April 13, 1870: Judge Frank Haymond Born in Marion County

Judge Frank Cruise Haymond

Judge Frank Haymond was born in Marion County on April 13, 1870. He practiced law in Fairmont and served as judge of the Marion County Circuit Court.

In 1945, Governor Clarence Meadows appointed the 75-year-old Haymond to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court. Haymond was elected to the court the following year and re-elected to two more 12-year terms.

When he died in 1972 at age 102, he’d served longer on the state’s high court than any past jurist.

Haymond’s judicial philosophy emphasized past precedents, and he was strongly opposed to legislating from the bench.

In one of his final legal decisions, he sternly overruled a lower court’s opinion that had declared incarceration in the aging West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville to be unconstitutional because it violated the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. A decade later, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that imprisonment at the penitentiary was indeed unconstitutional, leading to its eventual closure.

When Judge Frank Haymond was 100, he received the American Bar Association’s prestigious ABA Medal. He’s the one and only West Virginian to receive this honor.