JAMES PATRICK SEX
SURNAMES: KENNY, SHAW, McKAGNEY, WARD
-A representative member of the legal fraternity, James Patrick Sex is highly esteemed by his associates. A native son of California, he was born in San Jose April 7, 1875, a son of Peter and Margaret (Kenny) Sex. In 1851 his father came to California via the Isthmus of Panama and settled first in San Francisco, but during the gold rush went to Amador and Calaveras counties; later during the gold excitement, he moved to the Feather River country, then journeyed into British Columbia and Canada.
A few years later, in the year of 1857, Mr. Sex returned to California and settled in Amador County, where he became a naturalized citizen; he remained there until 1859 when he came to San Francisco for a short time and from there to Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, where he was engaged in the cattle and sheep business. In 1866 he returned to Santa Clara County and engaged in farming, and later was employed as general night man with the San Jose and San Francisco Railroad, which had just been completed. On account of failing health, he only remained with them for one year, and returned to farming and for a year or more operated a threshing machine in partnership with Thos. Boyter and Dennis Hayes.
After his marriage to Mrs. Margaret (Kenny) Shaw, who was also a pioneer of this country, Mr. Sex was engaged in general •teaming, which he continued until 1896, after which he became superintendent of Calvary Cemetery and was thus engaged until his death, which occurred in 1902. Mrs. Sex passed away April 17, 1887. By her union with Mr. Shaw, Mrs. Sex had two children, one of whom grew up-Margaret Shaw the wife of James McKagney of San Jose; and of her union with Peter Sex there were also two children, William, who died in infancy and James Patrick.
James P. Sex received his preliminary education in St. Joseph's College, supplemented by a course in Santa Clara College, when he received the coveted degree of Ph.B. in 1909 and his LL.D. in 1910. He had matriculated in Santa Clara College in 1890 for the class of 1894, but circumstances arose which compelled him to leave college in 1893, and he entered Wm. A. Bowden's law office and studied law until he was admitted to the bar, April 27, 1896, and later on to the U. S. District Court, August 3, 1909. After his admission he practiced law for a year with Mr. Bowden, until June 1, 1897, when he entered the county clerk's office as a deputy county clerk under Henry A. Pfister, serving until June 1, 1902. He then opened a law office and practiced law until January 1, 1904, when he entered the district attorney's office as assistant district attorney under Judge Jas. H. Campbell. continuing under him and his successor, Arthur M. Free, until November 1. 1911, when he resigned to again enter the general practice of law with offices in the First National Bank Building. San Jose. where he has a lucrative practice among a large clientele. He is well known and popular, and his business is not alone confined to Santa Clara County and the Bay region, but over the whole State of California, having had numerous interesting and hard-fought cases in the course of his legal career.
In July, 1909, with Father Joseph W. Lydon, Mr. Sex was one of the organizers of the law department of the University of Santa Clara, which was opened in August, 1909, since which time he has been professor of criminal law, a chair he has filled acceptably and well. Since January 1, 1920, he has also conducted the class of practice and the moot court of the above institution.
The marriage of Mr. Sex, January 29, 1900, united him with Miss Nellie G. Ward, born in San Francisco, the daughter of John and Julia Ward. She graduated at Notre Dame College in 1897. To them has been born one daughter, Helen Marie. Politically he is a Democrat, is a third degree Knight of Columbus, belongs to the Young Men's Institute, and is a faithful and devout member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He has richly deserved the success he has achieved and it is the wish of all who know him that he may long live to enjoy the fruits of his labors, and the good will of his many friends throughout the community.
Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 702
SANTA CLARA COUNTY PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA HISTORY