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We are sometimes stirred with admiration when we see a man great in some single department of noble endeavor, but the highest manifestation of true greatness and kingly power is to be found in him who has developed to the highest extent the variety of virtues and versatility of talents which he possesses, not like single gems brilliant by isolation, but like jewels in a crown of glory united by the golden band of complete and symmetrical character.
To this type and class of nature's favorites belonged the brilliant, courtly, chivalrous, noble man whose memory we this day honor.
He realized that with such opulence of equipment, such wealth of resources, as he possessed, there was necessarily coupled profound responsibility. And so with his greatness there was blended the truest type of goodness. He was gentle and kind, sincere and sympathetic, full of compassion, incapable of harboring revenge, ever ready to forgive. He never intentionally injured either the feelings or reputation of any man. He would not needlessly have set his foot even upon a worm.
It was his privilege to pour the sunshine of hope and happiness into the hearts of those with whom he came in contact, to plant fragrant flowers where before only thorn and thistle flourished. He had an unalterable faith in man's progress and advancement, substituting for Nordau's pessimistic doctrine of degeneracy the more encouraging one of Drummond, that "there is an ascending energy in the universe; that all things are rising, all worlds, all planets, all suns and stars, and, better still, that all nature is on the side of the man or woman who tries to rise.'
This belief in the progress of man, physically, intellectually and morally, did not make him an atheist or agnostic. His sublime faith in the truths of Divine Revelation could recognize the modern truths of biology as taught by Darwinian philosophy as to the origin and development of man, but instead of accepting them as contradictory of the genesis of man, as given in the Old Testament, he, with Fiske and others, accepted the later Darwinian theory as demonstrating for the first time how the creation and perfection of man is the great goal towards which Nature's work has all the time been pressing, that the perfec
tion of man, to whom was given dominion of the world, was the result of God's supreme energies, and hence, to deny man's immortality or his future as promised by Revelation, would be to discredit God's supremest effort.
Our brother was but a model of this highest type of man, to which Divine energies through countless ages have been directed, and standing now before his statue, we may well repeat "What a piece of work is a man; how noble in reason; how infinite in faculties, in form and energy, how like an angel; in apprehension, how like a God."
In the fullest hour of all his life, at the harvest time-just when he cast no shadow to the east or west, when all above him was sunshine and all about him was promise-he sank to rest and it cannot be that his marvellous mind has become but as the senseless dust and his chivalrous soul become but as the body's kindred clay.
He was genial, gentle and great, and we will miss and mourn him so long as we revere those traits that ennoble man and endear him to his fellows.
He has gone from our midst, but his benign influence will remain as a powerful incentive to lofty aspirations. Let us cherish the memory of our departed friend, the record of whose useful life is as legible as the stars upon the brow of the evening, shining with a kindly light that should lead us on to higher and nobler goals.
We submit this sketch and tribute as the voice of respect and sorrow of the bar of Memphis; and as its expression of sympathy for his bereaved wife and son.
RESOLVED, That we will watch with sincerest and confident solicitude the growth of that son to like intelligence and moral stature and usefulness-and shall trust that when he too comes to die, he shall leave a name as spotless and great and a memory as sweet as that of his father.
L. B. MCFARLAND, Chairman.
W. H. CARROLL,
JAS. L. McREE.
CHAS. N. BURCH, Chm. of Bar Meeting.
MR. JUSTICE H. H. LURTON,
Mr. Justice Horace H. Lurton departed this life on the 12th day of July, 1914. He was born in Newport, Kentucky, on February 26th, 1844. His early life was spent in Clarksville, Tennessee. Prior to the Civil War, he was a student in University of Chicago, which he left to join the army of the Southern States, becoming a Sergeant Major in the thirty-fifth Tennessee Regiment. He entered the Confederate Army when 16 years of age, and was captured at Fort Donaldson, and imprisoned at Camp Chase. Escaping, he enlisted in the Third Kentucky Cavalry, and was captured again in 1863, and imprisoned until 1865, when he was released by President Lincoln, in response to the personal appeal of his mother. Justice Lurton graduated at Lebanon Law School in 1867. The same year he married Miss Frances Owen. He began to practice law at Clarksville until he was placed upon the Bench as Chancellor there in 1875. He resigned in 1878 and practiced his profession with a number of different associations, until 1886, when he was elected to the Supreme Bench of this State. In 1893 he was appointed Circuit Judge of the United States Circuit Court, by President Cleveland.
Without going into further details in regard to the life and works of this honored and loveable man, we attach hereto, as part of this report, the beautiful resolutions, prepared by Judge Edward T. Sanford, for the Knox County Bar Association, which we recommend should be printed in full in our proceedings. They will be read before this body by C. W. Metcalf, Esq., of Memphis, Tenn.
We take the liberty of quoting, however, a portion of the remarks of Chief Justice White, of the Supreme Court of the United States made by him on June 14th, 1915, in response to the address of the Attorney-General of the United States, and the resolutions presented before the members of the Bar of that Honorable Court, which were read by the Attorney-General. The Chief Justice said:
"I asked one of my brethren not long since what was the mental quality of Judge Lurton, which most impressed him. He said, 'He was a lawyer, fully equipped by training and by experience, to do the work which came to him to do.' How terse and yet how comprehensive the analysis, since it embraced the
developed powers of discrimination, controlled by a trained and ripened intellect, which enabled him intelligently to consider and clearly to understand the complex conditions and problems concerning which he was called upon as a judge to act. Accurrate as was the portrayal, the inadequacy of the likeness which results is manifest unless there be added to the picture the lineaments of the man, his simplicity, his fidelity, his warmth. of friendship, his tenderness to those he loved, all uniting with his intellectual qualities, to make him what he was a lovable and true man, an able and conscientious lawyer, and an intelligent, courageous, and devoted judge."
"I do not review the work of Mr. Justice Lurton on this Bench. It speaks for itself, since it demonstrates the benefit to the Court and Country, which arose and would have continued to result had it been given to him, as we had all hoped it would be, to devote his matured powers to the service of the country for a long period of time. But this was not to be vouchsafed. Illness came, and when its serious character was apparent, in company with that comrade, high courage, which had been with him all the days of his life, comforted by the care and tenderness of those he so much loved, and sustained by Christian faith and hope, he passed beyond our mortal vision. The unbidden thought which comes as to the fleeting result of all human effort, its perishability, and the resulting despondency, is natural from such a loss, and the miasma of pessimisn which they produced enveloped me, as with those of my brethren who could do so, journeyed to Clarksville, Tennessee, where he began his active career, after the Civil War, there to lay him to rest. But as I stood by the open grave, surrounded by the kindly faces,
many of the warm-hearted people of Clarksville, who had gathered to pay their tribute of respect and affection, and heard the plaintive melodies of the old hymns, telling of Christian faith and hope, pessimism vanished, and I came to feel death is not forever, and good works do not perish, but remain. Yes; it was given to me to think, as the waving wheat field, in sunshine and in rain, conserves its energy in the grain, which long after the stem has been cut down and perished, pressed under the millstone, gives forth the nutriment of our material existence-why may we not believe that in the vast reservoir of Di
vine Providence, the energy of our good deeds is conserved, so that they may continue when we have gone, to aid and bless our country and our country-men?"
He concludes with the hope that both judge and lawyer will "Resolve to seek more devotedly to discharge the duties, which are upon us, to the end that, following in the foot-steps of our brother, whose life we today recall, and of all those noble souls, who have gone before, we may live by our good works; yes, continue to live when we are gone.'
IN MEMORIAM HORACE HARMON LURTON.
About five years ago, the members of the Knoxville Bar gathered to bid God speed to Horace H. Lurton, United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, then his way to Washington to take his seat as a member of the Supreme Court of the United States, to which he had been appointed by one who knew well the full measure of his worth, President Taft, his former associate, on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. Today we are again gathered to mourn his sudden death, after an intervening period spent by him in distinguished services upon the great tribunal to which he had thus been elevated. The State and nation both sorrow in his loss; his life work is part of their imperishable and illustrious records. Few men have had such wide and varied judicial service as he, extending over a period of more than thirty-one years; elected by the people a Chancellor of the State of Tennessee, and a member of the Supreme Court of the State; elected by his associates upon that Court, the Chief Justice of the State, appointed by President Cleveland, a United States Circuit Judge, and a member of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; and for many years presiding Judge of that Court; and then appointed by President Taft an associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
He possessed in the highest degree the combination of the essential judicial qualities; integrity, intellect and industry. His mind was one of unusual strength; his learning in the law wide and active, yet always subordinated to that wisdom, which