As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 243, pages 973 - 974
On January 15, 1998, Justice Herbert S. MacDonald died, ninety-one years after his birth on January 14, 1907. Justice MacDonald's longevity was rivaled only by the length of his legal career. A 1929 graduate of Yale College, Justice MacDonald received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1932. In 1939, he became a judge on the North Haven town court, where he continued to serve for eighteen years. On June 5, 1957, he was appointed to be a judge of the Superior Court and took office on September 1 of that year. He was named to the Supreme Court on April 13, 1972, and assumed the position of justice on April 29. His tenure on the Supreme Court continued until he reached the mandatory constitutional age of retirement on January 14, 1977. From that time forth, he continued to serve as an active state trial referee until June 30, 1990.
Justice MacDonald's devotion to the law extended beyond his service on the Bench. For eight years he was an officer of the Connecticut Bar Association. He was also a member of the state Senate, where, in the late 1940s he coauthored with John R. Thim, who also became a justice of the Supreme Court, the legislation establishing the state sales tax. The tax was originally 2 percent and was intended to be temporary.
Music was of particular interest to Justice MacDonald. He worked his way through Yale playing the banjo, and he served as president of the New Haven Symphony in the early 1950s. In 1983, in a New Haven Register article written in honor of his fifty years in the court system, he claimed "the distinction of probably being the oldest living member of the symphony board." Justice MacDonald's other activities included serving on the board of Connecticut Hospice, Inc., Mory's, the New Haven Colony Historical Society and the New Haven Preservation Trust.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 163, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court April 13, 1972, to take effect April 29, 1972.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 169, page iii
Senior Judge effective August 31, 1975.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 172, page iii
Retired January 14, 1977, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 90, pages 725 - 726
THEODORE MILLS MALTBIE, one of the leading members of the Hartford County Bar, who died at his home November 13th, 1915, was born April 29th, 1842. June 10th, 1867, he married Louise A. Jewett of Granby who, with their two children, William M. Maltbie and Annie L. Maltbie, survive him.
Educated in the common schools of the State and at the Norfolk Academy, he studied law with William K. Peck and was admitted to the bar in Litchfield County in 1863. Soon thereafter he moved to Granby, his home for more than half a century.
Always taking an active interest in the local affairs of his community, but never an office seeker, he was frequently called upon to discharge public duties incumbent upon good citizenship. Five years he was a member of the legislature, three as representative and two as senator. He represented Granby in the Constitution Convention of 1902, and was a prominent leader of the so-called small town element. Two years he was Deputy Insurance Commissioner, and later was, for several years, counsel for the Commissioner. He was largely instrumental in placing the department upon its present firm basis and making it a power in the insurance world.
Of old New England stock, in an old New England town, he was a type of the intellectual and God-loving men who, for generations, have made New England famous.
He was more than ordinarily endowed by nature, and with untiring perseverance overcame the lack of the superficial advantages of a collegiate education and the training of a law school. By close study he mastered the fundamental principles of law, and few of his competitors were as well equipped to apply these principles to the many vexatious questions which the active practitioner daily encounters.
His memory was retentive and his mind analytical to an unusual degree. However complicated the case might be he grasped the situation with a power that was oftentimes surprising both to his associates and his opponents. His separation of the material from the immaterial was as incisive as it was complete. This characteristic was preeminent in his dealing with questions relating to the intricacies of the larger commercial transactions. In this department of practice he had few peers and no superiors.
In the trial of causes he was never unprepared. Facts were skillfully marshalled and no decision of analogous cases overlooked. He relied upon no tricks in oratory, but his successes were gained by thorough preparation and careful and skillful presentation.
As a counsellor he was prudent, patient and painstaking. Slow to advise, his advice, once given, could not be disregarded with impunity.
He will long be lovingly remembered for his eminence as a lawyer, his prominence as a citizen, and his faithfulness as a friend.
*Prepared by Percy S. Bryant, Esq., of the Hartford County bar at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports volume 148, pages 740 - 746
When a person in high public position reaches great stature in his career, we tend to chronicle and extol his accomplishments at the expense of the personal qualities which so often give the true picture of the man. Devotion to duty, prodigious energy, keen intellect, and exceptional capacity are molded into an image of public service. It may be a true and inspiring image, like a great statue, but like the statue, it fails to impart the warmth and human quality so essential to the fullness of a distinguished personality. No understanding of the man who held the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors for a longer period than any other in the history of Connecticut is complete unless, along with his public achievements, we emphasize his natural and easy friendliness, which made every personal contact a delight.
William Mills Maltbie was country born, in the then small town of Granby, Connecticut, on March 10, 1880. Descended from a long New England ancestry, he was the only son of Theodore Mills and Louise A. Jewett Maltbie. His early environment, which permitted a boyhood uncomplicated by the distractions of urban life, taught him, at first hand, the basic values of wholesome living. The country gave him a love of fields, woods and streams which sustained him in tranquility throughout his busy life. He never became too occupied to digress excitedly about the partridge or fox surprised on one of his many walks or while riding his horse through the woods. He was always ready to talk enthusiastically of the growing things in nature as objects inspiring and fascinating to a devout and active mind.
From the grade school, he entered Hartford Public High School and was graduated in 1897. He thereupon entered Yale and, in 1901, received the A.B. degree, graduating second in his class. He went on to Yale Law School and received the LL.B. degree summa cum laude in 1905.
The interlude of university life did not loosen the devotion to his native Granby and, although upon his admission to the Connecticut bar in 1905 he entered his father's Hartford office to practice law, he maintained a Granby residence which was to continue without interruption until his death on December 15, 1961, at the age of eighty-one. The early years of his law practice found him driving a horse from his Granby home to the railroad station in Tariffville to commute by train to his Hartford office, but to a lover of country living the trip was worth the effort involved. Perhaps as an omen of the activity to come, this fledgling lawyer, in 1908, had already prepared an index digest of the Connecticut Reports covering volumes 64 to 81.
A life of public service began in 1913 with the election to the General Assembly as representative from Granby. During that session, he served as chairman of both the Joint and House Committees on Constitutional Amendments.
In 1914, there ripened a friendship which was to span, in its entirety, a half century. In that year William Maltbie was appointed assistant state's attorney for Hartford County under the late Hugh Mead Alcorn, and he held that position until he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court in 1917. Mr. Alcorn, who had been appointed state's attorney in 1908, continued in that office until 1942, and the official contacts of the two men were necessarily frequent. The deeply personal friendship between them far transcended official contacts, however, and beginning early, grew constantly stronger as the years passed. It stemmed from respect, admiration and genuine affection on the part of each man for the other. And it gave the writer the cherished opportunity of knowing Judge Maltbie first as a person, unadorned with the honors which were to come, and of finding in him one who could share a boy's interests, not condescendingly in the way of some adults, but sincerely and in man-to-man fashion.
While still fulfilling the duties of assistant state's attorney, the future chief justice was, in 1915, appointed executive secretary to Governor Marcus H. Holcomb, and he held that position until 1917. At the same time he served, from 1916, as a member of the grievance committee of the Hartford County Bar. As though his seemingly unlimited capacity for the responsibility and effort could not be overtaxed, he also undertook, from 1915 to 1917, the duties of secretary to the commission then engaged in the preparation of the 1918 revision of the General Statues.
In 1917, the judicial career which was to make the name Maltbie known far beyond the boundaries of Connecticut began. On August 1, Governor Holcomb appointed him a judge of the Superior Court, effective August 31, 1917. This was not the only noteworthy event of that year for the young jurist, for in the same year he married Mary L. Hamlin. The strong, deeply loyal and solicitous relationship which existed between him and Mrs. Maltbie until his death was a large and highly rewarding facet of his life. With that rare devotion which is truly selfless, Mrs. Maltbie offered him a home life which was pleasant, quiet, understanding and solid. She shared his interest in his garden, in nature, and in his many outside activities. His contentment and well-being were her first concern. His devotion to her was touching. Those who saw their activity and home life together sensed how completely it nourished the character that so brilliantly serve our state. They were devoted not only to one another but also to their only son, Theodore Mills Maltbie, who returned that devotion in full measure. Ted, as his parents affectionately called him, is a Hartford lawyer, living in West Hartford with his wife and two children.
The appointment to the Superior Court seemed to act as a valve to release the volatile energy in the brilliant mind and rugged physique of the future chief justice. Lean and lithe in figure, his physical appearance gave slight hint of the strength which carried him through almost thirty-nine full years of judicial service with scarce an absence due to illness. That record appears the more remarkable when the myriad activities in which he engaged are considered.
Close upon his appointment to the Superior Court, he served as a member of the committee of judges which compiled the Practice Book of 1922. In 1924, he collaborated with Henry H. Townshend in supplementing his earlier index digest to carry it through volume 97 of the Connecticut Reports. He had a consuming interest not only in correct interpretation of the substance of the law but also in the perfection of the rules of procedure by which the substantive result might be justly reached. The work upon the 1922 Practice Book was the beginning of a lifelong study, publicly evidenced by his subsequent participation in both the 1934 and the 1951 revisions. Indeed, a lengthy memorandum of suggested improvements followed the 1951 revision and is, even now, aiding those engaged in the preparation of still another revision at present in the making.
Judge Maltbie continued as a Superior Court judge until 1925 when, on January 29 of that year, he became a justice of the Supreme Court of Errors. Slightly less than six years later he became, on December 1, 1930, chief justice, the position which he continued to hold until his retirement, by reason of the constitutional limitation as to age, on March 10, 1950. He was, at the age of fifty, the youngest man to become chief justice in the history of the state.
During his more than twenty-five years as a member of the Supreme Court of Errors, he took part in 3685 decisions, 824 of which he wrote the majority opinion. He was not a dissenter if it could be avoided, for the record reveals that he disagreed with the majority only fifty-six times, out of which he found it necessary to record his written dissent only thirty-three times. Concerning this record, his longtime friend and associate on the court, former Chief Justice Allyn L. Brown, has this to say: "He never compromised his convictions, or hesitated to keep sharply defined the difference between right and wrong... Not only did he assign to himself the most difficult opinions which were to be written but, by his logical and persuasive comments on the opinions prepared by the other judges, very often obviated the danger of dissenting opinions and helped preserve the symmetrical development of the common law of Connecticut."
One of Chief Justice Maltbie's most outstanding characteristics was his constant willingness to impart to his associates anything which his deep insight in the law suggested as an aid to clear and orderly judicial decision. His collection of material on jury charges has been for many years, and still is, the authoritative guide for trial judges. His compilation of Supreme Court rescripts is in daily use by the judges of that court. He set down his "Thoughts on the Writing of Opinions" in part as follows: "The most important function of a court of last resort is to formulate the principles of the common law so that, in a changing and ever more complex world, there may be preserved a balance of rights as nearly just as may be and men may know with some degree of certainty how to determine their conduct so as not to subject themselves to loss or penalty. Courts might conceivably perform this function, as the Legislature passes laws, by a categorical statement that in the situation before it a certain principle of law is to be applied. The strength and vitality of the common law lies, however, not so much in the validity and justice of the principle of law it applies as in the manner in which those principles are ascertained. ... No matter how able, honest and industrious a court may be, its opinions will not in the long run be held in high regard unless they demonstrate that it solves the problems before it by the methods which time and the stability of law and rights in the Anglo-Saxon world have proven to be essentially correct. To make this manifest is perhaps the greatest purpose of judicial decision."
This is not the place to examine how admirably the Chief Justice followed these principles in the extensive contribution which he has made to the growth of the law in Connecticut. Concerning the unwritten law of this state he wrote, in Swentusky v. Prudential Ins. Co., 116 Conn. 526, 531: "That law can never be static, but it must be everlastingly developing to meet the changing needs of a changing civilization. But if our system of law is to have stability and a measurable degree of certainty, its development must be an orderly process, an accretion to the body of principles which are the outgrowth of past precedents, reasoned out in pursuance of that method of thinking which is the essence of the common law." How ably he served that task and how great he became in judicial stature as a result are attested by the many published commendations of his work which have appeared over the years and by the degrees recognizing his legal scholarship. He received the LL.D. degree from Yale in 1933, from Elon College, in North Carolina, in 1941, and from Hillyer College, now the University of Hartford, in 1955. In 1934, Trinity College, Hartford awarded him the J.U.D. degree, and Boston University conferred the D.C.L., degree in 1942.
In 1940, he published the first edition of "Connecticut Appellate Procedure," which overnight became the indispensable guidebook of bench and bar and, in 1957, following his retirement from the Supreme Court, he published the revised second edition. This was not, however, to be the last demonstration of his ceaseless energy. There has recently been published a supplement to his "Connecticut Appellate Procedure" which he completed during his last illness, bringing the work through volume 147 of the Connecticut Reports. To the very last, the state was the beneficiary of his judicial talents. Following his retirement from the bench, he served actively as a state referee and, in addition to the routine calls of that office, sat as a one-man grand jury in important investigations in Hartford in 1951 and in Norwich in 1954. Always seeking to improve the judicial system, he was active in the effort to establish the Circuit Court, which became reality in 1961.
His interest and activity in the law extended beyond the boundaries of Connecticut, however, for, in addition to participation in the work of the Hartford County, the State, and the American Bar Associations, he found time for lively interest in the work of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, the American Judicature Society, and the American Law Institute.
