Bio- Sawyers

Prominent among the attorneys of pronounced ability of Santa Clara County, whose reputation for fidelity to the best interests of his clients has become a valuable capital in itself, may well be mentioned William Edward Foley of San Jose, in which city he was born, a native son, on December 12, 1879.  His father, John Foley, came to the United States from Ireland in 1850, and for while lived at New Orleans and worked on the steamboats plying on the Mississippi.  Then he joined the U. S. Cavalry and saw service on the great plains for five years.   After that, for two years, he was a pony express rider from Box Elder to Salt Lake City, and finally, in 1860 he came to California.  Until 1863 he was at Virginia City, and on his return to San Jose, he sailed in steamer service from San Francisco to Panama.  He married Miss Honora Fleming, an accomplished lady, the mother of our subject.  John Foley died in December, 1916, but his devoted widow is still living.  They had two boys and two girls, and one of the latter died in `894.  A brother and sister are living on the old home place with their mother, the lot of which was purchased by the wide-awake father in early days in the trade of a saddle horse.

The youngest of the family. William E., attended the local schools, and finally matriculated at Santa Clara College; but just as he was about to graduate, he had to give up his college course on account of a broken leg.  Then he worked for the Farmers Union for eight months, and after that was in the real estate office of Jas. W. Rea & Company.  Then, forming a partnership with  Jas. W.  Rea, he was for several years a member of the firm of Foley &  Rea, widely known for their operations in realty.  At first, Mr.  Foley studied law privately, and in 1914 he was admitted to practice in the California courts.  He was associated with Ed Rea in the practice of law for two years, and he then established himself in private practice, which has grown rapidly and become notable in the history of the Santa Clara Bar.  In national political affairs a Democrat, Mr. Foley has done good work as seceretary of tge Democratic County Central Committee for the past six years.

On October 22, 1910,  Mr. Foley was married to Miss Alma Brelle, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., who was reared in Hmboldt County, and their union has been blessed with two sons, James William and William John.  Mr. Foley is a charter member of the Commercial Club.

Transcribed by CDF, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1105