San Francisco County
THOMAS FITCH, an eminent lawyer of the Pacific coast, and one whose reputation extends throughout the country as an orator and brilliant advocate, hails from the Empire State. He was born in New York city in 1838, the son of a merchant of that place. Six or seven generations of his ancestors were natives of New England. Sir Thomas Fitch, one of his progenitors, was Governor of Connecticut when it was a colony.
Thomas attended school in Massachusetts until he was fifteen years old. In 1855 he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and after remaining there five years he came to the Pacific coast, landing here in 1860. He read law in the office of Shafter, Heydenfeld & Gould, and was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Nevada in 1863, after which he engaged in the practice of his profession. The young lawyer’s abilities were soon recognized, and he was brought to the front in political circles. He was elected Representative to the Legislature of California in 1863; a member of the Constitutional Convention of Nevada in 1864; District Attorney of Washoe county, Nevada, in 1865 and 1866; and a Representative to Congress from Nevada in 1868. He was attorney for Brigham Young and the Mormon church in 1871, and retained the position several years. In all probability he better understands the inside history of the great apostle and the Mormon church than any other man outside the church.
Mr. Fitch subsequently went to Arizona, and in 1879 was elected to the Legislature of that Territory.
He is a stanch Republican, and in every campaign takes an active part on the stump, his name and fame as an orator being well-known in every hamlet throughout the Pacific coast.
During his early experience in law, Mr. Fitch had a large criminal practice. More recently, however, he has given his attention to mining litigation and equity practice. For the past twenty-eight years he has been engaged in his profession in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, about half that time in this State.
Transcribed by Donna L. Becker.
Source: “The Bay of San Francisco,” Vol. 2, Page 475, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2006 Donna L. Becker.