Lewis Francis Byington

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Byington ca. 1912

Lewis Francis Byington (May 24, 1868 – May 7, 1943) was an American politician who served as member of the California State Assembly 24th District, 1877–80, California.[1]

Early life[edit]

Byington was born in Downieville, California, one of the historic mining towns in northern California. He was a son of Lewis Byington, one of the early pioneer citizen of northern California and Catherine (Freehill) Byington. His grandmother was Abigail Webster, a cousin of Daniel Webster.

His sister, Mary Emma Byington, was married to Tirey L. Ford, 18th California Attorney General 1899-1900.[2]

He later graduated from Santa Clara College, now the University of Santa Clara. He earned his law degree at Hastings College of Law.

Professional life[edit]

Lewis Byington was a member of the California bar and practiced his profession in San Francisco since 1890.[3] Byington was president of the San Francisco civil service commission for major James Rolph.[4] In 1898 he was elected a Supervisor of San Francisco. In 1899 he was elected District Attorney, in which position he prosecuted the murderer Cordelia Botkin.[5]

On December 7, 1906, in a letter by Governor George C. Pardee to Lewis Francis Byington, in response to letters sent by Byington, which asked that Docia Nolan, a woman convicted of robbery be pardoned since Henry Milton made a confession exonerating her and Michael Dolan for any participation of the crime. Pardee requests Byington's opinion on the guilt of Docia Nolan and requests that he send evidence upon which she was convicted. The letter is signed in manuscript on Executive Department, State of California, Sacramento letterhead. The letter included a two page typewritten copy of Henry Milton's confession.[6]


Byington wrote the following books:

  • Byington, Lewis Francis (1931). The History of San Francisco. S. J. Clarke. OCLC 9592779.
  • Downieville and its Historic Past[7]
  • Sierra County and Its Historic Past[8]


  1. ^ *The Political Graveyard.
  2. ^ Bailey Millard (1924). "History of the San Francisco Bay Region". The American Historical Society, Inc. p. 83-84. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  3. ^ San Francisco: its builders, past and present, pictorial, Page 249
  4. ^ *Reno Evening Gazette, Sept. 14, 1931, p. 15.
  5. ^ TWO LEADING FIGURES IN THE RECENT BOTKIN MURDER TRIAL, in the Tacoma Times; published April 30, 1904; retrieved August 16, 2015 (via Chronicling America)
  6. ^ http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/922893661
  7. ^ WorldCat http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/83751114
  8. ^ WorldCat http://www.worldcat.org/wcidentities/lccn-nr94043505

External links[edit]