The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 1

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

Col. Joseph Augustus Blake, B.A., Ph.B., M.A., F.A.C.SS

The greatest medical center in the world is nearing completion in New York City. It occupies a twenty-acre plot on Washington Heights, having Broadway as its eastern boundary, and extending west to the Hudson River. The north and south boundaries are, respectively, numbers One Hundred and Sixty-eighth and One Hundred and Sixty-fifth Streets. Part of the institution will be in operation before this article appears in print. Here will be carried on every phase of medical study, research and service, some details of which will be mentioned in another part of this article.

This medical center was conceived in the mind of Dr. Joseph A. Blake, and is a monument to his breadth of vision and constructive imagination, coupled with that forcefulness and determination that transmute dreams into reality, regardless of obstacles and social inertia, if not outright opposition. But long before Dr. Blake broached his idea of a medical center, he had won such prominence in his profession that no history of medicine in this State would be complete without an adequate record of his career and achievements. Always and by nature a student, every case that has come to him has been viewed as unique--as a fresh problem not just like any previous one--calling for special study and consideration. This attitude of mind and the intensive procedure that grew out of it brought a measure of success and recognition that will never be appropriately described during the lifetime of the man concerning whom this is written.

Fortunately, Dr. Blake also possesses the gift of teaching; and for many hears a portion of his time was given to imparting the results of his research and experiments to the rising generation of physicians and surgeons. He originated many surgical instruments and operations, particularly for treating fracture of the patella and umbilical hernia, and contributed many improvement to establishing surgical techniques. Naturally, he was beset with requests for written articles, and from time to time he has contributed to the columns of professional publications. Among the most noteworthy titles may be mentioned "Anatomy and Development of the Hind Brain," and many monographs on surgery of the stomach, intestines, biliary apparatus, and hernia.

The Blake family, to whose escutcheon Dr. Blake has added fresh luster, was established in American by William Blake, of Pitsminster, Somerset, England. In 1635, he came to Dorchester, Massachusetts, with his wife, Agnes Band, and their children. He soon became one of the leading citizens of the town. From him the line of descent to Dr. Blake is traced through the immigrant's son, Edward, who married Patience Pope; son Jonathan and his wife, Elizabeth Candage; this son Ebenezer and his wife, Tamar Thompson; their son Elihu and his wife, Elizabeth Whitney; and their son Elihu and his wife, Adeline Nancy Mix, who were Dr. Blake's grandparents. The wife of the first Elihu Blake, Elizabeth Whitney, was a sister of the famed inventor of the cotton-gin. The doctor's grandfather was a New York City dentist, famous in his day as the originator of important improvement in dental hygiene and prosthesis. The latter's brother, Eli Whitney Blake, invented the Blake stonecrusher, and William Phipps Blake, the doctor's father, was a celebrated geologist and mining engineer.

Joseph Augustus Blake was born in San Francisco. His formal education was begun in the famous old Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Connecticut. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Yale college in 1885, and the following year, Sheffield Scientific School conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. In 1909 his alma mater gave him the honorary degree of Master of Arts. But, previously, he had matriculated in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, from which he was graduated with his medical degree in 1889. He immediately entered St. Like's Hospital (New York City)( as a surgical intern). In 1891 he was appointed assistant surgeon at the Vanderbilt clinic and also assistant demonstrator of anatomy, in the college of Physicians and surgeons. He continued in the latter relation until 1900, when he was made instructor in surgery. Three years later he was promoted to the professorship o surgery, in charge of the department and held that chair for ten years. He was appointed visiting surgeon to the Harlem Hospital in 1894 and the following year became visiting surgeon also to St. Luke's Hospital. In 1900 he became junior surgeon to the Roosevelt Hospital. About the time Dr. Blake became professor of surgery in the college of Physicians and Surgeons he also became senior surgeon to the Roosevelt Hospital and resigned the position of visiting surgeon to St. Luke's Hospital, becoming at that time a member of its consulting staff.

