Biography of Clayton H. Garvey
San Francisco, CA Biographies





Clayton Hamilton Garvey, senior member of the law firm of Garvey & Sheriffs, engaged in general practice at San Francisco, was born October 5, 1892, in Bethany, West Virginia, a son of the Rev. Wallace Gregg and Virginia C. (Fowler) Garvey, and is of Scotch, English and Irish ancestry in both the paternal and maternal lines. His paternal grandfather was a business man of marked foresight and sagacity and during the Civil war, while residing in Kentucky, cornered the tobacco market of the United States. Early in the year 1880 he journeyed to the Pacific coast, taking up his abode in Los Angeles, California. He married Mary Hamilton, a direct descendant of Alexander Hamilton, of whom Clayton Hamilton Garvey is a great great grandson. He was a devoted husband and father and all of his sons were provided with a college education.

His son, Rev. Wallace Gregg Garvey, was born in Newport, Kentucky, and pursued his advanced studies in Bethany College at Bethany, West Virginia. After completing a course in theology he was ordained and for a number of years was a minister of the Christian Church. Later he entered the educational field, becoming president of the Hopedale Normal College at Hopedale, Ohio. Subsequently he engaged in business in Chicago and at one time had entire charge of the extensive real estate holdings of the late Hetty Green. In 1897 he came with his family to California, settling in San Francisco, but in the same year started for the gold fields of Alaska in company with his two sons, Virgil and Stanley, and his brother, Clarence Garvey. They spent a year in that country, meeting with success in their quest for the precious metal, and in 1900 Rev. Garvey located in Seattle, Washington, where he opened a large department store, which he conducted for eight years. Selling the business in 1908, he returned to California and has since lived retired. His wife, a native of Bethany, West Virginia, was a member of one of the old families of that state. Mrs. Virginia C. (Fowler) Garvey died in 1930, leaving three sons: Stanley W., Virgil and Clayton Hamilton.

The last named, who is the youngest member of the family, pursued his education in Seattle until graduated from the Broadway high school with the class of 1912 and in 1915 came to San Francisco. He enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley, attending that institution for two years, and on the 1st of May, 1917, enlisted in the United States Navy for service in the World war. He was sent to the naval training station at San Pedro, and having previously acquired considerable information in regard to ships, was soon afterward made an instructor in seamanship and transferred to the naval school at Chicago. Later he was detailed for duty on the U. S. S. Grant, advancing to the rating of quartermaster, second class, and remained in active service until February, 1919, but did not receive his discharge papers until April 30, 1921, being subject to recall between the two dates. His release from active service was granted to permit him to continue his law studies in the State University, which awarded him the degree of LL. B. in 1922. After his graduation he associated himself with the firm of Adams & Humphreys and about six months later took over their established law business. To the preparation of his cases he devotes much time, thought and study and in their presentation he is forceful, logical and convincing.

On the 5th of January, 1920, Mr. Garvey was married to Miss Sarah Gawley, a native of Colorado and a daughter of Andrew J. and Sarah Gawley, now deceased. Removing to the west, the family first settled in Colorado and in 1910 came to San Francisco. For recreation Mr. Garvey turns to gardening. He votes with the republican party but is not active in politics. He became a charter member of West of Twin Peaks Post, No. 233, of the American Legion, and served on its first board of directors. He is a Knight of the Round Table and also belongs to the State Bar Association and to Del Rey fraternity of the University of California. His residence is at 845 Head street and he maintains a suite of offices on the sixteenth floor of the building at 703 Market street. Energetic and self reliant, Mr. Garvey worked his way through college, although his father offered him the necessary funds, and his industry, ability and force of character insure his continued progress and success in the vocation of his choice.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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