Biography of Hon. Harold Louderback
San Francisco, CA Biographies





HON. HAROLD LOUDERBACK
A name which is accorded true distinction in the judiciary of the state of California is that of Judge Harold Louderback, who is now United States district judge for the northern district of California; who was formerly a judge in the superior court of the state of California; and who had had a career of notable achievement in the general practice of law before taking his seat on the bench.

Judge Louderback is descended from American colonial stock, and was born in San Francisco, California, January 30, 1881, a son of Davis and Frances Caroline (Smith) Louderback. On the paternal side he traces his American ancestry back to Peter Louderback, who arrived at the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the year 1748, having sailed from the port of Amsterdam, Holland. The Judge's grandfather, Davis Louderback, with his wife and six children embarked at Philadelphia in 1849 on the sailing ship, Levant, and rounded the treacherous Cape Horn after the vessel had failed, on account of adverse winds, to navigate the Strait of Magellan. They arrived in San Francisco, September 15, 1849. Davis Louderback, father of the Judge, who was born in Philadelphia, February 29, 1840, received his education in the public schools of San Francisco, and then read law in the office of Hall McAllister, in this city. He was admitted to the bar of California in June, 1861, and then began the active practice of his profession in association with Judge John Saterlee, which continued until he was appointed prosecuting attorney for the city of San Francisco. He held this latter office until 1872, then was elected police judge of San Francisco, and so continued until 1880, having served as sole judge of that court during the troubled times of Denis Kearney, the Sand Lot Orator, when the slogan was: "The Chinese Must Go." This was followed by an active and highly successful career as an attorney until September 15, 1918, when his death occurred.

On his maternal side, Judge Louderback is descended from New England ancestors, among whom was Robert Martin, who was a soldier in the colonial forces during the French and Indian wars, preceding the Revolutionary war. His mother's ancestors likewise participated in the Revolutionary and the Civil wars. Her father, George Washington Smith, arrived in San Francisco in 1851, having journeyed from New England in a sailing vessel to the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panama, thence across the Isthmus by land, and then by sailing vessel from Panama to San Francisco. His wife followed him with their two children, three years later, by the same route, after he had established himself in a successful business in San Francisco, as a contractor. Judge Louderback's mother, Frances Caroline (Smith) Louderback, was born in San Francisco, September 22, 1856.

Judge Louderback received his primary education in the Clement grammar school of San Francisco, then attended the Lowell high school of San Francisco and the preparatory department of the University of Nevada, in which institution he took his classical studies and received therefrom the Bachelor of Arts degree in the year 1905. Having long before determined upon the law as his life's work, he then took up his professional studies at Harvard University, which conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1908.

In 1908, the year of his graduation from Harvard, he was admitted to the Sussex county bar of Boston, Massachusetts, and the bar of the state of California. After that date, he followed the general practice of law in San Francisco during the periods of 1908-1917 and 1919-1921. During the first few years of such general practice, he was associated with the law firm of Mastick & Partridge. In 1921 he was honored by election to the position of judge of the superior court of the state of California in and for the city and county of San Francisco, and in the conduct of his important duties in this capacity he manifested ability of the highest order and created for himself a splendid reputation. In 1928 he was appointed to the position of United States district judge for the northern district of California, by President Calvin Coolidge, and now holds this office with the same credit to himself as in the former judicial position. His record in practice and on the bench has brought to him the confidence and admiration of those who follow his career.

In the service of his country during the World war, Judge Louderback made a meritorious record. In May, 1917, he enlisted in the United States Army and attended the first officers' training camp at the Presidio in San Francisco. He was then transferred to the Coast Artillery Officers' Training Camp at Fort Scott, and was commissioned as a captain in the Coast Artillery, and assigned as commanding officer of Battery F, Fortieth Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps (railroad). He was honorably discharged from the service in the latter part of the year 1918.

In politics, Judge Louderback has always been affiliated with the republican party. His religious creed is Protestant. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and was grand master of the state of California, of such order, in 1928-1929. He is also a, member of the Masonic fraternity, and his clubs are the Pacific Union of San Francisco and the Sutter of Sacramento, California. He is a junior member of the Society of California Pioneers. In every phase of his life, Judge Louderback has been most sedulous in his cooperation with local affairs of civic importance.

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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