Yale Graduate of 1849
Doyle, Galpin & Zeigler, Law Firm of San Francisco

Bio-Pen Pictures

            Philip G. Galpin was born in Buffalo, New York, February 3, 1830.  His parents, natives of Vermont, settled in New York at an early date.  When five years of age he was adopted by his uncle, Philip S. Galpin, for many years Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut.  He was educated in New Haven, attending Russell’s Military Academy, and in 1845 entered Yale College, at which he graduated in 1849.  He then studied law with Henry B. Harrison, lately Governor of Connecticut, and entered the Yale Law School, graduating in 1852, and was admitted to the Bar in New Haven in the same year.  He removed to Ohio and settled in Findlay in 1853, to engage in the law business.  There he entered into partnership with Hon. James M. Coffinberry, his brother-in-law, who was afterward for ten years Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County.  He traveled the neighboring counties on horseback, carrying his law-books in his saddle-bags.  His first case was tried in a little town called Ottokee, on the border of Michigan.  The court-room was in a log house about fifty feet square.  Morrison R. Waite, late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was also there at the time, trying several cases.  The witnesses, judges, and lawyers all had to take quarters together in the garret of the only hotel in the place.  Mr. Galpin then practiced law in Toledo a year, and wrote for the Toledo Blade; thence he went to New York city, entered into partnership with Robert G. Pike, and practiced in Wall Street.  This partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Pike removed to Connecticut and became President of the Hartford & Middletown Railroad, but Mr. Galpin continued practice in New York for a number of years. 

In 1857 he came to California on business for a client in the East, a widow, whose husband had died here leaving a large property.  The leading cases were Gray vs. Palmer, reported in ninth volume of California Reports, and Gray vs. Bugnardello, in Supreme Court of United States.  He was attorney for Mrs. Gray and won sixteen lawsuits for her, in which she recovered a large amount of property.  He returned to New York and argued in the Supreme Court of the United States, Galpin vs. Page, which became a leading authority on “jurisdiction.”  He came again to California in 1860 and tried several actions for an Eastern client in ejectment, remaining here at that time about eighteen months.  During this time his business was going on in New York, where he had partners.  In 1865 he was employed in New York by the heirs of J. Ladson Hall, of Philadelphia, to come to California to recover the estate of their father, valued at $150,000.  Hall vs. Dexter was the leading case.  He tried and argued it in the United States Circuit Court of California, where judgment was rendered against Hall.  Mr. Galpin appealed the case to the Supreme Court of the United States at Washington, D. C., and there argued it for the Hall heirs.  The decision of the Circuit Court was reversed.  The last decision established the point that the deed of a lunatic was void and not voidable.  The late Roscoe Conkling was the opposing counsel.

 Mr. Galpin then remained a year and a half in New York and soon after went to Europe.  He was married in Paris, France, in January, 1867, to Mary E. Culver, a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  In 1869 he returned from Europe to New York city, where he practiced law till 1875.  Having acquired property in California which required attention, he came here that year and located in San Francisco, where he resided till 1880, when he bought a place at Claremont near Oakland.  His wife died there in 1883.  He continued to reside at his home in Claremont till 1886, when he married Julia B., youngest daughter of Victor Castro, by whom he has one child. 

            In 1887 Mr. Galpin sold his property at Claremont and bought a place between Los Gatos and Alma, at Lexington, Santa Clara County.  He has a fine ranch of 250 acres, on which he carries on stock-raising, grain and fruit culture.  It is his intention to plant the whole place to fruit.  He practices law in San Francisco in partnership with John T. Doyle, of Menlo Park, and W. G. Zeigler, his nephew, under the firm name of Doyle, Galpin & Zeigler, their office being at the southeast corner of Sacramento and Montgomery Streets.

            His only criminal case was the defense, in conjunction with H. E. Highton, Esq., of the son of Mayor Kalloch, indicted for murdering Charles De Young, a former editor of the Chronicle.  In the contest in 1886 between the Republican and Democratic parties for representation in the Board of Elections, Mr. Galpin rendered efficient service to the Democratic party.  He argued at Washington before the Land Department and before the Supreme Court of the State, on behalf of the State, the question of the State’s ownership of land below high-water mark, within the limits of a pueblo.  For years he has been and now is counsel for the property-holders, in the various actions brought, to collect the Montgomery Avenue Bonds.  He is also at present counsel for the Western Union Telegraph Company.

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

Pg. 324-325
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy