WILLIAM R. McKAY.
One of the ablest and most popular members of the legal profession in Kings county is the present district attorney,
William It. McKay. He is a native of California, born in Tres Pinos, San Benito county, on the 18th day of August,
1895. He is a son of. Dr. John G. and Katherine (Nicholson) McKay, the latter of whom sacrificed her life when
William R. was born. John G. McKay was a graduate of the Medical College of Harvard University, being fortunate
in having for his instructor Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was not only a scientist of great attainment, but who will
also ever stand in the front rank of America's writers. Among Dr. McKay's cherished possessions was a book by Dr.
Holmes, autographed by the writer. Going to Prince Edward Island, John G. McKay attained to considerable local
prominence, serving as commissioner of roads for the island and also as judge of one of the inferior courts. In
1890 he came to California, locating in San Francisco, where he engaged in the active practice of his profession.
While the family was temporarily in Tres Pinos, William R. of this review, was born. Eventually he moved to Los
Angeles, where he spent the remainder of his years, dying there in 1901.
Bereft of his mother at his birth, at the age of five years William R. McKay was taken into the home of his half
brother, A. L. McKay, a well known druggist in Lemoore, California, and was there reared. He graduated from the
Lemoore high school in 1913 and then became a studnt in the University of California, from which he was graduated
in 1917, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, having specialized in jurisprudence. He then enlisted in the United
States army and, because of his knowledge of law, was assigned to detached service in the provost marshal's office
in San Francisco, where he gave effective service for eight months. In 1919 Mr. McKay entered Leland Stanford University
and took a postgraduate course, being admitted to the bar in August of the following year. He then came to Hanford
and during the years of 1920 and 1921 taught in the grammar school. On June 1, 1921, he was appointed deputy district
attorney under J. W. Ferguson, who had known him since boyhood. So satisfactory were the services rendered by him
that in 1922 he was elected, without opposition, to the office of district attorney, assuming the office in January,
1923. As a lawyer Mr. McKay evinces a familiarity with legal principles and a ready perception of facts, with the
ability to apply the one to the other, which has won him the reputation of a safe and sound practitioner, while
in the conduct of his office he has consistently safeguarded the interests of the people and maintained the dignity
of the law and the commonwealth.
Mr. McKay was married on June 25, 1925, in Hanford, to Frances Fern Russell, daughter of J. W. Russell, of this
city. Mrs. McKay has served as principal of Hamilton grammar school of Hanford, and for four years prior to this,
taught both here and in Merced. Mr. and Mrs. McKay are affiliated with the Presbyterian church.
Mr. McKay's political belief is that embodied in the republican party platform and he takes a deep interest in
public affairs. He is a past master in his lodge of Masons; the esteemed loyal knight in the Benevolent Protective
Order of Elks; a past chancellor in the Knights of Pythias; a past dictator in the Loyal Order of Moose; a past
patron of the Order of the Eastern Star, and also belongs to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the American Legion,
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Kiwanis Club. He is a lover of outdoor life and all forms of athletic
sports, walking being one of his favorite forms of recreation. Genial and unassuming, he has won a host of loyal
admirers since coming to this community and is deserving of the confidence which the people of Kings county repose
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
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