Hon. Francis William Van Reynegom, a practitioner at the bar of San Francisco and now ex-judge of the superior court, was born on the 22d of February, 1846, in Bath, Maine, a son of Charles E. and Mary J. Van Reynegom, the former a native of Philadelphia and the latter of Maine. The paternal grandfather was a merchant of Philadelphia, where the father of Judge Van Reynegom became a sea captain, but continued to make his home in his native city. In his family were three daughters, but only one is now living.
Judge Van Reynegom, an only son, pursued his early education in the public schools of Boston, Massachusetts, where he pursued his studies until fourteen years of age. In the meantime he had been left an orphan, and about 1860, in company with his youngest sister, now deceased, he came to California, arriving in Marin county, where his uncle was engaged in farming. He was employed at farm labor by his uncle until he attained the age of nineteen years, after which he spent six months as an employe in a country blacksmith's shop. The succeeding year was passed in the printing office of the Marin County Journal, and in 1866 he came to San Francisco, where he entered into partnership with William M. Cubery in a printing venture under the firm style of Cubery & Company. This relation was maintained until the fall of 1872, when Mr. Van Reynegom sold out. In the meantime he had taken up the study of law and so assiduously conducted his preparation for the bar that in April, 1873, he was admitted to practice at the supreme court of California.
Judge Van Reynegom entered upon his professional duties and at the same time acted as editor of two weekly papers, the Pacific Odd Fellow and the Pacific Churchman, for two years following his admission to the bar. A growing clientage, however, made such demands upon his time and attention that he was forced to put aside his journalistic labors and devote himself entirely to his duties as a law practitioner. In the year 1888 he was appointed judge of the superior court of San Francisco by Governor Waterman and served until 1890, when he resumed his practice, in which he has continued to the present time. His decisions indicated strong mentality, careful analysis, a thorough knowledge of law and an umbiased judgment. The judge on the bench fails more frequently, perhaps, from a deficiency in that broad-mindedness which not only comprehends the details of a situation quickly and that insures a complete self-control under even the most exasperating conditions than from any other cause; and the judge who makes a success in the discharge of his multitudinus delicate duties is a man of well rounded character, finely balanced min and of splendid intellectual attainments. That Judge Van Reynegom was regarded as such a jurist is a uniformly accepted fact.
Judge Van Reynegom was married to Miss Carnelia Carey, a native of Ohio and a daughter of William and Lone Stewart Carey, the latter a sister of United States Senator Stewart of Nevada. Her father was killed in the service in the Union army during the Civil war. To the Judge and his wife have been born two daughters, Alice Carey, who is a graduate of Notre Dame College of San Francisco and has taken up literary work as a life occupation; and Frances Stewart, who is an actress and violinist. The parents are active in church work, and the Judge is serving as senior warden of St. John's Episcopal church. He has gained for himself an enviable position as a representative of the bar of central California and in his private life is distinguished by all that marks the true gentleman.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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