Biography of the Hon. James W. Galbrath
North Central Ohio Biographies

Hon. James William Galbraith, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, is recognized as one of the able jurists and representative citizens of Richland County. He was born at Mansfield, Jan. 2S, 1874, the son of James Oliver and Margaret (Hunt) Galbraith.

James Oliver Galbraith was born in Cumberland County, Pa., May 25, 1830, and his wife was a native of Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pa., born Nov. 18, 1837. He came to Ohio in 1856 and settled at Shenandoah. Two years later he located at Mansfield and until 1876 successfully engaged in the carriage and wagon manufacturing business. For many years he was also identified with the Aultman Taylor Manufacturing Company and later engaged in the contracting business. Mr. and Mrs. Galbraith were married in 1871. He died April 25, 1912, and his wife died in October, 1919. Both are buried in Mansfield Cemetery. James William, the subject of this sketch, was their only child.

James William Gaibraith has always lived in Mansfield. He received his education in the public schools and at the age of 16 years was employed as a clerk in the dry goods store of Joseph Black. He began reading law in July, 1891, in the offices of Donnell & Marriott. He also served as recording clerk and deputy in the offices of the clerk of courts under John C. Burns, and Probate Judge, Lewis Brucker. On June 7, 1895, he was admitted to the bar and at that time formed a partnership under the firm name of Maguire & Gaibraith. He practiced alone from March, 1905, and in November, 1908, was elected prosecuting attorney of Richland County and reelected to that office in 1910. From Dec. 31, 1912, until Feb. 8, 1919, Mr. Gaibraith engaged in private practice, being elected Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in November, 1918, and taking office Feb. 8, 1919. He was reelected in November, 1924.

On June 27, 1900, Judge Galbraith married Miss Isabella E. Wright, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, the daughter of Lewis A. and Hannah Catherine (Patton) Wright, natives of Knox County, both deceased. Judge and Mrs. Gaibraith have a son, William Harold.

Politically Judge Gaibraith has always been identified with the Democratic party. He served as a member of the Democratic Executive Committee from 1914 until 1919, and as chairman during 1916-17-18. He holds membership in the First Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has served as trustee, and teacher of the Doctor Leonard Bible Class for 10 years. He belongs to Mansfield Lodge, No. 35, Free and Accepted Masons, Past Worshipful Master, 1900; Mansfield Chapter, R. A. M.; Mansfield Council; Mansfield Commandery, K. T.; and Knights of Pythias, Past Chancellor of Madison Lodge, No. 26, in 1903. He is also identified with the Richland County Bar Association and Ohio State Bar Association.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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