sides he was descended from sturdy New England ancestry. His mother’s great-great-grandfather, John P. Babcock, was killed during the engagement with Arnold’s forces at Groton Heights, September 6th, 1781. On his father’s side Major Hull was descended from Joseph Hull, an early settler of Rhode Island, and Hannah Perry, cousin of Oliver Hazard Perry.
His early youth was spent in the country, yet he had excellent educational advantages and read widely out of school. He prepared for college at the Natchaug School in Willimantic. He then entered Amherst College and was a member of the class of 1878. He was graduated from Yale Law School in 1880, and was admitted to the bar on July 1st of that year. Between the time of leaving Amherst and admission to the bar, he taught school and read law with John L. Hunter, Esq., at Willimantic.
Major Hull began the practice of law in Stonington immediately after his admission to the bar. During President Cleveland’s first administration, he acted as collector of the port of Stonington, and entered into many activities of his town. He represented Stonington in the Legislature and was a member of the Stonington board of education. From 1894 to 1906 he was Prosecuting Attorney of the Criminal Court of Common Pleas for New London County, and from 1906 to date of his death, he was State’s Attorney. He was president of the Connecticut Bar Association for two terms (1912 to 1914), and inaugurated the summer sessions of that association.
Members of his family have participated in every war fought by the United States. Following the tradition in his family, Major Hull enlisted at the outbreak of the Spanish War and became Captain of Company H, 3d Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and before the close of that war, became Major of the 3d Battalion. He organized the first company of coast artillery organized in the State and served as Captain, later becoming Major of the 1st Battalion.
In court as State’s Attorney, and in the forum of public opinion, he fought unceasingly for cleanliness and morality in community life. He waged relentless war against vice. An ardent believer in prohibition, Major Hull fought vigorously for law enforcement, and, so enthusiastic was he in his effort to eradicate liquor law violations, that from his sick bed during his last illness, he directed the campaign against those offenders. By having lived and fought he has made this a better place for the present and for the generations to come.
In court he was always imperturbable and self-possessed, always employing his resources, yet fighting fairly in the open. There was no subterfuge about him. His knowledge of the law was sound and he always unerringly sensed the difficulties to be encountered in any case. He was a safe counselor and a good business guide. He excelled, however, in the trial of cases, where his strong physical and mental development enabled him to exert prodigious and concentrated effort.
Since 1881 Major Hull practiced at New London, and from 1907 was associated with his son. Charles Hadlai, and the writer, in the firm of Hull, McGuire and Hull.
Major Hull was twice married. His first wife was Mary Jane Jenks, who was the mother of Major Hull’s son, Charles Hadlai Hull. His second wife was Ellen Brewster, by whom Major Hull had a daughter, Eleanor Hull. He was a thirty-second degree mason and was an active member of the First Baptist Church of New London and a true Christian gentleman. He was manly, courageous and unselfish in all things, always, however, leavening his work with Christian charity.
Thoughts of him will always remain pleasantly in the memories of his associates at the bar. The bar has lost a valuable member, the community an exceptionally good citizen.
*Prepared by Frank L. McGuire, Esq., of the New London Bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 217, pages 816 - 817
REMARKS BY CHIEF JUSTICE ELLEN A. PETERS ON THE OCCASION OF JUSTICE T. CLARK HULL'S LAST DAY OF HEARING CASES AS A MEMBER OF THE CONNECTICUT SUPREME COURT
February 22, 1991
Before we start hearing the cases on today's court calendar, I want to take note of an event of singular importance to this court. With profound appreciation for his outstanding judicial service, and deep regret at his imminent departure when he celebrates his seventieth birthday this June, I must record that today is the last day on which Justice T. Clark Hull will be sitting to hear cases as a member of this court.
To chronicle Justice Hull's public career is to review a remarkable record of excellence in public service in every branch of state government. Having started out as Senator T. Clark Hull in 1963, he moved on to become Lieutenant Governor Hull in 1971. But the best was yet to come, when, in 1973, eighteen and one-half years ago, Judge T. Clark Hull became "one of ours." Superior Court Judge Hull was appointed to the Appellate Court at the time of its creation, in 1983, and joined this court in 1987. Twenty-eight years of state service is an impressive number but it doesn't begin to convey the vigor and the breadth of Justice Hull's commitment and contributions to the welfare of the people of this state.
Because I know Justice Hull best as a Supreme Court justice, I would like to start out with brief highlights of this aspect of his public life. Whether seeking to protect human rights or to improve the rules of procedure, Justice Hull has worked diligently and effectively, in the service of justice in this state.
During his distinguished tenure on this court, Justice Hull has contributed some eighty-five majority opinions to the development of Connecticut jurisprudence. Let me cite a few. Ever mindful of the importance of the public's right to know, the opinion in Lieberman v. State Board of Labor Relations established that collective bargaining could not legally sanction the destruction of public records. Responding to the tension between employer efficiency and an employee's protection against wrongful discharge, Ford v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut, Inc., clarified important issues relating to the burden of proof and the right to a trial by jury. On the regulatory front, State v. Leary recently upheld the enforceability of the state's ticket-scalping law against a variety of constitutional challenges. On the criminal front, State v. Weinberg outlined the rules to be followed when the competency of a witness is challenged.
The range of the subject matter addressed in these opinions illustrates Justice Hull's scholarly knowledge of the law. Equally important, however, is the creative and articulate use of the English language that the opinions manifest. Phrases such as "rumor of Mooney'sdeath have been greatly exaggerated," "[w[e have burrowed diligently through a welter of claims..." and "[t]he driver...had consumed twelve bottles of beer and six shots of tequila...before he lurched to his car to drive..." will forever enrich the literature of the law.
Drafting persuasive opinions on the controversial issues that come to this court takes time. In addition to his judicial duties, Justice Hull has, however, willingly lent his services whenever and wherever his special ability with people was needed. He spent countless hours as Chairman of the Commission on Legal Ethics, patiently and thoughtfully conducting public hearings on professional conduct. The seemingly endless time that he expended spearheading this effort helped to develop a committee report that is a blueprint for the new Judicial Council on Legal Ethics and the future creation of an Office of Attorney Ethics in Connecticut.
Knowing Justice Hull means knowing a public servant who not only works hard but pursues each of his assignments with boundless enthusiasm and good will. Although a historian at heart, and ever concerned to relate present events to salient landmarks of the past, he has an activist's faith in the perfectibility of the future. The breadth of his voracious reading, in his solitary study, is matched only by the depth of his irrepressible need to shake every hand on every public street.
Justice Hull, I salute you for your salient achievements and for being a model of high aspirations that all judges can profitability emulate. As your fellows on the bench, we have benefited from your wise counsel, your compassionate concern for others, and your devoted dedication to making ours a just and caring legal system. We will miss your probing questions at oral argument, your thoughtful comments in the conference room and your warm personal friendship. Concluding remarks at your 1987 swearing in, you voiced the hope that you could make a meaningful contribution as a justice of this court. Rest assured; you have certainly done so. We will be a different court without you.
In closing, I speak on behalf of every member of the judiciary in thanking you, Justice Hull, for your many years of faithful service in the past and in extending to you our best wishes for good health and much happiness for the future. We are fortunate that, starting in June, you will continue in still another aspect of the judicial role, as a state trial referee, to serve the cause of justice in Connecticut for many years to come. Whatever the future may bring, I am confident that you will not retire from public service.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 238, page 909
The Honorable T. Clark Hull, a lifelong Danbury resident, died on July 25, 1996, at the age of seventy-five. Justice Hull was appointed to the Superior Court in 1973, elevated to the Appellate Court in 1983, and appointed to the Supreme Court in 1987. He became a state trial referee in 1991.
Justice Hull received his B.A. from Yale College in 1942. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force, where he served until 1946. He earned his L.L.B. from Harvard Law School in 1948 and was admitted to the Connecticut bar that same year,
Justice Hull had a remarkable public career spanning more than thirty years, in which he served, with vigor and distinction, in every branch of state government. He practiced law in Danbury from 1948 to 1973, served as state senator for the twenty-fourth district from 1963 to 1971, and was Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut from 1971 until his appointment as a judge of the Superior Court in 1973.
Upon his passing, former Chief Justice Ellen Ash Peters eulogized Justice Hull thus: "In his judicial career, on which he embarked in 1973, he was an eloquent spokesman for the improvement of every aspect of our state judiciary, whether the issue was procedural reform or legal ethics or the protection of human rights. A gifted writer and a captivating speaker, Justice Hull brought to each of his assignments the breadth of vision of an avid historian and the high aspirations of an optimistic activist. He firmly believed in the perfectibility of the future, and he contributed a great deal to making it happen. He will surely be missed."
