Thomas G. Hailey Biography
Thomas Griffin Hailey was born at La Grande, Oregon, on the 13th day of July, 1865. He was educated in the public and private schools of Idaho and Oregon, spending his vacations on his father's farms, where he became inured to the hardships and vicissitudes of western life before the advent of the railroads. It was here that he imbibed that love for intensive farming and the improvement of the herds and flocks of the State that made him an authority with agriculturists and breeders everywhere.
In 1884 he went to Pendleton and became a student and clerk in the law office of Cox and Minor, where he remained a year and then left for Lexington, Virginia, entering Washington and Lee University. Here he spent four years, taking a selected literary course and the regular course in the law department, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Law in 1889.
During his career at the University he achieved a reputation as a debater as well as a profound student, and was awarded the debater's medal in one of the literary societies of the University.
Soon after his graduation he returned to Pendleton, Oregon, and became associated with the same firm with which he began the study of law. In 1890 he embarked upon the practice of his profession on his own account. He was appointed Clerk of the Supreme Court at Pendleton in 1889, and held that position until 1892. In this latter year he was married to Miss Maud L. Beach, a talented, young lady from Iowa, who with two daughters, Genevieve. and Elizabeth, survived him.
From the time he first entered upon the practice of his profession, honors continued to come to him, which he always sustained with ability and dignity. Upon resigning as Clerk of the Supreme Court, he was appointed deputy district attorney for the sixth judicial district, and at the same time formed a partnership with Mr. Stephen A. Lowell, which continued until the latter 1 s appointment to the Circuit Judgeship in 1895. Later he was associated with Judge James A. Fee and John L. Austin and C. E. Carter at Pendleton, and in 1896 was nominated by the Democrats for Judge of the sixth judicial district, but was defeated at the election by his former partner, Judge Lowell. In 1900 he was nominated district attorney for the same district, and elected. During his term he was elected mayor of the city of Pendleton for a. two-year term, and for four years was a member of the board of directors of the public schools of Pendleton. In 1905, upon the appointment of Honorable C. E. Wolverton to the Judgeship of the United States District Court, he was appointed to a position on the supreme bench of Oregon, at the end of his term becoming a member of the firm of Chamberlain, Thomas and Hailey, of Portland, with whom he continued until his death on the 15th day of March, 1908. At the last meeting of the Bar Association of the State of Oregon, he was unanimously elected president of the association, and held this office at the time of his death.
This is a very brief outline of the career of Thomas Griffin Hailey in Oregon. He came from sturdy pioneer parents, his father, Honorable John Hailey, having operated one of the earliest stage lines in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah, and later having served as an honored member of Congress from Idaho. Both parents survive him, loved and honored by all who know them. From them the subject of this memorial inherited a strong mind, a splendid character, and an integrity of purpose which won him success in whatever he undertook to do.
As a student he was loved by teacher and pupil alike, and in his college life soon won a first place for his diligence and his conscientious work. As a lawyer he was studious and ambitious to occupy an exalted position in the profession, and by a strict observance of its ethics won the respect of the bench and bar. As a judge he was disposed at all times to brush aside technicalities and to reach a conclusion which the law and the facts fully justified and warranted. As a public official, in whatever capacity he served the people, he was upright, fearless and honest. In his domestic life he was a model husband and father, and as a friend faithful in all things and willing, to sacrifice his own interests to promote the welfare of those whom he loved. In his death the State lost a splendid citizen, the bench and bar one of its brightest ornaments, his family an indulgent husband and father, and his friends a loyal and lovable companion.
- 51 Oregon
Arthur F. Benson's Original Biography Document