As the years went by while he was dividing his time between teaching and practical hospital work, the conviction grew stronger and stronger in the mind of Dr. Blake that the medical school was in dire need of a close and vital affiliation with a hospital, so that students, while still pursuing their studies, might take an opportunity to observe practical work in hospital wards. The hospital would also reap benefit from the arrangement when the time came for the students as graduates to enter the hospital service as interns. Also, both the hospital and college would benefit by the closer relation that would be brought about by the appointment of the officers of the department of surgery upon the staff of the hospital. When he was surgeon to the Roosevelt Hospital, Dr. Blake made suggestions embodying the foregoing ideas; but they were not adopted. After the death of Dr. Andrew McCosh, the management of the Presbyterian Hospital offered Dr. Blake the position of visiting surgeon. That was in 1909, and the offer was accepted, subject to the condition that the recommendations made to and declined by the Roosevelt Hospital be put into effect between the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Blake's terms were accepted, and the Presbyterian Hospital dates from that time, and out of it grew the great medical center already alluded to.

Another writer has said: "The medical center dominates the landscape like a Mount Shasta. Ride or walk for miles in the upper city streets and avenues, then look up again and e it is, still looming on the horizon. It is visible for miles up and down both the New Jersey and New York shores of the Hudson. It is a towering landmark from the Bronx and Westchester. Long Islane and Connecticut are within the range of vision from the plateau-like roofs of its various levels by which the entire mass gradually approaches its highest altitude of twenty-two floors." But more size is not, of course, in itself any merit; it is the marvelous coordination and cooperation of all he units engaged in the teaching and practice of medicine in all its branches, the broad and varied research related thereto and its wonderful contribution to the alleviation of human suffering, mental as well as physical, that makes this awe-inspiring achievement command admiring almost reverential attention.

It is given to few men to dream such dreams, and fewer still of such dreams ever come true, while more rarely yet does man live to see his vision crystallized into concrete form.

On account of ill health, Dr. Blake resigned his professorship in the College of Physicians and Surgeons and as visiting surgeon to the Presbyterian Hospital on 1913. But the following summer the great World War broke out in Europe. Dr. Blake was in France at the time and, utterly regardless of personal consideration, plunged at once into the organization of the Ambulance of the American Hospital in Paris. He became president of the medical board and surgeon to the ambulance and continued in these relations until September, 1915. During that period he was also director of Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney's Hospital in Juilly, Marne. In September, 1915, he became medicine chief of Hospital No. 76, Versailles Regions, at Ris-Orangis, which operated as a surgical center in the Service de Santa of the French Army. He served there until march, 1917, when he organized the American Red Cross Hospital of Paris, at the Rue Piccini, which later became American Red Cross Military Hospital, No. 2, and he served as commanding officer of that hospital until November, 1918. At that time he was appointed consultant in surgery for the region of Paris. He was commissioned major in the Medical Corps of the United States Army in July, 1917; lieutenant-colonel in June, 1918, and colonel in November of the same year. Dr. Blake now holds the rank in the Medical Officers' Reserve Corps. He was appointed on the special medical board of standardizing the splints and appliances used by the medical department of the American Expeditionary Forces, which prepared a "Manual of Splints and Appliances" for the use of the army.

While in the ambulance service of the American Hospital in France, Dr. Blake invited the medical schools of the United States to send over tams of surgeons to take charge, in turn, of the service of the American Ambulance. The Lakeside Medical School, Harvard Medical School and University of Pennsylvania send teams which served three months each under their professors of surgery.

An important work done by Dr. Blake and his associate, Dr. Taylor, who followed him as commanding officer of the American Red Cross Military Hospital, No. 2, was the organization under the auspices of the American Red Cross under the Medical Research Committee, which was composed of officers assigned b y the British, French and American armies. This committee discussed the problems concerning care of the wounded and sick and also research problems regarding the causes of certain diseases, notably trench fever, the nature of which was determined through these efforts.

Dr. Blake received la Medaille d'Honneur from the Service de Santa Francaise, April 10, 1919; and in 1923, the Medaille d'Or Reconnaissance Francaise from the French government. He was decorated by President Poincare, personally with the Cross of the Legion d'Honneur, with the rank of chevalier, in March 1917, and was promoted to officer in October, 1922. In 1919, he was awarded the American Distinguished Service Medal, and the Gold Medal, National Institute of Social Sciences.

Besides his connections with hospitals already mentioned, Dr. Blake is consulting surgeon to the Lincoln Hospital, the new orthopedic Hospital, the Beekman Street Hospital, the Tarrytown Hospital, St. John's Riverside Hospital and the Dobbs Ferry Hospital. For a number of years he was consulting surgeon to the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital. For a period he served as a member of the scientific council of the Department of Public Charities of New York City and was chairman of the Sub-committee on hospital administration.

Dr. Blake is a member of many professional organizations. He is an ex-president of the New York Surgical Society; Fellow and vice-president of the New York Academy of Medicine; Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and also of the American College of Surgeons. He is also a member of the Association of American Anatomists, American Surgical Association, American Society of Clinical Surgeons, New York Surgical Society, New York County Medical Society, New York State Medical Society, American Medical Association, New York Medical and Surgical Society, Practitioners' Society, Therapeutic Club, St. Luke's Alumni Association, International Urological Association; corresponding member of the Societe de Chirurgie and a member also of the University, Century and Yale clubs of New York. He is a life-member of the New York Biographical and Genealogical Society. His chief recreations have always been found in outdoor sports.

On December 27, 1890, Dr. Joseph A. Blake married Catherine Ketchum, daughter of Landon Ketchum of Saugatuck, Connecticut. They were divorced in 1914. Two children were born to this union: Joseph A. Jr., and Francis Hayes (2). Dr. Blake married for his second wife, in October, 1914, Katherine Alexander (Duer) Mackay, daughter of William Alexander Duer of New York City and Ellin North Moale of Travers. They have four children: Katherine, Joan, William Alexander Duer, and Mary.

SENATOR WILLIAM T. BYRNE

Among the leading attorneys of the Capitol district and prominent in political circles throughout the State, is William T. Byrne, State Senator of New York. In spite of the large clientele which rapidly came to him upon his establishment in the legal profession, Senator Byrne began early in his career to take an active part in the affairs of the Democratic party, and today stands in the foremost ranks of that organization.

Richard H. Byrne, father of Senator Byrne, was born in Ireland, August 1, 1839; he died in 1897. He married Margaret Manifold, of Albany, and she is now a resident of Albany.

William T. Byrne was born in Minaville, Montgomery County, New York, March 6, 1876, and received his education in Public School No. 7 of Albany, class of 1892, and the Albany High School, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1896. He then went to work for Quinn & Nolan Brewing company as bookkeeper, and during the seven years he was there he studied law in the evenings. With this preparation, he subsequently entered Albany Law School, finished successfully the prescribed course, in `1904, and was admitted to the bar, June, 1904. He then formed an association with the late Leopold Minkin, who se death occurred October 145, 1925; and upon the latter's demise formed his present association, which is with Frederick T. Jeram and Horace B. Casey. His offices are at No. 100 State Street, Albany, New York, where they specialize in general law. Mr. Byrne is a director of the national Commercial Bank and Trust Company of Albany; a trustee of the Home Savings Bank of Albany, and a director of the Albany Chamber of Commerce.

Always interested in the affairs of the Democratic party, Senator Byrne early became an active factor in the organization, and in consequence of this he was elected to the New York State Senate from the Thirtieth District as Senator in 1922; reelected in 1924, and again in 1926. Senator Byrne is a member of the New York State Bar Association; the American Bar Association; and the Albany County Bar Association. He is also affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, Albany Lodge, No. 49, Benevolent and Protective order of Elks, of which he is ex-chairman of the National Committee on Social and Community Welfare. He also holds membership in the Albany Club and the Schuyler Meadows Club; and his religious affiliation is with St. Pius' Roman Catholic Church.

On November 24, 1908, in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, at Watervliet, New York, William T. Byrne was united in marriage to Josephine L. Diener, daughter of Peter and Margaret (Ahlheim) Diener, Senator and Mrs. Byrne have no children.

Senator Byrne is a great reader, particularly of history and biography, and is a proud possessor of an extensive library. He was selected by Governor Smith to make an address at Gettysburg, September 9, 1925, when the last monument to be erected by New York State was dedicated. Of note also is the fact that the Senator was also chosen to make the memorial address in the State Senate on the late Governor Glynn.

Frank Bixby Gilbert

The office of Deputy commissioner of education and counsel for the University of the State of New York was held for seven years by Frank Bixby Gilbert, of Castleton, who was a widely known member of the New York Bar and a noted writer and editor of law publications. His presence in the State Department of Education embraced a full decade, his service there having been indifferent capacities. Previously he had a wide experience in the revision of the general laws of this State and in assisting members of the Legislature and legislative committees in the preparation of proposed legislation. He was everywhere recognized as a man of unusual attainments, and as a tower of strength in the Department of Education, that administrative section of the State government so vital to the sustained progress of the people. He was esteemed an expert on the law of real property and on the making of statutes, with special reference to the general highway law, the primary election law and the farms and markets law.

Frank Bixby Gilbert was born in Bainbridge, New York, March 10, 1866, and died August 27, 1927, a son of Don A. and Amelia (Bixby) Gilbert. After completing the course in the Bainbridge Union Free School and Academy, he entered Hamilton college, from which he was graduated in the class of 1889 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In 1920 his alma mater conferred upon him a degree if Doctor of Laws. He was admitted to the bar of the State of New York in November, 1891, having studied law with Judge Francis R. Gilbert and Judge Isaac H. Maynard in Stamford, New York. He maintained an office for the practice of law in the city of Albany from 1895 to 1906. In 1892 he entered upon that long period of service to the Commonwealth by which his career was distinguished, when he was appointed law assistant in the Statuotory Revision Committee, which was charged with the revision of the general laws of this State, remaining with that body until the termination of its life in 1901. It was during this particular period of service that he was called upon to assist members of the Legislature and legislative committees in preparing proposed legislation. His work in this respect began in 1893, and constituted a part of the service known as the first official legislative bill-drafting bureau in the Untied States. When the Statutory Revision commission ceased by law to function, in 1901, the Legislative bill Drafting Bureau was established as an independent organization and Mr. Gilbert was appointed one of two attorneys to have charge of the work. His commission there he executed with marked ability, concluding his work in 1905.

In January, 1906, Mr. Gilbert was appointed by commissioner of Education Andrew S. Draper to the position of State law librarian. This marked his entrance into the University of the State of New York, which comes under the jurisdiction of the commissioners of education as president of the university. In October, 1908, Mr. Gilbert was made chief of the law division and counsel to the State Department of Education. His service in this respect reflected honor upon the incumbent and credit upon the department. He continued in those capacities until July, 1919, when he was appointed deputy commissioner of education, counsel to the University of the State of New York and the Department of Education. He was a strong right arm to the commissioner of education, and acted in that capacity with his wonted professional ability, from January to September, 1921, as well as president of the University of the State of New York.

Since 1906, Mr. Gilbert has been a member of the faculty of the Albany Law School, where his lectures on the Law of Real Property and On Statute Making are noted for the result of deep and carefully prosecuted research and clarity of interpretation in delivery. Mr. Gilbert's reputation in the preparation of legislation had preceded him to the extent that he was frequently called upon to do special work along this line, which was one of his fortes. Noteworthy examples are: In 1908, he prepared the General Highway Law; In 1914, he was special counsel to the legislature in the preparation of the Primary Election law, and other general; laws of importance; during the session of the Legislature in 1915 he was executive counsel to Governor Charles S. Whitman; in 1917, he was special counsel to the Wicks Committee, as a result of which there was enacted the Farms and Markets Law.

Mr. Gilbert's writings and editorial work on law subjects served to make him widely known, ever beyond the confines of this State. He was one of the editors of "Annotated Consolidated Laws of the State of New York," of "General Laws of the State of New York," annotated editions and supplements of the same; editor of "Gilbert's Annotated Code of Civil Procedure," with annotations; compiler of "Law and Domestic Relations," "Lien Laws of New York," "Official Court Rules," "Town and County Officers' Manual, New York State," and a writer of articles on special law topics. After his retirement from the position of deputy commissioner in 1926, he was vice-president and managing editor of the law publishing firm of Matthew, Bender & Company, of Albany, until he died.

Mr. Gilbert was a trustee of Hamilton College, from 1923 until the time of his death, and a member of the Chi Psi Fraternity and the University and City Clubs of New York.

Mr. Gilbert married, October 98, 1895, Frances Freiot, of Bainbridge, New York, Their home was at Castleton.

JUDGE LEE L. OTTAWAY

Well known to figures of the bar and bench in New York State, the Hon. Lee L. Ottaway is county judge of Chautauqua County, and has his offices at Jamestown, the county seat. He has been a member of the legal profession for some twenty years (as this is written, 1928), and prior to the law requiring county judges to abstain from legal practice had attained to an eminent place in the bar, at Westfield and later at Jamestown. His record is one of achievement, honor and interest.

Judge Ottaway was born February 24, 1888, in the town of Mina, Chautauqua County, son of G. Fred and Flora (Pelton) Ottaway. His father engaged in farming, and Judge Ottaway helped him with the farm work as a boy, meanwhile attending public school. In 1905 he took his diploma from Sherman High School, matriculated the fall of that year in Cornell University, at Ithaca, New York, and from the Cornell School of Laws, took the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1909, at the age of Twenty-one years. He was admitted to the bar in June, 1909, and began his professional career forthwith.

From 1909 until 1919, Judge Ottaway was associated in legal practice with his late uncle, former County Judge Arthur B. Ottaway, at Westfield, the firm style being Ottawa and Munson. He soon rose to a place of professional prominence there, becoming village attorney in 1913, and retaining that office eight years, until 1921. In 1919 he formed a partnership with the Hon. Frank. H. Mott, of Jamestown, under the firm style of Mott and Ottaway, and later as Mott, Ottaway and Phillips. Here he engaged in lucrative practice until 1927. On January 1, 1923, Judge Ottaway was appointed assistant district attorney. He resigned as such November 1, 1924, and took office as county judge January 1, 1925. Up to June 1, 1927, as indicated previously, he paralleled activities on the bench with activities as barrister; but on that date was enacted the law which provided that neither the county judge nor surrogate could continue legal practice in the courts of New York State. Thereupon, Judge Ottaway withdrew from active practice, and has given his professional activity wholly to the bench. In Chautauqua County the duties of county judges include also those of judge of the Children's court, which was formed under special act. This county was a pioneer in the organization of children's courts in rural communities, through an act passed several years prior to the State statute. When this special county act was inaugurated, the Hon. Arthur B. Ottaway was county judge; and in his offices Judge Ottaway helped arrange for the court's organization. As assistant district attorney he took charge and presented for the southern half of the country all contested cases in that court, and since his elevation to the bench has spent a great deal of time and has been deeply interested in the development of Chautauqua County's Children's court. In 1906, through competition, he won the Cornell State Scholarship given for Chautauqua County. During the World War he was active in the Liberty Loan drives, and others. He is a member of the Jamestown Bar Association, the Northern Chautauqua

County, the Erie County, and the New York State, also of the American Bar Association. As a private citizen, Judge Ottaway has contributed largely to the advancement of the Jamestown community. He supports all civic, economic and social movements designed for its benefit. His pet hobby is the work he does among children.

Judge Ottaway married, September 25, 1912, Ethel M. Govette, and they have a son, John Robert, who was born March 29, 1914.

JUDGE JOHN GREEN VAN ETTEN

Specializing in that branch of law having to do with condemnation proceedings relating to the taking over of property for water supplies, Judge John Green Van Etten, who died on September 12, 1927, won considerable mote in this branch of the legal profession. Largely as a result of his efforts, the rights of property owners in the neighborhood of the Ashokan Reservoir were safeguarded, and his work resulted in an overturn of many earlier laws regarding riparian rights, condemnation proceedings, and this whole branch of legislation.

Judge Van Etten was born in Kingston, of which city he was a lifelong resident, on august 7, 1863, a son of John E. and Adelaide (Green) Van Etten. The father, who himself was a distinguished member of the legal profession, died on April 30, 1904. Judge Van Ettan's brother, Lawrence E. Van Etten, is still living, his resident being in New Rochelle, New York.

As a boy, John Green Van Etten attended the old Kingston Academy; and later he became a student at Princeton University, where he was a member of the Princeton baseball team, playing first base on the university team. He also traveled widely with the University glee club, with which he sang. When he finished his academic education, he studied law with his father in the latter's offices in Kingston, New York. In 1886, he was admitted to the bar in New York State, and began his practice. At length, the testing of laws respecting condemnation proceedings in the Ashokan Reservoir district through to him a considerable experience in this subject. The State at that time desired to take over property for its water supply, so that lawsuits arose, first involving his own large holdings of land and the du Pont paper mills holdings, and subsequently covering many properties in this region. Determining to protect the property owners' interests against the will of the State to take over land for the Ashokan Reservoir and aqueduct projects, Mr. Van Etten went thoroughly into the whole subject from all possible angles, so that much of the previous legislation regarding condemnation proceedings and riparian rights was over turned as a result of his efforts. In 1912, Mr. Van Etten formed a partnership with Andrew J. cook, former New York State Senator, which lasted until Mr. Van Etten's death. The firm name was Van Etten and Cook, which was one of the really prominent law firms in this part of the State.

Always interested in public affairs and in important civic and social problems, Judge Van Etten took an active part in political matters, being affiliated with the Democratic party, whose principles and candidates he supported. In 1896 he was a delegate to the party's Chicago convention which nominated William Jennings Bryan, and he led the Bryan campaign in that year in Ulster County, New York. Judge Van Etten's service to his own community was highly valued by those of his fellow-citizens who recognized its quality and the remarkable vision of the man. For, although he was chosen very soon to be the city's engineer, a position which he filled in 1890 and 1891, and subsequently he held many other public offices of importance. Although he had received no technical education in engineering, he depended upon his general education in the solution of the city's problems in engineering, and fulfilled his duties efficiently and creditably throughout his administration of this office. In 1898, he was elected county judge of Ulster County, and continued until 1904 to serve in this capacity. In 1926, he polled a heavy vote on the Democratic ticket, when he was candidate for the Supreme Court Bench. In times of his country's need, he rendered service to the United States, having joined as a young man the Fourteenth Separate Company of the Untied States Army and having risen to the rank of captain, and having served during the World War period as food administrator for his district and for two yeas as fuel administrator. In addition to his other activities, he was interest in farming, having two farms; one of one thousand acres in Marbletown, and one in Hurley, both in Ulster county, New York. He specialized in purebred Guernsey cattle and other blooded stock, and was extremely fond of horses, owning some of the finest animal in the city, as well as fancy equipage. Fishing occupied the vacation periods of his year, he and a group of his friends always looked forward to their annual trips to the Restigouche River, in New Brunswick, Canada, where they forgot their cares in Kingston, in the course of their salmon fishing, hunting, and general outdoor expeditions.

Judge Van Etten was a member of several associations, principally those of men interested in agriculture and law. These groups included the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Grange, the Ulster County Farm Bureau, and

the Ulster County Agricultural Society. He did much to improve the educational work done in the Kingston public schools, having been at the time of his death a member of the Board of Education. He was a commissioner on the first city zoning board, and showed his keen public spirit by membership in such organizations as the Kingston Club, and the Twaalfskill Club. He had strong fraternal connections, having been a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, in which he was affiliated with the Kingston Lodge, No. 10, and was a Master in 1892. His religious affiliation was with the Protestant Episcopal Church.

In Kinston, New York, on October 20, 1888, Judge Van Etten married Anna North, a daughter of Isaac M. and Ellen (Du Bois) North. Her father, who was a native of Olive, Ulster County, New York, was superintendent of the Cornell Steamboat Company and was a leading banker of the Rondout National Bank. For many years he was an aldermen of the city. her Mother, Ellen (Du Bois) North, was a daughter of Peter and Clarissa (Goodwin) Du Bois.

The death of Judge Van Etten came as a profound shock to his many friends and acquaintances, to those who loved him as a man and those who respected his opinions, admired his ability, and knew the sound judgments and the spirit of fairness that characterized all his actions. He is survived by his widow, who resides at the Van Etten home at No. 106 West Chestnut Street, Kingston.

It is most fitting inclosing this record to quote the words of Judge Hasbrouck at the time of Judge Van Etten's passing:

The bar of the county is in the death of Judge Van Etten called again to contemplate the tragedy of death.

It is a tragedy in the sense that pleasant associations and human friendships are terminated. This is, however, according to the philosophers and our religions, the shallower view.

Death, like birth, is a condition of life, to be welcomed as an opportunity in the great adventure. When we contemplate how great a part of the life of Judge Van Etten was devoted to the science and philosophy of the law, to engineering, to literature, how vast a fund of knowledge he had stored up, we cannot well think that all the mental and spiritual exaltation thus attained stops at the moment of death. Such a conclusion would be at war with the economy which apparently govern the universe.

Let us comfort ourselves, with the thought that our accomplished brother has taken his mental endowment and spiritual gifts to a wider theatre and a happier domain.

There was much in the life of our brother that we can with profit to ourselves emulate. He was industrious, courageous, learned and manly. He fought the battles of the bar fairly and fought them out. He held his fellow-lawyers in high esteem and did not underestimate their powers. He was courteous to his fellows and to the court.

His passing has cast a shadow over our bar and sorrow has entered into the hearts of his associates and friends. Whether the end of all be nothingness or immortality, he will have that immorality which is described by Frank Parker Day in his "Autobiography of a Fisherman"; "For dying is nothing and to be remembered with tenderness immortality enough."

Judge Van Etten and I were close personal friends for many years and his demise has fallen upon me as a sincere sorrow. I regret the occasion, which calls for the presentation of the resolutions. The remarks of distinguished counsel are appreciated by the court, and the court grants the motion to spread the resolutions of the bar upon the minutes of the court. When the court adjourns it will be out of respect to the memory of Judge Van Etten.

 

The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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