Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 129, page(s) 715-716


John Richards Booth was born in Danbury on July 16, 1867, the son of David Belden and Julia (Richards) Booth, and died on October 21, 1942. After graduation from the Danbury High School he attended the Yale Law School and was admitted to the bar of the state on May 14, 1889. He started practice in the office of his father, which had been the office of his grandfather Reuben Booth, both of whom were prominent members of the bar of Fairfield County. Within three years of his admission to the bar he was elected judge of probate in the Danbury Probate District, an office which his father had held for many years. Later Judge Booth formed a partnership with Eugene C. Dempsey under the firm name of Dempsey & Booth, and after the dissolution of that partnership he was associated with Robert S. Alexander under the firm name of Booth & Alexander. He took an active interest in politics and in 1903 was elected mayor of Danbury. From 1898 to 1907 he was prosecuting attorney of the Danbury City Court and he was judge of that court from 1907 to 1917, when he was appointed a judge of the Common Pleas Court of Fairfield County. In 1924 he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court and served upon that bench until his retirement under constitutional limitation in 1937.

Judge Booth was an able and successful practitioner at the bar but, as will appear from the above brief outline he was destined for judicial position almost from the beginning of his professional career. For that he was by nature exceptionally well qualified. He possessed to an unusual degree the judicial temperament. "He heard courteously, he answered wisely, he considered soberly and decided impartially." He was endowed with a keen analytical mind which grasped and solved with apparent ease the legal problems brought before him. So fairly and impartially did he preside and so persuasive was the reasoning in his decisions that even defeated litigants and counsel found it difficult to quarrel with the justice of the result. In character and learning he exemplified the highest traditions of our Connecticut judiciary. He had a quiet, natural dignity upon the bench which assured proper decorum in the court room without any display of authority.

Judge Booth was for many years a member of the Fairfield County Law Library Committee. His membership in many fraternal and civic organizations evidenced his enjoyment of social contact with his fellows. He was a member and for many years a vestryman of the St. James Episcopal Church of Danbury. In all his personal relations he displayed an innate and unfailing courtesy and friendliness which brought him a host of loyal and devoted friends in all walks of life.

He was married on June 24, 1896, to Elizabeth M. Dibble, who predeceased him. He is survived by three children, Mrs. Bertrand B. Salzman, Dr. John D. Booth, and Walter Cowles Booth.