SYLVESTER W. PURCELL, one of the prominent attorneys of Tucson and Probate Court Judge of Pima County for two
terms, was born at Baxter Springs, Kansas, May 3, 1870. The Purcells came to America in 1664, and located in Virginia.
Their descendants are numerous in the Southern States, especially Virginia and Kentucky, of which last named state
Judge Purcell's father and grandfather were natives. His brother, Dr. W. B. Purcell, practiced for many years in
Tucson. His mother, Mary Walden Purcell, was a native of Virginia, and his grandmother, Eliza Clay Walden. was
a first cousin of Henry Clay. In 1880 the family removed to Denver, Colo., where Judge Purcell attended the public
schools, and also took up the study of law. With a few other law students he organized a class of which he was
president, and the school was conducted in the Marsh building of the University of Denver. In 1894 Dr. Purcell
and family moved to Texas, where Judge Purcell continued his studies, and was admitted to practice before the Supreme
Court of the state in 1895. The following year he came to Tucson, where he has since been engaged in practice.
He was elected Probate Judge in the year 1897, assuming office January 1st, 1898. At the expiration of his first
term he was nominated by acclamation and reelected. Judge Purcell is attorney, counselor and financial agent for
several large corporations doing business in Arizona and Western States, and is personally interested in important
mining properties in the southern part of the state.
As an attorney he is considered among the foremost of Arizona. He is a good judge of law as well as of men, and
conducts all business with a strict regard to a high standard of professional ethics. As a Democrat he takes a
prominent and influential part in political affairs and is active in public life, and above all a booster for his
home city, Tucson, and for Arizona.
Who's Who in Arizona
Compiled and Published by Jo Conners
Press of The Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona 1913
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