HON. JOHN THOMAS NOURSE, JR.

Posted: May 16, 2006, 17:05:28 pm by jim

My Great-Grand Father's Brother...

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Judge Nourse was born in Academia, a small village in Juniata county, near the center of the state of Pennsylvania, on March 3, 1877, and he is son of John Thomas and Eleanor (Pomeroy) Nourse. After completing the public school courses, he matriculated at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and in 1900 this institution conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts. For a period of one year thereafter, he studied law in Stanford University, and in October, 1901, entered the law office of Major C. L. Tilden, noted San Francisco attorney. Supplementing his university training with this practical experience and observation, he passed his examinations and was admitted to the California state bar in March, 1902. He then became an assistant in the office of Percy Long, who was city attorney of San Francisco, and in this capacity Judge Nourse conducted legal affairs relative to the Hetch-Hetchy water rights and the right of the city to operate municipal railway lines over certain streets. He was assistant city attorney of San Francisco in the periods of 1904-06 and 1908-11. From 1911 until 1917, he served as deputy attorney-general of the state of California, and as such conducted all of the school and state bond issues and public land litigation. He was also adviser to Governors Johnson and Stephens. Judge Nourse first went upon the bench as a justice of the superior court of San Francisco in 1917, and retained this position until 1919, in which year he was appointed justice of the California district court of appeals. That his selection met with the favor of the voters is indicated in his regular election to this position in 1920 for a term of twelve years. In 1930, he was further honored by being chosen as presiding justice of this court. Judge Nourse’s record in the state judiciary has been unassailable. It had given him a permanent place of merit in the history of the state's courts and of prestige among his fellowmen. His decisions have always been subject to the most favorable criticism, for they have been based on a most comprehensive knowledge of the law and wide experience in the practice of the legal profession. He holds the profound respect of his contemporaries, and is an influential figure at the San Francisco bar.

Judge Nourse was married June 11, 1908, to Miss Ruth Hoppin, of San Francisco, daughter of Henry and Luella Hoppin. Judge and Mrs. Nourse are the parents of two children, John Lincoln and Elizabeth, and now reside at 666 Tennyson street in Palo Alto.

The political affiliation of Judge Nourse is with the republican party. He is a trustee of Stanford University, his alma mater, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, of the Masonic Club, and the Commonwealth Club. He has been consistently attentive to his duties as a citizen of San Francisco, and has lent his cooperation and influence in numerous local movements of benefit to the community welfare.

Source: Byington, Lewis Francis, "History of San Francisco 3 Vols", S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1931. Vol. 2 Pages 182-186.

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