Academic and Career Accomplishments
His name was Albert Lincoln Caris, known affectionately to those who knew him well as “Albert” or “Judge Caris”. Judge Caris was born, reared and educated in Ravenna, graduating from Ravenna High School in 1907. He was elected Clerk of Courts in 1912 and served two terms. He then retired into business life with the E.D. Neikirk Co. of Ravenna. When Probate Judge E.F. Robinson resigned office in March, 1919, to go to Detroit, Albert was appointed Probate Judge in his stead and in 1920 was elected by popular vote to a full four year term. While serving as Probate Judge he quietly pursued his study of the law at home. Without the advantage of a college education, for which his family had no funds, or much less attending any law school, he still managed to place second in the entire state when he passed the Ohio State Bar Examination and was granted his license to practice law. When one considers the fact that also taking that same examination were law school graduates from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and many other prestigious schools, this was no small accomplishment. Thereafter, he entered a private law practice and for twenty-five years enjoyed a reputation as one of the leading trial lawyers in the State of Ohio. In 1950 he was elected judge of the Portage County Common Pleas Court, where he served with distinction for twenty-eight years until his death in 1978. Enjoying many of the same virtues of the man whose name and birthday he shared, President Abraham Lincoln, Ravenna High School’s own Albert “Lincoln” Caris also went on to greatness. After God, country and family, his greatest devotion was to the fair administration of justice and preservation of our laws and our court system. Truly, he was a legend in his own time!