When we leave the professional aspects of his career, it is to find that his next most consuming interest was young people. It was his conviction that, along with a jurisprudence as nearly perfect as human frailty allowed, the boys and girls who must supply future leadership furnished the substance most vital to the welfare of the state and nation. So, in his exemplary way, he devoted long hours to activities intended to develop character, ideals, and knowledge of governmental processes in young people. To that the end he served, at various times in his career, as a member of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, president of the Charter Oak Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and chairman of the council of the Eagle Board Review. He was a member of the boy's work committee of the national Young Men's Christian Association and a trustee of the Hartford Y.M.C.A. The annual Nutmeg Boys State and Laurel Girls State, held on the campus of the University of Connecticut, invariably found him on hand to administer, in judicial robe, the oath of office to the "elected" officers, usually with the addition of a thought-provoking message for the "electorate." Equally active in the Connecticut Y.M.C.A. Youth and Government Program, he was chairman of the sponsoring committee and largely instrumental in initiating the mock legislative sessions for high school students now held as an annual event at the State Capitol.
Perhaps next to his interest in boys and girls was his concern for those unfortunates who, for reasons other than viciousness, had run afoul of the criminal law, and his endeavor to extend the use of probation procedures in cases which seemed to merit them. This explains, in part, his period of service as trustee of the Probation Association and his work with the Connecticut Prison Association, which he served as president for so many years.
His concern for any subject of general interest accounts for his participation, as chairman, in the task of a committee appointed by the Governor to study the Hartford area traffic problem in 1954, and for his chairmanship of a committee to study the Fairfield State Hospital in 1957. A Congregationalist, he assisted, in 1957, in drafting the constitution of the recently formed United Church of Christ. He was, at various times, president of the Greater Hartford Federation of Churches (now the Greater Hartford Council of Churches), president of the Connecticut Opera Association, and a member of the Board of Pardons, the State Library Committee, the Connecticut Board of Education for the Blind, and the Connecticut War Council. Along with it all, he gave unstintingly of his time to church and public organizations and activities in the home town he loved so well. A lifelong member of the Republican Party and the Masonic Order, he also belonged to various patriotic societies, including the Sons of the American Revolution, and was a member of the University Club of Hartford.
The very listing of his diverse interests, so long as to be almost tedious, is, nevertheless, emphatic proof of the widespread confidence reposed in his wisdom and judgment. In final analysis, the fact is paramount that people turned to him primarily because of his brilliant intellect but more particularly because here was a kindly man who exemplified the basic values of a wholesome life, and who gave freely and gladly of his talents in any endeavor which advanced the best interests of his community, his state, and the law. There was no forbidding aloofness, no cold detachment, no demonstration of superior knowledge about him. The easy friendliness, the warm and gentle humility of his manner was magnetic. Pages could be filled with the recital of kindly, thoughtful acts to neighbors, associates and others which are unrecorded because he would wish it so. Nevertheless, they, as much as the brilliance of public achievement, must go to make up the image of the truly great personality which will live beyond the memory of those privileged to know William Mills Maltbie.
*Prepared by Hon. Howard W. Alcorn, of Suffield.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 111, page iii (also printed in volume 112, page iii)
Appointed Chief Justice April 25th, 1929, to take effect upon the retirement of the Hon. George W. Wheeler.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 136, page iii
Retired March 10, 1950, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 54, pages 606 - 607
DWIGHT MARCY was born in the town of Union, Tolland county, June 8th, 1840, prepared for college at the Lawrence Academy, Groton, Mass., and graduated from Yale College in 1863. After graduation he taught school for a time, studied law and was admitted to the bar in Tolland county in 1865. He began practice at Central Village, in Windham county; afterwards removed to Tolland in Tolland county, and thence to Rockville, in the same county, where he remained in the practice of his profession to the time of his death, which occurred May 7th, 1887. In 1867 he was appointed state's attorney for Tolland county and held the office for two years. He was elected assistant clerk of the House of Representatives in 1867, a year later clerk of the House, and the year following clerk of the Senate. He represented the town of Vernon in the General Assembly in the years 1878, 1879 and 1880, and the latter year was speaker of the House. He was a delegate from Tolland County to the republican national convention in 1876.
Such is a brief outline of Mr. Marcy's career. He was eminently a self-made man, having few adventitious aids. He had rare resources of will power, was self-reliant and self-dependent, industrious and energetic, ambitious and laudably aspiring.
His physical powers were good until a few years before his death, when he was stricken with the fatal disorder of which he finally died.
His mental characteristics were distinctively marked. His mind was not rapid in its processes. It wrought slowly but surely. He never hastily rushed to his conclusions, but reached them by careful and cautious approaches.
In his public trusts he acquitted himself acceptably to the public and with credit to himself.
As a lawyer he was faithful and devoted to the interests of his clients. He never betrayed or deserted them and never counseled them with a view to his own interests and to the neglect of theirs. He was diligent in the preparation of his cases and thorough in his attention to the law involved. As an advocate he was not eloquent or brilliant, never fervid or vehement, always cool, dispassionate, methodical, logical. His style was without embellishment of any kind, a plain, persistent, undeviating adherence to the law and the fact. He very seldom spoke in public except in his professional duties and upon business matters in town meetings. Even in his legislative experience he was rarely heard in debate.
In his social intercourse he was not familiar, free and confiding. He was always unobtrusive, undemonstrative, reserved and cautious. None, not even his personal friends, could get within the citadel of his guarded nature without a protracted siege. He never seemed to relish merriment, had little appreciation of the ludicrous, was never jocose, never indulged in jest or repartee. With such ingredients in his composition the marvel is that he should have any love or affinity for politics. But, incongruous as it may seem, he was active and zealous in the political arena. He seemed fond of its excitements and loved its preferments. While he sought the honors of political life, his reserved, quiet and ingenuous nature would not allow him to resort to the blandishments, the arts and wiles of the popular, professional politician.
His personal habits were good. His private life was irreproachable, and his domestic relations always happy.
Very little is known of his religious views. So secretive and uncommunicative was he in his nature that he gave very scant if any clues to his religious convictions, yet in the last hour of his life they forced expression in the language of the familiar hymn: "Oh Beulah Land! Sweet Beulah Land! " two lines of which he faintly repeated and requested that the hymn be sung by his bedside.
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter, by B.H. Bill, Esq., of the Tolland County Bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 87, pages 720 - 722
EDWIN ELIPHALET MARVIN was born at Tolland, Connecticut, October 8th, 1833, a son of Deacon Ira Kilbourne Marvin and Julia Young Marvin. He was educated in the public schools of Tolland, and at the Connecticut Literary Institute, at Suffield. He later taught in various towns of the State, and was throughout his long life deeply interested in the cause of public education. Attracted to the legal profession, he entered the office of his future father-in-law, Judge Loren P. Waldo, and his future brother-in-law, Alvan P. Hyde, under whose directions he pursued the study of law until 1858, when he was admitted to the bar at Tolland. Until the outbreak of the Civil War, he practiced law in Tolland County, making Rockville his chief place of business.
At the first call to arms in April, 1861, Mr. Marvin is said to have been the first man in Vernon to respond to Governor Buckingham’s call for three months troops. The mustering in began in Hartford, May 14th, 1861, and the men, as fast as they arrived, were organized into the First Regiment Colt’s Revolving Rifles, of which Col. Samuel Colt, the inventor of Colt’s rifle and Colt’s pistol, was appointed Colonel May 16th.
After President Lincoln’s call for seventy-five thousand troops to serve three years, the men who had been instructed in military drill by their own officers were, on June 20th, disbanded, and immediately re-enlisted for three years, and were reorganized on the same day as the Fifth Connecticut Volunteers, with Orris S. Ferry of Norwalk, as Colonel. This regiment served with great distinction throughout the war. Mr. Marvin was mustered in as first lieutenant of Company F, July 22d, 1861, and was promoted to be captain of the company May 14th, 1862. He served faithfully and enthusiastically until, by reason of disability incurred in the service and from which he never fully recovered, he was compelled to resign his commission February 12th, 1863.
He then resumed the practice of the law in Rockville, where he remained until 1867, when he removed to Hartford to accept a position as assistant to Judge Waldo, then clerk of the United States courts for this district. He remained in the clerk’s office the remainder of his life, first as assistant clerk, then as clerk, of the United States District Court, to which he was appointed July 1st, 1874, and later as clerk of the United States Circuit Court, to which he was appointed July 1st, 1877. His long term of service, covering nearly a half-century, and his remarkable grasp of all the details connected with the rules of practice in the United States courts, brought him the respect and affectionate regard of the entire membership of the distinguished bar of these courts.
He died, at the age of eighty years, at his home in Hartford, January 24th, 1914.
As a lawyer, Mr. Marvin was not by nature attracted to practice in the courts. He was a student of the law rather than a trier of causes. Endowed with a remarkable memory, he was well qualified to advise his clients as to the course which they should pursue, and was especially well equipped to decide disputed questions of law or fact. For this reason he was, as a justice of the peace during the early years of his residence in Hartford, frequently called upon to try civil causes, and also to preside as judge of the City Police Court during the absence of the regular judge of that court. Later, as United States Commissioner, and Extradition Commissioner, he was called upon to hear many, if not most, of the important criminal cases which arose within the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for this district, and which were brought before him for preliminary hearing. As Master in Chancery, and Special Examiner in Chancery, he was in great demand and performed the duties of both positions with exceptional ability and fairness. During his incumbency of the offices of assistant clerk and clerk of the United States courts, five judges presided over the District Court,— William D. Shipman, Nathaniel Shipman, William K. Townsend, James P. Platt, and Edwin S. Thomas. To have received the approval and regard through almost half a century of judges of such ability and high standing, is in itself full proof of abiding merit.
As a man, no one stood higher than Mr. Marvin in the community. He was of simple tastes, a lover of nature, devoted to his family, interested in every effort to improve the conditions of society, and ready to help in every good work. In his quiet way, he did good with his right hand, of which the left hand was ignorant. He did not seek publicity or applause for his good deeds; many will miss his helping hand which came so quietly and surely to their relief.
To his family and friends, his death leaves a sense of great loss, and a feeling of thankfulness for the blessing they have enjoyed in the teachings of his life.
Mr. Marvin married Cynthia Paulina Waldo, daughter of Judge Loren P. Waldo, December 24th, 1866, who died March 18th, 1908. He is survived by his only son, Judge Loren P. Waldo Marvin, of the Court of Probate for the district of Hartford, and two grandchildren, Florence Belle, and Edwin Waldo Marvin.
*Prepared by William Waldo Hyde, Esq., of the Hartford County Bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 113, pages 793 - 794
L. P. Waldo Marvin, a Judge of the Superior Court for this State who died June 1st, 1930, was born in Hartford October 19th, 1870 and grew to manhood in a family and amid family connections where law, its practice and its problems were of dominant interest. His grandfather, Loren P. Waldo, was an honored Judge of Superior Court who had also a distinguished service in the Federal Congress. Alvan P. Hyde was his uncle by marriage and William Waldo Hyde was his first cousin. His father, Edwin Eliphalet Marvin, was for many years Clerk of the United States District Court for this District.
Judge Marvin attended the public schools of Hartford, graduated from Yale University, Academic Department, in 1882 and from Yale Law School in 1894.
His legal training was excellent. He began and continued practice of law in Hartford until the year 1907. He preferred office rather than trial work and was an excellent advisor in business and corporation law. He was elected Judge of Probate for the Probate District of Hartford in 1907 in a contested election following the retirement of Hon. Harrison B. Freeman. So satisfactory was his service as a Probate Judge that he was nominated by both political parties through successive terms until his appointment to the Superior Bench in 1921.
Many of his friends regretted Judge Marvin's decision to serve the state in the Superior Court rather than continue in the probate jurisdiction, for in the latter office, he seemed well nigh invaluable. Not only was he exceedingly well trained in the law of estates and trusts but he applied his training and knowledge with great kindness and sympathy in the manifold and trying duties of a Probate Judge in a large district.
He brought to his work, however, in the Superior Count an extraordinary fund of common sense, high conscientiousness and unflinching courage. He had little sympathy with keen dialectics and preferred to get the ultimate facts with dispatch and to apply the law thereto without fear or favor.
The guiding principle of Judge Marvin's life was his desire to serve his fellow men and his faithfulness in such service. For years he was treasurer of the Open Hearth in Hartford; he was president of the Mansfield State Training School and Hospital and he was a devoted member and warden of Trinity Church in Hartford. Judge Marvin loved his fellow men and was loved by them. Few men of his generation have been so blessed.
He fought his fatal illness through months of discouragement with courage, with serenity and in confidence in the Christian faith.
Judge Marvin married on June 4th, 1895, Florence Belle Watrous of Chicago. Mrs. Marvin, two children and four grandchildren survive him. His children are Florence Watrous Marvin, wife of James W. Hatch of Hartford, and Edwin Waldo Marvin of West Hartford, a member of this bar.
*Prepared by Arthur L. Shipman, Esq., of the Hartford bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 13, appendix page 10
was born in what is now the town of Washington; was educated at Yale-College, where he graduated in 1779; read law with Daniel Everitt, Esq., and settled here [New-Milford] in the practice of law, immediately after his admission to the Bar, about the year 1785. He continued the practice here until his death, on the 12th of Sept. 1795, in the 38th year of his age. He was a member of the General Assembly, in May, 1792, and again, in May 1794.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 60, pages 590 - 592
John Perkins Cushing Mather, a prominent member of the New London County bar, died at his residence in New London on the 12th day of February, 1891.
He was the son of Capt. Andrew Mather, a native of Lyme in this state, who for many years, and until his death, was a commander in the United States revenue marine, and for a long period in the latter years of his connection with the service was in command of the cutter stationed at New London. His family residence was at New London. There his son John was born on September 23d, 1816, in the homestead that continued to be his home through all his long life. The son entered Yale College at the age of seventeen, and graduated in the class of 1837.
Choosing the law to be his profession, after he left college he entered upon its practical study in the office of the late Lyman Law of New London. He was admitted to the bar in 1839, and commenced a practice at New London, which was actively continued (except as it was interrupted or encroached upon by the duties of judicial or political positions to which he was called), until his retirement from professional and public business in the year 1886.
