Biography of Hon. John E. Richards
San Francisco, CA Biographies





HON. JOHN E. RICHARDS
California is justly proud of the men who have served brilliantly and with distinction as justices of her courts, among them being the Hon. John E. Richards, who is now an associate justice of the state supreme court, and previously was the incumbent of other important judicial positions.

Judge Richards was born in San Jose, California, July 7, 1856, and is a son of Richard Evan and Mary (Hamilton) Richards. He took his classical studies at the University of the Pacific, from which he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1877, and he then began the study of law at the University of Michigan. This latter institution conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1879. It is to be noted that in 1915, Judge Richards received the honorary degree of Master of Arts In Cursu from the University of the Pacific, in 1924 the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the same institution, and in 1927 the degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Michigan. He was admitted to the California state bar in 1879, and in the succeeding years practiced with excellent success in San Jose and San Francisco. He was appointed superior judge of Santa Clara county in 1907, and served until 1913, following which he was an associate justice of the district court of appeals for a period of ten years. On February 11, 1924, he took his seat upon the supreme bench of the state, an honor fully justified by the intelligent, dignified, and thorough manner in which he had acquitted himself in his former judicial capacities. Judge Richards is recognized as a master of jurisprudence. His interpretation of the laws of the state has been strikingly accurate. He has a sympathetic understanding of human nature and of human motives which has been of inestimable value to him in shouldering the responsibilities of decision which is his duty.

On November 23, 1881, Judge Richards was married to Mary Wallace, of San Jose, California, a daughter of John T. and Mary (Keenan) Wallace. They reside at 175 Dorantes avenue in San Francisco.

The political affiliation of Judge Richards has always been with the republican party, and he belongs to the Episcopal Church. He is a member of the Masonic order, the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Commonwealth Club and several Greek letter fraternities. He is known widely as an author, and has written two works for publication. In 1910, the Idylls of Monterey and Other Verses came off the press, and in 1915 The Trial of Jesus was issued. He has always manifested a great interest in California history, and is a profound student of this engrossing subject. His particularly favorite character in early history is James Lick, large landowner in the early days, by whom the Lick Observatory was founded and of whose life and philanthropies he has a book in preparation.

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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