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The Country's Loss

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Ann Arbor has lost its greatest citizen. Judge Thomas M. Cooley who for years was recognized as America's greatest living jurist and who left a lasting impress upon the laws of his country passed quietly away at his home on State st. at 2 o'clock Monday ruorning. His death was not unexpected as he had a stroke of paralysis a few wee'is ago after an' illness of several years consequent npon nervoos prostration from overwork. Death catee to him as a release. His was a genius for work and he literally worked himself out, but he left an imperishable name and an honorable record. Judge Cooley was born in Attica, N. Y., Jan. 6, 1824. He sprang from sturdy Yankee stock, his flrst ArnericaD ancestor settling in Massachusetts in 1630. His father was a farmer who removed from Massachusetts to New York in 1804. Although possessing but moderate means and a large fatuily he was able to give bis children a fair academic education which in Judge Cooley's case was supplemented by three yeai's' teaching. Judge Gooley worked on the farm and at the blacksmith forge until at the age of 19 he entered the law office of Judge Theron R. Strong, at Palmyra, N. Y. The following year he started west intending to lócate in Chicago, but his funds giving out, he stopped at Adrián, Mich., where he entered the law office of Tiffany & Beaman and while a law student held the office of deputy county clerk. In Jan. 1846, at the age of 22 years. he was admitted to the practice of la%v' and the December following he was married to Miss Mary E. Horton, who died about seven years ago. Theirs was a trae love match and their married life was in every way a happy one. She was a woman of fine character and was of great assistance to Judge Cooley in his work and her death was a great blow to him from which he never recovered. He began his law practice at Tecumseh in Jan. 1846, with Consider S. Staoy as a partner. Two years later he removed to Adrián forming a partnership jvith F. C. Beaman and R. R. Beecher. This continued until 1852, when he removed to Toledo. He returned to Adrián iu 1854 and formed a partnership with Charles M. Croswell, which continued until 1859, whiin Mr. Cooley removed to Ann Arbor, which place has since been his home. His law business was always a profitable one. Hardly a case of any importance was tried in tbis county for years, in which Mr. Cooley did not appear on one side or the other. In 1857 he was chusen by the legislature to compile the general, statutes of the state, and sonie idea of the man's great energy may be known froru the fact that within a year he had completed the conipilation which bears his name, which was his first important contribution to the legal literatrrre of Michigan, and so well was the work done tbat it is still a guiding star to the legal profession, subsequent compilers baviffg seen no cause to depart mateiially from the liues he laid down. In the year 1858, the supreme court, as now constituted, was orgunized, and Mr. Cooley was made reporter. Here again he sat a standard difficult to attain. The eight volumes of reports that bear his name are equal to any lika produetions ever published, and have won him wide recognition in other states. In 1859 when the University of Michigan started a law department, Mr. Cooley was made one of the first professors and his name has appeared in the list of the faculty ever since. Por 25 years he lectured on legal and oonstitutional subjects, but when Prof. C. K. Adams was made president of Cornell he took Adams' place as professor of history. Of late years his lectures have been only oocasional. As a teaoher be was loved, honored and respeoted. His metbod was thoroughness itself. No problem so perplexing but he could make it clear. He sized up his students accurately, and his treatment of them was ever kiudly aud patiently. In 1864, after six years of work as supreme court reporter, he was nominated for supreme judge by tbe republicans and was elected over the late exGov. Alpheus Felch. He remained on the bench till 1885. During tbe period of his justiceship, in conjnnction with colieagues of unusnal judioial ability, he did mnoh to give tbe court an ble repntation thronghout the United States for the souudness and clearness of its decisions. He wrote the opinions in many of the more important cases, and these opinions, logioal and splendidly expressed, stand as valuable precedents for furture decisions in this as well as iu other etates. In faot no state haa ever had as able a bench as Michigan had when Cooley, Campbell, Graves and Christiancy were on the bencb. Througbont his long service on the bench, Jndge Cooley spared himself in nothing. The dnties of the high position he held are in themselves sufficiently ardnous, when siripped of every labor which the judge raay properly delégate to otbers, bnt to these essential duties Judga Cooley volnntarily added the drudgery of offloe. He was always hisjown amanuensis, writing his opinions with his own hand, and often giving the court reporter the syllabus which should precede his opinions as ofBcially pnblished. Even when oopies of his decisions or opinions were requested, they came from his peu, and every reasonable demand for an address before any public society, or npon any occasion of public observance, was met with cordial acquiescenoe and a prompt fnlfillment of his promises. His usual onstom was to sit at his office desk writing steadily from 8 a. m. to 6 p. ra. with a 20 minutes' intermission to look over bis mail and an honr for dinner, and when he appeared at his office again the next morning he would bring a great roll of oopy which be had written duriug the evening. Three years before he retired from the benoh he was asked by the presidents of the Baltimore & Ohio, the Pennsylvania, Erie and New York Central railways to serve on a board of arbitration whioh was to settle the question of the difference of rates. His colleagnes were Senator Thurmau and ex-Minister Washburne. The board did much to stop ruinous rate wars and discrimination against various cities. In 1886 Jndge Cooley was appointed by Jodge Walter Q. Gresham reoeiver of the Wabash railway. It was a trying position, involving the operation of a long and complicated systeiu, both ends of whioh were under hostile management. In three montbs be had the toad on a paying basis. When the interstate commerce commission was organized Judge Cooley was made its first chairman. He was, in fact, the life of the commission, and many of tbe decisions made in the early months of its existence bear the impress of his masterly mind. In 1891 he was obliged by ill-health to resign. Sino9 tbat time he hae led a quiet, retired life, oecasionally delivering a lecture in the tiniverBitv. Judge Cooley was twics rnentioned for the supreme oourt of the United States, first when Stanley Mathevvs, of Ohiü, was appointed, and again when Melville W. Fuller was selecied for Chief Justice Waite's seat. Inasmuch as Judge Cooley's political views were in almost complete accord with those of President Cleveland, there are those who believe he would have been appointed had he alllowed his friends to make the neoessary effort. Great as were his contributions on the bench and on the lecture platform, it is thiough his books that Judge Cooley will be btst remembered. The most famous af these is his "Constitutional Lirnitations, " wbich appeared in 1868 and passed through six editions. Two years lattar oarne his edition of Blaokstone, in 1874 his edition of "Story's Commentaries," in 1876 his book on Taxationin 1879 his work on Torts, in 1880 bis manual of oonstitutional law, and in 1885 his history of Miohigan, pnblished in the Ameroan Cominonwealth series. He was also a volurninous oontributor to magazines and reviews, such as the Century, North American Review and Forum He wrote the law artioles for the last edition of Appleton's Encyclopedia. James Bryce the famoas Englishman who wrote the "Amerioan Cominonwealth," was in almost constant oommunicatioQ with Judge Cooley, and in his book acknowledges the valuable aid which Judge Caoley gave him. President Angell in speaking of Judge Cooley three years ago aptly said : "Great as Judge Cooley has been in his intellectual gifts, he has been quite as great by the force of his character. The simplicity, purity and weight of his character have exerted an influence quite as marked and lasting as the strength of his mind. No one could come near him and not be the better for it. His imdesty was a rebuke to oonoeit, his simplicity to pretentiousness, his purity to vice. The keen glance of his honest eye scorched and withered uieanness." Gov. Pingree issued a proclamation closing the capitol building on the day of the funeral, and Mayor Hiscock issued a prolamation placing the flags in the city at half mast and asking for the closing of business houses in the city during the funeral services. Judge Cooley's surviving chilren are: Eugene, of the Lansing Wagon Works, Lansing; Edgar, of the law firm of Hatch & Cooley, Bay City; Charles, assistant professor in the university ; Thomas, jr., physician, of Ann Arbor; Fannie, wife of Alexis Angell, of Detroit, at present in Europe, and Miss May Cooley, a student in the university. The funeral exercises were held at 3 o'olock Wednesday, Eev. J. W. Brad(Coutinued on Eighth Page.) THE COUNTRY'S LOSS (Oontinued from First Page.) haw, of tbe Congregational cbnrob, officiating. The following were the pallbearers: Active - Prof. Henry Adams, Prof. M. L. D'Ooge, Prof. Floyd R. Mechem, Prof. Richard Hudson, Prof. Andrew, McLaughlin and Judge E. D Kinne, all of Adii Arbor. Honorary - Otto Kirchner, O. A. Kent, 8. M. Cutcheon, F. H. Caufield, L. L. 3arbonr, H. M. OampDell, John O. Donnelly aod Wm. H. Wells, all of De;roit. The remains were interred in Forest Hill cemetery, beside those of Mis. Cooley. The casket which contained all that was mortal of the noted jurist was very plain. Upon the lid was an oxydized silver plate, upon which the simple same, "Thomas McIntyre Cooley," was engraved. lt is probable that memorial exercises will be held in University hall soon after the opening of the college, that Deing the oastom of the inetitntion when any of its former distinguished professors have passed away. Among those who attended the funeral from Detroit were : Judge B. F. Graves, Judge A. J. Howell, Judge J. W. McGrath, Judges George S. Hosmer and W. M. Lillibridge, of the Wayne circuit court; Judge H. H. Swan, of the Uoited States district court; Otto Kirchner, Prof. C. A. Kent, John H. Bissell, Henry M. Campbell, Adolph Sloman, S. M. CutoheoD, F. H. Canfield, W. A. Moore, Herbert Boweun Henry B. Graves, Levi L. Barbour, William H. Wells, John C. Donnelly. George Reraiok and Marcus Pollasky, besides othei members of the Deti-oit bar, ex-Senator T. W. Palmer and Regent Herman Kiefer.