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Judge Valentine Gideon, elected a member of the supreme court of the state of Utah in November, 1918, was born in Iron county, Missouri, on the 11th of January, 1859, and is the son of Calvin and Artemesia (Matkin) Gideon. He was the third son of a family of seven children. In the year 1870 his father died.
Spending his youthful days under the parental roof, Judge Gideon attended the public schools of his native state during the winter months and worked upon his home farm during the summer, as was customary at that time in that rural community, and in this way mastered the branches of learning taught in such schools. Later he entered Carleton College at Farmington, Missouri, from which institution he received the degree of Bachelor of Science with the class of 1886. For the two years following he taught in and was principal of the public schools of Bonne Terre, Missouri, and then attended the St. Louis Law School in 1888-89. In the latter year he removed to Utah, settling at Ogden. He continued his law reading and in 1890 was admitted to practice at the bar of the state. Subsequently, in 1898, he was admitted to the federal courts of Utah. He was engaged in the general practice of law at Ogden from the date of his admission until appointed to the supreme bench. He served as city attorney of Ogden from January, 1912, until 1916 and assisted in establishing the commission form of government in that city. The zeal with which he devoted his energies to his profession, the careful regard evinced for the interests of his clients, secured for him a large and constantly growing legal business and made him very successful in its conduct. During his entire career as a practicing lawyer it was the settled policy of Judge Gideon to use his best efforts upon all occasions to avoid litigation and this secured for him the merited general reputation of having adjusted more law suits, disputes and controversies outside of court and amicably than does the average lawyer. His keen sense of the equities and justice in every disputed or contested situation in the affairs of men that came to him in the practice of his profession naturally led him into this particular line of work and in consequence he became better known as a lawyer whose chief aim was to obtain justice than one famed for his oratorical or other attainments. The experiences which he thus obtained in his particular line of work as a lawyer eminently qualified him for and as a matter of fact led to his selection by the governor of the state for appointment to the bench of the highest court of the state. This occurred in 1917, and at the regular election in November, 1918, he was chosen by popular suffrage as a member of that high tribunal for a term of eight years.
On the 24th of July, 1889, Judge Gideon was married to Elizabeth Lang, a member of the same class in college with him. Their only child, a son, Reinhart Lang Gideon, born at Farmington. Missouri, October 17, 1890, is an attorney of Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Amherst College in 1912 and from the Harvard Law School with the class of 1915. He was a volunteer member of the Utah National Guard prior to the entrance of the United States into the great world war and later became a member of the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Field Artillery. At the date of the signing of the armistice he was stationed at Camp McClellan, Alabama, with the rank of second lieutenant of field artillery.
Judge Gideon's political allegiance has always been given to the democratic party, and aside from the offices which he has filled along the strict line of his profession he was a member of the Ogden school board from 1897 until 1900. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and exemplifies in his life the beneficent spirit of the craft. His ideals are high and that he is a man of scholarly attainments is shadowed forth between the lines of this review.
[Source: Utah since Statehood: Historical and Biographical Volume 2; By Noble Warrum; Publ. 1919; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack.]

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