Temple was born in the town of Heath in Franklin County, Massachusetts on August 11, 1827, the son of a farmer. He graduated from Williams College and then became a lawyer. He moved to California in 1852 and began practicing law in Petaluma, California in 1855. He was appointed to the California Supreme Court in 1870 by his friend, Governor Henry Huntly Haight, whose San Francisco law practice he had been running since Haight's election in 1868. He resigned from the Court in 1872 and went back into private practice with Haight. He later served eight years as a District Judge. In 1887 he was again appointed to the Supreme Court, resigning in July 1889. In 1895 he was elected to the Supreme Court for a 12 year term, which he was still serving at the time of his death.
- "Justice Jackson Temple". New York Times. December 27, 1902. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Judge Temple passes to rest". The Petaluma Argus. December 26, 1902. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
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