February 25, 1915 – Mendocino Grammar School principal James “Jim” C. Hurley returned from a trip to San Francisco where he had taken the bar examination. The Beacon reported that, “Mr. Hurley’s friends here will be pleased to hear that he was successful in the examination and was admitted to the bar.”

Jim was the second of 9 sons born to Richard and Katherine Hurley of Albion Ridge. He graduated from Mendocino High School in 1904, and after attending San Jose Normal School (now San Jose State University) to obtain his teaching degree, he returned to Mendocino County to teach in the local schools.

School children on steps in front of schoolhouse

The students of Albion School in 1893. Mr. Banks was the teacher.
1st row: George McCallum, John Hurley, John McCallum, Fred Meltaus, James Hurley, Carl Kaiser, Don Kaiser, Howard Gray
2nd row: Lottie Ryan, Jessie Lemoine, Jesse Tallman, Stella Beaver, Elsie Rowe, Eva Rowe, Fannie Lermond, Hilma Samuelson, Arthur Gray, William Hurley, Ben Meltaus, Ella Weatherby, Delia Lermond
3rd row: Gus Rowe, Mr. Banks, Minnie Doust, Annie Smith, Holtie Samuelson, Mabel Corrigan, Ida Lilley (back of Ruby Ryan), Ruby Ryan, Florence Corrigan, Adelaide Gray, Stella Kaiser, Lilly Lermond, Belle Briggs, John Weatherby, Charlie Rowe, Roy Banks, Tom Lermond, Dana Gray. (Gift of Steve and Sue Sanor, Gray – Nielson – Sanor Family Collection)

In 1913, Jim was named the principal of the Mendocino Grammar School. The Beacon noted that, “Mr. Hurley is a member of the Board of Education, and has had charge of the Albion school for a number of years. He comes here highly recommended, having won the admiration and respect of both pupils and parents at his former school both for his work as a teacher and his personal qualities.” The following year he was appointed chairman of the Mendocino County Board of Education.

After his success at the bar exam, Jim returned to the grammar school and completed the school year. In July, he resigned from his position and moved to Ukiah to practice law. Over the next three decades, he served as the County District Attorney, president of the Mendocino Bar Association, and the Justice of the Peace in Ukiah. Jim died in 1943 at the age of 55 and was survived by his wife, three sons, a daughter, and eight brothers.

Today at 4pm! Join us for an evening of reminiscences as Mendocino locals share their memories of Angela Lansbury. Our special speakers include Jill Lemos, Barbara Reed, and Steve Jordan. $5 for members and $7 for non-members. Purchase at the Kelley House Museum door. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino.