Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 72, page(s) 737-738


TIMOTHY ELEAZER STEELE, the son of Sanford and Caroline E. (Sumner) Steele, was born in Bolton, September 1st, 1837, and died in Hartford, June 30th, 1899.

He prepared for college at Wilbraham Academy and graduated from Wesleyan University in 1863. He studied law with the late Hon. Thomas C. Perkins, was admitted to the bar in 1865, and from that time until his death was engaged in practice in Hartford. His career at the bar was useful and honorable. A safe counselor, his tastes and talents made him pre-eminently a trial lawyer. He was industrious and painstaking in the preparation of cases for trial. In the conduct of trials he was forceful and straightforward, thoroughly master of his own case, and quick to take advantage of every weakness of his opponent. While making no pretense to oratory in any technical sense, Mr. Steele was clear and convincing in stating his case to court or jury, and very few surpassed him in the skillfulness with which he presented the evidence in a case to the jury.

In speaking to resolutions of respect adopted at a meeting of the Hartford County Bar, Judge David S. Calhoun said; "While on the bench I was always interested in the way Mr. Steele tried his cases. He was positive and industrious in the biggest degree and was possessed of a rigid honesty. I do not speak of honesty in any limited or restrictive sense. Mr. Steele was an honest man before he became a lawyer, and when he became a lawyer he did not leave his honesty behind him. His methods in court were open and honest, and it was never necessary for the opposing lawyer to inquire whether he had a private wire leading to the jury box. He was a fearless man, a man who not only had physical but moral courage, and nothing ever swayed him from doing what he thought was right."

Mr. Steele represented Bolton in the General Assembly in 1866. After removing to Hartford, he served in the council board from 1873 to 1875, being president of the board for two years. From 1891 to 1894 he was city attorney, and from 1894 to 1897, street commissioner. He was an intelligent student of municipal problems and a conspicuously useful and honorable public servant. His interest in the public schools led him to serve the district in which he resided for many years as chairman of its committee.

While not ambitious of political preferment, Mr. Steele was a man of strong political convictions and he never hesitated to avow and champion his views. His advice in political matters was highly valued by the local leaders of the political party with which he affiliated.

Mr. Steele found his chief pleasures in the companionship of his chosen friends and in the intimacies of domestic life. As a comrade he was entertaining and instructive; as a friend, steadfast and loyal. His wife, who prior to marriage was Miss Clara J. Eaton, of Longmeadow, Mass., and five children survive him.