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Milles Fountain Honors Judge Cooley


Thomas McIntyre Cooley
The Michigan Alumnus 475

Milles Fountain Honors Judge Cooley
 (Fountain is located on Ingalls Mall in Front of the Michigan League)

A decorative addition to the
 Michigan Campus memorializ
ing a famous Michigan jurist
 and member of the first Faculty of the 
Law School was formally dedicated as 
part of the Commencement Week pro
gram on June 21 when the new Cooley
 Fountain on the Mall was presented 
to the University by its donor, Charles
 A. Baird, '95, '95l, of Kansas City. 
 The creation of the renowned sculptor
 of Cranbrook School, Carl Milles, it
 was given by Mr. Baird in honor of 
the late Judge Thomas Mclntyre Coo
ley, and is located on the Mall oppo
site the Burton Memorial Tower and 
the Michigan League. 


Ceremonies of dedication brought 
both the sculptor and the donor to the
 microphone set up on the broad expanse flanking the fountain, while the 
gift was accepted on behalf of the 
University by President Ruthven. The
 sculptor told the audience of alumni 
and Faculty members that his concep
tion in the piece was inspired by boy 
hood experiences when his father took 
him swimming in the ocean in his na
tive Sweden. The fountain's central figure is a massive Triton, a mythologi
cal god, swimming to sea with his sons
 clinging to his back. "Sunday Morning 
in Deep Waters," the inscription, in
dicates the childhood associations em
bodied by the sculptor in his work.


The major and minor figures of the 
group are done in bronze coated with 
a green patina, with the central figure 
set on a block of Minnesota granite. A
 school of fish are depicted accompany
ing the family on their excursion, the 
whole group being enveloped in a 
sweeping spray from the mouths of the 
fish and the conch-shell trumpet on 
which the elder Triton blows to soothe
 the restless waves. The pool around 
the fountain is 20 by 30 feet and 18
 inches in depth. Pumps in a chamber 
under the fountain re-circulate the 
water.


Thomas M. Cooley, in whose mem
ory the fountain was dedicated, was 
one of the original Faculty of the Uni
versity Law School. As Professor of 
Law and later as Professor of Ameri
can History and Constitutional Law,
 Dean of the Law Department and
 Dean of the School of Political Science,
 he served the University from 1859 
until his death in 1898. He was a
 Justice of the Michigan Supreme 
Court for 21 years, Chairman of the 
first Interstate Commerce Commission,
 and is widely known for his legal and
 historical writings. Professor Lewis G.
 Vandervelde, of the History Department and Director of the Michigan 
Historical Collections, spoke on Judge 
Cooley's life and times.


The inspiration for a fountain came 
to him on a visit to Cranbrook School,
 near Birmingham, Mr. Baird said in 
speaking briefly at the ceremonies. He 
had previously wished to express his
 admiration for Judge Cooley in the 
form of a statue, he revealed, but upon
 seeing Milles work, and especially the 
fountain at Cranbrook executed by 
the Swedish sculptor, he determined 
that his gift should be a fountain on
 the Mall.