Charles Bishop Waller, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the state of Connecticut for thirty-eight years, died on June 10, 1953, at the age of seventy-seven. He was born in New London on July 27, 1875, the son of Thomas M. and Charlotte Bishop Waller. Except for a few years in his early teens when he attended a school at Margate, England, while his father was consul general at London during President Cleveland's first administration, he received at New London his primary school education in the public grammar school and his secondary school education at the Bulkeley School, from which he was graduated in 1892. He then studied electrical engineering for two years at the University of Minnesota. At that time his father, who had been state's attorney for New London County and later governor of Connecticut, was one of the most distinguished leaders of the Connecticut bar. Three of Charles's brothers were also practicing law with their father in New London. Charles Waller had felt that enough of the members of the family had entered the legal field and, although he was interested in the law, that he should turn to another profession. His father, however, was so fully persuaded of the great natural endowments of his son Charles as a prospective lawyer that he induced him to leave the University of Minnesota and enrol in the Yale Law School, from which he was graduated in 1896. He was admitted to the bar of the state that same year and later became a member of the bars of the United States District Court and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Shortly after his admission to the state bar, he formed an association for the practice of law, which later became a partnership, with his father, his brother Tracy, Christopher L. Avery of Groton, afterward a judge of the Superior Court and a justice of the Supreme Court of Errors, and Charles A. Gallup of Waterford, under the firm name of Waller, Waller, Avery and Gallup. In 1935, after there had been various changes in the membership of the firm, the name was changed to Waller, Gallup and Anderson; and Judge Waller continued as the senior partner in this firm until 1941, when the judges of the Court of Common Pleas were for the first time required by law to go on circuit and to devote their full time to their judicial duties. During his many years of active practice, he repeatedly demonstrated, in his participation in most of the important cases which arose in New London County during that time, his far-reaching knowledge and understanding of the law and his formidable skill as an advocate.
On October 4, 1899, he married Charlotte B. Rudd of New London, who predeceased him by a few months. They had four daughters, all of whom survived them.
In 1905 and 1907, he served in the General Assembly as senator from the eighteenth district. On September 28, 1907, he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for New London County. He retired as judge of the statewide Court of Common Pleas on July 27, 1945, under the constitutional limitation as to age. Few men in the state have held judicial office as long as he, and none has been better qualified for the position in mind and temperament. For many years he served as the Court of Common Pleas representative on the state judicial council. He was greatly respected for his ability to analyze a complicated set of facts and put in focus the basic issues of a case, and also for his profound knowledge of legal principles and his ready recollection of dozens of leading cases in various branches of the law. He was greatly beloved for his kindness and patience, his wisdom and understanding.
Besides his activities in law and politics, Judge Waller was a director of the Mariners' Savings Bank of New London, later consolidated with the Savings Bank of New London, and he continued to be a director of the consolidated bank. He was one of the original incorporators, a director and, at the time of his death, the president of the Winthrop Trust Company of New London. He was also a trustee of the Bulkeley School.
In spite of his great ability and attainments, he was a modest, self-effacing person who shrank from public acclaim. Those who knew him well in his family, in his personal friendships, in his law practice and on the bench knew that as a man, a lawyer and a judge he had few equals.