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 Edwin Adolphys Burlingame

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Edwin Adolphys Burlingame

Birth
Sterling, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
Death
12 Feb 1909 (aged 76)
Ishpeming, Marquette County, Michigan, USA
Burial
Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, USA
Plot
OAKHILL--H-18-01
Memorial ID
37241250 View Source

Judge Edwin A. Burlingame as he is now universally known in Grand Rapids, and throughout Michigan, was born in Sterling township, Windham county, Conn., in the year 1832. The farm on which the future judge did the ordinary work of a farmer's boy until reaching the age of fourteen is located near the Rhode Island border, and Providence, R. I., was the first large city visited by young Burlingame. His education during this period was obtained from traditional "little red school house" of New England, in the intervals of farm work. The next four years of his life were spent in the cotton mills of his native town, where he proved himself so efficient as operator that he rose to the position of foreman. Seeking a wider field, he completed a course of studies in the New York Central college. Until 1855 he taught schools in central New York, removing in that year to Madison, Wis., as the representative of an eastern publishing house, afterwards representing the same firm at Ann Arbor, Mich., and Jamesville, Wis. It was in the latter city that he became associated with the law firm of Bennett, Cassody & Gibbs, and it was on the recommendation and solicitation of Mr. Cassody, subsequently chief justice of the supreme court of Wisconsin, that the young man began his legal studies with that firm. He did not complete his legal course at once, however, being engaged in newspaper work for some years, first with the Ohio State Journal, afterwards with the News and Advertiser of Ann Arbor, and several other papers. On the 22nd of April, 1857, he married Sarah A. Snell, a daughter of Anson Snell, a prominent farmer at Plymouth, Mich. They have two daughters living, who are married and now reside near the home of their parents at Grand Rapids. In 1863, he located in Kent county, purchasing the farm just south of the city which he still owns, and, again turning his attention to legal studies, entered the law department of the university of Michigan, and, having graduated with the class of 1869, commenced the practice of law in Grand Rapids, Mich. Before his election to the bench of the superior court in 1887, he was twice elected prosecuting attorney of Kent county. He made an enviable record as prosecutor, but it is his record during two terms, or twelve years, as judge of the superior court, of which all good citizens of Grand Rapids are more justly proud. The business of the superior court is largely criminal, and the name of Judge Burlingame, during his incumbency of the office, became truly " a terror to evil doers." It has been reliably estimated that the state's prison sentences imposed upon criminals by Judge Burlingame amount to more than 1,200 years; and the amounts of fines collected from evil doers, as a matter of record, amounted to the sum of $20,000. With all his firmness and decisiveness in dealing with hardened criminals, many a young man has traced his reformation to the wisdom and good counsel given him by the judge and the leniency accorded his first error. A democrat and greenbacker since the early greenback days, he has never been guided by political sentiments in his official or private life, and many of his warmest personal friends have been of an opposite political faith. It is these qualities, with his cool, unimpassioned judgment, which have made the judge's career as an attorney even more successful than upon the bench. Upon retiring from the bench in May, 1899, Judge Burlingame formed a law partnership with William P. Belden, his son-in-law, with whom he has since been associated.

Judge Edwin A. Burlingame as he is now universally known in Grand Rapids, and throughout Michigan, was born in Sterling township, Windham county, Conn., in the year 1832. The farm on which the future judge did the ordinary work of a farmer's boy until reaching the age of fourteen is located near the Rhode Island border, and Providence, R. I., was the first large city visited by young Burlingame. His education during this period was obtained from traditional "little red school house" of New England, in the intervals of farm work. The next four years of his life were spent in the cotton mills of his native town, where he proved himself so efficient as operator that he rose to the position of foreman. Seeking a wider field, he completed a course of studies in the New York Central college. Until 1855 he taught schools in central New York, removing in that year to Madison, Wis., as the representative of an eastern publishing house, afterwards representing the same firm at Ann Arbor, Mich., and Jamesville, Wis. It was in the latter city that he became associated with the law firm of Bennett, Cassody & Gibbs, and it was on the recommendation and solicitation of Mr. Cassody, subsequently chief justice of the supreme court of Wisconsin, that the young man began his legal studies with that firm. He did not complete his legal course at once, however, being engaged in newspaper work for some years, first with the Ohio State Journal, afterwards with the News and Advertiser of Ann Arbor, and several other papers. On the 22nd of April, 1857, he married Sarah A. Snell, a daughter of Anson Snell, a prominent farmer at Plymouth, Mich. They have two daughters living, who are married and now reside near the home of their parents at Grand Rapids. In 1863, he located in Kent county, purchasing the farm just south of the city which he still owns, and, again turning his attention to legal studies, entered the law department of the university of Michigan, and, having graduated with the class of 1869, commenced the practice of law in Grand Rapids, Mich. Before his election to the bench of the superior court in 1887, he was twice elected prosecuting attorney of Kent county. He made an enviable record as prosecutor, but it is his record during two terms, or twelve years, as judge of the superior court, of which all good citizens of Grand Rapids are more justly proud. The business of the superior court is largely criminal, and the name of Judge Burlingame, during his incumbency of the office, became truly " a terror to evil doers." It has been reliably estimated that the state's prison sentences imposed upon criminals by Judge Burlingame amount to more than 1,200 years; and the amounts of fines collected from evil doers, as a matter of record, amounted to the sum of $20,000. With all his firmness and decisiveness in dealing with hardened criminals, many a young man has traced his reformation to the wisdom and good counsel given him by the judge and the leniency accorded his first error. A democrat and greenbacker since the early greenback days, he has never been guided by political sentiments in his official or private life, and many of his warmest personal friends have been of an opposite political faith. It is these qualities, with his cool, unimpassioned judgment, which have made the judge's career as an attorney even more successful than upon the bench. Upon retiring from the bench in May, 1899, Judge Burlingame formed a law partnership with William P. Belden, his son-in-law, with whom he has since been associated.


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