Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 71, page(s) 756


SAMUEL AMOS YORK died November 5, 1898, after a short illness. He was born in North Stonington, Conn., May 25, 1839; graduated at Yale in 1863, and at Albany Law School in 1864; was admitted to the Bar of New York and Michigan in 1865, and in New Haven in 1867. He was clerk of the House of Representatives in 1873, of the Senate in 1874; judge of probate for the district of New Haven, 1876-1887; mayor of New Haven, 1887-1888.

Judge York commenced practice in Michigan. He then came to New Haven and was editor of the Register for a short time. He began practice in New Haven in partnership with the Hon. William C. Case. This partnership was of short duration, owing to Judge York's election as judge of probate. Shortly thereafter he was appointed on a commission to revise the probate laws of the State. The work of that commission was known as the revision of 1885. All the best additions and amendments to the then-existing law were largely his work. He brought to it a mind well stored with probate law, and more than any other man in the State, deserves the credit for what is known as our probate practice of to-day. He was the author of our system of probate blanks, which are now used throughout the State. When elected judge, he found a probate office: when he retired, he left a court of probate.

In the administration of this office he exhibited not only a thorough understanding of legal principles, but a kindness of heart and sympathy for the distressed, a broadness of mind and a knowledge of human nature, which made him facile princeps among our judges of probate.

After leaving the bench, he practiced his profession, devoting his time largely to probate law. He was a well-read lawyer. His judgments were always mature and seldom wrong. He was in nearly every prominent will contest in New Haven county after he left the bench. He enjoyed the trial of a case, and had that tact and acquaintance with men which, together with a kindly, dry humor, made him exceedingly effective before a jury.

Judge York married a daughter of the late Minott A. Osborn of New Haven. The widow and four children survive him. The oldest son, Samuel A. York, Jr., is a member of the New Haven County bar.