Biography of William J. Quinn
San Francisco, CA Biographies





When William J. Quinn received from Mayor Rolph the appointment as chief of police in San Francisco, he received the just reward for his loyal and efficient career of a quarter century in the San Francisco police department. No thinking citizen of this city disagreed with the judgment of the mayor in selecting such a man to fill this responsible post.

William J. Quinn was born in San Francisco, south of Market street, April 22, 1884. He studied in the Lincoln grammar school and in Sacred Heart College, and then learned the trade of steam fitter. He was employed in the Union Iron Works, but when he reached the age of twenty one years he joined the police force of San Francisco as a patrolman. In the early days, with such men as Daniel O'Brien, he patrolled the famous Barbary Coast, which was to early San Francisco what the old Bowery was to New York. Real men were required to walk this beat, but he was equal to the task in every respect, and his efficiency soon became a matter of much favorable comment from his superiors. He became a corporal, then sergeant, then captain, and following this chief clerk to the head of the department. Finally, on January 1, 1929, he received his appointment from Mayor Rolph to the position of chief of the department, to succeed the popular Daniel O'Brien, who had resigned on account of ill health. In the conduct of his many responsible duties in this office, Chief Quinn has justified the confidence and faith of the former mayor and present governor of California. Chief Quinn was graduated from St. Ignatius University Law School with the class of 1925.

On August 19, 1914, occurred the marriage of William J. Quinn and Mary E. McKeon, who is a native of San Francisco. They have become the parents of three children, namely: William J., Jr., John and Mary.

Chief Quinn is a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, of the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (No. 3), the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the South of Market Boys. He also belongs to the Olympic, Rotary and Commonwealth Clubs. He has been an ardent champion of San Francisco in all phases of the city's activities, and this devotion to his home town has inspired and influenced the excellent services he has given to it.

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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