He was chosen mayor of the city of New London in 1845, and held that office by re-election until he resigned it in 1850 to become the secretary of the state.
In 1849 he was elected one of the representatives of the town of New London in the General Assembly, and served on its judiciary committee. In 1850 he was elected by the General Assembly secretary of the state, to fill out the unexpired term of Hon. Hiram Weed, who died during his term, and was continued in the office for three annual terms next following. In the elections of 1851, 1852 and 1853 he was the nominee for that office on the democratic state ticket, which was headed, in each of those elections, with the name of the Hon. Thomas H. Seymour. In 1851 there was no choice of state officers by the people, but the General Assembly by its vote chose the democratic candidates. In 1852 and 1853 Mr. Mather, with others of the democratic nominees, was elected by the popular vote.
In 1858 Mr. Mather was appointed, by President Buchanan, the collector of customs at New London. That office he held until the early part of President Lincoln's term in 1861, when he gave place to a republican successor appointed by the new president.
In 1866, 1867, 1868, 1870 and 1873, he was the judge of the police and city court of New London. In 1871 he was judge of the probate court for the New London district. He was a little later one of the five revisers of the statutes of the state by whom the revision of 1875 was prepared. In 1878 and 1879 he sat in the state senate, from the New London district.
In 1879 he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas in New London County, and remained in that office, by reappointment when his first term closed, until in 1886 he relinquished it because he had reached the limit of age fixed by the constitution of the state.
This enumeration of the various offices filled by Judge Mather during his extended career, may well serve to indicate the extent and variety of his qualifications for rendering useful service to his fellow citizens in public stations of trust and responsibility. It exhibits the subject of our sketch, however, as devoting much of his time through a course of many years to public affairs more or less connected with or related to politics or political influences. But he was not a politician, and he was not an office seeker. The duties of these places were cast upon him by the common voice of fellow-citizens who recognized his fitness to serve them and who called him to that service because he was the man capable and trustworthy for the duty. The attractions of politics or of office were never, to his view, sufficient to draw away his mind from its attachment to his chosen profession of the law. From first to last, - at all times, - he was faithful and earnest in his devotion to the duties of that profession. He was, above all things else, the lawyer always.
To the more showy branches of legal practice, that so much fill the eye of the general public outside the bar, he seemed not so much adapted or inclined. He made no effort to attain distinction as an orator, or as a brilliant contestant in the struggles of the court room. His habit was quiet, unobtrusive, devoid of all the pretensions that might challenge the admiring notice of the populace. His sphere was that of the counsellor, and in that field of service he was in a rare degree wise and prudent. His knowledge of the law was full and profound. He was patient to hear, keen to observe and to scan, close and sound in reasoning, careful in considering, firm in his conclusions and faithful to them, and his speech was the plain and direct and clear expression of the wisdom that was in him.
On the bench he exhibited admirably these qualities so much to be desired and so highly to be prized in those of our profession who are called to judicial positions. Alike by his brethren of the profession and by the laity outside the bar, he was recognized by the observant ones as the right man for the place, the upright and learned magistrate, the model judge. Many there are of the members of the bar - of the junior, perhaps, especially - who cherish grateful memories of his kindly disposition and demeanor.
After he left the bench in 1886 Judge Mather lived in quiet retirement at his ancestral home in New London. He was never a man of robust physique, and in his last years, as bodily strength declined and infirmities grew and multiplied, he remained more and more in the seclusion of his home, among his books. He had always been an enthusiastic book-lover, and in his last years his library was, more than ever before, the place where he loved to be.
He died of an attack of bronchitis, at about three o'clock on the morning of the 12th of February, 1891. Late in the evening of that night his physician saw indications that the end was nigh at hand. The patient received with undisturbed composure the announcement that before the rising of the morning's sun his eyes would have closed forever upon all the things of the earth, and he calmly awaited the end.
With serene soul, and brave heart, and unfaltering step, this honored brother in our honorable profession, who had finished his work here, calmly and quietly passed out through the invisible portal into the eternal mysteries of the world beyond.
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter by Charles W. Butler, Esq., of the New London County bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 60, pages 593 - 602
CHARLES JOHNSON McCURDY, who had been for many years one of the foremost men in the state in professional and public life, died at Lyme in this state, where he was born and had always lived, on the 8th of June, 1891, in the ninety-fourth year of his age. Twenty-four years before his death he had left, under the constitutional limit as to age, the bench of the Supreme Court of the state, and had since lived in dignified retirement at the ancestral mansion, occupying himself with agricultural pursuits, the gratification of his taste for literature and art, an interested and intelligent observation of the progress of the world, the society of his friends, and a generous hospitality. His physical vigor and activity continued in a remarkable degree till near the close of his life, and his mental faculties remained for the same time unimpaired.
At a meeting of the bar of New London County, called upon the occasion of his death, the following resolutions were presented by a committee of the bar and passed : -
"In the death of the Hon. Charles Johnson McCurdy of Lyme, the New London County bar has lost its oldest and one of its ablest members. He was a man of character, an able lawyer, a safe counsellor, an upright and patriotic citizen, energetic, of strong will but always open and manly. He scorned mean deeds and mean men. He died in the ripeness of age, after a lifetime of success in his chosen profession, in the plenitude of his powers, with his eye undimmed and his natural force unabated. His death was not an unexpected and sudden blow, but the natural and expected translation of a completed earthy life to the higher and better life beyond.
"The members of the New London County bar take pleasure in placing on record their high appreciation of Judge McCurdy's strength of character, of his winning geniality of temper and manner, of his unswerving integrity, of his self-sacrificing devotion to principle in public and private life, of his industry and zeal as a lawyer, of his fidelity as a legislator, of his talent as a diplomat, and of his patience, acumen and wisdom as a judge of the Supreme Court and expounder of the constitution and the laws. His private life was blameless and he graced and honored every function of public life in which he was called to engage.
"He lived for many years at his pleasant home in Lyme, amid rural surroundings, and passed quietly away full of years and honors, calmly prepared to meet the fate which the next world had in store for him. His life may well be studied and his manly virtues emulated by the young men of to-day.
"Resolved, That in further appreciation of our friend and brother, and to perpetuate the remembrance of his many virtues, these resolutions be entered upon the records of the bar, and that the court be requested to cause the same to be spread upon the records of the Superior Court."
Jeremiah Halsey, Esq., in presenting the resolutions to the court, made the following address: -
MR. HALSEY'S ADDRESS.
May it please the court : - Before making the motion suggested by the resolutions, I desire to make some allusions to the life, character and public service of our departed friend and brother.
Judge McCurdy was born at Lyme, December 7th, 1797. His grandfather was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, who was a successful and worthy merchant, an ardent patriot, and one of the earliest and boldest in urging on the American revolution. His father, Richard McCurdy, was a graduate of Yale and a lawyer by profession, but devoted himself to agricultural pursuits and the care of his estate.
His mother was Ursula Wolcott Griswold, granddaughter on her father's side of the first Governor Griswold, and of that Ursula Wolcott whose husband, father, brother, uncle, nephew, and still greater son, Roger Griswold, were all governors of Connecticut. On her mother's side she was a granddaughter of the Rev. Stephen Johnson of Lyme, who is noted in history for his eloquent papers in favor of colonial rights, which roused into existence the "Sons of Liberty" and were among the most efficient causes of the revolution. The maternal grandmother of Judge McCurdy's mother was Elizabeth Diotate, descended from Dr. Theodore Diotate, a distinguished court physician of London in the time of James I., and brother of the Rev. John Diotate, an eminent theologian of Geneva.
Having had his early educational training at the Bacon Academy in Colchester, he entered Yale College in 1813, and was graduated with high honors in 1817. He studied law in the office of Chief Justice Swift of Windham, and was admitted to the bar in 1819. In May, 1822, he married Sarah Ann, daughter of Richard Lord of Lyme, a woman of great refinement and sensitive nature, a devoted wife and mother, who died in 1835, at the age of thirty-six, leaving an only child, now the wife of Prof. Edward E. Salisbury of New Haven. During the remainder of his life, more than half a century, he remained a widower.
Mr. McCurdy soon attained eminence in his profession and early became interested in political affairs. He was elected to the legislature as a representative from his native town, and served as a member of that body for ten years between 1827 and 1844, being speaker of the house three of those years. In 1832 he was state senator, and in 1847 and 1848 he was lieutenant governor and president of the senate.
He originated, and with the assistance of Hon. Charles Chapman, was chiefly influential in carrying through, in 1848, that great change in the common law by which parties and others interested in the event of suits are allowed to be witnesses - a change which has since been adopted in this country and in England.
He held the office of judge of the County Court for New London County for several years. This court had an important jurisdiction, civil and criminal, the judges of which were appointed annually by the General Assembly.
In 1851 he represented this country at the court of Austria. The situation then was one of great delicacy, as the Austrians were much irritated against our nation on account of the reception of Kossuth, and the American legation at Vienna was supposed to be a place of refuge and protection, not only for our citizens, but also for the subjects of other countries, including Great Britain, when endangered or annoyed by the Austrian authorities, who were exasperated by the recent Hungarian revolution. His course in liberating from imprisonment the Rev. Charles L. Brace will be remembered, and his assistance to the Scotch missionaries who were driven out of Hungary was the subject of commendation in the British Parliament.
He returned to the United States at the close of 1852 and resumed the practice of his profession. From this time until his appointment to the bench of the Superior Court he was actively engaged as leading counsel in litigated cases of importance.
In 1856 he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court and in 1863 a judge of the Supreme Court of Errors, which position he held until his retirement by constitutional limitation of age in 1867.
In 1861 he was an active member of the peace convention, where he was one of the first to discover the irreconcilability of the opposing views of the north and south; but after the civil war commenced, and even during its darkest days, he never doubted the final success of the union cause.
Subsequent to his retirement from the bench he for several years delivered courses of lectures before the law school of Yale College, from which institution he received the degree of doctor of laws in 1868.
My acquaintance commenced with Judge McCurdy in 1846. He was then judge of the County Court. I appeared before him to argue my first case; it was naturally to me a momentous event. The courtesy, kindness and attention with which Judge McCurdy listened to my argument made a lasting impression upon my memory. Since that time, while he was engaged in practice, I have been associated with him in the conduct of many important causes.
As a lawyer he was learned in the law, wise and judicious in counsel, honorable and courteous to his opponents; as an advocate he was clear, concise, forcible and polished. The duties of the judicial office were more congenial to him than practice at the bar. He entered upon the discharge of those duties with a deep sense of the responsibility which they imposed. His knowledge of the law, combined with sound sense in its application to the circumstances of affairs which carne before him for judgment, and a strong love of justice, eminently qualified him for the judicial office. He gave an attentive hearing to every member of the bar who had occasion to present anything for his consideration. He was a gentleman of polished manners and was always courteous and dignified.
Judge McCurdy always resided in his native town. In 1860, after the death of his father, leaving the home where he had lived since his marriage, he took possession of the ancestral homestead, a large farm which had then been in the family for more than one hundred years. Washington lodged there in April, 1776, and it was the headquarters of Gen. Lafayette in July, 1776, when he rested his detachment of troops at Lyme on their march between Boston and New York, and it again gave him a welcome on his visit to this country in 1824.
He became deeply interested in agriculture. He was always a constant and discriminating observer of public events. Inheriting a constitution of remarkable vigor and elasticity, always regular and temperate in his habits, he never had a serious illness, and his physicians say that he had no disease even at the last. Until about two years ago, though then over ninety-one years old, he showed none of the infirmities of that age, but was erect in figure, active in movement, with a delicate blush upon his cheeks and eyes not dim. His voice was still rich and melodious, his conversation was still full of point and wit, his interest in life as keen and his society as attractive as ever, and he retained his early fondness for poetry, literature and art.
Thus crowned with length of days, wisdom and honor, sustained and soothed by an unfaltering faith and trust, he met the approach of death,
"Like one that draws the drapery of his couch
About him and lies down to pleasant dreams."
An illustrated article of considerable length and of great interest, with regard to Judge McCurdy and his ancestry, by Martha J. Lamb, appeared in the November number of the Magazine of American History, and the remainder of the present article is made up of extracts from it.
Among the jurists of the country who have figured in the field of public affairs since the beginning of the present century it would be difficult to find a longer or more perfectly rounded and beautiful life than that of Judge Charles Johnson McCurdy of Lyme, Connecticut. Born in December of the eventful year 1797, when John Adams was in the early part of his presidency of the United States and George Washington still living, his career has been identified with nine of the most important decades of the world's history. He could remember the excitement which followed the death of Hamilton in the fatal duel with Aaron Burr, and was a boy of ten years when the steamboat of Robert Fulton made her first successful passage from New York to Albany. He was prepared for college during the excitements which culminated in the war of 1812, and was graduated from Yale with honors in 1817, the same year that Madison retired from his second administration and Monroe took the presidential chair. He was admitted to the bar in 1819, and with a successful practice from the first had become one of the leading lawyers in the state before there was a railroad projected on this continent.....
Personally he was a gentleman of the old school, with rich, fair complexion, dark hair, expressive eyes, finely cut features, of medium height, erect and well-proportioned figure and courtly bearing, with exceptional polish of manners. In temperament he was happy, cheerful, elastic; and his liberal culture, practical wisdom, sparkling wit and humor, and inexhaustible fund of reminiscences, together with his apt poetical quotations, made him a charming social companion. He was literary in his tastes, with a quick eye for whatever of merit was discernible in the whole range of poetry, art and literature, was intelligently interested in scientific investigations, active in promoting agricultural improvements, and always a discriminating observer of political events. His reading was varied; he was fond of the classics, but always had the time and inclination to keep abreast with new publications and the current news and periodicals of the day, even to his ninety-first year.
