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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View This Issue
THE STJNTAY PORTXAITD, DECEMBER 31, 1916.
their going to prison would never help
their victim, he paroled Ahem condi
tional on their paying 81860 to the
girl. The objection was made this ao
J tlon was contrary to all legal prece
I dent, whereat Judge McGinn replied:
"I'm going to smash this thing of
JUDGE HENRY E. NTGINN, WHO IS BELIEVER IN JUSTICE AND
FOE OF RED TAPE AND PRECEDENT, QUITS CIRCUIT BENCH
Numerous Incidents Centering About Jurist Reveal His Strong Humanitarian Principles, Which Brook No Barrier by Reason of Established Practises,
and Have Made His Courtroom Boon for Newspaper Reporters in Search of Features.
"EXPERIENCE" IS GREAT PLAY,
VERDICT OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS
Praise Is Given Comedy-Drama by Prominent Persons Play Comes to
Heilig Theater in Portland Thursday Night, Following Eastern Success.
precedent every time I get a chance
and every time It will do any good.
To do something Just because someone
else has done It and to follow some
other person's trail wftho it reason or
Justice Is nonsense. Precedent nss
1 1 1 i f . tttttttm ....
A VIGOROUS and picturesque figure
has left the bench of the Oregon
State Circuit Court. Henry E.
McGinn, for six years judge of Depart
ment No. 5 In Multnomah County, re
tired yesterday at the expiration of
his term of office.
His retirement was voluntary. He
liad declined to be a candidate to suc
ceed himself, saying he would not, un
der any circumstances, accept a sec
But Judge McGinn and his one term
on the bench will be remembered
long arter some other judges and their
doings are forgotten. The six years
of his incumbency have been crowded
with events of intense public interest.
There has been hardly a week in
that six-year period that the news
papers have not carried accounts of
some extraordinary occurrence in
Judge McGinn's court.
Perhaps the judge had stopped a
trial with the remark that there was
no need of proceeding further, because
he would not convict any man on the
testimony of a "stool pigeon."
Maybe he had laid down the prin
ciple that no woman would ever be
sent to prison from his court.
Youth! Are Eneouragrd.
Or he might have released a youth
ful thief on the lad's mere word of
honor to "keep straight," because the
Judge believed that sending a man to
the penitentiary is "worse than send
ing him to hell."
Still again, he might have gone out
of his way to excoriate a husband for
mot supporting hie family, and then
have bargained with him the terms of
support on which he could save him
self from jail, or he would decline to
accept the verdict of a Jury in a dam
age suit with the remark that the
damages allowed were too small.
It might have been any of these
things or many others of almost dally
occurrence. But nearly always there
has been something so out of the or
dinary that the Courthouse reporters
would seize upon It for their papers.
Real news, too, every line of It. for
Judge McGinn is no "grand-stander."
Those twin gods of respectable jurls-
JlUl.L HENRY E. M'GIXX ON THE BE.VCH, IX CHAMBERS AND OUT FUR
prudence, precedent and technicality.
have had a sorry time of it from him.
Ho has shown vastly more interest in
some such matter as that an old
woman who had traded her property
away under a misrepresentation should
get it back. And whether she did it
technically or untechnically hasn't par
ticularly worried Judge McGinn.
Precedents Swept Aside.
If precedent or technicality has stood
in the way of what he conceived to
be common justice in such a case there
would be a swooping gesture of his
big hand, as if to brush them aside, as
he spoke his mind from the bench.
Lawyers who banked on precedent
and technicality on such occasions
have received precious little mercy
from the judge. Naturally enough he
hasn't been over popular with them.
Certain lawyers generally those on
whose toes he had steppedhave crit
icised him bitterly, as often as not in
Though impetuous and insistent at
times to the point of being absolutely
dictatorial, there isn t much of the
over-lord about Judge McGinn. In his
six years on the bench he has never
disciplined or fined lawyers for con
tempt who argued with him. no matter
what they said, but then and there re
turned as hot shot as he got.
Trials Often Stopped.
On occasions his impulsiveness has
led him to take snap judgment on a
case and stop the trial with the re
mark that he had made up his mind
and didn't care to hear further evi
dence. But If the opposing lawyer
could convince him that the court was
wrong Judge McGinn has often re
versed his ruling and ordered that the
case proceed. Indeed he frequently
after such an incident has decided
in favor of that lawyer s client.
By reason of his impatience with
technicalities, his Impulsiveness and
his peculiar views against sending any
person to the penitentiary peculiar,
at any rate, in comparison with the ac
cepted conventional view of punishing
the wrong-doer lawyers and unsuc
cessful litigants have sometimes
sneerlngly referred to Judge McGinn
as "crazy" and "high handed," ana
have said that he decides "without re
gard to law."
Judge McGinn Is not "crazy." but he
is Intensely human the most human
Judge, perhaps, that ever sat on the
Oregon bench, and his faults have been
human laults. Really to understand
him, though, one must get glimpse of
the philosophy that runs through all
In conversation with a friend the
other day. Judge McGinn summed up
that philosophy in a few pithy sen
tences. Here they are:
No fellow can look into another's
eye and tell what kind of a man he
Is but he can look into his own heart
Just put yourself into the other
fellow's place. If we will but do this
we'll have few candidates for the pen
"If there is any place worse than
hell, it s the penitentiary."
In the glow of that kindly philosophy,
glano, at a few of the rulings and
acts that have so shocked the conven
Here is a newspaper account written
at the time of one such decision:
'Karl Riley. 17, and with a long
Juvenile Court record, stood before
Circuit Judge Henry McGinn today
after having confessed to stealing an
automobile. He had been sentenced
to serve from one year to 10 years
in the penitentiary.
" 'But wait,' said the judge, after
pause, as an officer moved to take
the boy away. 'I can't send that boy
to tne penitentiary. Maybe I can
parole him." Then of the boy he asked:
'Will you promise me to be good?'
"'Yes. Ill promise,' said Riley, read
" 'This is on the square now. Honor
bright?" asked the Judge.
" 'Honor bright,' repeated the boy.
""Cross your heart?' asked the judge
"'Cross my heart,' replied Riley.
" 'Will you shake on it?
"Judge McGinn reached down from
the bench and grasped the boy's hand.
" 'Now. that's a bargain,' said the
court, 'and I believe you will keep your
"I will, sir.' replied Riley."
And it should be added that he did.
On another occasion Judge McGinn
was asked to admit a woman to bal
who had been extradited from Canada
on a charge of forgery. He did so
with this comment:
"The first Item of my catechism op
poses sending women to Jail. It has
been a rule of my life while on the
bench never to send a woman to prison,
and In my six months more as a Judge
I do not Intend to break that rule."
Three men were tried and convicted
before Judge McGinn for felonies. He
sentenced them and then paroled them
on condition that they go out and earn
rums of money fixed by the court and
ay this money to their victims.
One of the defendants was a sailor
who had assaulted i shipmate with a
deadly weapon. Injuring him so badly
that he had to be taken to the hos
pital. Judge McGinn sentT.ced the as
sailant to one to 10 years in the pen
itentiary and then paroled him on con
dition of his paying $100 to the man
he had assaulted.
Two of the defendants were con
victed of an offense against a young
girl. Judge McGinn sentenced one to
one year's imprisonment and the other
to six- months. Then, remarking that
The Assembly Club Ball.
The ball given by the Assembly Club
on Tuesday evening at tne marquam
was a brilliant affair In every way.
The ballroom was gaily decorated by
Otten and presented a delightful ap
pearance. The walls were hung with
snow-laden Christmas green. while
sparkling in their midst were innum
erable little electric lights of many
hues and colors. Directly In front of
the bandstand was a miniature forest,
resting on a soft, mossy bank, the ef
fect ol the picture being greatly en
hanced by bright crimson ' electric
lights. Festooned across the celling
were dainty garlands of hemlock, in
termingled with green, amber, deep red
and blue lights.
The guests were received by Mrs.
James Laldlaw and Mrs. F. Alleyne
Beck. Dancing began at 9 o'clock. The
music was furnished by the Marquam
Grand orchestra and was simply su
perb. At 11 o'clock an elaborate supper
was served in the cafe, after which
dancing was resumed, lasting for sev
eral hours. The costumes were rich
and extremely tasteful.
On Wednesday evening at 5 o'clock.
In the Unitarian Church in this city.
Willametta Marquam, daughter of Judge
P. A. Marquam. was united in marriage
to Alfred K. Velten. of this city, by
Rev. T. L Eliot. The bride was attired
stalked through our courts and legis
latures until It has become a bugbear.
I'm going . t put on armor and use
heavy artillery against it whenever 1
The famous "and or or" case well
Illustrates Judge McGinn's Impatience
of technicality and epitomizes his at
titude as a judge when he believes
technicality has been used to hinder
the course of Justice.
