James Morris Troutt has presided on the bench of the Superior Court in the City of San Francisco since December, 1890, and he is now the honored dean of the judiciary of San Francisco County and has long been prominent as one of the leading jurists of the state that has been his home since his boyhood and in which his father was a pioneer citizen of prominence and influence.

Judge Troutt was born at Roxbury (now Boston), Massachusetts, on the 20th, of December 1847, and though he has passed the psalmist’s span of three score years and ten, he retains splendid mental and physical vigor and has the bearing and appearance of a man many years his junior. He is a son of Hiram James Morris and Cordelia (Sherman) Troutt, the former of whom was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the latter in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Hiram J. M. Troutt arrived in San Francisco in March, 1850, via Cape Horn, and became one of the pioneers of the historic gold fields, his mining for gold having been attended with success. He returned to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1852, and in that year he came to California with his wife. The following year he sent for his children, Sarah and James, and their maternal grandmother, and they arrived in San Francisco in November, 1853.  

Judge Troutt’s father was a pioneer in the carpet business on the Pacific Coast, and in the early days he conducted a large carpet store near the site of the present Crocker Building in the City of San Francisco. In the spring of the 1859 he established a large carpet store in Portland, Oregon, where likewise he developed a prosperous business. He returned to San Francisco in 1864 and continued in the carpet business until he met with financial disaster in imaginary gold mines. 

Judge Troutt graduated at Harvard College in 1871, in the same class with Henry Cabot Lodge, United States senator of Massachusetts. After his return from Harvard to San Francisco he here read law under private preceptorship, but returned to Cambridge and entered the law school of his Alma Mater, Harvard University. 

In 1874 he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of California, and immediately began the practice of his profession in San Francisco. In 1885 and 1886 he served as first assistant district attorney of San Francisco. 

In 1890 he was elected to the bench of the Superior Court, on which he has since continued his able and earnest service. He has shown marked facility in the rapid and effective handling of the work of his court, has passed on many cases of importance within the long years of his service, and few of his decisions on the bench have met with reversal by courts of higher jurisdiction. 

Judge Troutt is a republican in political allegiance. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a thirty-second degree Mason, a Shriner, a Knight Templar, a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Loyal Order of Moose.  

In 1890 was solemnized the marriage of Judge Troutt and Miss Lucinda May Kendall, whose parents were residents of California at the time of their death. Judge and Mrs. Troutt have no children. 


Louis E. Shoemaker, Transcriber February 18, 2004

Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" by Bailey Millard Vol. 3 page 84-85. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.

© 2004 Louise Shoemaker


California Biography Project


San Francisco County


California Statewide


Golden Nugget Library