San Francisco County









      Charles A. Shurtleff, prominent attorney of San Francisco and former justice of the supreme court of California, has been a member of the local bar for nearly a half century, and holds a most enviable position of honor and prestige. Judge Shurtleff was born in Shasta, Shasta county, California, April 4, 1857, and is a son of the late Dr. Benjamin and Anne M. (Griffith) Shurtleff.

      Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff was born September 7, 1821, in Carver, Massachusetts, and was reared and educated in that state. He graduated from the medical department of Harvard, and in 1849 came to California, his route taking him through the strait of Magellan. He settled first in Shasta county, and during the early days engaged in mining, in the drug store business, and in the practice of medicine. He owned a beautiful home and extensive orchard in Shasta county. He was very active in the political affairs of his day, and was the first treasurer elected in Shasta county, also was a state senator from that county and a member of the constitutional convention of 1879. He was a director of the Napa State Hospital for nineteen years, and also served as mayor of the city of Napa. He was a stanch republican, and prominent in Masonry. He moved to Napa, California, in 1874, and there resided until his death, which occurred December 21, 1911. His wife, Anne M. (Griffith) Shurtleff, was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, November 24, 1827, and was of Mayflower descent, representing one of the oldest Massachusetts families. Mrs. Shurtleff died in Napa, September 2, 1905. By her marriage she was the mother of three children, of whom Judge Shurtleff is now the only survivor. Benjamin E., the youngest, is deceased, also George C., the eldest.

      The public schools supplied Judge Shurtleff with his early educational training, likewise private schools and the old Napa College. He then entered Hastings Law College in San Francisco, which conferred upon him the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1882. Immediately thereafter, having been admitted to the California state bar, he entered upon the practice of his profession in San Francisco, and has since maintained his office here, engaging in general practice with marked success. He is a member of the San Francisco, the California State, and the American Bar Associations. His ability in the law and his comprehensive knowledge of jurisprudence are matters of general knowledge in the bay district. The Judge has held public office with distinction, first as assistant United States district attorney from 1891 to 1893, and then as a justice of the supreme court of California from July, 1921, until January, 1923. He is an ex-president of the San Francisco Bar Association, likewise ex-president of the old state bar association.

      Judge Shurtleff has been twice married. On October 14, 1886, he took as his wife Miss Ada S. West, who died November 29, 1925. He was married secondly July 25, 1927, to Mrs. Nellie Valentine Crockett, a native of Shasta, California. They have their residence on Ringwood road in Menlo Park.

      The political allegiance of Judge Shurtleff is with the republican party, and he is a Protestant in religious belief. He is a member of the Family Club; the Commonwealth Club; the American Law Institute; the Society of California; and the Legal Aid Society. During the World war, he served on the local board which passed on the applications of conscientious objectors to military duty.



Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.

Source: Byington, Lewis Francis, “History of San Francisco 3 Vols”, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1931. Vol. 2 Pages 440-442.

© 2007 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.










California Biography Project


San Francisco County