The widow of a traffic policeman
who had been killed by an automo
bile truck sued for damages. On the
first trial, nearly two years ago. a
Jury In Judge McGinn's court awarded
her 87600. The Supreme Court, how
ever, reversed this verdict and ordered
a retrial because attorneys for the
widow In drawing up her complaint had
said the aulpmobile was driven "care
lessly or negligently." Instead of "care
lessly and negligently." ...
Ob the second trial, also htld before
- - u. .:, the lurv returned a ver
dict of $6000 for the widow. The de
fense let .the time for appeal go by de
hull, and then asked Judge McGinn
for a court order, to permit an appeal to
be taken. . .
t,.h.. : .::-. at first flatly refused
t-, k relented on condition that the
defendant company pay tne wiaow u
J000 judgment Immediately, assuming
Judge McGinn's personal bond to make
restitution should the Supreme Court
reverse the decision of 12 men for the
"The law's delays are making Tor
socialism and anarchy." declared Judge
McGinn In his comment on this case.
"Two Juries have declared In favor or
this woman, the death of whose uj
i...i - little short of murder. Its
high time the courts quit finding ways
to keep men and women from getting
"1 heard this case twice. There was
no care exercised by the driver of the
defendant lumber company's auto
truck and the death of the traffic offi
cer was almost murderous. The com
pany is trying to wear out the woman s
patience and force her to poverty so
that she would have to surVumb to
whatever compromise they might of
fer. This won't happen If I can help
In another damage suit tried before
Judge McGinn, the plaintiff, a woman,
wan awarded 81 damages by the Jury-
"You can return this verdict. said
Judge McGinn, "but I'll set It aside.
It's a travesty on Justice. If this wom
an Is entitled to anything. Bhe Is en
titled to more than 1. If her caui U
not Just, $1 Is too much to give her.
Judge McGinn's uncompromising
stand against convicting any person
who had been entrapped Into doing
wrong by "stool pigeons" or police Is
well illustrated in a bootlegging case
that 'came before him on appeal from
the Municipal Court.
Officers of the moral squad had ar
...i.rf the .Innanese oroDrletor of a
! rooming-house for selling liquor, and
on their testimony that they had
bought liquor from him with marked
money, which was introduced in evi
dence, he was fined $210.
The Japanese appealed to the. Circuit
Court and his case came before Jud
McGinn. Only a few witnesses had
been heard when the Judge dismissed
"There Is no good taking up any
rr.nr time wlih this case. he an
nounced. "I will never cotivlci an)
man. white, black, yellow or tawny for
any offense where the state will have
one of its agents go there and entrap
him into the commission of a crime, i t
i wrong. It Is morally wrong. I don I
re how many authorities will uphold
, h that it Is necessary.
It is wrong for the state to do
ong and If the state will allow, per
mit and encourage Its officers to go
ana Invite people m ...... --
then Jump upon them, the state ought
to receive no consideration. It lsnt
decent, it isn't moral, it isn't right and
any amount of Judicial reasoning can
never make it right. Every man is en
titled to be dealt with fairly.
"This man Bold liquor. I haven t
any doubt in the world of it, but the
state was a party to the transaction
and I am not going to convict him on
this kind of testimony."
Judge McGinn has a horror of send
ing a man. particularly a young man.
to the penitentiary.
"I was District Attorney of Multno
mah County from 1886 to 1890." he said
recently, "and I hope I may be forgiven,
for I did a great deal of wrong. But
I lived up to the light that I then had.
That Is one part of my life of which I
am not very proud.
"Every now and then I read in tne
25-years-ago column of The Oregonlan
of convictions 1 obtained. I ask my
self would you send that man to the
penitentiary if you had it to do now?
And 1 answer that I would not. There
might be a few exceptions but very
few and I am doubtful as to them.
"Punishment Is degrading. It crushes
out what Is good in a man. There isn t
one of us who does not look back some
times and think with humiliation of a
punishment he has received, and with
bitter feelings towards the person that
"I do hope that the time will come
when some way other than the peni
tentiary will be found, even for the in
corriglbles. To send a young man. a
man clean but for some misconduct,
perhaps done on the spur of the mo
ment, to the penitentiary Is nothing
short of a crime."
Of his own views of the law and
technicality. Judge McGinn said on
this .same occasion:
The old common law Is good
in an elegant costume of cream Ben
gallne silk, ornamented with Duchess
lace. Only the relatives and intimate
friends of the parties were present. The
happv couple. Immediately after the
ceremony, left for Southern California,
where they will spend the Winter.
