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Biography of Hon. William Wallace Thayer

HON. W.W. THAYER- William Wallace Thayer, the present chief justice of the supreme court of Oregon, came to this state in 1862. He was born at Lima, Livingston county, New York, July 15, 1827. His boyhood was spent upon a farm in that county, where he attended the common schools and received the meager instruction that the times and circumstances of farm life afforded. But an early love for books and a retentive memory, characteristics that mark him even to-day, supplied what was lacking in his school education. He became a wide reader of standard literature; and, having determined to fit himself for the practice of the law, he began a course of reading to that end, covering the best productions in history and biography, as well as the usual elementary legal works. He attended law lectures at Rochester, New York, and was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of that state in that city in March, 1851. It may be mentioned that in the class of applicants for admission who were examined at the same time was Professor John Norton Pomeroy, LL.D., who also then received his certificate of admission to practice, and who subsequently became well known as the author of several law books of note. During the early years of his practice, Judge Thayer laid the foundation for a broad and thorough knowledge of the law by constant and discriminating study of reported cases. Notwithstanding the years that have elapsed since that period, his clear memory of the leading cases read at that time, particularly those of the New York reports, is frequently noted...

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