William W. Page Biography


        William Wilmer Page was born in 1834 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, of a very old and honorable family, which traces its history to the Norman invasion of England. He died suddenly at his residence in Portland, Ore., April 12, 1897. He was a son of Rev. Charles Page, whose mother was Ann Lee, a sister of General "Light Horse Harry" Lee. Judge Page graduated with honor from the Miami, Ohio, law college and began the practice of law in Chicago when scarsely out of his teens. Two years later he removed to Oregon, arriving at Oregon City in 1857. He practiced his profession a short time at Salem, then removed to Portland, where he resided until his death. Mr. Page was admitted to practice in the United States District Court for this district by Judge Deady, the second day after the court had been established at Salem, and practiced law in this state from that time until his death.

        When Judge Wait resigned to run for Congress, Mr. Page was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court (and Circuit Courts) to fill the unexpired term from May to September, 1862.

        For nearly twenty years Judge Page was ranked as one of the most brilliant and able members of the Oregon bar. He was admired by his associates for the clear, concise, logical manner in which he conducted all legal business. His was essentially a legal mind, giving him a readiness and soundness of judgment in quickly sifting out important points from a mass of evidence and in applying correct principles of law thereto, backed by an authority that was second to none. His appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court by Governor John Whiteaker was a high tribute to his high mental qualities and legal attainments, especially as he had then scarsely passed his twenty-fifth year. After retiring from the Supreme Bench he became a member of the law firm of Smith, Grover & Page, which promptly became and long retained its standing as one of the most prominent law firms of the Northwest. He afterward had various other law partners, but for several years before his death conducted his legal business alone.

                                                                                      (History of Bench & Bar of Oregon, p. 272)

Arthur F. Benson's Original Biography Document