Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Dennis Foley, Sr.

Male 1908 - 1975  (67 years)


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  • Name John Dennis Foley 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born 14 May 1908  Watsonville, Santa Cruz, California Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Died 18 Oct 1975  Santa Clara County, California Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Buried Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, Santa Clara, California Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I31006  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 7 Dec 2020 

    Father John Joseph "Jack" Foley,   b. 22 Jul 1871, San Jose, Santa Clara, California Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 1955, San Jose, Santa Clara, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Lee "Bessie" Yagle,   b. 5 Jun 1878, Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1952, San Jose, Santa Clara, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Married Aft 16 Oct 1900  San Jose, Santa Clara, California Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Family ID F18541  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Zoe J. Hames,   b. 3 Nov 1909, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Apr 1995, San Jose, Santa Clara, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married Bef 1940  [5
    Notes 
    • A card in the California State Library Biographical Index Cards collection gives the date of their marriage as 16 Nov 1937. However, ASF notes that the 1938 city directory of San Jose shows Zoe J Hames (described as "reporter Merchants Assn") still living with her parents at 424 N 16th. She and John Dennis Foley are definitely married by the time of the 1940 census.
    Children 
     1. John Dennis Foley, Jr.,   b. 14 Nov 1939, Santa Clara County, California Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Aug 1994, Santa Clara County, California Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years)
    Last Modified 8 Dec 2020 
    Family ID F18627  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • He graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara University Law School in 1932.

      In 1936, he ran as a Democrat to represent district 31 in the California State Assembly; he was defeated, 51.3% to 48.7%, by incumbent C. C. Cottrell, who (according to the Oakland Tribune, 5 Nov 1936, p. 8), had the evident advantage of running on both the Republican and the Democratic lines.

      In 1938, again running as a Democrat, he ran for the California State Senate, district 18. According to the 31 Aug 1938 San Francisco Examiner (p. 3), Palo Alto attorney Adron A. Beene beat him for the Republican nomination, and he beat Beene for the Democratic nomination. He went on to defeat Beene in the general election, 51.6% to 45.8%. (2.6% of the vote went to Progressive Party candidate Rolf B. Vinmont.) Accord to Patrick Foley, he was, at 30 years old, the youngest attorney ever elected to the California State Senate as of then. (Source for all of the preceding election numbers: JoinCalifornia, Election History for the State of California.)

      JoinCalifornia's listings omit the 1940 election for State Senate district 18, but the record of state senators at the official site of the California State Senate says that John D. Foley was re-elected in 1940. We have been unable to find any details of this election on Newspapers.com save for an Oakland Tribune line-listing that says he was re-elected. It does not name his opponent. Possibly he was unopposed.

      JoinCalifornia says that he was a judge of the Santa Cruz County Municipal Court from 1941 to 1961, then judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court from 1961 to 1963. But this appears to be completely wrong. According to Patrick Foley's notes, in 1941 John D. Foley was appointed judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court and held that position for the rest of his life.

      Patrick Foley is correct; JoinCalifornia is mistaken. On 17 Jul 1941, the Oakland Tribune, page 15, calls John D. Foley "Superior Judge-designate". On 27 Jul 1941, the same newspaper, page 4, refers to the evidently recent "appointment of State Senator John D. Foley to the superior bench in Santa Clara County," and local newspapers for the rest of 1941 consistently refer to John D. Foley as "Superior Court Judge". And while we have yet to find an obituary covering John D. Foley's death in 1975, on 12 Dec 1975 the Escondido Times-Advocate, page B6, reports that Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Municipal Court Justice Sidney Feinberg of Palo Alto "to replace the late Judge John D. Foley on the Santa Clara County Superior Court." So it would appear that, just as Patrick Foley reports, John D. Foley served on the Santa Clara County Superior Court from 1941 to his death in 1975.

      JoinCalifornia also states that, as a state senator, he and Frank W. Mixter, Republican state senator from SD-32, co-authored SB 657 which established the California Streets and Highways Code.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4900] "Howard Foley's Family," research draft by Patrick Foley, shared with ASF and PNH 3 Dec 2020., year and place only.

    2. [S4901] Find a Grave page for John Dennis Foley Sr..

    3. [S1336] U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, on ancestry.com.

    4. [S5088] "Marriage Licenses." San Francisco Call, 17 Oct 1900, p. 11.

    5. [S15] 1940 United States Federal census, on ancestry.com.