Memorial And Presentation Of The Portraits Of Ernest A. Snow, John E. Bird, And Richard C. Flannigan And Portrait Presentations Of William L. Carpenter And Joseph A. Steere
JUNE 12, 1929
Upon convening of Court on June 12, 1929, Hon. ALVA M. CUMMINS, President of the Michigan State Bar Association, addressed the Court as follows:
Mr. Chief Justice and Gentlemen of the Court: From time immemorial it has been the custom, when death has invaded the ranks of your honorable body, for the lawyers and the Court to devote a little time for presentation of memorials to the memory of the departed. Never before, however, have we come together, I believe, under circumstances so unusual and extraordinary as the circumstances of today. Three times within a startlingly short space of time death has called from this Court into another world men who were serving faithfully, conscientiously, and well the people of the State of Michigan. And so, as a representative of the Michigan State Bar Association, I have come before you today asking you to devote this afternoon to services in memory of the distinguished dead. We have also two surviving ex-members of this Court whom the people of Michigan and the Bar of Michigan always delight to honor. In connection with this memorial service, we also desire to ask the Court to permit the presentation this afternoon not only of the portraits of those members who have passed on, but of these two men whom we so rejoice to still have with us, and so I now move you that this afternoon be given up to the services which I have outlined.
Chief Justice NORTH: In compliance with the request just made, this session of the Court will be devoted to the matter of presenting resolutions incident to the passing of three of the former Justices of the Supreme Court of this State, Justices SNOW, BIRD, and FLANNIGAN, and to the presentation and acceptance of the portraits of these Justices, and also of the portraits of Justices CARPENTER and STEERE, who were formerly members of this Court.
The first of these deceased members to be removed from our midst was Justice ERNEST A. SNOW, who came to this Bench from the County of Saginaw. We are informed that the Bar of that County has designated one of their number, Honorable WILLARD J. NASH, to present the resolutions in its behalf. Following such presentation, memorial remarks by other members of the profession and friends of Justice SNOW and of the other Justices as like points in the program are reached will be in order.
Hon. WILLARD J. NASH: Your Honors:
Whereas, the Saginaw County Bar Association has learned with profound regret of the death of Honorable Justice ERNEST A. SNOW, at Lansing, Michigan, October 20, 1927, and
Whereas, Justice ERNEST A. SNOW was born in Jackson County, Michigan, April 17, 1876, attended the public schools of Saginaw County, and graduated from the University of Michigan with the law class of 1897, and was from that time engaged in the practice of the law as attorney and as jurist, until his untimely death, and
Whereas, in 1902 he was elected Judge of the Recorder’s Court; in 1907 and 1908 served as a member of the Constitutional Convention; in 1917 became a member of the Saginaw Circuit Bench, and was re-elected in 1923, without opposition; on January 1, 1926, was appointed to the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, and was elected a Justice of that Court in 1927, and was engaged in the work of that Bench at the time of his decease, and
Whereas, as an active practicing attorney in the State and Federal courts, Justice SNOW was a zealous, able advocate, fair to his opponents and respectful to the Court; as a Circuit Judge he was learned in the law, endowed with good judicial temperament, patient and courteous to litigants and attorneys, possessed of unusual ability to see and decide promptly the essential points of the cases coming before him, and
Whereas, as a member of the highest Court in the State, he was a student of the law ‘and his opinions were models of conciseness and brevity, showing thorough familiarity with the facts in the case, and a deep understanding of the law governing it, and
Whereas, he was an active and useful citizen of his City and State, a staunch, loyal, understanding, friend and associate and a Justice of marked ability and great learning, and
Whereas, in the death of Justice SNOW the Bar has lost an amiable, able associate and a delightful friend and companion, the community has lost an outstanding citizen, and the State, and the highest Court thereof, a Justice of eminent standing and great legal ability,
Be it resolved, that this Bar extend to the family of Justice SNOW its sincere sympathy in their affliction, and that we do hereby express our profound sorrow at his death, and our appreciation of this great loss to the State.
Be it further resolved, that these resolutions be presented to the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, that they be spread on the records of the Saginaw Circuit Court and the Recorder’s Court of the City of Saginaw, and on the records of this Association, and that copies thereof be sent to Justice SNOW’S family, with expression of our sincere sympathy in their loss.
