Albert T. Roche, now engaged in the practice of law at 785 Market street in San Francisco, has not only been
very successful in his private practice, but has held a number of state and city positions of importance. He was
born at Powell and Vallejo streets in San Francisco, August 8, 1872, and is a son of James and Virginia (Tojetti)
James Roche was a native of Ireland, and as a youth followed a seafaring life. He was in the first gold rush in
Australia, and was one of the first white men in the Snake river district of Idaho in the United States. He brought
a fortune to San Francisco, but subsequently lost it through unfortunate speculation. His wife was a noted pianist.
She received a gold medal in Paris, France, when she was only fourteen years old, in recognition of her uncommon
talent, and on that occasion Franz Liszt declined to compete with her on account of her ability. She likewise was
an accomplished harpist, and had an excellent singing voice. For many years, she engaged in teaching her art in
San Francisco. Her father, Dominic Tojetti, who was born in Rome, Italy, was a noted painter, and was made a marquis
by Pope Pius IX. He painted many of the fine canvasses which adorn the Vatican in Rome and other churches of that
city. The Pope sent him to Guatemala to establish an art school, but the climate there did not agree with him,
and accordingly he came to San Francisco, where he became famous. He did the fresco work on most of the fine mansions
on Nob Hill, the paintings contained in the old Hoffman bar and the Baldwin theater, and the altar pieces in the
St. Ignatius Church, and the SS. Peter and Paul Church. The famous painting, The Progress of America, was from
his brush, and he also did a painting of Shakespeare's Ophelia which brought great commendation to his skill. Most
of his best work was destroyed by the fire of 1906, but there are two of his productions now in the de Young Museum
in Golden Gate park. Two of his sons also became famous in art in the United States.
Albert T. Roche graduated from the Lincoln evening school in San Francisco, and when very young started to earn
his own living. He worked as a pressman on San Francisco daily newspapers, but at the same time cherished the higher
ambition to become a lawyer. He took up the study of law in the office of Colonel Thomas F. Barry in San Francisco,
and was admitted to the California state bar in the year 1896. Mr. Roche has filled a number of important positions.
In 1906, he was appointed assistant city attorney under Judge William G. Burke, and he was assistant district attorney
under William H. Langdon during a part of the famous graft trial of 1906-07. For seven years, he was the attorney
for the state department of labor, and at present he is the counsel for the state board of cosmetology, which has
jurisdiction over fifteen thousand women who are connected with beauty parlor work in California. He is a director
in the Super Power Electric Manufacturing Company, makers of spark plugs.
On June 4, 1904, Mr. Roche was united in marriage to Gertrude E. Mitchell, who was born in Gilroy, Santa Clara
county, California. They have one daughter, Gertrude Virginia, who is a student at the University of California
and who has shown marked talent as a writer of prose and poetry.
Mr. Roche is a member of Stanford Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West; San Francisco Lodge, No. 3, of
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and the Olympic Club. He is a life member, and has been a member for
thirty five years, of the Mechanics Institute of San Francisco. Books have been his favorite diversion, and he
has a keen appreciation of all artistic things. He has many friends wherever his work and his social activities
have taken him, and his efficient conduct of his public duties and his intelligent work in litigation have won
him the admiration and respect of both his clients and contemporaries.
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
San Francisco, CA
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