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History and Traditions

Edgar N. Durfee

Edgar N. Durfee taught at the University of Michigan Law School, 1911-1956.

Date of Birth: 1882
Date of Death: 1958


The death of Professor Emeritus Edgar N. Durfee on July 5, 1958, saddened his colleagues and the many alumni who looked upon him as a beloved teacher and friend. Professor Durfee served for 31 years on the Michigan Law Faculty prior to his retirement in 1952.  At that time, the University Regents adopted a memorial, reading in part as follows: "As the author of four casebooks, brilliantly annotated, he has implemented the teaching of law . . . His classes have been ably conducted, and his personal qualities of integrity, fairness, and loyalty, and cheerful friendliness have made his presence on our campus welcome alike to students, alumni, and his faculty associates."

Professor Durfee was born May 19, 1882, in Detroit. He graduated from Detroit University High School in 1900, received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard in 1904, attended the Michigan Law School, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1908.

After graduation, he worked for Canfield & Canfield, Detroit, and became a partner in Drake & Durfee there. He taught at the University of Idaho Law School before joining the University of Michigan Law Faculty in 1911. Two years later he became a full professor.

Professor Durfee married Amy Eleanor Savage of Detroit in 1911. She survives. Their daughter Elizabeth (Mrs. Paul Oberst), and five grandchildren live in Lexington, Kentucky. One son, George, died in 1928, and another, Paul, was killed in action in 1943.

Professor Durfee remained active until his death. He was in the Law Quadrangle daily, engaged in research, writing, and his usual stimulating contacts with his colleagues.

--  From the University of Michigan Law School's Law Quadrangle Notes, V. 03, Iss. 01 (January 1959).



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