GEORGE W. WEADOOK,
WILLIAM H. MARTIN,
CLARENCE M. BROWNE,
EMIL A. TESSIN,
GUY D. HENRY,
ROBERT H. COOK,
BIRD J. VINCENT,
JOHN F. O’KEEFE
FRANK A. ROCKWITH,
Hon. GEORGE W. WEADOCK addressed the Court as follows:
May it Please the Court:
I deeply appreciate the honor bestowed upon me in being permitted to make these remarks at the memorial exercises for Justice SNOW.
He was born in 1876, attended high school and later attended the law department of the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1897, and was admitted to the Bar in the same year. He served as a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1908, and was elected Circuit Judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit January 1,1918. He served as Circuit Judge until his appointment to this Court by Governor GROESBEOK in 1926.
I knew him when he was practicing law, and tried many cases with him and against him at the Bar, and before him when he was presiding as Circuit Judge, and also when he became a member of this Court.
He was a very able lawyer, painstaking in presenting his cases to jurors and courts, and his arguments were logical and eloquent.
As a Circuit Judge he was respected by and considerate of the members of the Bar, learned and industrious, and his clear charges to the jurors always covered concisely and fairly the questions submitted to them.
He served less than two years as a member of this Court, but during that short period of time it was very apparent he was in every way qualified for all his duties here. I am sure that had death not taken him so early he would have made an outstanding record as a member of this Court.
Justice SNOW in his family life was a devoted son and a loving husband and father. In his death the State has lost an industrious and upright Justice, and the Bar one of its ablest members.
Response by Justice CLARK:
Mr. Justice SNOW’S period of service on this Bench was from January 1, 1926, to October 20, 1927, and his opinions may be found in volumes 233 to 240 of our Reports. The great majority of opinions in appellate courts are mere decisions of controverted questions. Rarely is one given the opportunity to write an opinion of constructive value, to make a distinct contribution to the great body of law. This opportunity came to Mr. Justice SNOW more than once during his brief service. Talented and learned in the law, he achieved the unusual, and won for himself a lasting place in the legal history of our State.
In the practice of our profession he was a cheerful and helpful associate and an adversary who compelled respect. In his work on both the Circuit Bench and this Bench he was able, courageous, energetic, intent upon knowing the law and in applying it devotedly in all cases.
We recall that he was a jurist, but often one’s thoughts of him are more personal. He was a delightful associate and companion. His mind was not commonplace. It sparkled, at times brilliantly and in attractive variety. We lost a good friend. The State lost a great Judge, who, giving promise of still greater distinction and almost on the threshold of his career, passed suddenly from among us. It is our purpose today to do honor to his memory. But that is beyond us. In attempting it we but honor ourselves.
Gen. FRED B. WOOD addressed the Court as follows:If the Court Please: The honor I think has undeservedly fallen to me to represent the family of Judge BIRD upon this occasion. The following is a copy of the resolutions adopted by the Bar of Lenawee County:
JOHN E. BIRD, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan, and member of the Bar of this County, passed to his eternal rest on February 10, 1928.
Judge BIRD was born at Clayton, Michigan, on December 19, 1862. His education was acquired in the public schools, supplemented by a course in Adrian College. After leaving college he began the study of law in the offices of Messrs. Bean & Lane; was admitted to the bar in November, 1888, and at once began the practice of his profession, remaining in private practice until his election as Prosecuting Attorney of the County in 1894. In 1904 he became Attorney General of the State, and continued in that office until his elevation to the Supreme Bench of the State in 1910, where he remained until his death.
In all departments of his public service Judge BIRD was eminently successful, as the archives of our State abundantly attest. He possessed in an unusual degree the elements of mind and character necessary to assure pre-eminence as practicing attorney, as chief legal adviser of the State, ‘and as a member of the Court of last resort. During his incumbency of the office of Attorney General he rendered distinguished service to the State in bringing to a successful conclusion litigation which had been pending for many years between the railroads and the State, resulting in enriching the treasury by many millions of dollars in delinquent taxes.
The most pronounced characteristics of Judge BIRD, in his career at the Bar and on the Bench, were the scope and grasp of his mental powers, combined with indefatigable industry. Whether as lawyer, administrative officer, or judge, his ambition seemed to be to familiarize himself with all the learning covering the issues involved, and with unwearied patience he delved into the immense reservoirs of the law to find the true course, and then to follow it with unwavering confidence.
From the day of his admission to the Bar to his death he devoted himself to the profession which he loved. He was the possessor of what is called the legal mind, in an eminent degree. He brought to the discharge of his judicial duties a thorough knowledge of the law, both common and statutory, a finely attuned judicial temperament, and a well-balanced, thoroughly cultivated and enlightened mind. His court opinions were always models of juridical literature. The statements of facts were never vague nor prolix, but were rigorously confined to the material points involved. His reasoning upon the application of proper legal principles to the facts was always clear, logical, and convincing, and his conclusions of law were thoroughly fortified by the best authorities. If he ever found occasion to assume the character of a pioneer in legal fields, he had the mental courage to confidently declare doctrines that apparently were in conflict with established law, but which were so consonant with reason and common sense that a majority of his brethren on the Bench agreed with him. During his 18 years he served upon the Bench he steadfastly adhered to the highest ideals of the Court. His opinions demonstrate beyond cavil that he was of Supreme Court calibre, and that he possessed the essential legal and literary equipment to make a learned, useful, and accomplished member of that Bench.
In his personal relations with his fellow members of the Bar and Bench he was always courteous, fair, and just. He possessed very strong and positive convictions, and stood like the granite rocks for what he believed to be right, but he always accorded his fellows the right of individual judgment, and was tolerant of the opinions of others. In his passing, the State has lost a faithful, learned, and upright Judge, and the Bar of this County, one of its most distinguished members. It is with deep sorrow that we realize the pleasant and profitable relations of many years have been terminated by his death.
Resolved, That this memorial be presented to the Circuit Court, with the request that it be spread upon the journal; that a copy thereof be prepared, and sent to the family of our deceased brother as a slight testimonial of the esteem and respect in which he was held by his associates of the Bar in this County.
H. L. LARWELL,
FRED ‘K B. WOOD,
J. N. SAMPSON,
JOHN A. RILEY,
JAS. W. HELME,
To render just tribute to the life and character of Justice BIRD in a few moments is impossible. To do it adequately calls for language beyond my power of expression.
A philosopher has said that each man is three men, the man the world thinks he is, the man that he thinks he is, and the man he really is, and whom but few know.
I think, possibly, I came to know the real JOHN BIRD as nearly as was granted to any of his associates. I had been a country lawyer with a small practice established, when, in 1888, Justice BIRD suggested our forming a partnership; this we did at Adrian, and it continued for many years until necessity took me from the State of Michigan for a time. My home was in Tecumseh. I did not bring my family to Adrian for five or six months. During that time John and I (he was always “John” to me, as I was “Fred” to him) slept, ate, worked, and lived together, and I came to know the great qualities of his character.
To speak of his ability in the presence of this honorable body, where he served so many years, would be idle. What he accomplished as Prosecuting Attorney of his County is written on the pages of the history of that County, his record as Attorney General is also well known history of our State, and what he accomplished here, within these halls, is spread upon the records of this Court. But, if I may, I would dwell for a moment upon the character of my friend. There was in him an insatiable desire for legal knowledge. No hours were too long, and time was forgotten when John was digging in the books—I am speaking of his earlier days when I was with him—he always wanted to get to the bottom of the question, to get his feet upon the solid rock of legal principles. There was in him the like of a strata of granite when he reached a conclusion and found.a principle governing his opinion.
I want also to be permitted to speak a little of the great heart of the man; his loyalty to his friends was without limit. No night was too dark, no road too long or too rough, no expense was too great for him to expend for the benefit of a friend.
Every man has some sort of religion of his own. That of a given individual might not jibe with the creed adopted in any orthodox church, but as we look about and try in our futile way to keep abreast of the findings of the scientists and take a view of the vastness of this universe, of which this apparently firm earth upon which we stand is so small a part, we are driven to the idea that it was designed by an intelligence vastly superior to mere human intelligence, and that the laws laid down which we sometimes call the laws of nature, are good, wise, and beneficial, and that this infinite governing Intelligence.is neither tyrannical nor revengeful. No human ingenuity has ever yet made a blade of grass, and only God can make a tree. We recognize and we believe that man was the crowning work of this great Intelligence and endowed with something that distinguishes him from all other of His works: the intellect, the “I,” the soul. We also learn from the scientists that nothing material is ever destroyed. But what we call destruction merely results in the return of the elements of the article which we can “destroy” to their original forms.
It is then inconceivable to my mind that when death comes and this material body of mine shall meet its dissolution, my intelligence shall not continue. I have been blessed with passing the period of the “three score years and ten,” and, though by strength I may attain four score years, I know that by and by, and possibly soon, my call must come. But I have an abiding faith that when I shall pass through that vale that separates us from the hereafter, that world now seemingly so full of shadows, but which I believe is full of sunshine, among other friends I shall be welcomed by the cheering eye, the welcoming smile, and handclasp of JOHN E. BIRD.
Chief Justice NORTH:
The response of the Court will be made by Mr. Justice FELLOWS.
It was my fortune to know Justice BIRD from boyhood. Our parents were intimate friends and neighbors before either of us was born. We were reading law at the same time; he in the office of Bean & Lane at Adrian, and I in the office of Levi R. Peirson at Hudson. We were admitted to the Bar about the same time and for many years tried lawsuits with and against each other in the then First Judicial Circuit.
Although Justice BIRD could easily have attained political preferment along other lines, he sought only those offices falling within his profession. He was Prosecuting Attorney of Lenawee County for two terms, Attorney General for nearly three terms, and a member of this Court for upwards of 17 years. As Prosecuting Attorney he was vigorous in his prosecutions, but always fair to the men charged with crime. Few men take up the duties of Attorney General with as much important State litigation pending as was pending in that office when he assumed the duties of Attorney General. The most important of that litigation were the cases involving the ad valorem taxation of railroads, and the cases involving the repeal of the special charters of certain railroads. Attorney General BIRD brought the taxation cases to a successful conclusion in the United States Supreme Court, and through his native shrewdness made a favorable settlement for the State which ended the special charter cases. During two of his terms as Attorney General the salary was $800 a year, but he nevertheless gave his entire time and attention to the duties of the office.
In 1910 he was appointed to succeed Chief Justice MONTGOMERY, and his work on this Bench appears in 80 volumes of the Michigan Reports. He was not a stickler for precedent. Quite to the contrary. He was, however, persistent in his insistence that his views on fundamentals be eventually adopted by the Court. Opposition or attempted persuasion usually stimulated him to hours and days and even weeks in research of the authorities in an attempt to bring his associates to his way of thinking. The effect of a decision upon the public was the last thing he thought about. He did his duty with as little concern of its effect upon his individual preferment as any man I ever knew. His opinions were well and concisely written.
Justice BIRD always avoided the limelight. During the five campaigns in which he sought political office, he never made a political speech. I doubt if during the seventeen and one-half years he was a member of this Court, he ever attended a meeting of the Bar or a Bar dinner. He may have been misunderstood from this. At heart he was a most companionable man, and all of us well remember the last year he served as Chief Justice, how considerate he was to his associates while filling that difficult and at times exacting position.
His sudden death was a shock to all of us. We have missed his presence around the consultation table and on the Bench. He has passed on, but he left us, and his family, and the State a rich heritage in the work he laid down when he fell upon that sleep which men call death.
Chief Justice NORTH:
Resolutions incident to the death of Justice RICHARD C. FLANNIGAN will now be presented.
The following resolutions by the Bar of the Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit were presented by Hon. J. J. O’HARA:
In the death of the Hon. RICHARD C. FLANNIGAN, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, the Bar of Dickinson County is called upon to mourn the death of one of its most distinguished members.
RICHARD C. FLANNIGAN was born in the Village of Ontonagon, on the 15th day of December, 1857. His parents were of pioneer stock, his father being Capt. James Flannigan, who was a native of County Waterford, in Ireland, and who immigrated to the United States during the early forties. In common with the youths of his time, RICHARD FLANNIGAN endured the hardships common to the early settlers of the Lake Superior region, and as a result of this, early educational opportunities were meagre in the extreme, and consisted solely of a few years’ attendance in a log schoolhouse at Ontonagon, and a few months in a ward school at Marquette.
With the industrial depression that set in during the late sixties, the FLANNIGAN family left the County of Ontonagon and removed to Marquette, where, at the age of 11 years, RICHARD went to work as a clerk for the M. H. C. Railway Company. Later he obtained employment on the docks, and, when these were closed during the winter months, he attended a Marquette school. This program he pursued for some three years, when he was tendered the position of agent at Humboldt, at the magnificent salary of $20 per month. At the same time he was also offered an opportunity to work in a law office in Marquette, and having in mind that he desired to prepare himself for the Bar, he readily accepted this latter offer, and for a period of some three years he was employed in the office of Parkes & Heydon, at that time the leading firm of lawyers in Marquette.
Subsequently he attended the University of Michigan for a period of one year, being a member of the law class of 1878. His funds giving out, he was compelled to leave the University at the end of the college year. Upon his return to Marquette, he later applied for admission to the Bar, and was successful, in passing his examination, and in 1881 he was admitted to the Bar of Marquette County. Subsequently, the University of Michigan, in recognition of his sterling qualities and legal ability, granted him his diploma, and in its official records listed him as a graduate of the law class of 1878.
Just a short time prior to 1881, there began the development of the Menominee iron range, and, with the opening of the new towns in the district, RICHARD C. FLANNIGAN selected Norway as offering the most valuable opportunities, and in that year he left Marquette to take up his residence at Norway, which residence he maintained, with the exception of three months on the Bench of the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, until the time of his death, on February 17, 1928.
In 1885, RICHARD C. FLANNIGAN was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Menominee County, of which Norway was then a part, an office he held for a period of two terms. During this period he had begun to build up an important and consequently lucrative law practice, and his reputation as a trial lawyer was one that was by no means confined to the district in which he practiced.
In 1889, he was instrumental in having the present city of Norway incorporated, and in recognition and appreciation of his efforts in this matter, he was unanimously elected as its first mayor. In the meantime the rise in his chosen profession had been rapid. His knowledge of the law and his keen insight of men and things were soon recognized, and his practice rapidly extended throughout the Upper Peninsula, and as a result of this, he early represented most of the important corporations in the vicinity.
In 1890, he was appointed Michigan attorney of the C. & N. W. Railway Company, and, in addition, he represented the United States Steel Corporation, and other large mining interests, all of which business he retained until 1909, when the then Governor WARNER appointed him Judge of the Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit. This appointment was made after he had received the unanimous indorsement of all the political parties in the district.
During Judge FLANNIGAN’S tenure of the office of Circuit Judge, many cases of importance were tried before him, the most important being the historic case of Theodore Roosevelt v. George A. Newett, of Ishpeming, Michigan. This litigation grew out of a libelous article that appeared in Mr. Newett’s newspaper, and was tried at Marquette in 1913. Judge FLANNIGAN’S handling of the case won the admiration of the late ex-president, who took the occasion, upon its culmination, to thank him for his eminent fairness and the dignified manner in which he had conducted the case.
Justice FLANNIGAN was married at Marquette, Michigan, in 1884, to Annie Burley, and as a result of this marriage there was born one son, Clement R. Flannigan, who now resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
On September 29, 1927, in recognition of his outstanding qualities as a man and a jurist, Governor FRED M. GREEN appointed Judge FLANNIGAN to the Supreme Bench of the State of Michigan, where he gave every evidence of maintaining that high standard of legal learning that has been so prominently characteristic of his Upper Michigan predecessors to that high office, and although the Fates saw fit to strike him down within a few weeks after his appointment as a member of the Supreme Court, nevertheless they were kind enough to permit him to have assigned to him a number of cases in which his opinions were unanimously concurred in by all the other members of the Court, and which permitted him to worthily contribute to the organic law of the State of Michigan.
In his earlier career Judge FLANNIGAN was a staunch Democrat, but he failed to go with his party during the free silver era of the nineties, and from the year 1896 and up to the time of his death he was a staunch Republican.
Justice FLANNIGAN was a firm believer in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and in recognition of his rectitude of conduct and the honors which had come to the church because of his membership therein, Pope Pius conferred upon him the Papal Order of the Knights of Saint Gregory just a few days prior to his death.
The entire career of RICHARD C. FLANNIGAN, as a man, as an attorney, and as a jurist, was evidenced by his absolute fairness toward his fellow man, his fellow lawyer, and the members of the Bar over which he so long, honorably, and ably presided.
Resolved, that in the death of RICHARD C. FLANNIGAN, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, that the Bar and people at large, particularly the County of Dickinson, have suffered a great loss; that he was one whose wise counsel will be missed by the many with whom he came in contact, and as an inspiring example he will long remain an object of emulation by the youth of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Resolved, further, that these proceedings, and the foregoing resolution, be presented to the Circuit Court of the County of Dickinson, at the April, 1928, term thereof, with the request that they may be entered at large upon the records of the Court.
Resolved, further, that the Clerk of the Court be and he is hereby authorized and directed to forthwith send a copy of the same to the family of the deceased, at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
J. C. KNIGHT,
CHAS. D. SYMONDS,
Mr. MYRON J. SHERWOOD spoke as follows:
If it Please the Court:
Judge BELL of the Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit was chosen and was expected to make these remarks, but a session of court in Delta County prevents it. It is with grave misgivings I come to the discharge of a service which would otherwise have been so eloquently done.
When a great man dies, the living seek, and ought to seek, to perpetuate his memory. For him monuments are builded, statues erected, and his works and life are recorded in the permanent pages of history. This is not done to render his sleep more peaceful or profound, but rather to inspire the living to nobler .and better lives. No honor that we render, no eulogy that may be spoken, can reach that realm to which the spirit of the dead has gone, but the living may be taught, and the ambition of those who are to follow may be stirred by a study of the life of a truly great man.
The great rock-ribbed Northland of Michigan to-day comes with uncovered head to consecrate this portrait of one of her sons whom she “wisely nursed for fame.” He, I believe, is the first one born amid the snow and ice, the rocks and rivers, the iron and copper, and deep forests of the Upper Peninsula, to be called to that high place—a member of the Supreme Court of this State. And it is with no feeling of apology that the great part of Michigan, which this man so loved, asks that his portrait be placed alongside of those other great men of Michigan—COOLEY and CAMPBELL and CHRISTIANCY and STONE and all that numerous galaxy of men who have adorned this great tribunal and brought honor and glory to this Court and this State.
I expected to briefly sketch the life of Justice FLANNIGAN, but that has been so thoroughly covered by the resolutions of the Dickinson County Bar Association that I pass it.
Justice FLANNIGAN, I believe, entered upon the duties of this Bench on the 4th of October, 1927, but soon after his arrival in Lansing he became ill and was forced to enter a hospital in Chicago for treatment. After spending several weeks there, disregarding medical advice, he resumed his duties on this Bench, and during that period wrote a number of opinions which reflect his great legal ability. Early in January he was again forced to and did return to Mercy Hospital at Chicago. His condition at the time was serious, and almost immediately thereafter was pronounced critical. His rather frail physique was unable to longer withstand the strain, and on the 17th of February, 1928, in the seventy-first year of his life, he entered into rest. Thus came to a close the career of this man, distinguished as a citizen, a lawyer, and a Judge. Impressive services were held at St. Mary’s Church in the City of Norway, with High Mass celebrated by Rt. Rev. Joseph Pinten, Bishop of Grand Rapids. His interment at the beautiful family mausoleum, at Marquette, occurred later on the same day.
Physically, Justice FLANNIGAN was tall and slender, and in appearance austere, but appearance never so belied itself. Mentally, he was unusually keen and alert. He was a hard worker, an untiring student. He possessed a peculiarly judicial temperament. He was straightforward in all things, blunt of speech, outspoken alike in praise or in criticism. As a Judge, his sole aim was to bring about justice, and he was relentless in brushing aside whatever stood in its way. He was intensely human, but so kind of heart that many shafts of ridicule which came from him were softened by a kindly smile which robbed them of their sting.
I could say much of his ability as a trial lawyer, of his ability as a trial judge, but it is as a man, rather than as a lawyer or judge, I would prefer to speak of him.
It may be true that he had his equals as a citizen, lawyer, judge, or friend, but in all these characters combined he had no superior. The environment of his youth and of his entire life had its influence on his character. That, coupled with his inner nature, produced a real man, a manly man, full of red blood and teeming with sympathy for all mankind, helpful to the weak, and charitable to the erring and needy. No call for aid, whether deserving or not, ever found him unresponsive. No friend ever asked his help and was denied. Rather, no friend ever had to ask for help. It came unasked. No needy one ever left his door empty handed. He had a never failing sense of humor, and was altogether intensely human. That he erred may be accepted. No one so human could but err. As a friend he had no measuring line excepting his ability. As a citizen he knew no other rule of guidance than the law, the Constitution, and the best interests of the people. He never forgot that he was once a tyro at the law, and no young lawyer ever failed to get, unasked, sound, sage advice and help when he needed it.
We, of the Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit, will long retain in memory the picture of his aspect on the Bench, with his head tipped back against the swivel chair, his eyes to the ceiling or casting an occasional glance at witness or jury or counsel, while the fingers of his right hand toyed with the black string tie which he invariably wore. We shall also long remember “the informal court” he held at chambers during recess or before or after sessions of the court, when, puffing at his pipe, and surrounded by a group of friendly lawyers, he would spin yarns of the old days or comment on the questions of the day.
No one will long remember or care much what is here said, but the poor and the rich, the weak and the strong of the Upper Peninsula will long remember and will ever cherish what this man did during his long and helpful life.
Chief Justice NORTH:
Mr. Justice WIEST has been asked to respond for the Court.
The judgment seat of this Court has been graced, and the membership thereof honored by eminent jurists called from the Bench of a great northern circuit.
The life of RICHARD O. FLANNIGAN is blended with the legal history of this State; it appears at the Bar, in the Constitutional Convention, and upon the Bench. His splendid service upon the Circuit Bench was appreciated by the Bar, and received universal commendation. When he came to this Court, in the fall of 1927, he was physically weary from long and arduous circuit work and travel, and he was ill, but, with mentality unimpaired and an unconquerable spirit of service, he assumed and performed the duties of a Justice until will power could no longer stay the summons to rest.
He possessed a strong individuality, coupled with an analytical mind; both of advantage in judicial service. He was a sterling citizen, an able lawyer, a learned judge, a helpful associate, and a good companion. His somewhat stern exterior concealed a gentle heart.
Upon circuit he enjoyed the social hour, when, with Judge’s gown aside, he let the gracious man preside. Justices of this Court are human, and there exists, as there should, a kindly fellowship. In this Justice FLANNIGAN measured well. He was an appreciated associate, having a workable personality, mental alertness, profound knowledge of the law, and humanitarian instincts. His service upon this Bench was short, but long enough to disclose, in opinions, his aptitude and attainments.
His early life appeared circumscribed, but spurred by will, animated by fixed purpose and by untiring efforts, he wrested opportunity from untoward circumstances, and created the eminent jurist. He built as he planned; his dream came true, and his purpose was fulfilled.
His life is now in the treasured traditions of a great profession and in the keeping of remembrancers.
In re PRESENTATION OF PORTRAITS OF JUSTICES SNOW, BIRD, FLANNIGAN, CARPENTER, AND STEERE.
Mr. BURRITT HAMILTON addressed the Court as follows:
May it Please the Court:
In behalf of the donors, I have the honor to present to the Supreme Court of Michigan the portrait of Mr. Justice BIRD, the portrait of Mr. Justice SNOW, and the portrait of Mr. Justice FLANNIGAN.
Eulogy has run—bu has not overrun—its scintillating course in memory of these men whose lives were sacrificial, not artificial. Could they speak, no doubt they would modestly disclaim all title to our praise. Perhaps they might say: “If we served diligently, it was because we honored steadfastly the subject and the object of our toil.”
Individuals pass, but the Court persists: not eight Justices only, but eight Justices, unsurpassed traditions, and the undisappointed confidence of a justice-loving Commonwealth.
These portraits are more than the artist’s vision, more than lights and shadows reviving sacred memories; they are a reminder that men may so serve that their influence will pulsate forever in the unfaltering heart of the ages.
Hon. MERLIN WILEY, former Attorney General of the State of Michigan, addressed the Court as follows:
May it Please the Court:
I am sure I reflect the sentiments of the Michigan Bar when I say that it is a signal honor to have present this afternoon all of the former members of this Court now.