His knowledge of human nature seemed intuitive, and his acute perceptions and sound judgment made him it all times a safe counselor. During his many years of law practice in the Connecticut courts he invariably advised the townspeople about him who came with grievances against their neighbors, "Never go to law if you can by any possibility settle your differences among yourselves." To the poor he was always a conscientious friend; no one listened more patiently than he to tales of genuine distress, or was more sympathetic and unostentatious in providing speedy relief. At the same time his public-spirited regard for the welfare and improvement of the community about him, led him whenever practicable to exercise that element of true charity which helps others to help themselves. He had literally a clear head, a kind heart, and an open hand.
He was married in 1822 to his second cousin, Sarah Ann Lord, the daughter of Richard and Anne (Mitchell) Lord, her mother being the daughter of William Mitchell, a wealthy Scotchman, who was the first cousin to Chief Justice Stephen Mix Mitchell. Mrs. McCurdy was a lady of great loveliness of mind and character, but her domestic happiness was of brief duration. She died in 1834, leaving only one child, a daughter. Judge McCurdy did not marry again. The education of this daughter became one of his greatest pleasures, and as she developed and matured into womanhood it was his delight to make her his confidential friend and familiarize her mind with his legal and business affairs, and share with her his political, intellectual, and social interests. He was extensively acquainted with the prominent men of the country, and his house was always open to the most generous hospitalities, his daughter presiding over his household.
The historic dwelling in Lyme where Judge McCurdy was born, and in which he resided continuously during the last thirty-four years of his life, is one of the oldest houses in Connecticut. Four generations of the McCurdys have lived in it and three later ones have been entertained under its roof or trace their lineage from it. It has been enlarged until it measures over ninety feet in length, and its sound timbers give abundant evidence of the solidity of the colonial architecture which it represents. The precise age of the original building is not known, but it is believed to have been built about 1725. It was purchased by John McCurdy, the grandfather of Judge McCurdy, in 1754. Its antique features have a special charm for the curious. The interior work is believed to have been done by English carpenters, especially the paneled oak wainscots, fluted pilasters in the corners of the rooms, graceful arches about the fireplaces, and the wood carving of the elegant "corner cupboard" or buffet in the south parlor, with shell-shaped top, built with the house, which is appropriately devoted to an exceedingly choice collection of specimens of the porcelain used by the American ancestors of Judge McCurdy. A volume might be written from its shelves. The whole house is a museum of souvenirs of former generations of ancestral families. The articles of furniture are in most instances over a hundred years old, and each with an interesting history. Many of them are associated with the visit of Washington on the 9th of April, 1876, when he spent a night under this roof on his journey from Cambridge to New York. Lafayette, in command of a detachment of troops, was the guest of John McCurdy on the night of July 27th, 1778, occupying the north chamber over the north parlor of the house. He was here again forty-six years afterward, in 1824, on his memorable journey to Boston as the guest of the nation, and was entertained by Richard McCurdy, the youngest son of John McCurdy, and his family, which included Charles Johnson McCurdy, who had then been married some two years.
The distinguishing acts of Judge McCurdy's public life are of interest to all Americans. While he was lieutenant-governor of Connecticut he originated and carried into effect, through the legislature, that great change in the common law by which parties and others interested in the event of suits are allowed to be witnesses, a change which has since been generally adopted throughout this country and in England. Our readers will remember the publication of some very interesting correspondence in the early part of 1888, between Judge McCurdy and Hon. David Dudley Field, in relation to the true genesis of the great improvement in one of the most important of all human transactions - the administration of justice. Mr. Field published the law in his code in 1849, and was emphatic in his statement that the English were indebted to the efforts of Judge McCurdy for the idea which resulted in the same improvement in their courts.
At the time Judge McCurdy was sent to Austria, the post of chargé d'affaires was one of great delicacy and importance. * * * Vienna was still the famous old walled city of feudal times, not leveled as now into the magnificent streets of a modern capital, and the government of tyranny and fear had not given place to liberal and peaceful rule....Rev. Charles L. Brace was one of those arrested and thrown into a dungeon, while traveling in Hungary. He was accused of bearing papers of treasonable character from Hungarian fugitives, and although he really had but one letter in his possession, and that only a note of introduction containing not more than three lines, and one pamphlet, an essay on the Hungarian question, which he kept for his own private use as a matter of historic importance, he was treated as a convict. Through the prompt and energetic intercession of Mr. McCurdy, which involved a spirited correspondence with Prince Schwarzenburg, long since made public, Mr. Brace was finally rescued and his life saved. Hardly less notable was the philanthropy exercised by Mr. McCurdy in relation to the Scotch missionaries who were expelled by the government from Austria, where they had labored for ten years or more. It was midwinter, some of the clergymen had sick wives and young children, and they all keenly felt the hardship of breaking up their homes at a few days' notice and removing their families to Scotland. They came to Vienna seeking assistance from the English embassy, and not receiving it proceeded to the American legation. Mr. McCurdy could do nothing officially, but his intelligent interference procured them some favors, and his ready sympathy and offer of his private purse were never forgotten. He afterward received the thanks of the Free Church of Scotland, and his course was commended by the English Parliament.
On his return from Austria Judge McCurdy resumed his practice at the bar. He was learned in every branch of the law, was a forcible speaker, strong in argument, acute, witty, convincing, but always honorable and courteous to his opponents. He was constantly engaged as leading counsel in important cases until his appointment as judge. The older lawyers held his opinions in highest respect, while the younger men speak with enthusiastic gratitude of his kindness and helpful consideration, especially in the days of their timid inexperience. He was eminently qualified for the bench, always giving attentive hearing to every member of the bar who had occasion to present anything for his consideration, and discharging all the duties of his judicial office with ability and wisdom. He was a ready writer as well as public speaker and singularly happy in the choice of words, his language being remarkable for its terseness, point, and symmetry.
After the death of his father in 1860 Judge McCurdy sold his large, handsome house, where he had lived since his marriage, and took possession of the ancestral homestead, in which he spent the peaceful evening of his days. From early life he had limited his ambitions; a hereditary moderation seems to have calmed his pulses and saved him from the feverish restlessness which wears out prematurely so many public men. He repeatedly declined nominations for political office, including that of governor of the state, preferring the quiet sphere of legal practice or the serener position of judge. After he left the bench he indulged his studious inclinations, kept fresh his familiarity with history, the classics, poetry, and art, entertained his friends, and took active interest in the care of his estate. His daughter and only child, his intimate companion through her life, became the wife of Professor Edward E. Salisbury of New Haven, a gentleman of elegant scholarship and literary accomplishments, lately professor at Yale, a pioneer in oriental studies in this country; and Mr. and Mrs. Salisbury have since divided their residence between New Haven and the ancestral homestead in Lyme, Mrs. Salisbury presiding over both.
Judge McCurdy descended not only from the ancient MacKirdy race of Scotland and Ireland, but from the Willoughbys, Gilberts, Drakes, Wolcotts, and Griswolds of England, the Vander Lindens of Belgium, the De Gallegos of Spain and the Diodatis of Italy. Among the strong men, his more immediate ancestors, who led in the formation of our early colonies and their later independence, were Deputy-Governor Francis Willoughby, Henry Wolcott, Hon. Daniel Clarke, John Ogden, Governor Roger Wolcott, Governor Matthew Griswold, and Rev. Stephen Johnson. One might expect to find him the man he was, enlightened, high minded, public spirited. His religious training and tendencies found expression in his familiarity with the Scriptures, and in his never-failing practical efforts for the support of public worship. A characteristic incident is related of him. He had built a house for his farmer, and the man and his family were comfortably quartered in it, when suddenly it was found to be on fire and was completely destroyed. The judge was standing among his neighbors watching the progress of the flames, when in reply to some words of condolence he said : "Shall a man receive good at the hand of the Lord and shall he not receive evil?" He was reticent in regard to his religious experiences and feelings, but his habit of daily prayer and his firm faith in the doctrines of Christ are well known, and precious legacies for those near and dear to him. Inheriting a constitution of remarkable vigor and elasticity, and always temperate and regular in his habits, he never had a serious illness, but grew feeble, and passed away in June, 1891, simply from length of years. His handsomely cut features had lost none of their beauty even at his advanced age, and were even more marked after death. Having survived all his own generation of relatives and friends, the sons of his cotemporaries bore him tenderly to his burial. Until a short time before he died his conversation had been as attractive, his voice as rich and melodious, his interest in life as keen as ever. His sympathies had been so warm and tender and his love for his friends so true and active, especially for young people and little children, that great sorrow followed his departure. For him may be repeated the words he inscribed on his father's monument in describing his life. "Active and beneficent in manhood, serene in age, and tranquil and hopeful at its close." Judge McCurdy will be remembered as one of the most conscientious and upright of citizens, who combined all the charms of good breeding and a sound heart with the unassuming excellencies of a Christian gentleman.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 31, page iii
Appointed Jude of the Supreme Court of Errors. Elected by the General Assembly at its May session 1863, as an additional Judge, making the court to consist of five Judges.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 34, page iii
Retired, under the constitutional limitation as to age, on the 7th day of December, 1867.
An act was passed by the General Assembly in 1867, providing that after the Judges were reduced to four the court should consist of only four Judges.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 255, pages 959 - 963
REMARKS BY JUSTICE DAVID M. BORDEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE FINAL DAY OF CHIEF JUSTICE FRANCIS M. MCDONALD, JR., PRESIDING AS CHIEF JUSTICE
JANUARY 17, 2001
Welcome to all of you. Today we conclude a special chapter in the history of the Connecticut Supreme Court. On September 15, 1999, Francis M. McDonald, Jr., became this court's thirty-fifth chief justice. This morning marked the last time that he presided at oral argument, and as the senior associate justice on this court, it is my privilege, on behalf of all the chief justices colleague's, to honor his accomplishments.
A warm welcome goes to Frank's wife, Mary, his sons, Michael and John, and his daughter, Mary Ann, as well as their spouses-Dee, Stephanie and Jim-and Frank's grandchildren-Maria, Anna, Erin, Brittany, and one on the way. We all know how much Frank's family means to him, and we are delighted that you are all here today to share in this tribute to him.
Frank McDonald has dedicated his entire career to exemplary public service. After graduating magna cum laude from Holy Cross, he followed his father into the study of law, even managing to pass the bar exam six months prior to graduation from Yale Law School. After service as a special agent of the F.B.I., he joined the Untied States attorney's office. But, fortunately for the state of Connecticut, he decided that the state, rather than the federal, courts would have the benefit of his zealous advocacy. In 1961, he entered the state's prosecutorial service, first as an assistant prosecuting attorney, and then as chief prosecuting attorney, in the Circuit Court. Beginning in 1968, and for sixteen years thereafter, he served as the state's attorney at Waterbury. During that time, Frank successfully prosecuted some of Connecticut's highest profile and most controversial cases.
In 1984, he was nominated by Governor William O'Neill to be a Superior Court judge, and, at his swearing-in ceremony, Judge James Henebry observed that Frank McDonald had distinguished himself in practice in front of the bench and would do the same on it. And Judge McDonald did just that, serving with distinction as a trial judge for the next twelve years. Then, in 1996, Governor John Rowland nominated him to be a justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, and, on September 15, 1999, Justice McDonald assumed the office of chief justice.
While on this bench Frank McDonald has been the author of some fifty-one majority opinions, as well as twenty-five concurring, sixty-seven dissenting, and twenty-three concurring and dissenting opinions-and we are still counting! His opinions are characteristically commonsensical, concise and to the point, and are often laced with pungent wit and historical references, and offer his unique and fresh viewpoint, and his keen sense of justice, on the vexing legal issues that we confront on this court.
Three of his opinions of which he is most proud are State v. McDougal, Green v. General Dynamics Corp., and Branhaven Plaza, LLC v.Inland Wetlands Commission. In McDougal, then Justice McDonald held for the court that, under both the federal and state constitutions, because age groups are not subject to heightened scrutiny, they do not require special protection from peremptory jury challenges. In Green, Justice McDonald interpreted the Workers' Compensation Act to afford increased benefits to the widow of a former employee of General Dynamics who had died from cancer contracted from exposure to asbestos. In Branhaven Plaza, LLC, Chief Justice McDonald, writing for the court, interpreted our environmental protection statutes to preclude a developer from being permitted to destroy wetlands in exchange for unspecified money and services to be provided later to be governing local wetlands commission.
But, as we all know, the job of chief justice extends beyond the able leadership of the Supreme Court, to the administrative leadership of the Judicial Branch of our state government. During his tenure in this role, Chief Justice McDonald has made the reduction of the Superior Court caseload a major priority.
Concerned by a backlog of murder cases in certain of our judicial districts, he undertook a successful reduction initiative by ordering the allocation of additional judges and resources to the most burdened of our criminal courts, those of Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport. He also has attacked the backlog of civil jury cases, and, as a first step, established a commission to engage in a thorough examination of the multifaceted process of civil caseflow, and to formulate commonsense approaches to the reduction of the civil case backlog.
In addition, as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly and the vote of the citizens of Connecticut to eliminate the office of high sheriff, the Judicial Branch has assumed the responsibilities of court security and cellblock operations. Under the leadership of the chief justice, the immense task of incorporating the special deputy sheriffs into the Judicial Branch as judicial marshals has begun, and is progressing on course.
The chief justice also implemented the proposal, initiated by his predecessor, Chief Justice Callahan, to formulate a commission to study the attorney grievance process. Early in his stewardship of the branch, Chief Justice McDonald appointed members of the commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the grievance process and to recommend ways in which it could be improved. And we will soon be receiving the recommendations of that commission.