Justice Hull was married to the former Betty Jane Rosoff and was the father of three sons.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 191, page iii
Appointed to the Appellate Court August 9, 1983, to take effect August 15, 1983.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 205, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court September 25, 1987, to take effect September 25, 1987.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 219, page iii
Retired June 14, 1991, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 82, pages 713 - 715
FRANK LOUIS HUNGERFORD, one of the leaders of the Connecticut bar, was born in Torrington, November 6th, 1843, and died in New Britain, June 22d, 1909. He was a descendant of Thomas Hungerford, who settled in Hartford about 1639. His father was John Hungerford, a leading manufacturer in Torrington, and a man of high character. His mother, Charlotte Austin (Hungerford) belonged to the family of Samuel Mills, who was one of the founders of the American Board of Foreign Missions. Mr. Hungerford's preparation for college was principally under private tutors. He continued his studies at the University of Vermont and at the Harvard Law School. He studied also with that eminent jurist, Judge George F. Edmunds of Vermont, and was admitted to the bar in that State in 1865. Having declined a flattering invitation from Senator Edmunds to remain with him in Vermont, he returned to Connecticut and opened an office in Torrington in 1866. In 1869 he came to New Britain and with the writer of this sketch established a partnership which lasted nearly thirty years. In 1897 he became the senior partner of the Hartford firm of Hungerford, Hyde, Joslyn & Gilman, retaining however his New Britain offices and residence. At the head of that firm he met all the demands of an exacting business which closely confined him to his profession, and added greatly to his reputation, especially as a trial lawyer.
Mr. Hungerford served as Judge of Probate, first in Torrington and afterward in New Britain, acquitting himself in these positions with his customary judgment and integrity.
From the first, Mr. Hungerford exhibited great aptitude for all kinds of legal business, especially those which brought into requisition the exercise of sound judgment and the faculty of presenting causes in such a way as to be thoroughly understood by ordinary men. His personal appearance was winning, his style of delivery attractive, his method of presenting causes orderly and consecutive, and from the first his professional efforts were crowned with success.
For a number of years he was City Attorney of New Britain, and in 1897 he became its Corporation Counsel. The city had then entered upon a period of rapid growth and change. The old charter had served its day. The town and city governments were to be amalgamated. The sewer problem presented unending perplexities. The public water system called for enlargement. Change and growth in all directions presented problems which called for commanding ability and a legal leader. Mr. Hungerford was Corporation Counsel during nearly the whole of this period of development. His advice was followed without misgiving, and such was the public confidence in his legal knowledge, his wisdom and personal disinterestedness, that practically all of his decisions and directions were accepted as final by political opponents as well as political adherents. If any exception existed, it was so rare as to prove the rule, and no one entertained the thought that he could be diverted from his devotion to the public good. By his long connection with the affairs of the city Mr. Hungerford's name became intimately associated with its history, and his well earned reputation as Corporation Counsel will long survive. The desire to master his chosen science was as native to Mr. Hungerford as his breath. Not a slavish follower of precedents, he would know the law in its principles, and he delighted in the mastery of its problems. He would establish peace between would-be litigants if possible, but, when a settlement could not be effected, he delighted in preparation for the contest, he delighted in the give and take of the friendly battle and in the sense of satisfaction which so often came to him as the result of a hard won victory.
Mr. Hungerford was a man of blameless purity of character: sincere and affectionate in the very roots of his nature, his life could not avoid exhibiting, unconsciously of course, the exalted character of the sweet, soul of Frank Hungerford. Dishonesty was not conceivable of him; nor was he ever heard to give utterance to an impure thought. When a lawyer once said that he would give a large sum of money for Mr. Hungerford's face as the means of influencing a jury, he forgot that the face which he coveted simply reflected the sincerity of character which was the secret of his prevailing power. Kindness and courtesy were traits ever observable in Mr. Hungerford. The younger lawyers of New Britain and Hartford stand ready to testify to the assistance which he often afforded them, and to the stimulus which he has always been to them in whatever pertains to the noblest things of our profession.
This sketch would be defective were it not to refer to Mr. Hungerford's religious character. He was for thirty-three years a deacon in the Congregational church. At the time of his death he was at the head of a bible class of sixty adult thinking men. He was for a dozen years president of the Young Men's Christian Association and at the time of his death he was at the head of the New Britain Hospital.
Mr. Hungerford's advice was sought not only in the walks of his profession, but in those of business. Among the companies of which he was a director at the time of his death, were the New Britain National Bank, the Burritt Savings Bank, the Russell & Erwin Manufacturing Company, and the Stanley Rule & Level Company.
In 1869 Mr. Hungerford married Miss Sarah A. Churchill, daughter of William A. Churchill, a leading citizen of New Britain, and she with a son, William C. Hungerford, a member of his father's firm, survive him.
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter by the Hon. Charles E. Mitchell of the Hartford County Bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 39, pages 605 - 616
WILLIAM HUNGERFORD, one of the most eminent lawyers that this state has ever produced, died at Hartford, where he had resided during most of his professional life, on the 15th day of January, 1873, at the age of 86. At a largely-attended meeting of the Hartford County bar, held on the following day, the following resolutions were offered by Hon. Richard D. Hubbard, and adopted by the bar: -
"Resolved, That we, the members of this bar, have learned of the death of the HON. WILLIAM HUNGERFORD with feelings of the deepest sorrow, and we regard it a sacred duty to give to his memory this expression of our respect and regard. Mindful as we are of that eminent success to which he attained by his own industry and integrity, we would - while regretting that his career is ended - point with pride to the record of a life well spent in the labors of our profession. The high position which he occupied for so many years at this bar, and the public confidence and respect which he secured, and which became stronger and greater as his life grew longer, are signal and animating proofs to those who come after him that thorough legal investigation, severe application to business, and blameless purity, are virtues sure of their reward and worthy the emulation of all.
"Resolved, That we shall ever cherish the memory of our deceased brother, for his intimate and thorough knowledge of the science of law; his untiring devotion to his practice; his sound and reliable judgment; his uniform kindness and courtesy to his brethren; his conscientious regard for truth and justice; and for his spotless professional example during his long life, thereby elevating the character of the profession, and making for him the reputation he richly deserved, of being a model lawyer and an honest man."
The remarks of William R. Cone, Esq. and Mr. Hubbard upon the resolutions give a very full and interesting account of the life and character of Mr. HUNGERFORD. Mr. Cone was for many years his partner in the practice of his profession.
MR. CONE'S ADDRESS.
It will be expected of me, from my relations to him who has long been esteemed the father of this bar, that I should upon this occasion say something of his life and character.
WILLIAM HUNGERFORD was born at East Haddam, November 22, 1788, and was consequently 86 years and nearly 2 months old when he died. He graduated at Yale College in the class of 1809. Immediately after graduating he was engaged in teaching at the academy of Westchester, in the town of Colchester, for about six months. He then studied law with the Hon. Matthew and ex-Governor Roger Griswold of Lyme, and was admitted to the bar in 1812. He commenced and pursued his profession in his native town, East Haddam, until 1829, when, upon the election of the late Judge Williams to a place upon the bench of the Supreme Court, and Judge Ellsworth to a seat in Congress, he removed to Hartford, where he resided until his death, having outlived every member who was at the bar in the counties of Middlesex, New London and Hartford, where he usually practiced, when he was admitted. His life was never entangled with any care outside his profession and his studies. During the first eight years of his professional life, while at East Haddam, his business and income from his practice were exceedingly small, scarcely sufficient to meet his expenses; yet, during this time he devoted himself most earnestly to the study of law and elementary treatises within his reach, and patiently and most carefully prepared the cases committed to his charge. While thus making himself familiar with the leading treatises and with the maxims of the law, during these eight years, Coke upon Littleton was read and re-read many times; Fearne on Contingent Remainders was his companion and delight; and Blackstone was read through thirty times in course, and he was so familiar with the text that for years after he could give every division and subdivision in its order without reference to the book. During this whole time his practice was principally confined to the trial of cases before justices of the peace, where the amount in controversy was limited to the sum of thirty-five dollars. He also read carefully English history as a part of his professional study, and traced out with the greatest care the origin, rise and establishment of the laws and ordinances which lay at the foundation of the system of jurisprudence brought here by our Puritan ancestors; and he became more familiar with English history and its connection with English law, and the causes that gave rise to particular rules of practice, than any other lawyer I have ever known. During this time he also read and studied attentively the works of Shakespeare as the great delineator of character, and as affording an insight into the passions of the heart, and the causes which influenced and controlled the actions of men. Although not then a professedly religious man, yet he studied his Bible with the earnestness and devotion of a true Christian. And that old Bible, so well worn, has been the companion of his life, and bears upon its leaves and its every page the evidence of how well it was loved and how faithfully it has been studied during this life of eighty-six years. Law, Shakespeare and the Bible were his constant study, while history filled up the time not given to others. This period of the first eight years of his professional life, thus devoted to patient study, was the foundation of his great learning as a lawyer, his success as an advocate, and his familiarity and ready application and adaptation of the principles which underlie the science of law, to new facts and cases as they arise in the progress of business and in the development of new fields of industry and the new and ever changing sources of litigation. During all these discouraging eight years he regularly attended the sessions of the higher courts, both in Middlesex and New London counties, usually traveling the whole distance on foot, where he listened attentively to the trial of cases and the arguments of the lawyers, making himself familiar with the rules of practice in the trial of causes, while at the same time he made and cultivated the acquaintance of the leading lawyers of the state. At the head of the profession in that day were such men as Roger M. Sherman, Calvin Goddard, David Daggett, Seth P. Staples and Nathan Smith. These men, though his seniors, were his firm friends, and became his intimate associates. Sherman, the greatest lawyer of that day, once said of him that he himself was always instructed by a consultation with that young man; for he always had something to suggest in relation to a case which he had forgotten or which he never knew. And so at an early day he gained the confidence, esteem and good opinion of those giants in the law, and was often afterwards associated with them in the trial of causes upon the floor of the house, where cases before the legislature were then tried, and in the higher courts.
