C.P. Lycoming County, No. 52, February Term, 1960, in the matter of the death of Don M. Larrabee, Esquire, a member of the bar of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.


To the Honorable Charles Scott Williams, President Judge.
To the Honorable Charles P. Greevy, Additional Law Judge of Lycoming County:

The Committee appointed by your Honorable Court to pre pare Resolutions concerning the death of HONORABLE DON M. LARRABEE, ESQUIRE, reports as follows:

DON MARSHALL LARRABEE was born March 11, 1877 at Emporium, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Marcellus L. and George (Mayo) Larrabee.

Judge Larrabee received his A.B. degree from Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 1899. His Alma Mater award ed him his, L. L. D. in 1940. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1902.

Judge Larrabee had worked his way through Law School selling life insurance for the New York Life Insurance Company. Following his kraduation from Law School, he continued in the life insurance business in Philadelphia.

He married Olive F. Moore on October 7, 1903. Three children were born to this marriage: Don L., a member of the Lycoming County Bar; David M., a mining geologist with the United States Geological Survey; and John A., of Williamsport, Terminal Manager of the Gulf Oil Company. Mrs. Larrabee predeceased her husband by about two years.

Following his marriage, Judge Larrabee continued in the life insurance business and was transferred to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as General Agent for the New York Life Insurance Company and remained there about a year before coming to Williamsport in 1907 to begin his practice of law. In his early days of practice he served as Executive Secretary of the Williamsport Board of Trade and as Chairman of the Lycoming County Republican Party from 1910 to 1911.

He became associated in the practice of law with the late Nicholas M. Edwards and remained in this association until the death of Mr. Edwards on March 10, 1926.

He was elected as the first Republican Judge of Lycoming County in the fall of 1931 along with the Honorable G. B. M. Metzger. The determination of which one should be President Judge was made by the cutting of a deck of cards and Judge Larrabee lost and became the Additional Law Judge until March 18, 1938 when, upon the death of Judge Metzger, Judge Larrabee became President Judge of Lycoming County.

Judge Larrabee served his community in many capacities:

He was Executive Secretary for the Lycoming County Council of National Defense, 1917-1918. He was chairman of the Finance Committee for the Four Minute Speakers during World War I. He was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania the chairman of the Committee to set up the four Draft Boards in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in 1942. He served as Trustee of Lycoming College, formerly Dickinson Junior College, from 1931 until his death on February 15, 1960.

He was a member of the Board of Managers of the Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and President of the Congress Hall Law Society of Philadelphia from 1947 to 1949. The latter came about as a result of Judge Larrabee having studied law in Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress had sat.

He delivered the principal address in June, 191.5, at the unveiling of the bronze tablet at Allegheny College commemorating President McKinley’s student days in that institution.

He was the first President of the Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County which had been formed by a combination of the Newberry Sportsmens’ Association and the Lycoming County Sportsmens' Association and was past President of the West Branch Boy Scout Council.

Judge Larrabee was an ardent sportsman. He loved to hunt and fish. He was the last surviving charter member of the Black Forest Hunting and Fishing Club which was located on the Coudersport Pike, near Slate Run, Pennsylvania.

Judge Larrabee, in 1924, made a unique contribution to the historical publications of this country when he published an edition entitled, “Journals of George Washington And His Guide On Mission To French Forts In 1753”. In this work, Judge Larrabee masterfully pointed out that the publicity given young Washington’s trip from Virginia to the French General at Fort LeBoeuf brought about in later years Washington’s appointment as Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army.

Judge Larrabee was member of the Methodist Church, a Mason and Knights Templar, a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Odd Fellows and the S. A. E. College Fraternity.

In his practice of law and in his service on the Bench, Judge Larrabee took great pride in what may well be termed as “fairness”. During his twenty years as Judge he was rarely reversed and this testifies to his great legal ability.

Following his retirement as Judge in 1952, he resumed the private practice of the law with his son, Don L. Larrabee, and later, Clinton W. Smith, who was added to this association.

Judge Larrabee remained industrious to the last. Despite his failing health, clue to old age, he continued to attend to his daily duties at the office. In fact, he was leaving for his office when he was stricken with his last illness.

Your Committee recommends the adoption of the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED that in the passing of the Honorable Don Marshall Larrabee, the Bench and Bar of Lycoming County have lost an able, valued and friendly member whose example may well be emulated; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of these Resolutions be spread upon the records of the several Courts of Lycoming County and that copies of the same he sent to his three sons.


John C. Youngman, Chairman
John G. Candor
Michael J. Maggio
H. Alvan Baird
S. Dale Furst, Jr.
J. Frederick Gehr