Recognizing that a strong Judicial Branch requires a strong physical foundation, Chief Justice McDonald continued the ongoing capital building and improvement projects, including a new facility for the Appellate Court. He also established the New Haven County Courthouse Restoration Task Force, to oversee and execute the renovation of the neoclassical courthouse on Elm Street. As a tribute to the success of this endeavor, the courthouse has been designated an official project of Save America's Treasures, a partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the national Trust for Historic Preservation.
Frank, on behalf of your colleagues on this court and throughout the Judicial Branch, I congratulate you on your outstanding career-as a United States attorney, state's attorney, judge, justice, and chief justice. I know that you will enjoy an active and productive retirement.
In the coming years, may you continue to be surrounded by your loving family;
May you continue to serve the Branch and the people of the state as a judge trial referee;
May you find many mountains to ski, and many rivers, lakes and bays to navigate;
And may those waters always be filled with a endless supply of hungry fish.
And now, the court grants Chief Justice Francis M McDonald, Jr., a few moments for a brief rebuttal argument.
REMARKS BY CHIEF JUSTICE FRANCIS M. McDONALD, JR., ON HIS LAST DAY PRESIDING ON THE SUPREME COURT JANUARY 17, 2001
I thank Dave Borden for his kind remarks.
I thank the people of Connecticut for the opportunity to be of public service, Governors O'Neill and Rowland, and the General Assembly.
Our work product on this court are opinions affecting the lives and rights of all our citizens. It is, therefore, an awesome responsibility to undertake writing these decisions. The writing itself of the opinions is demanding work involving concentration. It is not like the work of Hollywood writers described by a movie mogul in these terms, "What's all this business about being a writer? It's just putting one word after another."
The mural on the wall behind this bench shows Reverend Thomas Hooker preaching to the earliest settlers of Connecticut, who drew up the first written constitution on our shores. Those Fundamental Orders are the model for the form of government established in this country, a government answering to the people. In the spirit of giving thanks for this "Heaven rescued land," I give thanks for all of you for your support and good company. To Mary. To Mike, Mary Ann and John. To Dee, Jim and Stephanie. To Maria, Anna, Erin, Brittany and one to be announced. To friends and colleagues of many years and not so many years. To the excellent staff of the court and Branch and to friends across the street at the state capitol.
All I can really say is thanks.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 239, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court April 30, 1996, to take effect September 1, 1996.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 250, page iii
Chief Justice effective September 15, 1999.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 255, page iii
Retired January 22, 2001, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 147, pages 734 - 736
John F. McDonough was born on April 11, 1878, in South Lee, Massachusetts. He was the son of the late Martin and Sarah Thomas McDonough. The parents of Judge McDonough moved to Naugatuck early in his life, and it was in Naugatuck that he received his early education. He was a graduate in the class of 1897 of Naugatuck High School, and thereafter he entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor to begin his study of the law. To do this, he was forced, because of his economic situation, to work hard and long at the business of railroading, but with that great courage and fortitude for which he was known he carried on his studies and work in the law school and graduated with the class of 1902. He returned to his native Naugatuck and entered upon the practice of law.
In the practice of his chosen profession, Judge McDonough was eminently successful. He was a profound student of the law, with keen and piercing intellect. He possessed great resourcefulness and untiring industry. He became active in politics shortly after being admitted to the Connecticut bar, and in 1906 he was elected judge of probate for the district of Naugatuck. He served in this capacity for three terms, or over a period of six years. In 1912, as the Democratic candidate in the fourteenth senatorial district, he was elected to the state senate and was the first of the very few Democrats to have been elected from the traditionally Republican fourteenth district. While a member of the senate, Judge McDonough was very influential in having the first Workmen's Compensation Act written, and he made many important contributions in the final writing of the act. During his term in the senate, he also introduced, and aided in the ratification of, the seventeenth amendment to the constitution of the United States, making it possible for the executive authority of the state to fill a vacancy by appointment to the United States Senate.
In 1914, Judge McDonough was appointed clerk of the District Court at Waterbury and served in that capacity, still continuing his practice of law, until 1918. He kept his great interest in the civic affairs of Naugatuck and for six years was a member of the Board of Education. In 1920, he was elected warden of the Borough of Naugatuck and served for one term. Thereafter, he was the attorney for the Borough of Naugatuck for a period of one year. He was a charter member of the Naugatuck Lodge of Elks and the local Aerie of Eagles, and a trustee of St. Francis Church.
On June 8, 1908, Judge McDonough married Josephine Agnes Brennan of Naugatuck, whose death occurred several years ago.
In 1939, Judge McDonough was appointed to the bench of the Court of Common Pleas and served thereon until age forced his retirement in 1948. His appointment to the bench met with outstanding approval and acclamation by the bar and by those who knew him as a lawyer and great humanitarian. His conduct of the office of judge of the Court of Common Pleas was outstanding. His opinions and decisions were highly respected, and no decision was ever rendered by him without careful and thorough consideration of the immediate problem or problems with which he was confronted.
Judge McDonough will long be remembered for the helping hand he gave to many of the younger members of the bar, and as a teacher and counselor he was always ready to assist young lawyers. He was indeed professionally competent, completely dedicated to study and research in the law and genuinely committed to all that the profession stands for. He was willing at all times to make almost any sacrifice for the good of his client, and in this respect he gave untiringly of the great natural ability and talent he possessed. When he was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, his aim was not merely to maintain the court at its present high level of achievement but to bring it to new heights by striving to ensure its constant development and improvement in every phase of its operation. As a jurist, he strove constantly to make the court over which he presided the kind of an institution with which lawyers would be increasingly proud to be associated.
Being possessed of a very fine sense of humor and a most genial disposition, Judge McDonough had the happy faculty of presiding over his court in such a manner as to eliminate all vestige of the tension and nervousness that sometimes are apparent with counsel during the trial of a case. The long experience in all branches of the law gained by him over the years, from the time of his admission to the bar to the time of his appointment to the bench, served him well, and, being blessed with a fine judicial temperament, he was in all respects a successful and outstanding jurist during his tenure on the bench.
He was a most delightful and interesting companion. He loved to be with people, if only for the purpose of carrying on a general conversation. He was intensely devoted to his home and family, and as a husband and father he was extremely kind, loving and indulgent. Judge McDonough was, in all respects, a very gentle man. If one were to seek for him a monument, it would only be necessary to talk with those who knew him.
Judge McDonough died July 14, 1960. Surviving are five children, including Helen M. McDonough, an attorney in Naugatuck, and twenty-two grandchildren.
*Prepared by Martin E. Gormley, of the New Haven bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 132, pages 706 - 709
Judge Frank P. McEvoy, who died June 24, 1945, was born in Waterbury on November 12, 1878, the son of Finton and Mary (Lawlor) McEvoy. Both parents died during his infancy, and he spent much of his early childhood in New Haven with his uncle, the Reverend Patrick P. Lawlor, who was the pastor of St. Mary's Church on Hillhouse Avenue. Later he lived in Waterbury and was graduated from the Waterbury High School and St. Francis Xavier College, New York City.
On June 29, 1909, he married Gertrude G. Guilfoile, of Waterbury, who was the daughter of Michael and Katherine (Lawlor) Guilfoile and who, with an adopted son, Vincent, survives him.
Judge McEvoy was a member of the Mattatuck council of the Boy Scouts of America, the bishop of Hartford's Scout Committee, the advisory board of Albertus Magnus College of New Haven, and the Waterbury Country Club. He was also a member of the Waterbury, State and American Bar Associations. He was a devout member and trustee of the Blessed Sacrament Church of Waterbury, a sponsor and the first chairman of the Boy Scout troop of his parish, and a member and former president of the Holy Name Society.
When a very young man he had been an ardent bicyclist, and his first real business experience was gained when he opened an establishment in Waterbury with his brother Martin for the sale and repair of bicycles. This work cultivated a natural aptitude for mechanical things and was a successful business venture. The automobile, then almost a toy, attracted Judge McEvoy's attention, and about the year 1902 he purchased a Pierce Motorette in Buffalo from the George N. Pierce Company, which subsequently acquired a wide reputation as the manufacturer of the Pierce Arrow car. Garages and automobile repair shops were then unknown, and Judge McEvoy, with characteristic thoroughness, went to Buffalo and spent several weeks working in the Pierce factory, where he acquired a clear understanding of the design, operation, care and repair of the Pierce car. It was his intention at that time to enter the automobile business in Waterbury, but he became ill with typhoid fever. During the several weeks in which he lay prostrated by this sickness, his many activities were necessarily interrupted and he had an opportunity for thought and introspection which ended in his determination to become a lawyer.
Soon after his recovery, he entered the Yale School of Law, and was graduated, the vice president of his class, in 1907. At Yale he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and a member of the class day committee and belonged to Corbey Court. He passed the bar examinations next after graduation and in July, 1907, began the practice of law in Waterbury. For several years he was associated in practice with Francis P. Guilfoile, who later was corporation counsel of the city of Waterbury and for four terms its mayor. This practice in Waterbury continued until Judge McEvoy's appointment to the Superior Court. On May 23, 1927, Judge McEvoy was appointed a member of the commission to revise the General Statutes of Connecticut, which produced the Revision of 1930. About two years later, on June 25, 1929, he was appointed a member of the charter commission of Waterbury. Again, in 1937, he was appointed by the governor a member of a special commission to study the problem of compulsory financial responsibility for motor vehicle operators. Each of these appointments made heavy demands upon his time and strength.
On June 5, 1930, he was appointed, by a Republican governor, a judge of the Superior Court to fill the vacancy caused by the death, on June 1, 1930, of Judge L. P. Waldo Marvin. On January 30, 1931, he was reappointed for the full term of eight years. His death occurred less than two years before the expiration of his second full term appointment, and he had become the senior judge of the Superior Court in years of service.
From his admission to the bar he manifested the traits of industry, scholarship, careful preparation and facile presentation which were to bring him a steadily increasing business as a lawyer, especially in the field of trial work. His practice had become such that his abandonment of it to become a judge of the Superior Court entailed a real financial sacrifice. But to him judicial office presented an opportunity for added service, from the acceptance of which no mercenary considerations would deter him. At his death he lacked but a few days of fifteen full years as a judge, and the esteem in which he was held approved his choice in taking up a judicial career.
Judge McEvoy was a man of many interests, and his boundless energy impelled him to put all of his time to definite purpose.
His love of his fellow men found expression in his work in connection with the probation system and juvenile delinquency. About ten years prior to his death he was designated by his fellow judges as the supervisor of probation in the Superior Court. This required a great amount of labor in addition to his regular work as a judge, but such was his enthusiasm for and confidence in the system of probation as an instrumentality for the redemption of human beings that he gave generously of his time in carrying out his duties in this connection. The many detailed reports which were required by the efficient system which he organized he eagerly studied and mastered, and under his guidance the system of probation in the Superior Court developed to the efficient service which it is today.
He was also the first judge of the Superior Court to be especially designated to hear appeals from the juvenile court. Here perhaps more than anywhere else was brought to the front his deep love of children and young people, and his sympathy with their problems and those confronting their parents and others charged with their care and training. In blazing the trail in this work, his understanding of young people was, and in the future will continue to be, of incalculable benefit to the people of the state.
The knowledge of tools and mechanical things which he had acquired as a young man remained with him, and he had a well-equipped workshop in his garage. A true handy man, he made all sorts of small repairs and improvements around his residence. This interest was but a small manifestation in a single direction of the great affection for his home and his family which was so obvious to the many friends who were the recipients of his gracious hospitality.
He was sensitive to beauty and to the wonders of nature. He loved the out-of-doors for its own sake and not merely in connection with the pursuit of some specific activity. In his travels through the West, in Canada, and in Europe, he had the companionship of his wife, to whom he was very devoted. Together they greatly enjoyed horseback riding and walking through the beautiful country around Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley, and both were enthusiastic devotees of golf.
Although he was active in the Democratic party until his ascension to the bench, he neither sought nor accepted public office. When he became a judge he forthwith ceased all political activity, and his political detachment upon assuming judicial office was genuine and sincere.
Partly perhaps as a result of his early life with his uncle in New Haven, but principally because of his innate religious convictions, he was a devout communicant of the Roman Catholic church. He was one of those fortunate persons to whom religion was no mere empty formalism. He felt sure of his religion and found in it not only solace and comfort but also guidance and strength with which to answer the call of duty and meet the buffetings of adversity. It is hardly possible to conceive of a layman more thoroughly imbued with his religion than Judge McEvoy, or more devoted to its principles. And yet he was no bigot. He had no smug self-satisfaction which excluded from his friendship and loyal affection those who had not come to see religion through his eyes or who failed to worship at his church. His hand was outstretched to all to whom he could bring aid or comfort, and he did not pause to inquire the race, faith, creed or political persuasion of anyone whom he thought in need of help which he could give.
It is impossible to draw an adequate word portrait of this earnest, versatile man within the proper limits of a sketch of this type. A summary of his character was attempted in the following excerpt from a resolution adopted by his fellow judges of the Superior Court at their meeting on September 24, 1945: "Be it
Resolved, That the judges of the Superior Court express their deep sorrow at the death of Judge Frank P. McEvoy, of Waterbury, on June 24, 1945. From his appointment to the bench on June 5, 1930, until he was stricken by an illness which but a few days later proved fatal, his indefatigable industry and sound legal scholarship commanded the respect of bench and bar alike, while his sparkling wit, ever tempered by a warm heart, contributed to a delightful personality which won the real affection of all with whom he came in contact.
"Just, patient and humane in his conduct both on and off the bench, in his death Connecticut lost an outstanding judge."
