San Diego’s Judges of the Plains
October 1, 1969
Judge Benjamin Hayes, as he appeared when he was a district judge in 1859. Born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 14, 1815, he married in St. Louis, Mo. in 1848 and served there as a lawyer and journalist until he came to Los Angeles in 1850. He became a court attorney, then a district judge, his district encompassing San Diego. His first wife died in 1857 and in 1866 in Old Town he married Adelaide Serrano of San Diego. He served in San Diego as district attorney and state assemblyman. At one time he was employed by H. H. Bancroft to do historical research. He died in 1877. His “Pioneer Notes From the Diaries of Judge Benjamin Hayes, 1849-1875” are a fascinating historical commentary of the times in which he lived. (Photo courtesy Title Insurance and Trust Company.)
Ruins of the Old Town Jail, built in 1851. The first and only prisoner dug out the mortar from between the stones and escaped the first night.