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Alameda County












Lester S. McElwain, attorney, was born January 1, 1910, at San Mateo, California; the son of George W. McElwain and Ethel (Dickson) McElwain, who were born in the State  of New York and Illinois respectively, and came to California in 1908. Mr. McElwain received his early education at the San Mateo, California, Central Grammar School and subsequently graduated from San Mateo Union High School at Burlingame, California, in June, 1927. He graduated from Stanford University, A.B. degree (Economics) in June, 1931; graduated from Stanford University Law School, LL.B. degree, in December, 1934; and was admitted to the California State and the United States Federal Bars in that year. In the same year Mr. McElwain began the practice of law at Oakland, California, associating with the law firm of Donahue, Hynes and Hamlin, which subsequently became Donahue, Richards and Hamlin. He remained with the latter firm, specializing in trail practice, and actively participated in local, state and national Junior Chamber of Commerce activities, until January, 1941, when he volunteered for active duty with the United States Navy.

            He served five years in the U. S. Navy, and upon his discharge with the rank of Commander in December, 1945, he resumed the practice of law under his own name at Oakland, California, where he is presently actively engaged in the general practice of the law and the trial of cases in the civil courts.

            Mr. McElwain is a member of the Alameda County Bar, California State Bar, and American Bar Associations. He is a Scottish Rite (32nd degree) Mason, being a member of Yerba Buena Masonic Lodge, Oakland, California, Scottish Rite Bodies, and the A.A.O.N.M. Shrine, Aahmes Temple, as well as a member of the B.P.O. Elks, Number 171, Oakland, California. In 1951 he was master of Yerba Buena Lodge, Number 403, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of California, and in 1952 he was master of the Oakland Consistory of Oakland Scottish Rite of Free Masonry.

            Mr. McElwain is a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County and is associated with the American Red Cross (treasurer, Oakland, California, Chapter 1948), Community Chest, and other welfare activities. He is a member of the Methodist Church, Phi Sigma Kappa, Phi Alpha Delta (legal), Oakland Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, American Legion, Athens Athletic Club and the United States Naval Reserve.

            His recreation is found in golf, photography, hiking and lodge activities.

            He married Margrite Beadle Ludlow February 25, 1944, at Oakland, California, and they have three sons, Roderick Dudley, born October 7, 1945, Malcolm Stafford, born October 16, 1947, and Douglas Stephen, born November 16, 1950. Their family residence is in Oakland, California, at 855 Glendome Circle; and Mr. McElwain’s law offices are located in the Broadway Building at 1419 Broadway, Oakland, California.




Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.

Source: “Eminent Californians 1953”, by Lee E. Johnson & C. W. Taylor. Pages 205-206, C. W. Taylor Publ., Palo Alto, California, 1953.

© 2014  Cecelia M. Setty.











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