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JUDGE JOSEPH BASIL LAMAR

Surnames: Lamar, Winn
contributed by jchavnar


From: Pen Pictures from the Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. Edited by H.S. Foote, Published, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1888. Page 100

JUDGE JOSEPH BASIL LAMAR is a descendant of old Huguenot ancestors, who settled in Charleston, South Carolina, in colonial days. Both his grandsires – Lamar and Winn – were soldiers in the War of the Revolution. The Judge has a highly prized relic of those times, - a gold watch which strikes the time, which his grandfather Winn carried during that war, and was on his person when he was taken prisoner by Lord Cornwallis at Camden, South Carolina.

Judge Lamar was born in Georgia in 1827, educated and reared in his native State, and studied law and was admitted to the Bar before he was twenty-one years of age, by special act of the Legislature. After practicing a short time he came to California. Starting from home in company with five other young men, they halted at New Orleans, where they met Gen. Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the republic of Texas, and relative of the Judge – who advised the party to make the trip through Mexico. And furnished with letters of introduction to prominent persons at the principal cities, and a good stock of information and advice from him, they crossed the gulf to Vera Cruz, and made the trip overland, visiting the city of Mexico and other points of interest and consuming three months en route. Embarking at Mazatlan, they sailed for San Francisco, where they arrived April 24, 1849. Mr. Lamar and his companions, like most of the immigrants of that day, were gold seekers and went into the mines.

Mr. Lamar settled in Mendocino County in 1854. In 1858 he was elected to the Legislature from Sonoma County. While serving in that body the following year, Mr. Lamar prepared and introduced the bill organizing Mendocino County; and in 1860 he was elected to represent the new county in the Legislature. In 1866 he was elected county judge of Mendocino County; he served one term – four years - and then resumed his law practice, in which he has been engaged ever since. In 1876 he was appointed attorney for the Board of State Harbor Commissioners, and held that position four year. In 1883 he settled in San Jose, where he has ever since been engaged in the practice of his profession.

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