His first case in the Supreme Court of Errors was that of Watrous v. Watrous, in 1820, in which he was associated with Staples and opposed by Sherman. And from that time until he relinquished his profession, there was scarcely a term of the Superior Court in the counties in which he practiced, in which he was not engaged in some cases and often associated with those prominent lawyers. The case in which he acquired the greatest reputation after his establishment in practice, was that of Mather v. Chapman, growing out of the levy of an execution, and involving the question of constitutionality of an act of the legislature validating levies of execution, tried in the Supreme Court of Errors in 1826. The decision was to have been prepared by Judge Lanman, but for some reason was never done, and the decision was therefore never reported. He was associated in that trial with David Daggett, who was most enthusiastic in his praise of Mr. Hungerford's argument, and lost no opportunity in commending his ability, industry, and patient investigation, and pronounced him the most able and learned lawyer of his age within his acquaintance. This was the turning point in his success and his reputation steadily increased until he was acknowledged to be at the head of the profession in this state, and probably had no superior as a lawyer in the country. For his great attainments as a lawyer, Yale College, in 1856, conferred upon him the degree of LL.D., and the honor was never more appropriately conferred. His industry was proverbial and wonderful. His endurance seemed to know no limit. When he commenced his profession there were few elementary books, scarcely any reports to be had, and in this dearth of books and law treatises, at one time he wrote out an entire volume, which he could not otherwise procure, that he might use it as a reference in the trial of his cases. He also compiled a manuscript volume of all the legal maxims which he could find in the course of his reading or heard in the trial of cases to which he listened, and this he used as a textbook.
When he came to Hartford the first volumes of the Connecticut Reports had been published, and they contained not more than three or four cases upon the subject of insurance. The whole law upon insurance has been established and settled since that time, and he had the chief agency in discussing and settling those principles. The law relative to steamboat navigation, involving that of common carriers, the law growing out of railroad charters and the condemning of lands for railroad uses, have all grown out of the progress of the age, and the great and leading cases connected with these branches of trade and business have been investigated by him and settled. The great case of The Hartford & New Haven Railroad Company v. Kennedy, is the leading case upon the subject of the personal liability of a subscriber or holder of stock for the payment of installments, and has been followed and sanctioned in every state in the Union. The opinion as delivered by Judge Huntington, compiled from the brief and argument of Mr. Hungerford, contains nothing either in the arguments, illustrations or authorities, which is not contained in his brief, and has by the most learned lawyers and judges all over the land been pronounced one of the most learned and exhaustive arguments ever printed upon this subject. It has been spoken of as "one of exceeding power, nay of amazing scope and ability." His efforts were not spasmodic and displayed upon great and exceptional occasions, but uniform and powerful, commanding the attention and carrying with them the conviction of the triers; and whether the amount involved was large or small, his client had his best efforts and careful preparation. The case of Lyman v. Hale (11 Conn. Reports), although involving only a peck of pears, was carefully prepared and as forcibly presented as was this great and leading railroad case, upon the result of which and the establishment of the principle involved, the great railroad interests of the county, which have since grown to such proportions, depended, and upon which they have been sustained. His mind was of the highest order and the most comprehensive grasp, disciplined by habits of patient and arduous investigation, profound research, close reasoning and great powers of concentration, combined with extensive reflection and sound judgment. He was always cool and self-possessed, and nothing could divert him from his argument or distract his attention from the strong points of his case. A severe, demonstrative and exhaustive reasoner, with a voice harsh and powerful, with little or no effort at elegance, and seldom using other than the simplest language, yet upon occasions Mr. Hungerford moved his hearers with a power quite irresistible. His wit and humor, both at the bar and in his private intercourse, made him always attractive and delightful. His stories were ever well told, and had a pertinency in their application which always hit to the point. His jokes always partook of genuine humor, and were never combined with sharpness or bitterness, calculated to wound or pain any one, even the most sensitive, and I do not believe he ever, by word or act, knowingly caused unhappiness to anybody. The tradition of the bar, the love of the right because it was right, the hatred of the wrong because it was wrong, and the outspoken denunciation of oppression or corruption as offences against the majesty of justice, never became to him things of the past. They were the controlling principles of his life, and were carried into every day practice in his profession, and so embodied in his very existence that he was never known to do a thing for the sake of securing a successful result in his case, which would not accord with the strictest principles of honesty, integrity, truth and professional honor and candor. No trick or chicanery, no swerving from the strictest principles of honesty, ever found place in his life or his professional practice. He had the confidence and commanded the attention of the court by force of his arguments, the clear, logical, systematic and orderly presentation of the facts of the case, from which he would demonstrate as conclusively and clearly as ever a mathematical proportion was demonstrated, that the result should be in his favor; and when he was through there really seemed left no room to question the conclusions which necessarily followed from them. His own convictions were formed after full investigation of his case - after ascertaining as far as possible what claims would be made on the other side, and how far and what proof could in probability be adduced in support of the adverse claim. Neither judge nor triers had any doubt of his sincerity. He would not argue a point which he did not himself believe. The judges knew and believed this, and so did the triers, and this gave him a power and influence which were astonishing, and while at the bar he was successful in more cases than any other lawyer in the state ever was. If he had a case which he did not believe to be just, or in which he had grave doubts whether he ought to succeed, he was quite sure to have settled or withdrawn even at the loss of his own fees, and the expenses, which he paid. He was exceedingly sensitive under an adverse decision, and would not, as some lawyers would have done, dismiss the case from his mind, but I have known him, after the labor and fatigue of a session of the court were over, so entirely review the preparation of a case, making an entirely new brief with reference to the arguments and decision against him, that he might see and satisfy himself whether he or they were in the wrong, and in what particular.
Another characteristic was his perfect professional unselfishness, and his readiness to aid any professional brother, especially the younger members of the bar, both in the county and from all parts of the state, who used to come to consult him in relation to their cases. I have know him to spend a whole half day, when he himself was especially busy, in looking up authorities and suggesting points to some young man, in the preparation of his case, out of the purist kindness, and because he remembered, and often referred to it, how relieved he himself once was in a case - an action of account, - about which he was greatly perplexed, by Judge Hosmer, who was a traveling index to the law, referring him to an authority which saved him his case. He was never tired of doing these acts of kindness to his brothers.
Mr. HUNGERFORD had no taste for political life, and was no seeker for office. While at East Haddam, he many times represented the town in the legislature of the state; and after his removal to Hartford was several times a delegate from this town to the General Assembly. He always devoted himself laboriously to his duties; was always a useful and most influential member, advocating and sustaining what he conscientiously believed to be right, and condemning what he believed to be wrong. In 1818 he was a member of the Convention which framed the constitution of Connecticut; and is believed to be the last survivor of that distinguished body of men. In politics he was allied in principle with the old federal, and afterwards with the whig, and later with the republican party; but he was in no sense a partisan, for he believed that for the interests of the country and the purity of the government it was necessary and desirable that party organizations should exist and be encouraged.
Mr. HUNGERFORD, although frequently urged by friends of all parties to accept the office of Judge of the Superior and Supreme Courts, would never consent to the use of his name for that or any other office. He was, as I have said, a most laborious man, never indulging in any recreation beyond his intercourse with his relatives and friends, and with such professional and business acquaintances as at times came to his office for an half hour or so and enjoyed his genial humor, pertinent, witty and pungent sayings, his extensive information, his knowledge of and familiarity with men and his estimate of them and their influence. When combined with his knowledge of the history of his own and other times, his intuitive judgment and knowledge of human nature and causes by which men are influenced, made him one of the most delightful companions and associates. Naturally diffident, retiring and most delicately sensitive in all his feelings, and having a certain muscular contraction of the face, produced in early life by an attack of the measles, similar to that which afflicted Lord Brougham, and which, as his lordship said of himself, "made his nose act as if conscious of deserving to be pulled," he excluded himself from general society, and was only known as a conversationalist and a social man by his intimate friends and professional brethren, all of whom delighted in his society. Among those who always sought his society as they visited the city and became his intimate friends were Judge David Daggett, Roger M. Sherman, Seth P. Staples, Nathan Smith, Calvin Goddard, Henry Strong, Jabez Huntington, Lyman Law, William P. Cleveland, Jacob B. Gurley, Ebenezor Learned, Asa Bacon, and others. When, however, thrown into general society, and among ladies, which was sometimes the case, he made himself most agreeable and interesting. Never lacking for conversation, familiar with all the topic and events of the day, ready with story, anecdote, and repartee, he made himself the attraction of the company. Although a bachelor he had a great friendship for children and their sports, in which he would engage with the simplicity and zest of a child, and was never so happy as with one on his shoulder, another upon his back, and a third in his lap, all pulling at his hair and his ears, or combing his head. He made himself as gleeful as the wildest of them.
Mr. HUNGERFORD had a strong attachment for home, and his reluctance to change his room at his hotel was such that for nearly thirty years, and so long as he remained there, he occupied the same. His office was the same until the rebuilding of Central Row, where he selected in Hungerford & Cone's block the place nearest the one previously occupied, and there for more than forty years, and within four feet, measured off from his writing table, he has had his home and spent his time, and there from seven o'clock in the morning till eleven at night during his professional life, except when at his meals or in the court room, he could always be found.
He was never a traveler. Professional business in early life led him once or twice over the borders into Rhode Island, and subsequently once to Springfield, and once to the city of New York; and with these exceptions it is believed he was never beyond the borders of Connecticut; and yet he was as familiar with the geography and general appearance and resources of other states, and the prominent places in them, and could converse as familiarly and intelligently in respect to them, and their leading lawyers and prominent men, as most persons whose knowledge had been acquired and made familiar by repeated visits to the places themselves. Nothing seemed to escape him which was worth observing, and he never forgot anything which was worth remembering. He had the wonderful faculty of making his extensive and varied information available at the right time and in the right place. He seemed to have it ever ready at his call to be applied to the purpose for which he desired to use it; and so it was in relation to his cases; every fact was made available, in its right place, every argument was made applicable to the proper point in the case, and everything was exhausted in the trial. At one time it was said, and it was probably true, that he knew more persons in the state of Connecticut whom he could recognize and call by name than any other man in the state. When residing in East Haddam and practicing in Middlesex County, there was scarcely a man in that county who arrived at manhood, whom he did not know and whom he could not call by name.
No man was ever more sympathetic or possessed of greater tenderness of feeling than he. In the trial of John Muchell for the murder of his son, Mr. HUNGERFORD was engaged for his defense. Muchell was believed to have money, and able to procure the attendance of his witnesses; but as he stoutly denied that he had the means, (which after his trial he acknowledged to be untrue,) Mr. HUNGERFORD furnished the money and undertook the defense. The night prior to his argument of the case he neither left his office nor closed his eyes. The responsibility which he felt resting upon him, involving the life of his client, was so overwhelming that he could not sleep. The apprehension that he might leave something unsaid or undone which might have saved him from the gallows, so pressed upon him that he unable to rest, and the effort he made was probably one of the best and most powerful he ever made; and it resulted in an acquittal of his client of murder, but he was found guilty of manslaughter. The sense of responsibility was so great, when the life of a fellow was involved, that he never after undertook the defense of any criminal, and refused to be engaged in any criminal case.
His strong attachment to his relatives and friends was another strong characteristic of the man. His father and mother lived to an advanced age; and so long as he resided in Middlesex County, every Saturday night found him at the old homestead to pass the Sabbath with them, in the quiet and sacredness of his country home, although the distance was nearly six miles, and usually traveled by foot; and always after his removal he spent some weeks of every year at his home; and when in 1835 he heard of the sickness of his father, which proved to be his last, when on the trial of a most important case at New Haven, he at once abandoned it, and in the night in the most unparalleled cold weather he hastened to the old home, performing most of the journey on foot to save himself from freezing, to see his aged father for the last time, and bury him; and he returned, sorrowing as only a devoted son could sorrow for a good father. In his early professional life, that father became financially embarrassed and his first earnings were devoted to his relief. He assumed and paid these liabilities to the utmost farthing and secured for the occupancy of his parents through life the old homestead, which ever had so many and sweet attractions for him as well as for them. Although it cost him the entire earnings of the first seventeen years of his professional life, he ever regarded the investment in that old homestead, worth perhaps $800, as the tangible property to show for it, as the most satisfactory investment he ever made, for it secured to them quiet and happiness for the remainder of their lives. Since then his accumulations have been freely and generously used for the comfort and support of a maiden sister, and the education and aid of nephews and nieces, whom he has assisted with an open and liberal hand.
There is another phase of the life just closed, to which if I did not direct attention I should do dishonor to the dead and injustice to the living, and especially to the younger members of the bar, who are entitled to the benefit and public influence of his example as a lawyer in this regard, and a great wrong to the profession of which he was so proud and distinguished an example. I refer to his character as a Christian man. He made no display of his religion; his Bible was his daily companion, and was daily consulted; and his well-ordered life was a witness to his sincerity, his Christian experience and devotion. His office, while in practice, was upon Central Row, and his lamp was the last to be extinguished, as he rarely left his office before eleven o'clock at night. For years before he made a public profession of his faith and united himself with the Center Church, that late hour of every day was in the silence and quiet of that office spent in religious observances, and in earnest prayer. There are those now in life, and others who have gone before him, who in passing that office door, after the bustle and labors of the day were over, have listened to his most earnest and touching prayers, remembering at the mercy seat his friends, his associates, and his brethren in the profession, and supplicating the richest of Heaven's blessings. These forty years and more has he been a man of prayer and of consistent Christian life. In June, 1861, he made a public profession of religion and united with the Center Church, and has died at the age of eighty-six years in the full possession of his faculties, and with a firm faith in the promise of the Bible, and in confident hope of a blessed existence hereafter.
He has been my friend, counselor and guide. For more than forty years we were associated in the most intimate relations, and during all these years not a word has been spoken or an act done on his part which has caused the slightest unpleasantness between us, and now I have parted from him for the last time on earth, but the meeting is only deferred for a little and a more joyful one, I trust in the City above. His monument is in his excellent character and great worth. "The marble, the bronze, the iron are decomposed by the air, or corroded by rust, but the remembrance of his bright example shall live eternally."
MR. HUBBARD'S ADDRESS.
The resolutions which I have had the honor to submit are not the mere forms of eulogy. They are words of truth and soberness which mark the departure of a great lawyer and good man. One after another, in quick succession, we have parted with nearly all the elder brothers of our profession. Not one who has not left behind a just and fragrant memory; not a few of them leaving in their places worthy representatives of their name and blood. We are called at last to part with the patriarch of our profession; not perhaps, the most brilliant of his fellows, but the severest student and sturdiest laborer of them all. A distinguished lawyer of France was once asked by the first Napoleon why he had never married. "Upon my word, sire, I have never had time," said he. This was literally true of our deceased brother. His profession was his sole mistress - his supreme ambition. To it he devoted himself in season and out of season, without respite, without relaxation, almost without society. In my appreciation he was a sort of hermit, who buried himself in his books and his work with more than religious vigor and vigils. His office was not a place of business merely. It was his home. Perhaps I should rather say his cloister, for he was rarely absent from it except on duty or business. Lord Coke, I think it is he, counts it one of the felicities of the common lawyer that he rarely dies without lineal descendants. If, less happy in this than some of his brethren, our friend has left no direct representatives of his name and line, we are all children of his professional lineage and heirs of his great example. Would that we were heirs of his great learning as well. But I fear he has dropped this mantle on no successor.
And this brings me to say that, in the multitude of his gifts, the greatest of all by far was his professional erudition. His memory was a natural hive for learning, and he stored and filled it up with the busy industry and cunning architecture of the bee. The evidence of this does not rest in tradition merely. His reported arguments in the Supreme Court for nearly half a century are the proof. Nor was his learning a mere barren collection of the memory, as is often the case with great scholars, but a mass of fertile and ready material which he knew how to mould and impress to the manifold and every day uses of his profession; and above all, and then most of all, when some knotty question arose, having its roots in the abstruse science of the law, or back in its ancient learning; such questions are likely to beset us, not only in consultations, conveyancing and pleadings, but all along and at every step of the trial, and sometimes they come upon us from ambush, as it were, and confound, perhaps overthrow us by a deadly surprise; it was on such occasions that he showed himself master of the field. He sprang to his weapons at a bound, and his weapons were a full equipment, from the strange heavy old armor of Littleton and the Year Books down to the most cunning and newly-contrived fences and foils of forensic warfare. In a word he was, I think, the most learned lawyer at the bar of this state. In saying this, I do not forget Sherman and Baldwin, and Ingersoll and Perkins, and such as they. I doubt if, as a legal scholar, the bar of America had his superior. To those who were not of the profession, and to whom therefore its scientific learning is a dry jargon, he seemed at times perhaps like a burdened camel, toiling through the parched and pathless desert, but to the learned judges who knew the value of his stores, his coming was a token of welcome, for he always came freighted with a better merchandise than that of spices and gold and silver. As an advocate he had few of the graces of the orator. His manner, though not awkward, was not graceful. His temperament was not magnetic, his mind not imaginative or brilliant, and he rarely rose into eloquence. His voice was somewhat harsh and untrained. His style was not free from certain mannerisms, and he sometimes smothered a little, his argument, as it seemed to me, with an excess of readings and citations. But in spite of all this, he was eminently successful both to the court and in the jury; to the court of course, because he was a profound lawyer, and to the jury because, though not a brilliant advocate, he possessed a vigorous common sense which pierced to the marrow of a question, and an honesty which was transparent. And then, in addition to this, he had a certain quaintness of style which served to embroider, as it were, the staple of his argument, and a gift, not perhaps of wit, but of dry humor - a strange and grotesque drollery which would burst up in unexpected jets along the line of his logic, and which served to gladden what might otherwise have seemed harsh and crabbed.
With his brethren of the bar he was not merely respected as a leader and chief whose character and virtues shed a luster upon all; but he was loved by all, for he was the soul of uprightness and honor in his practice. He hated pettifoggers and tricksters - those vermin of the profession, who set every man's hand against his neighbor - a class of men whom the law brands as barrators, and who, as some old English writer has expressed it, hate the settlement of a law suit as the hangman hates a pardon. He never attempted to tickle the ears of the groundlings in a trial, nor to draw blood from his adversaries by biting sarcasms. He never paid personal court to jurors, nor had "friends" on the panel, nor took "auricular confession" from the judges. The profession was not to him a mere trade in which to earn one's daily bread, nor a brawl for hire, nor a whetstone to the craft of politics; nor was it a means of assisting knaves to engineer Black Friday frauds, Erie rings and Credit Mobilier swindles, nor to promote legislative jobberies by corrupt services or unbecoming importunities in the lobby; but on the other hand a clean and conscientious function, in which as counsellor, as ductor dubitantium, clients were advised to the things which are honest and of good report, and in which the law, which is another name for justice, good morals and social order, was rightfully and impartially administered. Pro clientibus saepe, pro lege semper.
I have thus far spoken of the lawyer. Permit me now to say a word of the man. I received a part of my professional training in his office. I know something of his personal qualities and the beauty of his daily life. I shall remember not to forget them and what I owe to his kindness, his counsels and his wisdom. In a word, he was, within the range of his friendships - a range, to be sure, somewhat limited - one of the most gentle, simple-hearted and brotherly of men, a man of almost womanly innocence and purity of life. I have never known but one man who I think exceeded him in these qualities. He too was a lawyer. It was that rarest of men, the late Governor Seymour.
And now when I consider this long life closed - these many years ended of eminent labor in the highest ranks of the forum - and nothing left of it all but a tolling bell, a handful of earth and a passing tradition - a tradition already half past - I am reminded of the infelicity which attends the reputation of a great lawyer. To my thinking, the most vigorous brain work of the world is done in the ranks of our profession. And then our work concerns the highest of all temporal interests, property, reputation, the peace of families, liberty, life even, the foundations of society, the jurisprudence of the world, and as a recent event has shown, the arbitrations and peace of nations. The world accepts the work, but forgets the workers. The waste hours of Lord Bacon and Serjeant Talfourd were devoted to letters, and each is infinitely better remembered for his mere literary diversions than for his whole long and laborious professional life-work. The cheap caricatures of Dickens on the profession will outlive, I fear, in the popular memory, the judgments of Chief Justice Marshall, for the latter were not clownish burlesques, but only masterpieces of reason and jurisprudence. The victory gained by the counsel of the seven bishops was worth infinitely more to the people of England than all the triumphs of the Crimean war. But one Lord Cardigan led a foolishly brilliant charge against a Russian battery at Balaklava, and became immortal. Who led the great charge of the seven great confessors of the English church, against the English crown at Westminster Hall? You must go to your books to answer. They were not on horseback. They wore gowns instead of epaulettes. The truth is, we are like the little insects that in the unseen depths of the ocean lay the coral foundations of uprising islands. In the end come the solid land, the olive and the vine, the habitations of man, the arts and industries of life, the havens of the sea and ships riding at anchor. But the busy toilers which laid the beams of a continent in a dreary waste, are entombed in their work and forgotten in their tombs.
Yet the infelicity to which I have alluded is not without its compensations. For what, after all, is posthumous fame to him who brought nothing into this world and may carry nothing out? The dead leave behind their reputations alike with their estates. A man may be libeled to day as a fool, a fanatic, and a knave, and to-morrow his libellers sneak into his funeral procession, and the chief magistrate of forty millions of freemen begs the honor of two feet of space at his obsequies. It is the old story - the tax which posthumous fame so often pays for its title - a garret and a crust in life, a mausoleum and statue afterwards. What avails it all? We may justly console ourselves with the reflection, that we belong to a profession which above all others shapes and fashions the institutions in which we live, and which, in the language of a great statesman, "is as ancient as the magistracy, as noble as virtue, as necessary as justice" - a profession, I venture to add, which is generous and fraternal above all others, and in which living merit is appreciated in its day, according to its deserts, and by none so quickly and so ungrudgingly as by those who are its professional contemporaries and its competitors in the same field. We have our rivalries - who else has more? - but they seldom produce jealousies. We have our contentions - who else has so many? - but they seldom produce enmities. The old Saxons used to cover their fires on every hearth at the sound of the evening curfew. In like manner, but to a better purpose, we also cover at each nightfall the members of each day's struggle and strife. We never defer our amnesties till after death, and have less occasion therefore than some others to deal in post mortem bronzes and marbles. So much we may say without arrogance of ourselves - so much of our noble profession.
No better proof and illustration can be found than in the life just closed - a life clear and clean in its aims - full of busy and useful labors - void I dare believe of offence towards God and man, and crowned in its course with that three-fold scriptural blessing - length of days, and riches, and honor.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 13, appendix page 4
Born at Tolland, December 31st, 1759; studied law, one year, with Gideon Granger, Esq. of Suffield, (father of the late Postmaster General); and two years, with John Trumbull, Esq., of Hartford (afterwards a Judge of the Superior Court); admitted to the Bar, at Hartford, in 1789; settled in the practice of the Law, at Suffield, in the fall of 1790; appointed, by Mr. Jefferson, Attorney of the district of Connecticut, January 17th, 1806, and held that office, by subsequent re-appointments, until the 17th of January, 1829.
He represented the town of Suffield in the General Assembly of this State, in May 1802, May 1804, October 1804, May 1805, and Oct. 1805. In 1801, he was appointed one of the commissioners under the bankrupt law of the United States, and held that situation about two years. He removed to Hartford, in April 1813; he was appointed State's Attorney for the county of Hartford, in August 1818, and held that office until January 1822; after which he gradually retired from practice.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 15, appendix pages 30 - 31
BORN at Norwich, November 8th, 1788; educated at Yale-College, where he graduated in 1806; attended the lectures of Judge Reeve and Judge Gould, at Litchfield, from February, 1808, until the latter part of March, 1810; was then admitted to the bar in Litchfield county, and settled in the practice of the law at Litchfield. He represented the town of Litchfield in the General Assembly, in the session of 1828. In April, 1829, he was elected a representative of the people of this state in Congress, for the 21st Congress; in April, 1831, was again elected for the 22nd Congress; and in April, 1833, was again elected for the 23rd Congress. In May, 1834, he was appointed an associate judge of the superior court and of the supreme court of errors, to hold the office from and after the 11th of October, 1834; and in consequence of his acceptance of this appointment, and after the close of the first session of the 23rd Congress, he resigned his office of representative in Congress. In October, 1834, he removed from Litchfield to Norwich, his present place of residence. In May, 1840, he was appointed a Senator in the Congress of the United States for the unexpired term of six years from the 4th of March, 1839, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of the Hon. Thaddeus Betts. This appointment he accepted, and immediately resigned the judicial office.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 10, page iii
Appointed Associate Judge [of the Supreme Court of Errors] in May 1834, to hold the office from and after 11th of October 1834.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 13, page iii
Resigned May 1840, and accepted the appointment of Senator from this State in the Congress of the United States.
As Printed in Day's Reports, volume 2, pages vii - viii
[Notes from a table of the members of the Supreme Court of Errors, from the organization of that court in 1784, until the transfer of its powers to the nine judges of the Superior Court in 1807]
Elected Governor [in 1786], by the acceptance of which office he left the court, as the court, until October, 1794. consisted only of the lieutenant-governor, and the twelve assistants.
Governor Huntington, this year , became again a member of the court, by virtue of the act of October, 1794.
Died, January 5, 1796.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 50, page 624
SAMUEL HOWARD HUNTINGTON, at the time of his death the oldest member of the Hartford County bar, died at the city of Hartford on the 4th day of February, 1880, at the age of eighty-six. He was born at Suffield in this state, December 4th, 1793, his father being Hezekiah Huntington, who was the United States District Attorney for about twenty-five years in the early part of the present century, and who removed to Hartford in 1813. Mr. Huntington graduated at Yale College in 1818, and immediately after studied law, and on his admission to the bar settled in the city of Hartford He did not however devote himself very long to the practice of his profession, but always held a recognized and honorable relation to it. He was a clerk of the State Senate in 1829. In the years 1842, 1843, 1846 and 1850, he was Judge of the County Court, the appointment then being an annual one. On the organization of the Court of Claims at Washington in 1863, he was made its chief clerk, and later published, with Judge Nott of that court, seven volumes of reports of its decisions. This office he resigned, on account of advancing years, in 1873.
In 1825 he married Catherine H., daughter of Mr. George Brinley, who died in 1832. In 1835 he married Sarah B., daughter of Robert Watkinson. He left three sons and four daughters, children of his second wife.
Judge Huntington was a man of fine presence, tall, and with a military erectness; with much positiveness of opinion he united gentleness of manner and great kindness of heart. He had a remarkably vigorous constitution, which he was able by moderation of life and general good habits to preserve unimpaired into old age. He had an even temperament and a sound judgment, and was a man of established integrity. He was through life an earnest adherent of the Episcopal Church, was nine times sent as a lay delegate to the general conventions of the church, was for twenty-three years secretary of the corporation of Trinity College at Hartford, and twenty-eight years one of its trustees, and was for more than thirty years one of the trustees of the Bishop's Fund of the diocese. He took an early and very special interest in the mission of the church in Greece.
His mind was active and vigorous to a time very near his death. He ended at last peacefully a life full of manly and Christian virtues, holding in a very high degree the public respect and esteem.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 63, pages 614 - 622
Alvan Pinney Hyde came of good old Puritan stock. He was the lineal descendant, in the seventh generation, of William Hyde, who came from England in 1633 with the Rev. Thomas Hooker, and who, three years later, was one of the company that followed Hooker to the Connecticut valley and settled in the town of Hartford. The name of William Hyde is on the monument in the old Hartford burying ground, as one of the original settlers. He was an original proprietor of the town of Norwich, which he settled in 1660, as was also his son, Samuel, who married a daughter of Thomas Lee. Their eldest daughter was the first white child born in Norwich. The fourth son of Samuel Hyde was Thomas, who married Mary Backus of Norwich. The second son of Thomas was Jacob, who married Hannah Kingsbury and, like his father was a farmer in Franklin. The second son of Jacob was Ephraim, who married Martha Giddings, and settled in Stafford. The eldest son of Ephraim was Nathaniel, who married Sarah Strong, and their eldest son was Alvan, who married Sarah Pinney. The second son of Alvan and Sarah (Pinney) Hyde was Alvan Pinney, the subject of this sketch.
He was born March 10, 1825, at Stafford, Tolland County, Conn.
His father, an iron manufacturer, was a prominent citizen of Stafford, one of the selectmen of the town, and a frequent representative of it in the state legislature. He died prematurely, as it would seem, leaving the legacy of an excellent reputation both for his business abilities and for personal integrity.
His mother, the daughter of Isaac Pinney, Esq., of Stafford, was an eminently kind and generous woman, whose praise was throughout the church and neighborhood, and who, dying at the same age as her husband, left behind her the sweet savor of a saintly character.
Their son Alvan prepared for college at Monson Academy, Mass., entered Yale College in 1841, and graduated with honor in the class of 1845. Mr. Hyde was a member of the Skull and Bones Society, and occupied a position of respect, influence, and leadership in his class. Throughout his life he exhibited an eager interest in all that pertained to the interests of his college. This interest was enhanced by the fact that his two sons, William Waldo Hyde and Frank E. Hyde, were students and graduates of Yale. He was one of the founders of the Hartford Yale Alumni Association, and held the position of president in the Association at the time of his death. Letters written by his surviving classmates speak of him in terms of affectionate regard and memory. They refer to his early manifestation of just those traits and characteristics which marked his mature manhood, and won for him universal esteem and confidence.
On leaving college, he began the study of law with the late Judge Loren P. Waldo, at Tolland. He was admitted to the bar in 1847, and began the practice of his profession in the town of Stafford.
In 1849, he married Francis Elizabeth, the daughter of Judge Waldo, removed to Tolland, where he carried on the business left by the election of Judge Waldo to Congress, and remained there until 1864. Meanwhile public attention was attracted by his professional skill and success, and he became a conspicuous figure in the legal fraternity, and was regarded as a man of unusual vigor and promise. His integrity and sound judgment inspired confidence in business circles, and for several years he was president of the Tolland County Bank. Mr. Hyde was an earnest Democrat, and he was elected by his party to represent the town of Tolland in the General Assembly in 1854, 1858, and 1863.
In three hotly contested congressional campaigns, 1858, 1860, and 1862, he was the candidate of his party, but failed of an election each time.
In 1864 he removed to Hartford, where, in partnership with his father-in-law, Judge Waldo, he pursued the practice of law with increasing success. Three years later the firm became that of Waldo, Hubbard & Hyde, by the admission of Richard D. Hubbard, Esq., and continued in business without change until the death of Judge Waldo in 1881, except that Charles E. Gross was associated with it in 1877. Upon the death of Judge Waldo, Mr. Hyde's two sons, William Waldo Hyde, now mayor of Hartford, and Frank E. Hyde, were admitted to the firm, which became Hubbard, Hyde & Gross. Upon the untimely death of Governor Hubbard, the firm became Hyde, Gross & Hyde. In the summer of 1893, Frank E. Hyde withdrew from the firm, on his appointment as United States counsel at Lyons, and shortly before Mr. Hyde's death, Arthur L. Shipman was admitted to the partnership.
During his most active years the firm of which he was a member became one of the most widely known and successful law firms in this part of the country, and no member of the firm contributed more to this result than he. His mind was acute in perception, strong in its grasp and generalization of facts, and powerful in its lucid and convincing presentation of the salient points of a case. His judgment was excellent, and he combined the qualities of a good counsellor and a strong advocate. In his forensic efforts he often attained eloquence without aiming at it, and ever manifested the directness and singleness of purpose which were elements of his nature and character.
Although Mr. Hyde's career of public service and usefulness was mainly pursued and chiefly accomplished along the lines of his chosen profession, he was, nevertheless, connected with many of our public institutions, social, educational, humane, financial and religious, and earnestly engaged for their support and good management. All movements and enterprises for the improvement of the city and community that commended themselves to his good judgment received his cordial and generous support, and it is universally acknowledged that by his removal Hartford has lost one of its most public-spirited, most influential, and most esteemed citizens. His valuable counsel in the direction of several of our prominent mercantile institutions was highly appreciated. Directly and indirectly he generously assisted many of our benevolent and humane associations, and was a sympathetic friend and helper of the deserving poor.
From the time of his settlement in Hartford he was a constant attendant at the South Church in this city; served for several years as a member of the society's committee, and ever gave his cordial and substantial support to both the church and society.
He was a Mason of high standing in the order, and successfully administered the office of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut during two terms from May 15, 1862.
Mr. Hyde's integrity, sincerity and straightforwardness of character, combined with kindly, charitable and amiable qualities of heart, won for him, all through his busy life, many firm friends whose warmth of attachment he greatly enjoyed and ardently reciprocated. The honors of public station or of social distinction seemed empty to him in comparison with the richer privileges which the fellowship of friends and domestic communion afford. Within that sacred privacy of household life, and all of its relations, his best qualities shone forth with a beautiful and cheerful brightness, and it is there that the feeling of his loss is and will be most grievous and enduring. Perhaps the noblest testimony to his worth and memory is to be found in the depth and breadth of devoted affection which he inspired in that large circle of those who were bound to him by ties of nature and kindred. That outwardly pleasant home of his, on the Charter Oak Place, graced in former years by the venerable presences of his parents-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Waldo, was inwardly a very pleasant and happy one, the scene of parental concern and devotion, and of filial respect and affection vying and blending each with the other in a manner and degree that was beautiful to behold.
In the later years of his life, Mr. Hyde and his wife, traveled somewhat extensively, both in his own country and abroad, refreshing his hard-worked mind and recruiting his overtaxed physical strength by such timely intervals and most suitable means of recreation.
For a year or two past his health has been visibly failing, nor could partial relinquishment of his hitherto arduous toil nor the benefits of travel avail to turn the gradually ebbing tide of his life.
Only a short time before his death, all arrangements had been made for his departure to Southern Florida, in hope that a winter residence there might prove beneficial. But on the eve of his intended departure he was again prostrated, and, as the event proved, beyond all hope of recovery. Another Hand was guiding him and leading him forth alone in that way which leads through the valley of the shadow of death to the land beyond our earthly horizons, - to "where beyond these voices, there is peace."
His strength was gone, and his life drew rapidly to its end, until, towards evening, February 5th, he painlessly and peacefully breathed his last.
A meeting of the members of the bar of Hartford County was held on the afternoon of February 8, 1894, to take action on the death of Hon. Alvan P. Hyde.
Mr. Charles E. Perkins presided. Henry C. Robinson presented the following resolutions:
"In the death of Hon. Alvan Pinney Hyde the bar has lost an eminent lawyer. Nature equipped him for usefulness. His frame was strong and stalwart, his intellect penetrating and logical, and his moral character honest and sound. Study and culture developed his natural powers. A long career of honorable practice carried him to the front rank of the profession and its most important activities, whence he retired for a few months of sickness, and died. He had an instinct for correct reasoning. His thoughts flowed out in a clear and forcible sentiment. He was faithful to his client and his cause, and his own conscience as well, from the first hour of examination until the last decree of the court was registered. If he succeeded he was generous, if he lost he was brave. In consideration for his associates he had no superior, in dealing with his opponents he was always fair. His broad outfit for professional achievement made him a favorite counselor and advocate in large interests, but he was never deaf to the inquiry nor reluctant to serve the cause of the humble client. He won his victories by direct and open attack; he had no use for indirection nor intrigue. No problem of logic puzzled his reflection, and no crisis confused his perception. His knowledge of jurisprudence was reinforced by a large knowledge of human nature, for he was full of humanity. He had, what is of supreme importance in furnishing a good lawyer or a good judge, a fine sense of that natural justice which underlies the written law of statutes and constitution. He was fair to a witness, for he was full of kindness. Aggressive in his assertions of a righteous cause, he delighted to fight fraud and tyranny, but he had only sympathy for the unfortunate and weak. He loved the law and his love was returned. His name and his life are woven into the records of our courts for last forty years.
