John Jackson Walsh

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John Jackson Walsh
John Jackson Walsh circa 1922.jpg
Walsh circa 1922
Member of the Massachusetts Senate for the 8th Suffolk District
In office
Preceded byHerman Hormel
Succeeded byGeorge W. P. Babb
Personal details
BornMarch 31, 1871
DiedSeptember 17, 1949 (aged 78)
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materBoston University School of Law

John Jackson Walsh (born John Joseph Walsh) was an American politician who served as a member of the Massachusetts Senate and was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 1920.

Early life[edit]

Walsh was born on March 31, 1871 in Dublin. His family moved to the United States when he was five years old. He worked as a newsboy, glass factory employee, bellhop, and office boy before studying law in the office of Patrick A. Collins. In 1892 he graduated from Boston University Law School and became a practicing attorney. He served as legal counsel for a number of labor unions and for several years was a temporary clerk of courts in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Although he was born John Joseph Walsh he went by John Jackson Walsh to avoid confusion with a law school classmate.[1] Walsh was married twice. His first marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church on the grounds of "irreconcilable religious differences" (Walsh was a Catholic and his wife as a Protestant).[2] He had two children with his first wife.[1]

Political career[edit]

Walsh was a member of the Citizen's Municipal League and supported James J. Storrow over John F. Fitzgerald in the 1910 Boston mayoral election. In 1911, Fitzgerald threatened to sue Walsh for statements he made before a legislative committee.[3] In 1912, he was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives seat in Massachusetts's 10th congressional district but lost the Democratic nomination to William Francis Murray.[4] In 1914, Fitzgerald appointed Walsh to the city planning board.[3] From 1919 to 1920 Walsh represented the 8th Suffolk District in the Massachusetts.[5] On June 17, 1920, Walsh announced that he would run for Governor.[6] He narrowly defeated 1918 and 1919 gubernatorial nominee Richard H. Long to win the Democratic nomination, but lost the general election to Republican Channing H. Cox 67% to 30%.[7] In 1922, he ran for the United States Senate seat held by Henry Cabot Lodge. He finished third in the Democratic primary behind William A. Gaston and Sherman L. Whipple with 11% of the vote.[8]

Later life[edit]

In 1930, Walsh was appointed chairman of the General Council of the Massachusetts Bay Tercentenary.[9]

On January 23, 1934, the Boston Bar Association field a petition for Walsh's disbarment in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, alleging that he collected money for a client and failed to account for all of it.[10] Judge Edward P. Pierce found Walsh guilty of a breech of trust for mixing $5,490 paid on a judgment with his own money so that it was not readily available to his client and gave the appearance that the money was his. He was suspended from the practice of law for one year.[11]

Walsh died on September 17, 1949 of a heart attack at his home in Boston. He was 78 years old.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Who Is Walsh?". The Boston Daily Globe. September 12, 1920.
  2. ^ "Walsh Replies To Personal Attacks". The Boston Daily Globe. August 27, 1922.
  3. ^ a b "Mayor Names Four To City Planning Board". The Boston Daily Globe. January 30, 1914.
  4. ^ "Contests For Congress Many". The Boston Daily Globe. August 22, 1912.
  5. ^ "Public Officials of Massachusetts". Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  6. ^ "John J. Walsh To Run For Governor". The Boston Daily Globe. June 18, 1920.
  7. ^ "Number of assessed polls, registered voters and persons who voted in each voting precinct in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the state, city and town elections". Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Office of the Secretary of Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1922). Number of assessed polls, registered voters and persons who voted in each voting precinct in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the state, city and town elections. p. 184.
  9. ^ "Tercentenary Post For J. J. Walsh". The Boston Daily Globe. June 6, 1930.
  10. ^ "Petition Filed For Disbarment". The Boston Daily Globe. January 24, 1934.
  11. ^ "Walsh Ordered Suspended Year". The Boston Daily Globe. May 11, 1934.
  12. ^ "John Jackson Walsh: Former State Senator Once Ran For Governor". The Boston Daily Globe. September 19, 1949.