Derby History Quiz

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Col. Wm. B. Wooster (L) with three members of his Derby law firm who went on to become judges - William H.  Williams, Chief Justice David Torrance, and Edwin B. Gager.

Picture courtesy of the Derby Historical Society

David Torrance was born in Scotland in 1840, but came to call Derby his home. He served with distinction in the Civil War as a captain in the 29th Regiment, C.V., Colored which was commanded by Col. William Wooster of Derby. Under Wooster's tutelage, he began the study of law. When the war ended, he and his wife, Annie France, settled in Derby. He continued to study under Colonel Wooster who was practicing in Derby. He was admitted to the New Haven County Bar in 1868.

He represented Derby in the state legislature in 1871 and 1872 and was elected Secretary of State in 1879.  He was appointed a judge in the Court of Common Pleas in 1881 and continued his rise in the judicial system until he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors in 1901. Yale University gave him an honorary degree in 1883 and he became an instructor in the Yale Law School in 1893 and was promoted to professor of the law in 1898. - not bad for someone who had not graduated from college himself!

Our thanks to Carolyn Ivanoff and Jamie Cohen for their assistance on this quiz.

Correct answers were received from: Ken Dupke,  Carmela M. D'Onofrio, Rosalie Cota, Millie from Ansonia, Jack Vagnini, Marc J. Garofalo, Jim Bartlett, Nick from Terryville, Ann Searles, Randy Ritter, Marilyn Mizii, John Whalen, John M. Rak, Eileen Krugel, Mary Suess, James Allaire, Veronica McLeod,  Bill Davidson, and Fred Grant.

To see our earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.

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