Nevada Genealogy Trails
Eureka County

Hon. Adolphus L. Fitzgerald

HON. ADOLPHUS LEIGH FITZGERALD, one of the judges of the supreme court of Nevada, dates his arrival in the state August, 1878. He is a native of North Carolina, where he was born October 27, 1840. He comes of English, Irish and Welsh ancestry. He is one of the noted Irish family of Fitzgeralds which was founded in America by William Fitzgerald, who settled in Virginia about two hundred years ago. The mother of Judge Fitzgerald was Martha Jones Hooper, and she descended from one of the first families of Virginia.

Judge Fitzgerald was the youngest in a family of ten children, and was reared and educated in his native state, being graduated from the famous University of North Carolina, receiving his degree in June, 1862. The war was then at its height, and he enlisted in the Confederate service as a private in a cavalry regiment and so served until the close of the war, participating in the battles of the Wilderness, Petersburg and the siege of Richmond. One of his horses was shot under him, but he himself never received any injury. Young and enthusiastic, he made a brilliant record as a soldier. After the conflict was over he went to California and became professor of Latin and Greek in the Pacific Methodist College, but resigned that position to become deputy state superintendent of instruction under Rev. O. P. Fitzgerald, now a bishop of the Methodist church, South, in California. Later he resigned to become president of the college in Santa Rosa. For five years he was the honored head of this institution of learning, but, having begun the study of law, he was admitted to the bar by the supreme court of California, in January, 1878. He then went to Eureka, Nevada, where he practiced his profession until 1887, and was then elected district judge which position he ably filled until January 1, 1890, when by election he became a member of the supreme court of the state. In his first election for judge he was the only Democrat elected, and in his second election for the same office he received double the vote of his party and thirty votes additional. In his third election he met with no opposition, and the same state of things existed in his fourth. His fifth election was when he was the candidate for the supreme bench, and he carried every county in the state and received the largest vote of any man in Nevada, which proves more conclusively than anything else the wonderful personal popularity of Judge Fitzgerald. The stand the Judge takes upon national affairs, particularly upon the financial questions of the day, has been reached after careful and conscientious deliberation and exhaustive reading upon both sides.

In 1869 Judge Fitzgerald was married to Miss Nannie McCoy, of San Jose, California, and three children have been born to them, namely: McCoy, a graduate of Harvard Law School, now an attorney of Shasta county, California; Geraldine, now with her father; Richard, a prominent attorney of New York City. Mrs. Fitzgerald died in 1882, and in 1884 Judge Fitzgerald married Mrs. Chappel, a lady of great attainments and high social position.

Fraternally Judge Fitzgerald is a Mason, having become one in 1862, and has advanced until he has taken all the degrees in both the York and Scottish Rites, and is now past grand master of the state, past high priest of the state, and for the last seventeen years he has been inspector general of Scottish Rite Masonry. He is also a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, and has had in all fifty degrees, so that there is no Mason east or west who is higher in the order than he.

In writing of a man of the attainments and high standing of Judge Fitzgerald the biographer must naturally feel that no mere words of his can sufficiently express the esteem and admiration accorded such a subject. Throughout a life of honorable dealing Judge Fitzgerald has always acted wisely, judiciously and conscientiously, whether it was in a matter concerning himself alone, or upon occasions when the welfare of many was at stake, and as a most natural result his name is exalted and his popularity increased with each succeeding day.

A History of the State of Nevada: Its Resources and People
By Thomas Wren, Lewis Publishing Company
Published by The Lewis publishing company, 1904

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