I. Homer Sutton, 1932-1954
Chief Judge: 1947-1954
I. HOMER SUTTON was a Court of Appeals Judge from 1932-1944, then served as Presiding Judge until 1947, and Chief Judge until 1954. On the latter date he became a Justice on the Supreme Court, resigning on June 1, 1954, to become Justice Emeritus. He was born in Towns County, Georgia, on October 22, 1882, and died in 1961.
He married Pauline Burns in Clarkesville on October 10, 1917. For other data and information concerning his life and career, see the memorial dated April 9, 1962, in 217 Georgia Reports, pages 873-879.
He attended the common schools of Towns County; was graduated from Hiawassee Junior College in 1902 with highest honors; studied law; was admitted to the Bar in 1906; and began the practice of law in Clarkesville.
He was Mayor of Clarkesville for three years; County Attorney; City Attorney. He purchased and installed "at his own exclusive expense a beautiful and sweet-toned Allen pipe organ in the Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville to the Glory of God and in honor of his beloved and devoted wife." After 20 years of law practice he was elected as Judge of the Superior Court of the Northeastern Circuit. "He dispatched the business of the courts of the circuits speedily and was seldom reversed on appeal." He prepared more than 1500 opinions while on the two appellate courts. He is one of a limited number who served on the Superior Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court.
He was "nurtured at the birth site of the Chattahoochee. He came down by call of duty to Atlanta where he toiled and mixed with the main."
Lanier's "Song of the Chattahoochee" depicts his life: "Out of the hills of Habersham, down the Valleys of Hall...Downward the voices of duty call -Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main, ..."
Words used about him are "sterling character...outstanding ability... unquestioned integrity...deep religious faith...immaculate attire... gentleman, a scholar and a judicial statesman." Of him and his wife: "No painter's brush or words of men in justice to their fame can ever express our high regard for their service and noble name. With hearts of gold and noble soul and a zeal to serve his cause, they spent their days in endless ways in deeds far better than laws. ..Many people have wondered where they got it, this spirit about which we sing; and some of us have known their secret: They walked on high with the KING. ..And they chose the riches of the heart instead of riches they could hold in their hand."