*Prepared by Hon John Hamilton King, of Willimantic.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 134, pages 707 - 710
To call the roll of the leaders of the bar of New London County throughout its history would bring forth illustrious names. Tradition enshrines them with such luster that as the succeeding generations of the profession pass by they are ignored by their contemporaries as unworthy to suffer comparison with their forebears. New London County, perhaps, is no different in this respect from any other county in our richly historical state.
And yet there emerges at each bar in every generation of lawyers an outstanding legal mind. There was born to Thomas and Mary Lewis McGuire on January 26, 1881, Frank L. McGuire, a son endowed with attributes of mind and character, who, afforded the professional opportunity, rose to the rank of a leader.
He was unadorned with the formal education so commonly acquired at the present time; its lack was no doubt in part the spur which inspired his efforts. Avoiding the avenue to a clientele by the pursuit of social life, he jealously availed himself of the time from such absorptions in devotion to his family and with hours of general reading in literature, history and government. So precisely and so widely had he expended his energies in the direction of study and reading that at his death not only did many suppose he was college bred but also were unaware that he was compelled more recently to spare his eyes for the essentials of the office.
It is small wonder then that he became a perfectionist. In the courtroom he was prepared; in the office constructive, ingenious and thorough. To those of an indolent and careless disposition his perfection might be called technicality. The traits of his penetrating legal mind, arduously yet delicately developed, would with others go for peccadilloes. One who is outstripped and outshone hardly can be expected to make a true appraisal of his dilemma; humiliation clouds his perspective. However, when personal or knotty legal problems presented themselves he was eagerly sought by his brethren at the bar.
In fact, Mr. McGuire attended local public schools and after graduation from the Bulkeley School of New London attended New York University Law School, where he obtained his LL. B. degree in 1901 at the age of twenty, being admitted to the Connecticut bar upon the attainment of his majority. From the very outset he gave evidence of the caution, accuracy and scholarship which matured with the years. In the period preceding his admission to the bar he assisted Judge Walter C. Noyes of the United States Circuit Court in the preparation of Noyes' "Intercorporate Relations," and Judge Noyes in the preface to that work has this to say of Mr. McGuire's assistance:
"And whatever measure of accuracy it may possess is due, in no inconsiderable degree, to the diligence of Mr. Frank L. McGuire, of the New London (Conn.) bar, who has verified the references and prepared the Table of Cases."
At once and without cessation Mr. McGuire entered upon the career of a busy and successful practitioner. For two years he was associated with George D. Stanton in the firm of Stanton and McGuire and then formed a partnership with the late Major Hadlai A. Hull as Hull and McGuire. Upon the admission of Major Hull's son, Charles Hadlai Hull, the firm name became Hull, McGuire and Hull, which continued until Mr. McGuire's death, at which time, however, his sons Francis F. and Morgan K. were his sole partners.
He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Federal District Court and the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, winning distinction before those tribunals. Especially noteworthy among these efforts was the case of Weaver v. Palmer Bros. Co., 270 U.S. 402, wherein the court declared a Pennsylvania statute unconstitutional under the fourteenth amendment. The Connecticut Reports give abundant attestation of the vigor of his legal thinking and persistency.
He was a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut State Bar Association and the New London County Bar Association, serving the latter as chairman of the grievance and library committees.
In his early career Mr. McGuire served as city clerk between 1903 and 1907, and under the adoption of the council manager form of government in New London became director of law. Although his active practice claimed the main part of his time, he was frequently sought for his wise counsel and advice in affairs of the Democratic party and, in the fall of 1932, was mentioned as a possible candidate to the United States Senate, but declined consideration. Likewise, in the last fifteen years he was repeatedly regarded as possessing to a high degree the qualities for a Superior Court appointment, although privately he entertained no such desire because of his deep loyalty to his established clientele, his devotion to the work which it entailed and the freedom, independence and generous mode of living which private practice permitted.
It was about the state, among businessmen and in the business circles of New London, that Mr. McGuire's genuine worth was appreciated. It was not an uncommon thing to have business executives and accountants speak in commendatory terms of his acumen. In line with this appreciation was his choice as director of the National Bank of Commerce of New London and of The Atwood Machine Company and as trustee of the Eugene Atwood Fund. He also was a trustee and member of the board of managers of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital and a former trustee and secretary-treasurer of the Williams Memorial Institute. From 1931 to 1937 he acted as a trustee of the Norwich State Hospital and became chairman of the board in 1937, resigning in 1940.
Mr. McGuire was a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and of the Knights of Columbus. He was at one time president of the diocesan bureau of social service in New London and, from the outset, a trustee of the diocesan bureau of the diocese of Hartford.
One can well understand that a man of a deep inner spiritual nature without the slightest ostentation, well informed in the judicial and political history of his country and state, should have reserved a distinctive place in his heart and in his time for the cultivation, inspiration and enjoyment of the family life which he had so richly endowed. Men like Mr. McGuire understand all too well the importance of the family unit in the scheme of our national life. After his family was raised, he was happiest in the circle of his children and grandchildren. His vacations were spent in the company of his wife, usually at Hanover, New Hampshire, where, indeed, they had reservations for the mouth following his death.
The writer met him in an adversary capacity while in the practice of the law, came to admire and respect him over the long years, and as a friend was admitted at the hospital before and after his operation. He died from the effects of the operation on September 19, 1947.
Mr. McGuire married Winifred A. Foran on April 24, 1907; Mrs. McGuire survived but two months.
He leaves three sons, Attorneys Francis F. McGuire and Morgan K. McGuire of New London and David L. McGuire, two daughters, Mrs. Richard C. Burke and Miss Lorna F. McGuire, and nine grandchildren, in addition to his brother, Attorney Henry L. McGuire of New London.
Active in his beloved profession until the end, by any known standard he fulfilled the requirements of a fine citizen and a Christian gentleman.
*Prepared by Hon. Edward J. Quinlan, of Norwalk.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 263, page iii
Appointed to the Appellate Court May 20, 2003, to take effect May 20, 2003.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 133, pages 738 - 739
Judge Charles J. McLaughlin was born in Norwich on March 20, 1890, the son of Andrew L. and Rose (Cunningham) McLaughlin. His mother died while he was attending law school. His father lived until 1940, when he died at the age of eighty-four.
Judge McLaughlin was graduated from the Georgetown Preparatory School in 1910, from Georgetown University in 1914, receiving the degree of bachelor of arts, and from Yale University in 1917, where he received the degree of bachelor of laws. While a student in preparatory school and college he participated in athletics and other activities. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1917 and was subsequently commissioned a lieutenant in the aviation section of the Signal Corps, now known as the Air Service. He served with honor and distinction as a pilot in the first World War.
After his return to civilian life in 1919, he practiced law in Hartford. He was associated with the late Andrew J. Broughel for some time. For many years he was a member of the law firm of Clarke and McLaughlin. Judge McLaughlin held many public offices before he was appointed a judge. He served as United States commissioner, prosecuting attorney in the West Hartford Town Court, deputy attorney general and attorney general of the state of Connecticut and state tax commissioner. In 1941, he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court for a term of eight years from August 29, 1942.
While engaged in the practice of law, because of his trial work he was known by many lawyers in every county. As a result of this and the splendid record he made while serving in every public office which he held, his capabilities were generally recognized when he was appointed a judge. He was industrious, scholarly and well-informed upon many subjects, particularly those of public interest. Although tolerant and patient with all persons, his outstanding characteristic was his worship of and respect for integrity.
Judge McLaughlin possessed a sparkling wit and an ability to portray and describe humorous events most realistically. He enjoyed frankly discussing public affairs with his intimate friends and associates. In doing so he expressed the opinions he held of the conduct of persons or political parties with utter disregard of his affections or personal feelings.
During many years prior to his death his health limited his personal activities. Although always fond of athletics, he ceased attendance at athletic events because of his desire to conserve his strength for the performance of his judicial duties. This was a great sacrifice as, because of it, he was not often able to see his son play football, baseball and basketball.
In 1925 he married Gladys Jacobs. She and their son, Gerald, survive. The family, friends and judicial activities of Judge McLaughlin afforded him an abundance of happiness.
A summary of his character was attempted in the following resolution adopted by the trial judges of the Superior Court: "Be it
"Resolved, That the Judges of the Superior Court express their deep sorrow and grief at the death of Judge Charles J. McLaughlin of West Hartford, on March 6, 1947. During his judicial career his industry and scholarly investigation of and consideration of everyproblem submitted to him won for him the respect of his colleagues and that of attorneys. His good humor, in spite of constant severe physical pain and suffering, gained for him the admiration of all those who knew him.
"His death takes from this state a judge whose memory will long be affectionately associated with the judicial department."
*Prepared by Hon. Edward J. Daly, of West Hartford.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 143, pages 746 - 747
On July 21, 1952, the state lost an able and outstanding citizen in the death of Miles Francis McNiff. Judge McNiff had retired from the Court of Common Pleas on May 6, 1952, because his health had failed and he felt that he could no longer fully perform his judicial duties with the vigor and thoroughness required by his high standards.
He was born in Waterbury on May 12, 1884, the son of Miles and Catherine Spellman McNiff. He received his early education at the Washington Grammar School and Crosby High School in Waterbury. During the time he attended Crosby High School, where he was graduated in 1902, he was a member of the reporting staff of the "Waterbury American." Later, he became the court reporter for that paper. While in his last year in high school, he began the study of law in the offices of Judge Patrick J. McMahon and James M. Lynch of Waterbury. He was admitted to the practice in 1908.
On February 14, 1906, he was married to Estelle Germaine, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Alfred G. Germaine of Waterbury. Mrs. McNiff and one son, Miles Francis McNiff, Jr., survive.
Judge McNiff served on the board of education of Waterbury during 1910 and 1911. From 1910 to 1916 he was secretary of the Waterbury Business Men's Association. He was prosecutor of the City Court of Waterbury from 1916 until 1929, when he was appointed deputy judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the judicial district of Waterbury. He served in the capacity until 1941, then becoming a Judge of the statewide Court of Common Pleas.
Judge McNiff was a member of the Waterbury Bar Association, the New Haven County Bar Association, the State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He was affiliated with St. Joseph's Total Abstinence Society, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of St. Margaret's Roman Catholic Church in Waterbury.
Anyone having acquaintance with Judge McNiff immediately concluded that here was a man who placed great emphasis on high ideals, respect for God, respect for his fellow man and charitable consideration of his problems and aims, as well as on the necessity of exercising those so easily forgotten evidences of culture, courtesy, politeness and self control under all circumstances and conditions. To him the practice of law was no entering wedge to an easy living with large financial returns but the practice of a profession wherein the ultimate object was to see that justice between man and man was properly done.
He had a very fine sense of humor and always enjoyed a good story whether he was the subject or not. His genial disposition, coupled with his friendly smile, endeared him to all people with whom he came in contact. To young members of the bar he always extended a friendly and helping hand. Seldom has any lawyer, here or elsewhere, been so universally loved and respected by everyone who knew him. His influence upon the legal profession, particularly the younger men in Waterbury, will live on throughout the years.
*Prepared by Maurice P. Wrenn, Walter W. Smyth and Charles S. O'Connor, of the Waterbury bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 145, page iii
Appointed to Supreme Court April 4, 1957, to take effect May 6, 1958.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 148, page iii
Retired May 6, 1961, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 223, page 931
1907 - 1992
Judge A. Frederick Mignone, of Hamden, a member of the Connecticut judiciary for twenty-seven years, died September 19, 1992. He was eighty-four years old.
Judge Mignone was born in New Haven on October 24, 1907, the son of Joseph and Adelina Mignone. He graduated from Yale University in 1928 and from the Yale Law School in 1931.
Judge Mignone practiced law in New Haven for many years with the firm of Dooley and Robinson. After World War II, he was a member of the United States prosecution staff in the trials of Japanese war criminals. He was active in the Democratic party in New Haven and served in several public posts, including assistant corporation counsel and corporation counsel for New Haven. He was appointed assistant United States attorney.
In 1965, Governor John N. Dempsey appointed him to be a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He later served as chief judge of that court. Seven years later, he was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Thomas J. Meskill. In 1977, he became a state trial referee and served in that capacity until shortly before his death.
He was the author of numerous articles on legal and political topics.
Judge Mignone is survived by his wife, Theresa Torres Mignone, and two stepchildren.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 250, page iii
Appointed to the Appellate Court August 24, 1999, to take effect September 15, 1999.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 262, page iii
Senior Judge effective December 31, 2002.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 15, appendix pages 33 - 34
Was born at Woodbury; was a graduate of Yale-College, of the class of 1801; studied law under the direction of Noah B. Benedict, Esq.; and was admitted to the bar, in 1804. He commenced practice in his native town, and continued in his profession until his death, December 11, 1839, at the age of 58. He was a member of the House of Representatives, in 1830 and 1832; and a Senator, in 1837.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 57, pages 595 - 598
WILLIAM THOMAS MINOR died at Stamford in this state on the 13th day of October, 1889. He was the second son of Simeon Hinman Minor and Catherine Lockwood Minor, and was born at Stamford on the 3d day of October, 1815. His father was one of the best known lawyers of Fairfield County and was for several years Attorney for the state for that county, a member of the General Assembly from the town of Stamford, and Judge of the Court of Probate for that district. His distinguished son, the subject of this sketch, was prepared for college in Stamford, entered Yale College at the age of fourteen years, and graduated in the class of 1834. After graduation he opened a school in his native town, reading law with his father at the same time; was admitted to the bar of Fairfield County in 1841, and immediately upon his admission opened an office in Stamford and commenced practice. At the time Mr. Minor came to the bar of Fairfield County, it was noted for the eminence of its members. Roger Minot Sherman had just been elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court of Errors, but such able men as Charles Hawley, Thomas B. Butler, Reuben Booth, James C. Loomis and Joshua B. Ferris largely absorbed the business of the profession in the county.