"In business circles he was influential and useful. He was skillful in banking, insurance, and bookkeeping. He was fearless and upright in public life.
"As a friend he was true, as a husband, father and brother, he was tender and self-sacrificing. His genial presence was a joy to companionship. He brought much sunlight and no darkness to social life. He was full of hope. He believed in man, individually and socially, and for cynicism and pessimism neither his head nor his heart had any harbor.
"His career was successful and honorable. We remember him and will remember him with respect, admiration and love.
"We will attend his funeral in a body, and the clerk of the bar will enter this minute upon our records and transmit a copy of it to his family."
REMARKS BY JUDGE DAVID S. CALHOUN.
"My remembrance of Mr. Hyde goes back further, possibly, than that of any other one present, for it will be fifty years next October since I entered Yale College as a freshman and first saw Alvan P. Hyde, then a senior, looked upon by me with his full share of that reverence with which the eldest class in college is regarded by the youngest. I knew him not at all familiarly, though we were both from the same county, but I recall vividly the concentrated vigor of his kick as he `warmed' the football, sometimes sending it whirling from a point just below the big elm in the upper green on to the floor of the State House portico. But I knew he was a great favorite among his classmates, and had gained an excellent reputation as a scholar and writer.
"As a general practitioner, I doubt if I have seen his superior at our bar. He had no specialty, though his marvelous faculty in unwinding the tangled threads of business complications might have made him one of the greatest mercantile lawyers in the country. His mind was so versatile and his equipment so complete, that he was fitted for every style of forensic contest. I always found him a trusty and competent leader, a sturdy, skillful, and dangerous antagonist. Patient and fearless, with that grand physique which defied fatigue - never too elated and never discouraged - insensible to ill omens, he never faltered till an irresistible judgment barred his way.
"But whatever an analysis of his natural and acquired powers may show, no one who knew Mr. Hyde as I have known him, will deny that, judging him by the amount, variety, importance, and success of his legal work, he was one of the great bodies of the Connecticut bar. And it is not the humblest part of the eulogy which we offer his memory today, to say that no lawyer through nearly half a century of struggle and strife in courts ever carried himself more manfully, more generously, more honorably, or left fewer rankling wounds behind.
"The higher Alvan P. Hyde rose, the higher he was esteemed. His great, kind heart, his liberal judgment of others, his rare good fellowship, his simple honesty of soul which needed no sensitive moral sensibilities since it was not open to temptation, his strong relish of the pure airs of truth and justice, his deep-seated love for home, friends and country - these we remember with that affection which crowns our estimate of the character of our brother and mingles sorrow for his loss with our respect for his memory."
REMARKS OF JUDGE DWIGHT LOOMIS.
"A sense of personal bereavement impels me to say a word or two on this occasion. In our younger days Brother Hyde and I were often in each other's society.
"We were together in the same classes in Monson Academy. While studying law in lawyers' offices in adjoining towns we often met, and after that we were members of the same class in Yale School.
"We were admitted to the bar of Tolland County and commenced the practice of the law at about the same time in the year 1847.
"Brother Hyde commenced practice first at Stafford, but soon removed to Tolland. I located in Rockville. We were very often employed on opposite sides of a case, and occasionally on the same side. We ran for Congress on opposite tickets twice, and yet in all our controversies, whether of a legal or political nature, I bear this testimony, that I never knew Brother Hyde to do a mean, unfair or ungenerous act, and in all our intercourse there never arose a shade of unpleasantness between us, either personal, professional, or political. Brother Hyde was tried and never found wanting as a friend. He had a warm heart and generous impulses. In social life he was most cordial and amiable, and exempt from affectation, insecurity or arrogance.
"Of his eminence at the bar, we are all witnesses. If he had not the graceful diction and rhetorical affluence that distinguished the late Governor Hubbard, he had a deep, logical and penetrating mind, and I often noticed with admiration a certain cogent, weighty, forceful and compacted style of argumentation, which, joined with great energy and enthusiasm of manner, amply compensated for any lack of ornaments and flowers of rhetoric.
"He was a man of untiring industry and almost irresistible energy, and I have rarely seen his equal as a consummate judge of mind and motive. And few men have been able to make such a profound and abiding impression on courts and juries as he.
"His loss to the bar of the state and to the citizens of Hartford is very great, but to yonder darkened home is immeasurable."
REMARKS OF CHARLES E. GROSS.
"Mr. Chairman and Brethren of the bar:
"I am so oppressed to-day by that which is, especially to me, a personal bereavement, that I would prefer to keep silent. I feel that I cannot give proper expression to what I would desire to say. Yet, not withstanding this, I should not be true to myself if, at this time, I neglected to add a few words of personal tribute to the memory of Alvan P. Hyde, for whom we all mourn so deeply and whom I loved so well.
"For over 22 years I have been connected with him in the practice of the law, and for over 17 years I have enjoyed the privilege and the honor of a copartnership with him.
"During this time our intimacy has not been simply formal, but I have been admitted within the sacred portals of his confidence and trust, and I am proud to believe, even of his affection also. Naturally, no one has appreciated more than I his great ability and attainments as a lawyer, yet it seems to me that, at this time, it is more proper that others should speak of him in this respect rather than myself.
"I prefer to speak of some of his personal characteristics, one of which especially has always impressed me deeply, and that has been his gentleness of spirit.
"He carried with him everywhere an enveloping atmosphere, as it were, of brotherly kindness. No one, whether friend or stranger, client or beggar, could come into his presence without feeling at once its warmth and encouragement.
"Yet he wore it not as a cloak, to be put on or taken off, from time to time, as an outer garment; it was neither superficial nor artificial, but it was ingrained into the very nature of the man, and formed as much a part of him as the nerves or veins in his body. He had a remarkably even and lovable disposition. Masculine in power and appearance, yet in those qualities which lie back of all action he was as thoroughly feminine. He was sympathetic almost to a fault. Suffering appealed to him in any form, and rarely, if ever, was his aid withheld.
"Another characteristic was his loyalty to truth and justice. He never prostituted his great ability to ignoble uses. He fought for the truth manfully and in the open field. He hated deception and despised all underground influences. He neither bore false witness nor knowingly aided in permitting another to bear false witness.
"Akin to this was his loyalty to his friends, his old home in Tolland County and its people, his professional brethren, and his clients. It was always the same true, fixed and absolute loyalty under every circumstance. He harbored no doubts, and permitted no questionings.
"We have lost not only a leader, but a friend. We are to-day bringing the wreaths which our respect and friendship and love have been winding during our acquaintance with him. If among them all one flower shall outlive its fellows, I think, Mr. Chairman, it will be that fragrant blossom which stands for his gentle and loveable nature.
"Will we not always think of him as was said of another:
" `God gave him wisdom and understanding exceeding much; but above all, largeness of heart, even as the sand which is on the seashore.' "
REMARKS OF HENRY C. ROBINSON.
"Mr. Chairman: Although I had not expected to extend by remark my estimate of Mr. Hyde as expressed in the resolutions, yet I cannot decline your request to add a word by my voice. As I have listened with interest and emotion to the fitting and forcible tributes already rendered to the memory of our friend, I am impressed with the thought that no words of memorial speech or resolution can reproduce a marked personality. We gather together closely about our table, and one has gone from its head; we look at the vacant chair and try to describe the man who has gone. But the phrases of our description are insufficient to reflect the portrait of the individual character which is sketched upon our hearts. Qualities were assembled in his person which we may not picture in adequate tone and force in speech. Mr. Hyde was a masterly man in his profession. How and wherein he was masterly has been well told you, and better still, you all know it without telling. And what a successful thing it is to build up such professional worth and such character! If that is all of our friend, if life ends with his cold frame breathless and pulseless in its robes of death, his professional and personal achievements, running in the lines of the best laws of our nature, have made his life a success.
"The flower withered by the frosts of autumn or cut down by the scythe in summer, if it has fulfilled the laws of its best nature - beauty and fragrance - is still a success, though `to-morrow it is cast into the oven.'
"It was my lot to be many times called into the inner chamber of our friend's soul, in joy and sorrow, and the occupants were manliness, sincerity and tenderness. In God and His laws, in integrity and truth, and man's personal immortality, he believed, and his belief in those invisible realities was not bound by ragged threads of speculative possibilities, but by the firm cords of conviction.
"I have said if this were all of our friend, but it is not. There must be more - the pure and blessed invisible things within us must go on, and into the pure and blessed and invisibles external to us we may go. The dying Rabelais said, "Je vais chercher un grand peut-être;" our philosophy halts not at a "perhaps," it is assured of a future where incomplete lives shall be made complete."
REMARKS OF JOHN C. PARSONS.
