Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
Volume 77, page(s) 719-720

OBITUARY SKETCH OF ALBERT M. TALLMADGE

Albert M. Tallmadge died at his home in Bridgeport, February 18th, 1905, aged fifty-one years. He graduated from Wesleyan College in the class of 1874, and during the following year traveled and studied in Europe. He then entered the Yale Law School, graduating in 1877. He at once became a member of the Fairfield County bar and associated himself with the late Curtis Thompson in the practice of law at Bridgeport, a connection that continued until the death of Mr. Thompson in 1904.

Judge Tallmadge was deputy-judge of the City Court from 1879 to 1881. In 1884 he was chosen to represent Bridgeport in the house of representatives, and was an active and influential member of the judiciary committee. In 1888 he was town counsel of Bridgeport. In 1892 he succeeded Morris B. Beardsley as judge of probate for the Bridgeport district, and held that office for six years. He was a democrat, but in 1896, compelled by his convictions on the money question, he refused his support to that party, of which he was a devoted member. His action was prompt, although taken in expectation that he was thus sacrificing a judicial position of large emolument, peculiarly congenial to him. Upon his retirement from the Probate Court he was tendered a complimentary banquet by two hundred representative citizens of Bridgeport acting without regard to party. This banquet was recognized by all as a remarkable tribute to a citizen.

Judge Tallmadge's popularity was marked. It sprang--unbidden and unsought--from recognized character and capacity, and the remarkable loyalty of his friends.

He was stricken down in the midst of health about three years before his death, and for two years and more he carried with him the certain knowledge of daily peril; yet he bore his misfortune with a lion-hearted fortitude and cheerful patience that were the marvel and admiration of his associates.

The part of his professional life that was dearest to him was his career in the Probate Court. In that position the man and the duty met in perfect harmony. The work that there came to him he did with enthusiasm, with jealous devotion to the good name of that court, with a high purpose to treat his employment as a rare trust. The splendid success with which he fulfilled his purpose is a heritage of that court and the Bridgeport bar. Membership in the profession of law meant much to him. He was active in all that tended to raise the ideals, promote the efficiency, and cement the fellowship of the profession. He was foremost in founding and maintaining the Bridgeport Bar Association with its annual banquet, which has contributed so much to cultivate a fine spirit of courtesy and good will among its members. The Bar Library was also an object of his earnest care and interest throughout his professional life.

No sketch of Judge Tallmadge would be complete without a reference to the rare charm of his personality. His mind was trained by study, enriched by reading and broadened by extensive travel. His heart and sympathies kept fresh, years could not dull them. He viewed life broadly with a genial philosophy. He had a wide affinity for good literature, for good music, for the best in the drama, and for the beautiful and grand in nature. He had a genius for friendship. His enlivening conversation, his exuberant vivacity, the enveloping atmosphere of his friendship, will long be remembered. With all these qualities there was something more, there was an intangible individuality about him, which evades description, which we have vainly called charm, which gave a tone of joyousness and content to any company which he joined in sympathetic good-fellowship. His genial countenance, his quaint comments, his original point of view, his apt quotations, his delicate humor, his ready song and his large-hearted hospitality, were but the trappings of that indefinable charm, which will ever linger fragrant in the memory of his comrades.