Kenneth Gray Brill


Judge Kenneth Gray Brill was a loyal St. Paul man from beginning to end. He was born in St. Paul, MN on June 17, 1883 to Judge Hascal R. and Cora G. Brill. He graduated from St. Paul Central High School in 1903. He attended the University of Minnesota, and graduated from the St. Paul College of Law in 1907. He married Laura Cook (a St. Paul girl) in 1909. He worked in the St. Paul city attorney’s office handling damage claims against the city from 1909-1913. He then joined the St. Paul firm of Otis & Otis with Alf Boyeson in 1913, the new partnership being named Boyeson, Otis & Brill. Roland J. Faricy joined the firm on January 1, 1924, and the firm became Boyeson, Otis, Brill & Faricy. (The firm was located in St. Paul’s historic Endicott Building.) Brill left the firm in 1929 when he was appointed to the Ramsey County District Court bench. (The firm then became Boyeson Otis & Faricy, which was its name in the 1930’s when joined by future Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Warren Burger.)

Judge Brill served in many local organizations. He was president of the Ramsey County Bar Association from 1927-1928, president of the Minnesota State District Judges’ Association from 1943-1944, as well as president of the Minnesota Historical Society for six years. He also belonged to the Sons of the American Revolution, Summit Lodge 163, and was a life member of the St. Paul Area Council of Boy Scouts.

Judge Brill’s service on the bench continued until his death in February of 1954. According to his obituary, he was taking the bus home from the Courthouse one Saturday when he suffered a heart attack. He died a few days later at Miller Hospital (which was later razed and is now the location of the present Minnesota Historical Society). Courts were closed for his funeral, with his surviving bench members attending together, and members of the Minnesota Bar Association serving as his honorary pallbearers.

 

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