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George Dutton Watrous papers

Call Number: MS 1065

Scope and Contents

The papers of George Dutton Watrous consist of office files compiled during his membership on the Connecticut State Bar Examining Committee and on the Yale Law School Curriculum Committee. Included are correspondence, memoranda, printed matter, and other papers. There is also a notebook of models for practical forms, orders, and so forth, to be used in Watrous' law practice, and a small assortment of legal papers and printed forms.

The Connecticut State Bar Examining Committee materials make up over half of the collection. The letters, memoranda, and printed matter filed in the correspondence deal with establishing levels of qualification for the bar, setting up rules and regulations for admission to the bar, individual cases of admission or rejection, and routine matters concerning meetings of the committee. There are also files of bar examination questions and scores of those who took them, as well as miscellaneous memoranda, minutes, and other papers.

The Yale Law School papers deal largely with Watrous' work with the Curriculum Committee, including arranging for teachers of courses and scheduling. Among these papers are letters, memoranda, minutes of faculty meetings, schedules for classes, printed lists of questions for prize orations, essays and theses, as well as an assortment of newspaper clippings and other printed matter.

These papers were donated to Yale University in 1945 by Charles A. Watrous.


  • 1893-1923


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles A. Watrous, 1943.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Office files compiled during Watrous' membership on the Connecticut State Bar Examining Committee and on the Yale Law School Curriculum Committee. The Bar Committee material includes correspondence, memoranda, and printed matter establishing levels of qualifications for the bar, regulations for admission, and bar examination questions. The Yale Law School papers include letters, schedules, subjects for prize orations, and newspaper clippings. Also in the papers is a notebook of model legal forms intended for use in Watrous' law practice.

Biographical / Historical

George Dutton Watrous, B.A. 1879

Born September 18, 1858 in New Haven, Conn.; Died November 14, 1940, in New Haven, Conn.

Father, George Henry Watrous (B.A. 1853). Mother, Harriet Joy (Dutton) Watrous. Yale relatives include: Henry Dutton (B.A. 1818) (grandfather); Matthew R. Dutton (B.A. 1808) (great-uncle); Henry M. Dutton (B.A. 1857) (uncle); Edward V. Raynolds, '80 S. (brother-in-law); Randolph Raynolds, '09, and Chester R. Downer, '16 S. (nephews); and Suzanne G. Watrous (B.F.A. 1927) (daughter-in-law).

Hopkins Grammar School. Dissertation and appointment Junior and Senior years; first Berkeley Prize for excellence in Latin Composition Freshman year; Senior Promenade Committee; member Dunham Boat Club, Delta Kappa, He Boule, and Delta Kappa Epsilon; graduate member Wolf's Head.

Conducted his own school Litchfield, Conn., 1879-80; attended Yale School of Law 1880-81 and 1883-90 (LL.B. 1883, LL.M. 1884, D.C.L. 1890; member Corbey Court); student Columbia University School of Law 1881-82; traveled abroad 1882-83; admitted to the bar 1883; practiced law in New Haven 1883-1940 (member Townsend [William K., '71] & Watrous 1885-92, Watrous & Buckland [Edward G., '89 L.] 1892-98. Watrous & Day [Harry G., '90 S.] 1898-1921, Watrous, Day, Hewitt [Harrison, '97), Steele & Sheldon [Harrison T., '05] 1921-24, Watrous, Hewitt, Sheldon & Gumbart [William B., '15 L.] 1924-33, and Watrous, Hewitt, Gumbart & Corbin [Arthur L., Jr., '23] 1933-40); director and counsel New Haven Gas Light Company 1889-1940, and of a number of other New Haven firms; director Milford Water Company 1908-40 (vice-president 1925-40); trustee National Savings Bank 1885-1940 and a vice-president 1938-40; on New Haven Board of Councilmen 1885 and Board of Alderman 1887-88; member commission appointed to prepare city charter 1893-94 and State commission for uniformity of municipal charters 1905; instructor in contracts and torts Yale School of Law 1889-92 and assistant professor 1892-5; professor of contracts, torts, and estates 1895-1912, constitutional law 1912, and law 1913-20; member board of trustees Sheffield Scientific School 1923-40; represented Law School on University Council 1911-19; vice-president Yale Law School Association 1937-40; first vice-president Graduates Club 1923-24; contributed to History of the City of New Haven, edited by Edward E. Atwater (1887), and Two Centuries' Growth of American Law 1701-1901(1901); member State Bar Examining Committee 1890-1920, New Haven County Bar Association (president 1909-1912), Connecticut State Bar Association (president 1908-10), American Bar Association (vice-president for Connecticut 1909-12), New Haven Colony Historical Society (honorary vice-president 1937-40), American Forestry and American Historical associations, American Society of International Law, and American Academy of Political and Social Science; attended Center Church (Congregational), New Haven.

Married June 7, 1888, in Whitneyville, Conn., Bertha Agnes, daughter of Samuel Robinson and Charlotte Root (Forbes) Downer. Children: Wheeler deForest, ex-'11 S. (died August 10, 1937); Charlotte Root (Yale School of Fine Arts 1916-18), the wife of John Dooley Lyttle (M.D. Cornell 1916); George Dutton, Jr., '16 S., '20 L.; Katherine Eliot (Mrs. Watrous Miller); Charles Ansel, '21., '24 L.; and Frederick Williams, '22.

Death due to cerebral embolism. Buried in Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven. Survived by wife, daughters, three sons, two grandchildren, a sister, Mrs. Maude W. Grazebrook of London, England, and two half brothers, Eliot Watrous, '99, and Francis M. Watrous, '09. His brother, Charles A. Watrous, '84, died in 1899.

Yale College Obituary Record,1940-43, pages 17-18.

Guide to the George Dutton Watrous Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
June 2010
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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