At the outset of his professional life, that is, in the year 1847, Mr. Minor was appointed by the General Assembly Judge of the Court of Probate for the district of Stamford, which then consisted of the towns of Stamford, Darien and Greenwich, and held that office by appointment, and afterwards by election, for the years 1848, '49, '52, '53 and '54. He was also elected a representative to the lower house of the General Assembly from the town of Stamford for the years 1841, '42, '43 and '44 and again in 1846, '47 and '52. In 1854 he was elected to represent the twelfth senatorial district in the state Senate and was at that session of the legislature appointed a judge of the County Court for Fairfield County.
In 1855, and while Judge of the County Court, he was elected Governor of Connecticut, and was re-elected the succeeding year. During all this time Governor Minor was arduously engaged in the practice of his profession, which continued to increase upon him, so that at the close of his last gubernatorial term of office he found a large practice upon his hands, occupying all his time and compelling him to constant and unremitting labor. He continued in the practice of his profession, taking a lively interest in politics and being one of the leaders of his party, when the civil war of 1861 called forth the participation of the nation.
Governor Minor at this trying juncture went with his party and gave his full and undivided influence to the support of the national cause; and by his able counsels, by the weight of his influence, and by his unremitting exertions in raising troops and sending them into the field, contributed largely to the success of the cause of the government.
In 1864 Governor Minor was appointed delegate of his party from Connecticut to the Republican National Convention, which assembled at Baltimore in June of that year, and voted with his delegation for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson as nominees respectively for President and Vice-President of the United States, and in July of the same year was appointed by Mr. Lincoln, Consul-General to Havana, in the island of Cuba. At this time he retired from the practice of his profession and entered upon the then difficult and trying duties of his office, which he fulfilled with great credit and success.
Havana was then the resort of a large number of persons from the rebellious states, who were engaged in "blockade-running" and in other undertakings injurious to the commerce of the United States. Constant care and vigilance was required to find out and thwart their plans. His success in inducing the Captain-General of Cuba to detain and finally deliver up to the government of the United States the formidable rebel ram, "Stonewall Jackson," showed rare powers of diplomacy, together with great tact, decision and determination.
Sometime after the death of Mr. Lincoln and during the term of his successor in office, Governor Minor resigned his office of Counsel-General, and returned to his native town and to the practice of his profession. But he was not long suffered to remain in private life. His fellow-townsmen, again, in the year 1868, elected him to the lower house of the General Assembly , and at the same session he was elected a Judge of the Superior Court. He soon afterwards in August 1868, entered upon the duties of his office, which he continued to fulfill with ability and fidelity until the year 1873, when he resigned his judgeship. In the meantime, in March, 1873, he accepted the nomination of his party as a candidate for Congress from the fourth congressional district of Connecticut, his competitor being the celebrated Democratic politician, Wm. H. Barnum. In this election he was defeated. In 1879 Governor Minor was appointed, together with the Hons. Origen S. Seymour, Jr., and LaFayette S. Foster, a commissioner of Connecticut to act with the Hons. Allen C. Beach, Augustus Schoonmaker and Horatio Seymour, Jr., commissioners on the part of the state of New York, in running the boundary line between the two states. This difficult question, which had been the subject of controversy, was at length settled by the commission to the satisfaction of both states.
After this service Judge Minor retired to private life, devoting himself to his own private affairs, although he never ceased to take a deep interest in all matters relating to the politics of the state and nation.
Judge Minor's life was so much devoted to political affairs that it left only a comparatively small part of it to be given to the duties of his profession, in the practice of which he was distinguished for his good sense, great sagacity, uncompromising integrity and high-minded gentlemanly deportment. He was a clear and forcible speaker, both at the bar and in the legislature, but was too guarded and cautious for a political speaker, and seldom appeared on the platform to make a political speech.
In his private relations, he was faithful in his friendships, a kind neighbor and a most excellent husband and father. He was a conscientious member of, and a regular attendant at, the Protestant Episcopal Church and died in its faith and communion.
Governor Minor married, April 16th, 1849, Mary C., daughter of Mr. John W. Leeds, of Stamford, who survives him. He also leaves two children, Emily C. Minor and Charles W. Minor. The latter is now a member of the bar and practicing lawyer in the city of New York.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 84, pages 721 - 723
CHARLES ELLIOTT MITCHELL, for many years a member of the Hartford County Bar, and a leading patent attorney of the United States, died suddenly at his home in New Britain, Connecticut, on March 17th, 1911. Mr. Mitchell was in his seventy-fourth year, having been born in the town of Bristol on May 11th, 1837. His father, George H. Mitchell, was postmaster at Bristol, and his mother, Lurene Hooker Mitchell, was a direct descendant of Rev. Thomas Hooker, leader of the original settlers of Hartford. Through his father, he was descended from William Mitchell, a Revolutionary soldier. After attending school in his native village, he entered Williston Seminary, and later, Brown University, receiving his degree in 1861. He studied law at the Albany Law School, and was admitted to practice in 1864. On December 13th, 1866, Mr. Mitchell married Cornelia Chamberlain, sister of the late Governor Abiram Chamberlain, and also of the late Judge Valentine B. Chamberlain.
Mr. Mitchell had a legal mind in the truest sense of that term. He readily understood and appreciated the nicest distinctions, and no one could discriminate more closely nor clearly. He had unbounded enthusiasm in his work, which he believed to be a noble calling, and gave it the first claim on his time and talents. He had the health and vigor that enabled him to spend long hours and days in continuous labor. He had a personality that attracted, and from which radiated the very essence of sincerity and truth. With all of these qualities Mr. Mitchell was equipped when he entered the general practice of the law in 1864. In 1869 he and the late Frank L. Hungerford formed a partnership for the practice of law, and they continued as partners until 1897. Mr. Mitchell's attention was early turned to the law of patents and trade-marks, and he soon devoted his entire attention to this branch of the profession; and having a mechanical turn of mind, which aided him greatly, he steadily rose into prominence as one of the ablest patent lawyers in the United States. In 1889 President Harrison appointed him Commissioner of Patents, which office he held from November 1st, 1889, to July 1st, 1891. After assuming his duties as commissioner, he inaugurated many reforms in the workings of the patent office, and President Harrison, in his message to Congress under date of December 1st, 1890, bestowed hearty commendation upon him for his administration of the office. On his resignation as commissioner he removed to New York, where he again resumed the practice of his profession.
For a period immediately following this step he was connected with litigation on the Edison Incandescent Lamp patent; also with the hotly contested litigation relating to storage batteries. This was the inventive age, and he had to keep pace with the rapid development of the electrical art in a long series of suits relating to all sorts of electrical apparatus, including direct current generators, motors, and controllers for street railroads. He entered into a long series of suits relating to alternating current apparatus, including alternating current rotary field Tesla motors, alternating current generators and transformers. He was called upon to bring action for infringement of the Sprague Multiple Unit Train patent, which invention is now used upon almost all electrically operated elevated railroads and suburban trains. He was also engaged in litigation relating to the manufacture of gramophones, graphophones, buttonhole machines, pulverizing mills, door checks, cash registers, typewriters, and many other devices. It must be borne in mind that in these matters the patents involved were largely fundamental, marking epochs in the industrial, mechanical, and commercial advance of the country and of the world. No one had blazed a trail, and his advance was into the region of the untried and unknown.
In 1902 Mr. Mitchell first felt the effect of many years of strenuous labor. He retired from the practice of his profession, and returned to New Britain, where he was greatly beloved, and where he had many interests and associations. He entered into the life of this community with the same zeal that had characterized his former years. Shortly after his return he was asked to become the president of the Stanley Rule & Level Manufacturing Company, a position which he held at the time of his death. His advice was valued on business matters, and he served as director in many companies.
Mr. Mitchell was a deeply religious man and one who looked into the future with confidence and trust. At the time of his death he was a deacon in the First Church of Christ, and also the leader of a Bible class, which consisted of sixty men, and for many years he was a director of the Y. M. C. A., and during the later years of his life was president of the association.
Mrs. Mitchell, together with three sons, Robert C. Mitchell and George Henry Mitchell, both lawyers in New York City, and Charles H. Mitchell, a lawyer in New Britain, survive him.
*Prepared by William C. Hungerford, Esq., of the Hartford County Bar, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 13, appendix pages 1 - 2
BORN at Wethersfield, December 20th, 1743; educated at Yale College, and graduated in 1763; studied law at New-Haven, while a Tutor in Yale-College, and afterwards, under the direction of Jared Ingersoll, Esq.; admitted to the bar, in Fairfield County, in 1770; removed to Wethersfield, in 1772, and established himself in the practice of the law. In May 1779, he accepted the office of an associate Judge of the County Court, and relinquished practice; held that office until May 1790, when he was placed at the head of that Court; held the latter situation, until October 1795, when he was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court; and in May 1807, Chief Justice of that Court; which office he held until May 1814, when he became legally disqualified by age.
He represented the town of Wethersfield in the General Assembly of this state, in Oct. 1778, May 1779, Oct. 1779, May 1780, Oct. 1780, May 1781, Oct. 1781, May 1782, Oct. 1782, (when he was chosen Clerk of the House of Reps.) May 1783, and Oct. 1783. He was chosen Assistant in May 1784, and annually thereafter, for nine successive years; and was, in that capacity, a member of the Supreme Court of Errors.
He was a delegate from this State in Congress of the United States previous to the adoption of the Constitution, in the years 1783, 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788. In Oct. 1793, he was appointed a Senator from this State in the Congress of the United States, for the unexpired part of the term made vacant by the death of the Hon. Roger Sherman; in which situation he continued until he became a Judge of the Superior Court, in October 1795.
In September 1807, he received from the Corporation of Yale College the honorary degree of LL. D. He was a member of the Convention that formed the Constitution of this State in 1818. He died at his residence in Wethersfield, Sept. 30th, 1835.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 1, unpaged leaf after page 102
At the session of the Legislature in May 1814, the following communication from the Hon. STEPHEN MIX MITCHELL, late chief Judge, was received by his Excellency Governour Smith and communicated to both Houses:
"Wethersfield, May 13th, 1814
"I conceive it my duty to inform the Honourable Legislature of the State, that I have arrived at the period of life, which by law renders me ineligible to a seat on the bench of the Superior Court."
"In thus taking leave of public life, I would express my warmest gratitude to the Legislature for the public confidence heretofore reposed in me, and my wishes for the welfare and prosperity of the State; and am,
"With every sentiment of esteem and respect, "Your Excellency's most obedt. and "Very humble serv't.
"STEPHEN MIX MITCHELL."
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 15, appendix page 29
Third son of Hon. Stephen M. Mitchell, formerly Chief Justice of the superior court, &c., (a) was born at Wethersfield, October 7th, 1777; educated at Yale-College, where he graduated in 1795; attended Judge Reeve's lectures at Litchfield, two years, and afterwards read law with Nathaniel Terry, Esq. of Hartford, about six months; admitted to the bar, in Hartford, in December 1798; and there settled in the practice of law. In 1801, he was appointed secretary of the board of commissioners under the bankrupt law of the United States then in force; a situation which he held until the repeal of that law, about two years afterwards. He has been the attorney of the Phoenix Bank from its organization in 1814, until the present time; and was attorney for the city of Hartford from 1817 to 1820. In May, 1815, he was offered a seat on the bench of the county court, which he declined. In 1838, however, being appointed the presiding judge of that court, he accepted the appointment. This office he held two years, and then relinquished it, returning to his practice at the bar, which with this short, and even then, partial, interruption, has been continued in the same place since 1798.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 155, pages 737 - 739
Any summary of the life of Judge Thomas J. Molloy which fails to refer to his open-handed generosity will not be complete. One of his outstanding characteristics was his love of charitable giving. "Charity" to him was a Biblical mandate directed by God. Thus, to any, to all and to everyone in need, he gave not only financial aid to the best of his ability but also his time, energy, strength, advice, and even of the wisdom he possessed so abundantly.
He was modest and unassuming, slow to anger and slow to condemn; he had faith in God and in the inherent goodness of man. Yet, he had the strength of character which marks all good men and which fitted him for his judicial tasks. Faced with a difficult problem, he welcomed it and saw it through with unyielding tenacity. Old age failed to blunt his keen mind, which remained clear and vigorous to the end. He was uncompromisingly opposed to all which was sham, unfair or wrong.
Blessed with resounding voice and capable of presenting a stern mien at times, he enjoyed appearing somewhat unbending - knowing that the right word at the right time would puncture and deflate the balloon of his pretended ferocity. He had a rich sense of humor and loved to laugh, quite often even at himself. To represent his character as all sweetness and light would, of course, be an exaggeration. There were days when "the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to" sank their shafts deeply into his robust constitution, and he reacted as most human beings react to pain. Of all the human beings I have known, he was the most human, as well as the most humane.
In his later years, Judge Molloy developed some unique and endearing habits, one being that of whistling as he walked along the corridor to, or from, a hearing. Long before he could be seen, he could be heard, whistling a modified and invariably off-key rendition of whatever tune he had in mind, alternating mainly between "The Rose of Tra-Lee" and "Gloria in Excelsis Deo." It delighted him to corner a passerby and inquire of him the name of the tune he had been whistling. Seldom did the involuntary participant guess correctly, which always pleased the judge, causing him to chuckle and deplore the listener's sad lack of musical knowledge.
He was the proud possessor of a number of canes, one of his favorites being a handsome stick which had belonged to the late John Barrymore and which, in the manner of "Bat Masterson," the judge would sometimes shake menacingly at anyone he liked very much.
