Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Frank Edward Healey was born in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on November 8, 1869. He died December 28, 1945. His parents were emigrants from Ireland who came to Windsor Locks before the Civil War.
He attended the grade schools at Windsor Locks. After leaving school he was employed in a local cotton mill where he earned $6.60 a week for six days of twelve hours each. He was an omnivorous reader and so educated himself that he entered the Yale Law School in 1891 and was graduated therefrom in 1893. While at law school he won the Kent prize for oratory.
Mr. Healey started his law practice in Hartford, where he continuously practiced for fifty-three years. At the time of his death he was the oldest active member of the Hartford County bar. As a lawyer he prepared his cases well. He tried them with ability and skill. He guarded closely the interests of his client but was always fair to his opponents. He was honored and respected by bench and bar.
Early he turned to politics, where he established many records for Connecticut and perhaps for the entire country. He was a delegate to every Republican state convention for fifty-one years. He served on the state central committee from the Seventh Senatorial District for forty-five consecutive years. He was chairman of the Republican town committee of Windsor Locks for fifty-two years and was still chairman at the time of his death.
In 1897 the clerks of the House of Representatives were elected by that body. Mr. Healey contacted personally every member of the session for that year and was elected assistant clerk. At succeeding sessions he was clerk of the House, clerk of the Senate, clerk of bills and engrossing clerk. In 1903 he was clerk of the constitutional convention. In 1913 he was appointed state tax commissioner. In 1913 he was a member of the House from Windsor Locks and was House leader with an unprecedented Republican majority of only five, while the Senate was Democratic. The Democrats of the House were led by the redoubtable William E. Thoms of Waterbury. It was a stirring session and here Mr. Healey showed his ability as a leader. He was returned to the House at the following session and was elected speaker.
In 1915 he served as a member of the statute revision committee. In 1919 he was elected attorney general and was re-elected in 1923, thus becoming the first attorney general to serve two terms. He became coroner for Hartford County in 1935, an office which he held at the time of his death. He served as a member of his local draft board from the beginning and never once missed a meeting.
In political matters he was always independent and vigorous in the stand which he took. If he differed from those in control he did not hesitate to carry his fight into the state central committee and, if need be, to take it to the floor of the state convention. In politics, as in his private life, his word was his bond. For fifty years he took part in every political contest in the state.
He was intensely human. He liked to mingle with his fellow men and exchange views on the day's happenings. He had a wonderful memory and was always ready with a story for any occasion. His outstanding characteristics were his loyalty and his love of fair play. He hated cant and hypocrisy. He was overgenerous with his time and money. No worthy cause ever appealed to him in vain. His whole life was spent in Windsor Locks. He was its outstanding citizen, and his fellow townsmen deplore his loss.
He was devoted to his family. Surviving are his wife, Florence Bragg Healey; a daughter, Anne Healey, teacher of English at Vassar College; and a son, Frank E. Healey, Jr., recently discharged from service in World War II.
Full of years, an esteemed and well-beloved member of the Hartford County bar and a public spirited and outstanding citizen of this state has passed on. His memory will long remain among us. He now rests from his labors. May he rest in peace.