William H. Beatty

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William H. Beatty
Cropped 1890 image of California Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Beatty.
15th Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court
In office
January 1889 – August 4, 1914
Appointed by Elected
Preceded by Niles Searls
Succeeded by Matt I. Sullivan
Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court
In office
1879–1880
Preceded by Thomas Porter Hawley[1]
Succeeded by Thomas Porter Hawley[2]
Associate Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court
In office
January 1875 – 1879
Personal details
Born (1838-02-18)February 18, 1838
Monclova, Ohio, U.S.
Died August 4, 1914(1914-08-04) (aged 76)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth May Love (m. 1874)
Alma mater University of Virginia (no degree)

William Henry Beatty (February 18, 1838 – August 4, 1914) was the 15th Chief Justice of California from 1889–1914. Previously, he was Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court from 1879–1880.

Early life and education[edit]

On February 18, 1838, Beatty was born in a small village of Monclova, Lucas County, Ohio (near Toldeo) to Henry Oscar Beatty (c. 1812 – February 14, 1892)[3] and Margaret Boone Runyan.[4] Around 1840, his family returned to Kentucky, where his parents were originally from.[4] He attended public schools and in 1853, when he was 15 years old, his family moved to Sacramento, California and his father became a successful lawyer.[4] When Beatty was 17 years old, he went East for his education and studied at the University of Virginia for two years, but did not receive a degree.[5][6]

Legal and judicial career[edit]

Returning to Sacramento, Beatty read law at his father's office and in 1861 was admitted to the California bar.[7][8] In 1863, he moved to Nevada and was elected City Attorney of Austin, Nevada, and then from 1864 to 1874 as District Judge in the Sixth, Seventh and then the Eighth Judicial Districts.[4][6] At the same time, his father, Henry Oscar Beatty, moved to Nevada and in 1864 was elected a Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court.[4] In November 1874, William Beatty was elected to the Nevada Supreme Court and took his seat in January 1875.[9] He served for six years on the Supreme Court, the last two as Chief Justice.[10][4] In January 1881, soon after the conclusion of his term, Beatty returned to Sacramento and resumed a private practice.[6][5][11][12]

In 1888, both the Republican and Union Labor parties placed Beatty on the ticket for the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California.[13][14] He won the election, defeating Niles Searls (who was appointed Chief Justice in April 1887 by Governor Washington Bartlett) to complete the unexpired portion of the term of the previous Chief Justice Robert F. Morrison, who had died.[15][16] The next year, in 1890, the Republican Party renominated Beatty and he won the election in November[17][18] for a 12 year term beginning January 8, 1891.[19] In November 1902, Beatty was re-elected as Chief Justice under the Republican ticket to another 12 year term, which would expire in 1915.[20] Beatty held the position of Chief Justice for over 25 years until he died in office on August 4, 1914, and Matt I. Sullivan assumed the post.[21]

In 1904, Beatty supported an amendment to the California Constitution to create three divisions of a Court of Appeals to reduce the case load of the Supreme Court.[22]

Honors and awards[edit]

On May 14, 1913, Beatty received an honorary degree of LL.D. from the University of California.[23]

Personal information[edit]

On June 17, 1874, at Hamilton, White Pine County, Nevada, Beatty married Elizabeth May ("Bessie") Love (born 1845), who was originally from Salisbury, North Carolina, and they had two children: H. Oscar Beatty (c. 1876 – April 14, 1935) and Alice Margaret Beatty (Wright) (born 1880).[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Albany Law Journal, Volume 20. Weed, Parsons & Company. 1878. p. 137. Retrieved July 14, 2017.  Nevada Reports, Thomas P. Hawley, Chief Justice.
  2. ^ American Almanac and Treasury of Facts, Statistical, Financial ..., Volume 6. American News Company. 1883. p. 187.  Entry for Thomas P. Hawley, Chief Justice of Nevada Supreme Court.
  3. ^ "Obiturary: Judge Henry O. Beatty". San Francisco Call (71 (77)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 15 February 1892. p. 8. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Memorial for William Henry Beatty". Nevada Supreme Court. 1914. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Backer, Donna. "Hon. William H. Beatty". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "The Supreme Court, From Chief Justice Hastings to Chief Justice Beatty". San Francisco Call (78 (22)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 22 June 1895. p. 5. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ "San Francisco: Auction of Real Estate and Personal Property". Marysville Daily Appeal (68). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 1 October 1872. p. 2. Retrieved July 14, 2017. On the premises of William H. Beatty, situated in Placer county, two miles south of Wheatland, and one and one-half miles north of Sheridan.... 
  8. ^ "Real Estate Transfer". Sacramento Daily Union (2 (53)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 22 April 1876. p. 5. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  9. ^ Johnson, J. Edward (1963). History of the California Supreme Court: The Justices 1850-1900, vol 1 (PDF). San Francisco, CA: Bender Moss Co. pp. 162–170. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  10. ^ Spofford, Ainsworth Rand. American Almanac and Treasury of Facts, Statistical, Financial, and Political for 1880. American News Company. p. 182. Retrieved July 14, 2017.  Entry for W. H. Beatty, Chief Justice, Nevada Supreme Court.
  11. ^ "Banquet to the Supreme Court". Sacramento Daily Union (7 (245)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 6 December 1878. p. 3. Retrieved July 14, 2017. The invited guests present were...Hon. William H. Beatty, of the Supreme Court of Nevada 
  12. ^ "Personals". Daily Alta California (37 (12548)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 21 August 1884. p. 6. Retrieved July 14, 2017. Judge William H. Beatty, formerly of the Supreme Bench of Nevada, is at the Palace 
  13. ^ "The Republican State Convention Meets". Coronado Mercury (65). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 1 August 1888. p. 1. Retrieved July 14, 2017. Nominations for chief justice of the Supreme Court being in order, A.L. Hart, of Sacramento, nominated Hon. William H. Beatty, of Sacramento. 
  14. ^ "Native Sons". Daily Alta California. California Digital Newspaper Collection. 31 October 1888. p. 8. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Election Day". Coronado Mercury (12). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 13 November 1888. p. 5. Retrieved July 14, 2017. Chief Justice— William H. Beatty, 154; Niles Searls, 88; Robert Thompson 4. 
  16. ^ "Official Count of San Bernardino County, Election November 6, 1888". San Bernardino Daily Courier (5 (45)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 30 November 1888. p. 3. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Republican Convention". Coronado Mercury (15). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 23 August 1890. p. 4. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Marin County's Vote". Sausalito News (6 (40)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 14 November 1890. p. 3. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  19. ^ "The Supreme Court". San Francisco Call (69 (39)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 8 January 1891. p. 2. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Pardee Carries Alameda County by Nearly Five Thousand Votes". San Francisco Call (92 (159)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 6 November 1902. p. 13. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Head of California Supreme Court Dead". Los Angeles Herald (237). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 5 August 1914. p. 11. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Supreme Court is Far Behind". Red Bluff Daily News (45). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 4 November 1904. p. 1. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  23. ^ University of California Chronicle, Volume 15. Berkeley, CA: University of California. 1913. p. 413. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


Legal offices
Preceded by
Niles Searls
Chief Justice of California
1889–1914
Succeeded by
Matt I. Sullivan
Preceded by
Thomas Porter Hawley
Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court
1879–1880
Succeeded by
Thomas Porter Hawley
Preceded by
Associate Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court
1875–1879
Succeeded by