Biography of Hon. Emmet Seawell
San Francisco, CA Biographies





HON. EMMET SEAWELL
A distinguished member of the California judiciary is the Hon. Emmet Seawell, who is now serving his second term as an associate justice of the state supreme court, and who has made an eminent record in his interpretation of the law.

Judge Seawell was born in Yountville, California, April 5, 1863, and is a son of William N. and Sarah A. (Rickman) Seawell. He attended the public schools until he was about fifteen years old, when he decided that work would be preferable to school and accordingly secured an apprenticeship in a printing office in Santa Rosa. Here, while serving his three years' apprenticeship, he learned the printing trade, also became a correspondent for a press association and a number of other papers. His experience here likewise brought to him the ambition to continue his education, and to enter the law as his life's work. His training in the printing office completed, he enrolled as a student at the Pacific Methodist College in Santa Rosa, a pioneer chartered institution, from which he was graduated in 1887 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then became associated with a law firm in Santa Rosa for the purpose of studying for admission to the bar. He was duly admitted in 1890, and began practice in Santa Rosa in company with one of his old schoolmates. As the judge has himself stated, "we had an office and some books, but precious few clients." However, it is on record that he won his first case, which was concerning a purchase made by a fruit packing company, and one of his principal witnesses was the late Luther Burbank, world famed naturalist, author and plant originator. Judge Seawell made rapid progress during the first years of his practice, and in 1892 he was elected district attorney of Sonoma county, thus serving for six years. In 1902 he was elected judge of the superior court of Sonoma county, where he remained until 1922, a period of twenty years of conspicuous and brilliant achievement on the bench. In 1922, he assumed his position as associate justice of the California supreme court, for which he had been chosen by the people, and in this capacity he continues, having been elected for his second term in 1928. Judge Seawell holds the profound respect of the public and of the legal profession. His opinions and decisions have never been questioned from the viewpoint of sincerity. He is known as a courageous judge and decisive, but at the same time one who is governed by an innate sense of human understanding and a broad aspect of life.

Judge Seawell was married on March 20, 1892, to Miss Ida S. Graeter, of Santa Rosa, California, and they have become the parents of two children, Dorothea and Emmet James. Judge and Mrs. Seawell make their residence in Berkeley.

During the period of the United States' participation in the World war, Judge Seawell was chairman of the Sonoma division of the California State Council of Defense, also chairman of the legal advisory board. He is a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West; of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained the thirty second degree; of the Phi Delta Phi collegiate fraternity; the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Rotary Club, and the Commonwealth Club. His political affiliation has been with the democratic party. Judge Seawell has consistently manifested an extraordinary strong loyalty to civic interests and problems affecting the citizenship of his residence community. While a man of intense initiative and spirit, he has never assumed a combative attitude upon any question, but has upheld the dignity and the character of the high offices he has held in the judiciary. In May, 1931, the College of the Pacific at Stockton, California, conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

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


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION

San Francisco, CA
Biographies

California
Biographies

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012