William Thompson Wallace
|12th Chief Justice of California|
March 1872 - December 1879
|Robert F. Morrison|
|Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court|
January 1, 1871 - March 1872
|Elections under new constitution of 1879|
|California Attorney General|
|William M. Stewart|
|Thomas H. Williams|
|Born||March 22, 1828|
Mount Sterling, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||August 11, 1909 (aged 81)|
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Romietta J. Burnett (m. 1853)
William Thompson Wallace (March 22, 1828 - August 11, 1909) was the 12th Chief Justice of California and the 6th Attorney General of California. He served on the Supreme Court of California from 1871 to 1879 and as Attorney General from 1856 to 1858.
Wallace was born on March 22, 1828 in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. His father, Joseph, was a physician, who by 1850 was widowed with six children living in Montgomery County, Kentucky. Wallace was educated and read law, followed his older brother onto the Kentucky bar and practiced law.
In 1850, at age 22, he moved to San Jose, California. He began a law firm with C. T. Ryland, and was joined after January 1851 by Peter H. Burnett, after he completed his term as the first Governor of California. In 1852, Wallace won appointment as District Attorney for four counties, based in San Jose. After one year, he resigned and began a private practice.
In September 1855, he ran successfully for Attorney General of California for the Know Nothing party, on the same ticket as David S. Terry, who was elected to the California Supreme Court. He served in that office from January 1856 to January 1858.
In October 1869, Wallace ran against Lorenzo Sawyer and was elected as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Wallace won a ten year term beginning January 10, 1870, and ending January 1, 1880. After the February 24, 1872, death of Royal Sprague, from March 1872 to December 1879 Wallace was the Chief Justice. In 1873, Wallace's name was put forward as a candidate of the Democratic Party for U.S. Senator, and even as a possible candidate for Vice President of the United States.
In August 1880, Wallace again was again put forward as a Democratic Party candidate for U.S. Senate. On January 12, 1881, the California State Assembly chose Republican General John F. Miller of Napa to replace Newton Booth as U.S. Senator by a vote of 42 for Miller and 34 for Wallace.
After stepping down from the high court, Wallace continued to hold public office. In 1882, Wallace was nominated by the Democratic Party and elected Assemblyman from the 13th district, holding a seat in the California State Assembly from January through March, 1883. In October 1886, Wallace was elected as a judge of the San Francisco County Superior Court, Department Six, for a six-year term. In October 1892, he successfully ran for re-election for a term through December 31, 1898. In 1899, Wallace was appointed to the San Francisco Police Commission by Mayor James D. Phelan, and held that position until 1903.
On March 30, 1853, he married Romietta Juet Burnett, the daughter of his law partner and first Governor of California under American rule, Peter Burnett. They had three sons: William T. Wallace, Jr., who died in 1899; Richard R. Wallace; and Ryland B. Wallace, who became an attorney and in May 1895 was appointed as a code commissioner by Governor James Budd. They also had four daughters: Mary A. and Margaret, and Romie and Isabelle ("Belle") Wallace. On January 25, 1884, Belle first married Colonel J. Mervyn Donohue. After his death on March 3, 1890, she married R. H. Sprague on October 11, 1894, at her father's home.
Know Nothing Appointments. William T. Wallace, of Santa Clara...have made the following appointments to address the people in behalf of the American Ticket and in advocacy of the principles and platform of the American Party.
Very respectfully, your obed't. servant, William T. Wallace, Atty. Gen.
William T. Wallace, Associate Justice term expires January 1, 1880
Judge Wallace having received the majority of all the votes cast, was declared the choice of the Senate for United States Senator.
I was already aware that some of my enemies had made the charge against me, that I am 'the candidate of the railroad company' for the United States Senate.
For President, Thomas A. Hendricks, of Indiana; For Vice President, William T. Wallace, of California--subject to the decision of the Democratic National Convention.
William T. Wallace late chief Justice, now the leading Democratic aspirant for U. S. Senator ond head of their electoral ticket.
On the fourth ballot, Wallace receiving 21 and Ryland 16 votes, the former was declared the unanimous choice of the caucus
Mr. Satterwhite, who was absent yesterday at the time the ballot was cast for Senator, was allowed to record his vote for William T. Wallace.
The club unanimously endorsed the nomination of Judge William T. Wallace for Assemblyman in the Thirteenth Senatorial District
Communications were read from...William T. Wallace, accepting nominations for the Superior Court
Tbe Committee on Examination of Applicants to the Bar was appointed as follows : William T. Wallace
Ryland B. Wallace is an attorney of acknowledged ability. He is a son of Judge William T. Wallace, now on the Superior Court bench of this City and County.
Miss Isabella Wallace, daughter of os-Chief Justice William T. Wallace
Colonel J. Mervn Donohue, president of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad company, died at the Palace hotel, San Francisco, Monday, March 3, 1890, after a lingering illness....He was survived bv a widow, daughter of Judge William T. Wallace of San Francisco.
brother of R. H. Sprague, who married Mrs. Belle W. Donahue, the rich widow of Colonel Mervyn Donahue. The wedding took place at the residence of Judge William T. Wallace, the bride's father.
| Chief Justice of California
Robert F. Morrison
| Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
Elections under new constitution of 1879
William M. Stewart
| Attorney General of California
Thomas H. Williams