After their return from California they
will leave for a years trip to Europe.
Juvealle Fancy Dress Party.
A most enjoyable and novel event In
Juvenile society circles was the fancy
dress party given last Tuesday evening
in honor of Ernest and Charles Mac
kay at the residence of their parents.
71 North Twenty-first street. The
lower floor of the house was canvased
throughout and afforded an excellent
opportunity for dancing, which was the
order of the evening. A delicious sup
per was served in a 'cosy corner of the
attic, which had been most artistically
decorated for the occasion. There was
a great diversity of costumes, the bur
lesque, the picturesque and grotesque
were all represented; but they were
all suggestive, and one could readily
distinguish the character they imper
sonated. Among those present -were
Inez Barrett. Fanny Brown. Pearl
Crelghton. Octavls Drake. Luclle Fore
man, Caddie Foreman, Less I e Llewel
ling, Azallne Earl, Ina Ilette. Frances
and Edna Jeffery, Irene Malarkey. Nel
lie Johnson, Cora Koshland. Frankle
Martin. May O'Connor. Cornelia Rock
well. Ethel Stearns, Nannie Wood. Jes
N recent years few plays have at
tracted as much attention as George
V. Hobarfs morality comedy-
drama, "Experience," which comes to
the Heilig Thursday, it was originally
written just for a one-act sketch at the
Lambs' Gambol and was played entirely
by members of the Lambs' Club.
Managers In New York always watch
carefully these Lambs' Gambols to see
If there are not some of the sketches
that have the germ of dramatic success.
It was recognized that "Experience"
was something unique, and William
Elliott. F. Ray Comstock and Morris
Gest asked Mr. Hobart to elaborate his
sketch into a complete play. This he
did. making "Experience" a modern
morality comedy-drama in 10 acts. In
New York the play ran for nine months
and was given at three theaters in suc
cession during Its first season the
Booth, Maxlne Elliot and the Casino.
Runs In three seemed to favor "Ex
perience." When given In Boston last
year "Experience" also played suc
cessively at three different theaters
the Shubert. the Boston Opera-House
and Ye Wllbut. It ran in Boston for
five months and It was the first itme
in a decade that any attraction In one
season had played three houses.
In Boston. Thomas F. Walsh, then
Governor of Massachusetts, after seeing
the play, said: ""Experience' is a won
derful play. I think everyone should
e It- I am glad I saw It." Mayor
enough. We'll get more substantial
Justice out of the old common laws
than Wc-'re apt to get out of the laws
of this later day.
"There is a sort of hysteria In the
air today. Everybody seems to think
that we can pass a law and that It will
do everything. If we had a Legislature
that met only once In 10 years, and
did nothing but pass on appropriation
measures, we'd be a lot better off.
"I have long held to the idea that
the common law was elastic and that
under It Justice could easily be done,
and I have tried to run my court so
that justice and common sense, and
not technicality and procedure, should
govern. 1 have at least worked to
ward that end."
Judge McGinn has a truly remark
able memory. He can tell you offhand
the exact date and place of birth of
almost any pioneer citizen, as well as
other facts In their personal history.
If he hears a thing once, he remem
bers it always and can call upon it
at any time.
His knowledge of the law and mem
ory of cases are also extraordinary.
The bar universally admit that he Is
not exceeded In legal learning by any
member of the bench.
He is a warm personal friend of
many well-known public men. Includ
ing Colonel Theodore Roosevelt- His
friendship with Roosevelt began un
der rather unusual circumstances.
The day that Colonel Roosevelt was
In Portland, In September. 1912. In the
sie Reed. Annie McCraken, Edna More-
land. Helen Van Schuyver. Esther Ha
ganey. Christie Hoyt. George Durham,
Herbert Hoyt. Chester Hogue. Ned Bar
rett. Peter McCraken. Charles Mackay
Hamilton Campbell. James Jack. Ad
Johnson. Charles Malarkey, Harry
Klosterman, Ed Lyons. Hugh Laldlaw,
Ernest Laldlaw. Harry McCraken. Rob
ert McCraken. Nestor McCraken. Ernest
and Charles Mackay. Horace Pennover
Ed Sterling. Ed Strowbridge. Ersklne
Mrs. Kiapp'i Dinner Party.
Mrs. R. B. Knapp gave a charming
dinner party on Thursday night. The
table was ornamented entirely with
decorations of pink. In the center
stretching over the snowy damask
cloth, was a cover of soft pink silk
surmounted by a crystal vase filled
with pink roses and intermingled with
smilas;. which reached to the chande
lier above and was held there by pink
satin ribbons. The corsage bouquets
were of La r ranee roses and the bou
tonnieres were carnations. The guest
cards, as well as the menus, were of
cream-white English parchment, hand-
painted in gold, and were verv beauti
ful. The menu was most elaborate and
several hours were spent In Its discus
sion. Those present, besides Mr. and
Mrs. KnaiT. were Mr. and Mrs. James
McCraken. Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Palmer,
Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Miller. Mr. and Mrs.
W. T. Wallace. F. M. Gllmore and Law
Curley. of Boston, was also enthusiastic
about "Experience." and said officially:
' "Experience' is a wonderful perform
ance and teaches a great moral lesson."
The department stores reserved the
Boston Opera-House one night and em
ployes from every department store In
Boston attended as the guests of their
employers. At the conclusion of that
performance, which was opened by the
Governor and the Mayor. John Shepard.
Jr.. owner of the Shepard Stores. Boston
and Providence, wrote the Boston Post
without any solicitation from the man
ager of "Experience" Company the fol
lowing letter: "I want to speak of the
pleasure I received from witnessing the
performance of 'Experience.' I had no
idea the play was of so much impor
tance to young people. Every one of
our employes was present. I felt I was
receiving a benefit that would last
through life. I cannot believe that a
year of church sermons by the bright
est of clergymen could bring equal he
suits. Last year Boston's "Experience" or
ganization, by popular and lnsistant de
mand, remained in New England for
the entire season, and it was necestary
to cancel all bookings outside of New
England. In cities where attractions
usually appear for one week or two
nights. "Experience" had runs of two
and three weeks. In Providence there
were three separate engagements of a
week each and two weeks at Springfield,
Hartford. New Haven and Fall River.
course of his campaign tour for Presi
dent on the Progressive ticket, was
one of the occasional hot. sultry, sti
fling days that occur now and then
even in Portland. The Colonel had
been having a strenuous time of It.
When he arrived at the Gipsy Smith
auditorium to make a public address
he was so hot and exhausted that he
could not speak.
Jude McGinn was chairman of the
meeting. Colonel Roosevelt asked the
Judge to talk and hold the meeting
while he rested. Judge McGinn, talk
ing entirely impromptu. without a
note, spoke for three-quarters of an
hour. Colonel Roosevelt declared with
enthusiasm that it was one of the
best political addresses he had ever
He took such a liking to Judge Mc
Ginn as a result of this incident that
when he came through the Northwest
in the Summer of 1915 on his way to
the San Francisco fair. Colonel Roose
velt telegraphed Judge McGinn to meet
him in Seattle and ride to Portland
Juder McGinn did so. By the time
the train reached Portland, Colonel
Roosevelt was so charged with his
conversation that he wouldn't let the
Judge disembark. He Insisted that
Judge McGinn go on to San Frsnolsci
with him. which Judge McGinn finally
Before going on the bench. Judga
McGinn was considered one of the
most brilliant lawyers at the bar. For
many years his law office was In tha
Oregonlan building. Now on his re
tirement from the bench he will re
engage in the practice of law and his
offices will be in the same building.
LIVESTOCK BOOK ACCEPTED
.McMillan Company to Publish Work
of C'orvullls Edacators.
OREGON AGRICCLTCRAL COLLEGE.
Corvallls. Dec. SO. (Special.) "West
ern Livestock Management," written
by Professors E. L. Potter, O. M. Nel
son, Carl N. Kennedy and G. R. Sara
son, of the animal husbandry depart
ment of the college, will be brought
out by the McMillan Company as one
number of the rural life studies Issued
by that company under the direction of
Professor L. H. Bailey.
It will be the first book of its kind
ever written covering the management,
breeding, feeding and care of livestock
under Western conditions, and will be
suitable as a text book for beginners
in animal husbandry studies In the
West or as guide and reference for
School Ce nsus Shows Increase.
HOOD RIVER. Or.. Dec. 70. (Spe
cial.) A census of the school children
of Hood River County shows an In-
. i ' . t tr iii u v . ii'iiii-uitvi i l 1 1 i ra i
greatest Increase Is shown In the Bar
rett District, which as a result becomes
a second-class district, the only one
in the county except that of the city.
The Barrett District's school children
were Increased mainly from the acqui
sition of territory acquired from tha
Ttead The Oregonlan classified ads.