"Mr. Chairman: One word should be said, in recounting our memories of Mr. Hyde, of his kindness and consideration of his juniors at the bar, especially those associated with him in a trial. Fortunately for our times this trait or habit was not peculiar to Mr. Hyde alone at our bar. There are traditions coming down from a time earlier than you, Mr. Chairman, or I can remember, when the leaders of the bar were wont to throw all the labor and drudgery of preparation and trial upon their jurors, and appropriate to themselves all the credit and honor. That was long ago. None of us who have served under Mr. Hungerford, Governor Toucey, Mr. T. C. Perkins, or Governor Hubbard, have known what it was to be imposed upon or slighted by our leaders. We have understood that our seniors would see that we were not snubbed with impunity by opposing counsel, or overawed by the court; that we should be guarded from surprises and flank attacks; that a retreat, if necessary, would be skillfully covered, and that every possible opportunity would be given us for success or distinction.
"Mr. Hyde was an admirable illustration of this increasing courtesy. He had no place in his large, robust, generous nature, for envy or jealousy. He was ever ready to take the laboring oar; his vehemence and untiring energy gave his young associate strength and courage; his prompt resource covered any stumbling, and it was his pleasure to afford his junior every chance of winning the laurels of the contest. And in all his relations to his brethren at the bar, old or young, I am sure we can none of us recall any incident which has left any rankling or heart-burning; on the contrary, all our recollections are of a noble and kindly character."
The chairman, Mr. Perkins, before he put the resolutions to the meeting, said that he and Mr. Hyde had practiced together for forty years. During that time he was associated with him only twice. In having Mr. Hyde as his opposing counsel he felt his grit and the power of his mind. He used no flowers of rhetoric in his addresses, though he had the power to use them if he felt disposed to exercise it. Mr. Perkins eulogized Mr. Hyde as a lawyer and as a man.
The resolutions were unanimously adopted.
*Prepared by the Rev. Dr. Edwin P. Parker of Hartford.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 133, pages 736 - 738
Alvan Waldo Hyde, a member of the Hartford County bar, died at his home in Hartford on October 25, 1946, in his sixty-seventh year. He was born in Hartford on August 21, 1880, a son of William Waldo Hyde and Helen E. (Watson) Hyde. He attended the public schools of Hartford and the Hartford Public High School. He was graduated from Yale University in 1902 and from the Harvard Law School in 1905. He was married on December 6, 1905, to Helen E. Howard. She died in November, 1906. On April 4, 1911, he married Teresa MacGillivray, who survives. Also surviving are three children, Mrs. Helen Hyde Bulkeley (wife of William H. Bulkeley), Mrs. Jeanette Hyde Stoner (wife of Louis B. Stoner) and William Waldo Hyde, II, and his mother and a sister, Elizabeth Hyde.
After graduating from law school, he entered the office of Gross, Hyde & Shipman, became a member of the firm on January 1, 1910, and remained a member of that firm and its successors until his death.
If we read in 48 Conn. 602 the eulogies pronounced upon the death of his great-grandfather, Loren P. Waldo, and in 63 Conn. 614 the eulogies pronounced upon the death of his grandfather, Alvan P. Hyde, and in 90 Conn. 717 the tribute to his father, William Waldo Hyde, we can see how deeply embedded in the law were his ancestral roots. Alvan Waldo Hyde was to the manner born. What was said in the obituary sketch of the father also applies to the son: He was "pre-eminently a student of the law. He studied its underlying principles and was never dismayed by reported opinions which from some aspects seemed to run counter to his own conclusions. . . His opinions were founded upon careful study, but his unerring common sense held him fixed on the principles of justice undisturbed by any subtleties of analytical reasoning. Accurate thinking led him to accurate and concise statement." He was not so much interested in trials of fact, but, given the facts he was deeply interested in the elucidation of law applicable to those facts. One excellent illustration of this is found in Napier v. Peoples Stores Co., 98 Conn. 414, 426, where the court, following his argument, held that "we feel compelled to overrule the case of Wells v. Hartford Manilla Co. 76 Conn. 27, . . . in so far as it holds that claims arising out of executory contracts, in respect of which no anticipatory breach existed before the date of the receivership, are not allowable."
In 1935 Mr. Hyde was appointed a public utility commissioner for a term of six years, and he was chairman of the commission for a part of his term of office. In that year, 1935, the powers of the commission were greatly extended by statute. This gave Mr. Hyde an unusual opportunity to assist in the development of administrative law in the field of rate making and in supervision over the issuance of securities. The state motor carrier act was also passed by the General Assembly in the same year. Connecticut was one of the first states to adopt such legislation and it preceded legislation by Congress enacted later that year. Here again, Mr. Hyde's ability as a lawyer was demonstrated in establishing basic classifications of the different types of carriers in the administration of this new form of regulated service.
Upon his retirement as public utility commissioner he devoted himself to his duties as trustee of trusts under various wills and virtually retired from the active practice of law. His health failed and after a considerable period of illness he died on October 25, 1946.
Those who dealt with him through his forty years at the bar recognize his ability as a lawyer. Those of us who were closest to him also recognize that he had to an unusual degree that quality of personality which we call charm, and we mourn his passing.
*Prepared by Charles Welles Gross, of the Hartford bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 90, pages 717 - 718
WILLIAM WALDO HYDE, born March 25th, 1854, in Tolland, Connecticut, died in Hartford, October 28th, 1915.
As a lawyer’s son and a lawyer’s grandson, he was bred to the bar. His father was Alvan P. Hyde, and his maternal grandfather was Loren P. Waldo, sketches of whom are found in our Reports, Volumes 63 and 48, respectively.
Mr. Hyde came from Tolland to Hartford with his father’s family when he was ten years old. He studied in the Hartford public
schools, finishing first in his class (1872) at the High School; entered Yale College, where he was graduated with high honors in 1876; then studied law for a year with his father’s firm, Waldo, Hubbard & Hyde, and later at the Law School of Boston University, and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1878. He at once became a clerk in the firm of which his father was a member, and in 1881, upon the death of Judge Waldo, became a partner in the firm of Hubbard, Hyde & Gross. Mr. Hubbard died in 1884 (see obituary sketch in Volume 50) and thereupon the firm became Hyde, Gross & Hyde, and later Gross, Hyde & Shipman.
Mr. Hyde was preeminently a student of the law. He studied its underlying principles and was never dismayed by reported opinions which from some aspects seemed to run counter to his own conclusions. Unlike some students he was never insistent upon discovering and resting upon a decision exactly in point. His opinions were founded upon careful study, but his unerring common sense held him fixed on the principles of justice undisturbed by any subtilities of analytical reasoning. Accurate thinking led him to accurate and concise statement. His arguments were direct, forceful and convincing, and colored here and there with touches of his own rugged personality. He possessed to an unusual degree the confidence not only of his clients but of the courts also, and many an attorney resorted to him in times of perplexity for aid and counsel. This came not only from his recognized ability, but from an abiding conviction in the minds of others of Mr. Hyde’s downright and undeviating honesty. Truth, justice and righteousness were as much a part of him as sentiment, sympathy and charity. Had his hearing been normal he would have made a great judge.
He was a bundle of contradictions—marvelously related and correlated: as courageous and tenacious as a bulldog—as self-conscious and self-deprecatory as the most modest of girls; so tender that the tears would mount at any tale of distress, yet so angry at injustice that vituperation would burn from his lips even while the tears were helplessly falling; while a hint at the incongruous would bring back the twinkle to his eyes, and a genuine joke would carry him to uncontrolled laughter.
He was so unexpected—so uncannily accurate in prophecy, so apropos in repartee, so unsparing in criticism of the fault, so charitable to the faulty one, so faithful to a trust, so fearful of his own ability, so powerful in action, so considerate and tender when the strife was over and his shield was down—not that he cared much for shields, he liked his own sword too well. He believed in patience, and oftentimes let her have perfect work, to his client’s great reward.
His life-long partner, Mr. Charles E. Gross, has spoken of him as follows: “Perhaps his chief attraction was his lovable personality. The three graces must have sorrowed when he was born a man. What was Christian charity in his grandfather and a universal brotherhood in his father, blossomed in him into a warm and sweet comradeship, to which any worthy person was admitted. The first smile of his infancy never wore off. It was to be seen even in his periods of despondency, in his troubles, and in his sorrows. The sun always shone in his heart, even though clouds overhung him.”
Mr. Hyde never shunned public duty. He served for several terms as a member of the Board of Public Works of the City of
Hartford; was Acting School Visitor or Superintendent of Schools for many years; and was also Mayor of the City and its Corporation Counsel. There were few public offices in the gift of the community that would not have been given to him had he desired them.
In his later years Mr. Hyde had seemed to fully come into his own. He was attaining the glorious confidence from others and in himself that comes from years of patient and successful labor. It never spoiled or could spoil him. He passed from life as he himself would have desired, in the full tide of success—perhaps a little wearied for the moment—but he was a happy and contented warrior.
In December, 1877, Mr. Hyde married Helen Eliza Watson, of Hartford, who, with two children, Alvan W. and Elizabeth, survive him.
*Prepared by Arthur L. Shipman, Esq., of the Hartford County bar, at the request of the Reporter.
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