On November 13, 1907, Judge Lorin Cray presided over a special session of the District Court in Mankato to honor the seven judges who had served in the Sixth Judicial District since statehood: Lewis Branson, who served 1858 to 1864, Horace Austin, 1865 to 1869, M. G. Hanscome, in 1869, Franklin W. Waite, 1870 to 1874, Austin C. Woolfolk, in 1874, Daniel A. Dickinson, 1875 to 1881, and Martin J. Severance, 1881 to 1900.
A portrait of each judge, except Judge Woolfolk, was unveiled and hung on a wall in the courtroom. Memorials were read about each judge, and a few members of the bar and Judge Cray reminisced about them.
The longest and most eloquent memorial was to Judge Severance, who had died on July 11th, by Jean Flittie, a Mankato lawyer and bankruptcy referee. Few bar memorials are as detailed and insightful as this one. His contemporaries spared few accolades when speaking about him. It is difficult a century later not to conclude that he was a superior jurist, who had patience, an even temperament, a deep knowledge of the common law and a sense of what was "right."
The memorial proceedings were printed in the daily and weekly editions of The Mankato Free Press on November 14 and 15, 1907. They are posted here, edited and reformatted.