Biography of William F. Dunning
Orange County, NY Biographies





WILLIAM FULLERTON DUNNING, a member of the New York City Bar Association and for several years immediately preceding his death a member of its committee on admissions, died on April 1, 1907, after an illness lasting only a few days. He was born in the city of New York on May 29, 1856. His father was the late Benjamin F. Dunning, for many years the law partner of Charles O'Conor, and his mother was Ruth Seely, of Orange County, New York.

From his father Mr. Dunning inherited a predilection for the law, and doubtless his early association with his father's firm helped to develop in him his high ideals of professional ethics.

He was prepared for college in Dresden, Saxony, and was graduated from Princeton University in the class of 1877. He devoted himself with more than usual assiduity to his studies, and was particularly interested in the classics. He was graduated from the Columbia College Law School and admitted to the bar of this State in 1879. Upon his admission to the bar he entered the firm of Dunning, Edsall, Hart & Fowler, of which firm his father was senior partner. In 1883, upon the death of Mr. Hart, the firm of Dunning, Edsall & Fowler was organized, and in 1886, upon the retirement of Mr. Edsall, the firm became Dunning & Fowler. Of these three firms William Fullerton Dunning was a member. In 1900, upon the dissolution of the firm of Dunning & Fowler, Mr. Dunning joined the firm of Boardman, Platt & Soley; on Mr. Soley's retirement from the firm in 1906, the firm Boardman, Platt & Dunning was organized and continued until November, 1906, when Judge Morgan J. O'Brien became one of the members, the name being changed to O'Brien, Boardman, Platt & Dunning.

William Fullerton Dunning was a man of modest and retiring disposition. Although a learned and sound lawyer, he did not seek the contention and strife of the courts, but preferred office practice. His faithfulness and devotion to his clients' interests gained for him their confidence, and many of them became his warm friends. He had a cheerful, happy disposition. His relations with his professional brethren were always marked with great consideration, and while he jealously guarded the interests of his clients, an opposing attorney could never justly complain that Mr. Dunning had not shown to him the courtesy demanded by the most exacting professional etiquette. While not ambitious for position or office which would bring him prominently before the public, he was greatly interested in his professional work and desirous that it should be well done. His relations with the various partners with whom he was associated during his career have always been most cordial and friendly.

In 1883 he married Clara Frost, of New Orleans, La., and the years that followed were filled with domestic happiness. His wife and six daughters who survive him mourn the loss of a kind and loving husband and a wise and affectionate father. His life is a continuous record of high ideals and work well done. He died in the prime of life, respected by all who knew him, and loved by those who knew him best. In this age of excitement and greed, such a life as his should be an example and an inspiration.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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