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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Le Boeuf

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1735-1736 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Judge Randall James Le Boeuf, son of Peter J. and Sarah A. (Saunders) Le Boeuf, was born in Cohoes, New York, March 10, 1870.

Judge Le Boeuf's father was of French descent, and a resident of Canada in his youth, coming there from France when a child. He was sent into the United States for his education, and graduated from the Fort Edward Institute in New York state. Shortly afterwards he engaged in the manufacture of axes in Cohoes. After that he removed to Troy, New York, where he was actively concerned in the manufacture of collars, cuffs, and shirts, the leading industry of that city. He was for a number of years a member of the firm of Wheeler, Allendorf & LeBoeuf, afterwards Wheeler, Le Boeuf & Company.

The ancestors of Judge Le Boeuf's mother, the Saunders family, came to this country from Scotland in colonial days, settling first on the Taunton and Providence, Rhode Island "plantations," as they were then styled, several of this family playing most important parts in the struggle for independence. Her father was Randall Saunders, a well-known resident of Albany in 1830, and members of this family moved into Columbia, Greene and Ulster counties. She was born at Albany, and was educated at the State Normal College.

When nine years old, Judge Le Boeuf came to live in Albany, and attended the high school, from which he graduated in the class of 1887. He then took up the study of law in the office of the late Eugene Burlingame, an unusually bright lawyer and district attorney. In the fall of 1889, Judge Le Boeuf entered Cornell University, and graduated from the law department in 1892, with the degree LL. D. He was there one of the prize debaters, and also received the thesis prize for his treatise of the law. He was made a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, and was president of both the junior and senior classes of the law school. A part of his work at Cornell was done under the supervision of Charles E. Hughes, later the governor of New York state and afterwards judge of the United States supreme court, then professor of law, and Mr. Le Boeuf's thesis on the rights and remedies of abutters on streets over which the elevated railroads were constructed, procured for him, through the interest of members of the faculty of Cornell, a position as managing clerk in the law firm of Sackett & Bennett, who at that time did a large business for property owners in actions brought against the New York and Manhattan Elevated Company. During his connection with this firm, he formed, what is believed to have been, the first linotype labor union organized in the United States. He also had considerable experience in the formation of the model village of Larchmont, New York, which was built up from the properties of the Larchmont Manor companies.

Upon the return of Charles E. Hughes to his firm in New York City, known as Carter, Hughes & Kellogg, he entered the office of that firm as assistant attorney. He was offered the position by Walter S. Carter, who was the senior member of the law firm, father-in-law of Governor Hughes, and a man of country-wide reputation as the friend and starter of young men. Mr. Le Boeuf considered his connection with Governor Hughes to be equivalent to a liberal education in law matters, and the latter evidently noticed his response to earnest effort, for later Mr. Le Boeuf's application brought its reward. Mr. Le Boeuf was admitted to the bar at Saratoga Springs, New York, September 14, 1892. In 1895, Eugene Burlingame, with whom Mr. Le Boeuf had read law, having been elected district attorney for Albany county, Mr. Le Boeuf returned to Albany and formed a law partnership with him, which continued throughout Mr. Burlingame's first term and ended only with the latter's sudden death in 1898, during his second term of office. In November, 1897, Mr. Le Boeuf drew the charter for the new city of Rensselaer, Columbia county, New York, and was appointed its first corporation counsel, remaining in that office consecutive years until 1902. It has ever been a source of satisfaction to him that he made a great number of friends during that period, and likewise had the benefit of the experience. After Mr. Burlingame's death, he formed a partnership with Surrogate Newton B. Van Derzee and John T. Cook, ex-district attorney, and for several years they practiced in the Municipal Gas Company building on State street, Albany.

In the year 1900 Mr. Le Boeuf undertook the formation of what became the Albany Trust Company, enlisting the assistance of a number of prominent citizens, both at Albany and in New York, and the handsome building of its own was opened on September 5, 1904, the organization dating from March 20, 1900, when Mr. John D. Parsons, Jr., was chosen its president, who was also the president of the National Exchange Bank of Albany. He has given, since then, much time to its affairs, and has been a director and its legal counsel. He has also been interested in banking institutions in other cities, and as such was made a director of the Schenectady, Troy and Syracuse Trust Companies in those three cities. He has had large experience also in litigation affecting gas and electric lighting companies. He has been engaged in legal work for railroad corporations, and was attorney for the Albany & Hudson Railroad Company, participating in the work of reorganization when forming the present Albany & Southern Railroad Company. His practice has not been confined to New York state, but has included cases of moment in the circuit courts of the United States and other Federal courts. He has had considerable familiarity with litigation affecting the rights of vessels navigating the waters of this state and tide waters. Governor Charles E. Hughes appointed him a justice of the supreme court for this district, December 26, 1909, to succeed the late judge George H. Fitts, which appointment was generally satisfactory to those who knew him. To this high office he gave his best endeavors.

When Justice Le Boeuf retired from office upon the expiration of his term, December 31, 1910, it was made a notable occasion by those with whom he had been brought in contact. His desk had been piled high with a display of American Beauty roses, and he was overcome by the marks of appreciation. The Albany County Bar Association had drawn resolutions, to the effect that "his service upon the bench has been marked by the greatest degree of expedition consistent with a proper consideration of the multitude of important cases which have been presented to him for decision, and that the uniform patience and courteous consideration which have characterized his judicial relations, manifest that he is possessed of the temperament necessary in a judge." The resolutions further recited that the members of the bar in Albany county appreciate his service, which had served to demonstrate his worth, his excellent judgment, absolute fairness, energetic promptness in the despatch of matters brought before him, and his clear and unbiased interpretation of the laws.

Judge Le Boeuf is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Society of International Law, and of the Bar Association of Albany County. He is prominent among Masons, being a member of Masters' Lodge, No. 5, and Capital City Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of De Witt Council, Royal and Select Masters, and vice-president of Cornell Alumni Association; member of the executive council of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, of the Unconditional Republican Club and of the National Geographic Society, Fort Orange, University and Aurania clubs, and Pine Hills Association of Albany, and the Republican, Cornell and Railroad clubs of New York City. He is a trustee and vestryman of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church of Albany, and resides at No. 531 Western avenue.

Judge Le Boeuf married, at Albany, New York, June 3, 1896, Katharine Washburn, daughter of Hiram L. Washburn. Judge and Mrs. Le Boeuf have one child, Randall James Le Boeuf, Jr. Hiram L. Washburn was a dealer in real estate, residing at the northeast corner of Western avenue and Quail street, Albany.

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