Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Justice Edwin Cole Dickenson died at his home in Wethersfield on November 18, 1956, after a distinguished career at the bar and on the bench.
Justice Dickenson was born in Cromwell on March 11, 1880, the son of Linus and Mary Cole Dickenson. Brought to Hartford to live when he was one year old, he attended the old South School and the Hartford Public High School, where he was graduated in 1898. He received his law degree from the Yale Law School in 1902 and began the practice of law in Hartford in that year. Before starting his long career on the bench, he was a member of the Hartford common council from the seventh ward and served as vice president of the board of councilmen.
He began his judicial career in 1917 as judge of the Hartford Police Court, after serving as prosecuting attorney from 1907 to 1911. In 1920 Governor Marcus H. Holcomb nominated him to be a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Hartford County and he was duly appointed. On February 5, 1925, he became a judge of the Superior Court on the nomination of Governor Charles A. Templeton. His appointment was urged by the Hartford County Bar Association, whose officers and prominent members signed a petition citing his "splendid judicial temperament" and stating that he held the confidence of the bar. He served on the Superior Court for seventeen years until his elevation to the Supreme Court of Errors on September 4, 1942, on nomination of Governor Robert A. Hurley. He retired as associate justice of the Supreme Court on March 11, 1950.
Justice Dickenson was a member of Troop B, Connecticut Cavalry, from 1911 to 1917 and saw active service as a sergeant on the Mexican border. He was a member of the American, Connecticut and Hartford County Bar Associations.
On July 1, 1908, Justice Dickenson was married to Florence Louise Blood. Mrs. Dickenson and two of his sisters, Mrs. William A. Shew of Wethersfield and Mrs. George L. Bilderbeck of Groton, survive. He had one son, John C. Dickenson, who died.
These facts should be recorded in the reports of the Supreme Court, which Justice Dickenson helped to write, but give little idea of his personality. On the legal side, he was perhaps more successful than any of the other judges in composing the differences between litigants. His success in settling cases was phenomenal. When a case had to be tried, it might be said of him, as it was of Judge John Richards Booth, that "he heard courteously, he answered wisely, he considered soberly and decided impartially." Early in his career he achieved considerable success as a writer of short stories and his experience doubtless stood him in good stead. His Supreme Court opinions were concise and clear and were promptly filed.
Among his hobbies were golf and sailing. He and Mrs. Dickenson spent their summers in Madison and he almost always had a boat. He did a good deal of cruising with her and with his colleagues. He was an extremely sociable person and his skill as a raconteur was unexcelled. His presence at any party ensured its success.
Justice Dickenson was held in the highest esteem and affection by the bench and bar of this state.[footer.htm]