RUFUS STARRY PICKETT, NEW HAVEN: Attorney at Law, Judge of the City Court.
Judge Pickett, a resident of New Haven since 1854, is a descendant of the sixth generation of an English ancestor
who emigrated from Dover, England, and settled at Milford, in this state. He was born at Ridgefield, Feb. 28, 1829,
studied in the common schools, and prepared for college at Hugh Banks' academy, in his native town.
On account of the failing health of his father, Rufus H. Pickett, Rufus S. was, when eighteen years of age, compelled
to relinquish study, and devote himself to the management of his father's business, which he continued for six
years, when he removed to New Haven, and for seven and a half years worked at building and repairing locomotives
for the New York & New Haven Railroad, when it was a single track road, doing its business with twenty four
In the Lincoln campaign of 1860 Mr. Pickett, then, as now, an ardent republican, was encouraged to take an active
part, by his friend and former schoolmate, Cyrus Northrop, then a professor in Yale college, now president of the
University of Minnesota. He answered some of the numerous calls for speakers in New Haven and adjoining towns,
speaking in company with Professor Northrop, Hon. N. D. Sperry, John Woodruff, M.C., and others. After the Lincoln
administration came into power, and the late James F. Babcock was appointed collector of the port of New Haven,
he appointed Mr. Pickett an inspector of customs, which office, and that of weigher and gauger, he held for several
years; and while in these offices, and performing his duties faithfully, resumed study, entered the Yale Law School,
took the Jewell prize as essayist at the close of the first year, graduated with fair honors in 1873, and entered
upon the general practice of law. In 1877 he was appointed city attorney, being continued in that office six years;
in 1885 was appointed assistant judge, and in 1887 judge of the city court of New Haven. Judge Pickett heard some
of the early boycott cases, and prepared opinions on them, which had a wide circulation in the country, and which
have been substantially confirmed by the higher courts of several states.
Judge Pickett is married, and has four children. His religious connections are with the Congregationalists, and
he is a " Son of the Revolution " through his maternal ancestry.
Illustrated Popular Biography
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891
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