At Christmas time, he not only remembered his relatives, friends, neighbors, fellow employees, janitors, paperboy and milkman but practically everyone who casually crossed his path. He sent contributions far and wide: to India, Africa and South America, and to the American Indians on their reservations. To the pastors of Catholic flocks in various parts of the world he sent donations, for his religion, in which he deeply believed, was as much a part of him as his integrity. It was a source of strength and comfort to him all his life. It is not an exaggeration to predict that people all over the earth will miss Judge Molloy's kindly hand next Christmas, for it will be the first time in years that the mail will fail to bring some offering from him to help them carry on their work. He believed wholeheartedly in supporting his faith, and he did so. There were no halfway measures with Judge Molloy, and it was never necessary for anyone to guess whether he was for or against him.
A matter particularly dear to Judge Molloy's heart was the connection which existed between his father, Daniel T. Molloy, and Mark Twain, for whom the judge's father had worked as a gardener years ago when Twain lived on Farmington Avenue in what is now the Mark Twain Memorial. The judge's father was eventually obliged to leave Twain's employ because of ill health in 1886, when Judge Molloy was one year old. The great writer gave Daniel Molloy $100 as a gift to enable him to return to Ireland to regain his health. In those days, $100 was a small fortune and undoubtedly represented feelings of friendship and affection.
In June, 1967, Judge Molloy made a substantial contribution to the Mark Twain Memorial restoration fund, a gift which he had long wanted to make out of gratitude for Twain's generosity to his father.
A hard worker, Judge Molloy was meticulous and dependable. On the morning of the day which he entered the hospital for the operation which preceded his death, he participated in a committee conference with two fellow referees, so it is fair to say that he worked right up to the last, in his eighty-third year, a remarkable and inspiring achievement.
In short, in this world where the synthetic has come to pass more and more frequently for the genuine, Judge Molloy was a real man and worthy of the respect of his office.
Born on June 29, 1885, in Hartford, he was the son of Daniel T. and Mary Killeen Molloy. He attended Hartford Public High School and was graduated in 1908 from Yale Law School. In 1921, he was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas by the late Governor Everett Lake, and in 1946 he was appointed by Governor Raymond E. Baldwin to the Superior Court, where he served on that bench until his retirement under constitutional limitation as to age on June 29, 1955. After retirement in 1955, he became an active state referee, busier than ever, continuing to hold numerous hearings during the subsequent twelve years. He rarely took a vacation but worked steadily through summer and winter alike. In addition to serving on the bench and as an active referee, he taught for twenty-four years at what is now the University of Connecticut School of Law, formerly the Hartford Law School.
He was a prominent Catholic layman, devoting his spare time to religious activities, serving as State Deputy and Grand Knight of the Hartford Council during his forty-seven years as a member of the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed the high honor of being made a Knight of St. Gregory and served as a director of Hartford Council 11, Knights of Columbus and of Bishop McMahon Assembly Fourth Degree. He also belonged to the Sierra Club of Hartford, the Holy Family Layman's Retreat League and the Men of LaSalette, as well as to the American, Connecticut and Hartford County Bar Associations.
The cataract operations, for which he entered the hospital, were successful, but Judge Molloy never again enjoyed the blessing of clear sight. During the early morning hours of Thursday, December 21, 1967, he passed away, leaving his family and friends poorer for his passing.
He is survived by his wife, Esther Radding Molloy, of West Hartford, and by his three children of that marriage: Marshall E. Molloy, Paul W. Molloy, and Mary Esther Molloy. Two children of his prior marriage to Kathleen E. Hartnett, deceased, also survive him: Thomas J. Molloy Jr., of Wapping, and Mrs. Charles A. Rogers, Jr., of Newington. He left one brother, Daniel G. Molloy, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and seven grandchildren.
*Prepared by Hon. Abraham S. Bordon, of West Hartford.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 236, page 925
Lawrence G. "Larry" Moore, 49, of Waterbury, died suddenly and unexpectedly in January, 1996. Larry served as Director of Communications for the Connecticut Judicial Branch from 1980 until his death. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Boston College in 1968. After enlisting in the United States Army that same year, Larry served in Vietnam prior to his discharge from military service in 1969.
Larry became a political writer and columnist for the Waterbury (Connecticut) Republican-American newspaper in 1970. During this period, he covered the 1972 national elections and the Connecticut General Assembly. In 1972, he became an editorial writer for the newspaper.
Larry, who was genuinely liked by those who knew him, will long be remembered with admiration and respect by both his superiors and his coworkers. His experience as a member of the press gave him a great sensitivity toward the needs of the public and the press for information. He was instrumental in making the workings of the Judicial Branch more open and accessible than ever before. Among his many contributions to the Judicial Branch and the public it serves was the suggestion of refinements for procedures surrounding the operation of the Electronic Bulletin Board Service (EBBS) by the Commission on Official Legal Publications. The EBBS is the mechanism by which opinions of the Supreme and Appellate Courts are made available in electronic format prior to their print publication in the Connecticut Law Journal. Ironically, Larry did not live to see the EBBS come into effect, as he died only weeks before it began operation in January 1996.
A lifelong resident of Waterbury, Connecticut, Larry is survived by his wife, Patricia, and their two children.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 237, page 943
The honorable Joseph F. Morelli, of New Britain, died on May 30, 1996, at the age of eighty. Judge Morelli was appointed to the Circuit Court in 1969 and was elevated to the Superior Court in 1978. He retired in 1986 at the age of seventy.
Judge Morelli received his B.A. from Ohio State University in 1938, earned his L.L.B. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1941 and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1946. He served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1945. Prior to his 1969 appointment to the bench, Judge Morelli was an attorney in private practice and a public defender for the Fifteenth Circuit Court.
During Judge Morelli's distinguished public service career, he held numerous municipal and state government posts, including state senator during the 1949 General Assembly Session and mayor of the city of New Britain from 1956 to 1960. In addition, Judge Morelli was the chairman of the New Britain water commission in 1946 and served two terms in that capacity. He was chairman of the city planning commission of New Britain in 1965.
Judge Morelli married the former Virginia Pola and was the father of three children.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 43, pages 604 - 605
The members of the New London County Bar, at a meeting held on the 12th of September, 1876, upon the occasion of the death of Mr. Samuel C. Morgan, adopted the following minute upon the subject:
SAMUEL COIT MORGAN, senior member of this bar, died at his residence in Norwich, on the 11th day of September, A.D. 1876, at the advanced age of eighty-seven.
He was born in the town of Lisbon, in this state, 1789, graduated at Yale College in 1812, and read law in the offices of Thomas Day, of Hartford, and Timothy Pitkin, of Farmington, and was admitted to the bar in the year 1815, and entered on the practice of his profession at Jewett City, in this county, and continued therein till 1842, when he was elected president of the Quinebaug Bank, and removed to Norwich, since which time he has not been in active practice.
He ever took a deep interest in the welfare, reputation, and high standing of the profession which he loved, which interest he manifested by his friendly intercourse with members of this bar, and by the presentation to the bar association of a valuable series of reports to become the foundation of a future library.
He was a sound and accurate lawyer, a trusted and valued counselor, and faithful to the discharge of every duty in life.
He had been for many years a consistent member of the Second Congregational Church of Norwich, and manifested his interest in the cause of religion, education, and philanthropy, by his unostentatious benevolence during his life, as well as by the final disposition of his property.
The members of this bar desiring to express in some enduring form their appreciation of the character, standing, and life of their deceased brother, cause this minute to be made, and respectfully request the court to order that it may be entered at length upon its records.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 66, pages 599 - 600
LUZON BURRITT MORRIS was born in Newtown, April 16th, 1827. He was fitted for College at the Connecticut Literary Institute in Suffield, supporting himself meanwhile partly by his own industry, and was graduated from Yale University in 1854. He then entered the Yale Law School, and after pursuing his legal education there for a year, continued his studies in an office, and was admitted to the bar in 1856, establishing himself first at Seymour. He represented that town in the General Assembly in 1855 and 1856, after which he removed to New Haven, having been elected judge of probate for the district of New Haven, to which Seymour then belonged.
This office he filled to universal acceptance, and continued to hold by annual re-election, until 1863. From this time forward, for the remainder of his life, he had an extensive practice, mainly as chamber counsel, in advising clients, particularly with reference to the settlement of estates. He was frequently called upon to act as administrator, executor, guardian, or trustee, and probably filled, during thirty years, as many of these positions as any one man ever has in this State, within the same period. As a committee of the court, an appraiser of real estate, arbitrator, and referee, his services were also always in demand, and no man's judgment upon business questions was more respected throughout the State. In 1870, 1876, 1880, and 1881, he represented New Haven in the General Assembly, and in 1874 he was a member of the Senate of the State. He was one of the State Commission which settled the ancient dispute as to the boundary line between New York and Connecticut, in 1880, and four years later he was made chairman appointed to revise the probate laws. Here he rendered important service in remedying defects in the existing legislation and bringing it into orderly and systematic shape.
In 1888, 1890 and 1892, he was the candidate of the Democratic party for Governor; defeated in 1888; receiving a plurality of votes and the election being contested in 1890; and elected by a majority of votes in 1892. The history of the election in 1890, resulting in a dead-lock between the two houses of the General Assembly, and the lapse of two years without legislation on any subject, may be found in a previous volume of these reports, (State ex rel. Morris v. Buckeley, 61 Conn., 287; Brainard v. Staub, 61 Conn., 570). Party feeling ran high during these occurrences, and a man of different mould might easily have precipitated an actual conflict of arms, at the capitol. Gov. Morris exerted his influence, successfully, in the direction of moderation, and for the submission of all questions in dispute, so far as possible, to judicial determination.
His name appears in this series of reports in important causes, but more often as a party than as counsel. He had a native modesty which made him unnecessarily distrustful of his own powers as a public speaker, and seldom took part in argument at the bar. From the time of his first nomination for Governor, however, he went often upon the platform, and addressed large audiences with force and spirit.
For many years he was an officer, and for several the president, of the Connecticut Savings Bank, and he was in many ways identified with the business interests of the State. His leading qualities were sagacity, cool and clear judgment, equability of temperament, untiring industry, and absolute integrity of life and purpose.
He was struck by apoplexy at his office at New Haven on August 22d, 1895, and died a few hours later, at his home on the same day.
*Prepared by the Hon. Simeon E. Baldwin at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 147, pages 736 - 738
After his graduation from the Law School, he became associated with his father in the practice of law, the firm name being Munger and Munger. His father had been prosecuting attorney in the City Court of Ansonia in the famous "Chip Smith" case (State v. Smith, 49 Conn. 378) and a special assistant state's attorney to Tilton Doolittle, state's attorney, when the case came before the Superior Court.
Judge Munger was Ansonia corporation counsel in 1906 and served as City Court judge from 1911 to 1927. He was chairman of the board of education of Ansonia and in 1917 was chairman of the fifth Congressional district draft board. He was also, beginning in 1921, a director of the Ansonia Library, and he was president from 1931 on. He was a member of the Elizabethan Club of Yale, the George Washington Lodge A.F. & A.M., the Ansonia Lodge of Elks, and the First Congregational Church of Ansonia.
He was named to the Court of Common Pleas in 1927 by Governor John H. Trumbull and remained on that bench until 1937, when Governor Wilbur L. Cross nominated him for the Superior Court, where he remained until his retirement in 1945 at the age of seventy.
Judge Munger's book of verse, entitled "The Land of Lost Music," was published in 1912. It was in that year that President Theodore Roosevelt named Judge Munger among the six leading poets of the United States. He contributed many poems and literary offerings to newspapers locally and in the state as well as to the metropolitan dailies. In 1933, his classmates of 1897 presented the Ansonia Library with a gift of thirty-eight volumes in his honor. At all class dinners he was always the toastmaster, and at each reunion the dinner program which outlined the menu and the list of speakers concluded by stating, "The toastmaster as usual." His poem to John Harvard from Eli Yale on the occasion of the 1947 reunion of the classes of 1897 at Yale and Harvard was printed in all papers throughout New England. Immediately after World War I, the then president of Yale, Arthur Hadley, commanded Judge Munger to write the "Ode to the Service Flag," which hangs in the dining room of Woolsey Hall today.
Judge Munger was a renowned public speaker and was in great demand as a presiding officer. His delightful wit, his command of language and his ability to turn a phrase and to ad lib made him a most charming companion. He was one of two speakers at a dinner given by the Yale Club of Cincinnati, the other being President William Howard Taft. Judge Munger's conversation, filled as it was with gems of wit as well as philosophical advice, and graced by a delightful vocabulary, always commanded attention and respect. He was the outstanding orator and scholar of our bench and bar and his verses were a treasure to possess. He was the center of attraction at all bar affairs, and even in the courthouse halls or his chambers his engaging personality captivated all who had the pleasure and honor of knowing him. Distinguished scholars such as Dr. Lowell of Harvard, Dr. Hibben of Princeton and Colonel Marse Waterson of the Louisville Courier-Journal begged him to forsake the law and turn to literature. He responded that he had a poet's heart, but a lawyer's pocketbook.
His memory will always be cherished by his countless friends and admirers and by all who had the good fortune to hear him speak. As a jurist, he was dignity personified and was keen and alert in all matters before him. He could distinguish truth from falsehood or exaggeration and gave his decisions quickly at the close of the case he heard. On the criminal side, he was sympathetic with the first offender and would make every effort to be as kind and just as possible. He had no sympathy for repeated offenders and would be just but firm in his sentences.
Judge Munger was married to Nancy Dunn in 1926 and a son, Robert Lewis Munger, Jr., was born in 1928. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the father of four children, who will ever cherish the memory, kindness and thoughtfulness of their illustrious grandfather.
*Prepared by Harold J. Bowen, of the New Haven bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 144, page iii
Appointed to the Supreme Court April 5, 1957, to take effect August 11, 1957.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 154, page iii
Retired August 13, 1966, under constitutional limitation as to age.
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