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class legislation, and broke down the sacred right to make such contracts as people chose to make that were not against the constitution, and held " that it is pot competent for the legislature under the constitution to single out owners and operators of mines and manufacturers of every kind, and provide that they shall bear burdens not imposed on other owners of property or employees of labor, and probibit them from making contracts which it is competent for other owners of property or employees of labor to make. Such legislation cannot be sustained as an exercise of the police power. That the act of the legislature which prohibited persons engaged in mining and manufacturing from issuing for the payment for labor any order or paper except such as is specified in said act, is unconstitutional and void.”
The other case, decided before that, White v. Tenant, 31 W. Va. 79, involves a nice question in private international law, or the conflict of law. The opinion is short, long enough, true, clear and convincing, and applies the law to the facts of that case in this language: “ When a person entirely abandons his former residence in one State, with no intention of resuming it, and goes with his family to another residence which he has rented in another State, with the intention of making the latter his residence for an indefinite time, the latter residence is bis domicile, notwithstanding the fact that after he and bis family arrived at the new residence, which is only about a half mile from the State line, they go on the same day on a visit to spend the night with a neighbor in the former State, intending to return in the morning of the next day, but is detained there by sickness until he dies, and dever does, in fact, return to his new home."
If all our courts of last resort could be composed of such judges as the subject of this sketch the country would be safe.
HON. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN MARTIN.
BY HON. JOHN W. MASON.
The story of a long and active life cannot be told in the brief paper wbich this association will expect from me. The many noble traits which marked the character of Benjamin Franklin Martin cannot be described in the time which I could reasonably ask you to allow me on this occasion. He lived through the most interesting and important period in the history of this country — from October 2d, 1828, to January 20th, 1895. In all the great events of his day he took an active part. He had positive and decided views on all subjects and never hesitated to express them. There was nothing negative about him. He was positive and aggressive, without the slightest degree of bypocrisy. To his friends he was confiding and loyal, to bis enemies open and frank. One might not always agree with him but no man who knew him well, could avoid admiring him.
He was born on a farm near Farmington, in Marion County, West Virginia. After reaching the age of about twenty-one years he left the farm and entered Allegheny College at Meadville, Pa., graduating in June, 1854. Returning to bis native county with his young bride, be taught school at Fairmont for about two years, studied law in the meantime and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1856. In the autumn of 1856 he moved to Taylor County, where the remainder of his life was spent. He married Miss Nancy E. Carlan, of Meadville, Pa. This marriage was a most happy and fortunate one. They were congenial and devoted to each other. For more than forty years there was not a happier bome in America than Mr. Martin's. Nothing in Mr. Martin's exalted character deserves a bigher meed of praise, than does his exemplary and pure home life. None but those who were admitted to his fireside and knew his inner and every-day life, understood how good and truly noble he was.
For many years he devoted his talents and energy to the practice of his profession, and was recognized by every one who knew him as a very superior lawyer. He was indus- . trious, methodical and scrupulously bonest. In the preparation of a case for trial he seemed to neglect nothing which buman foresight could anticipate. Every possible phase of the case was considered and nothing left to chance. But it was in the midst of a jury trial that he displayed to best advantage his matchless skill and wonderful powers. As a trial lawyer he had no superior and few equals in the courts in which he practiced. The antagonist who exposed the weak points in bis armor was sure to have it pierced by Mr. Martin's keen lance. In these battles he was as manly as he was brave and adroit. He met the issues fairly and without evasion. Be it said to his bonor, he never intentionally misstated a fact or attempted to mislead the court or jury. A marvelous memory enabled him to quote accurately the evidence in the very language of the witness. He rarely took notes of the evidence, even in a very lengthy case, yet he would repeat with great accuracy every material fact proven. His addresses to the jury were models of logic, accuracy and simplicity of language. He always spoke to the jury and pot to the audience; and sougbt a verdict for his client and not glory for himself. Earnestness, a plain and simple style, logical arrangement, with most delightful aud pleasing manners, made him a popular speaker.
For many years he was the most successful practitioner in his county. This success was attained, not alone by the fact that he was a good lawyer, and an experienced and astute debater, but by reason of the further fact, that the people loved him and confided in him. He had the unquestioned confidence of the people from whom the juries were selected, and thus the unsullied reputation he had built among his neighbors aided him largely in his work. A bad man cannot be a successful practicing lawyer for any considerable length of time at the same place.
Mr. Martin gave some time to politics. As a politician he was zealous and hopeful and had the power of inspiring his associates with much of his real and earnestness. He was a member of the State convention of 1872 which framed our present constitution. Being a good lawyer and an able speaker he occupied a very high position in that convention of distinguished men. Twice his party elected him a member of the House of Representatives of the United States — in 1876 and again in 1878. His majority in 1878 was the largest ever given to any man in the district. From early manbood he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a lay delegate to the General Conference of 1876; president of the Lay-Electoral Conference at Parkersburg in 1887; one of the trustees and treasurer of the Conference Seminary at Buckbannon, and superintendent of his Sabbath School for many years. He was one of the most active men in the State in all good and charitable work. He was generous and liberal to a fault. Contributions were made by him to every good work within bis reach. Not a church was built in Taylor County for forty years to which he did not give substantial aid. He was never too deeply engrossed in business or politics to decline to do a favor for a deserving neighbor,
Standing beside the beautiful stone, which a loving wife has had erected to mark his resting place in the cemetery at Fairmont, one can say as Burns said of a friend :
" An honest man here lies at rest
As e'er God with his image blest;