Justice Abel E. Blackmar was born in Newark, NY in 1852. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1874 and received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1878. That same year, he began working at the law firm of Baldwin & Blackmar. In 1897, he appeared as counsel against 41 railroads making up the Joint Traffic Association. In 1898, Blackmar was appointed as counsel to a commission investigating nine million dollars of expenditures in the improvement of the Erie Canal. He also served as counsel for the Canal Association of Greater New York, in this capacity drafting the Barge Canal law. In 1907, he was appointed as counsel to the Public Service Commission.
Blackmar was appointed acting Supreme Court Justice for the Second Judicial District in 1907 by Gov. Hughes and was elected to the Supreme Court in the following year. He was designated to the Appellate Division, Second Department on February 7, 1917, and served as presiding justice from April 1921 until his retirement in 1922. After his retirement, Blackmar resumed private practice. Then, in December 1928, he was appointed an official referee by the Appellate Division.
Blackmar served as chairman of the Republican committee of sixty-three (1905-1906), director of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (beginning in 1922), president of the Union Club of Brooklyn (1895), and was a member of the University and Hamilton Clubs of Brooklyn, the Lawyer’s Club of Manhattan, the Garden City and Oakland Gold Clubs, and the American, State, City, County and Brooklyn Bar Associations.
Blackmar was married to Adelle Marx in 1888 and had a son, Abel E. Jr., a lawyer. He died in Brooklyn on February 14, 1931 at the age of 72.
“Abel E. Blackmar, Retired Jurist, Dies.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 16. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Feb 16 1931. Web. 24 Aug. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/99138040?accountid=8012.
“Abel E. Blackmar.” Biographical information sheets. Appellate Division, Second Department Library, Brooklyn.