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San Francisco County







DR. HARTLAND LAW, President of the Viavi Company, Inc., San Francisco, Cal., was born near Sheffield, England, July 7, 1858, son of Crossley Law and Rebecca (Brown) Law. In 1866 his parents brought him to Chicago, Illinois, where, in December, 1884, he was married to Miss Ada Ward. The children of this marriage are Harold Ward and Hubert Edward Law.


He attended the public schools of Chicago, Northwestern College at Naperville, 1879-89, and the old Chicago University, 1881-92, paying his way through college by selling subscription books. He was graduated from Hahnemann Medical College, San Francisco, in 1893.


In 1884 Hartland Law and his brother, H. E. Law, came to San Francisco and engaged in the publishing business under the firm name of Law, King  & Law. Subsequently the firm moved to Chicago and purchased the control of the Western Publishing Company, but disposed of this a little later.


In 1886 Dr. Law and H. E. Law returned to San Francisco, and here they originated and developed the Viavi System of Treatment, in connection with which they have built up the world-wide business of The Viavi Company, Inc. Both Dr. Law and his brother regard Viavi—The Viavi System of Treatment, a high development of domestic medication—as their greatest achievement and the most essential part of their own development and career.


While Dr. Law has made Viavi his life work, he has been active in public and quasi-public matters. He was one of the organizes of the First Baptist Church of Berkeley, served a number of years as a director of the San Francisco Young Men’s Christian Association and was chairman of the finance committee that aid off the debt on the old Association building, the burning of the mortgage on which by President Roosevelt was an interesting ceremonial event. He was also a member of the original committee of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, as well as of the finance committee that raised the money to secure it, and it was largely through the efforts of the Law Brothers that the Harbor View section was made possible as a site for Exposition.


Dr. Law was a member of the original Greater San Francisco committee; he represented the Merchants’ Association on the committee that secured the high-pressure water system for San Francisco. He built the Crossley building. Seventeen days before the earthquake and fire he and his brother, H. E. Law, exchanged the Crossley and Rialto buildings and other property for the Fairmount Hotel, at that time uncompleted. The fire added nearly two million dollars to the cost of completion. The opening of this hostelry was celebrated on the first anniversary of the fire by the most numerously attended banquet ever served in a San Francisco hotel. Later they exchanged back the Fairmount with Mrs. Herman Oelrichs acquiring in the exchange twelve blocks of land adjoining the Fort Mason military reservation, for which they have planned extensive harbor improvements. Since the fire, also, Dr. Law has built a residence in Presidio Terrace, the Alder Sanitarium building, has rebuilt the Rialto, and, with his brother, has built the Viavi building, on Pine Street. All of these are costly buildings and architecturally are ornaments of San Francisco. Dr. Law is one of those men who has thrown every dollar of his means into the reconstruction of the Bay City, as much out of loyalty as for reasons of investment, and his faith has been justified.


He has been president of the Presidio Golf Club, is now president of the San Francisco Tunnel Association, Presidio Terrace Association, director of the Merchants’ Association, a member of the Union League, and thirty-second degree Mason.


Transcribed by Gloria (Wiegner) Lane.

Source: Press Reference Library, Western Edition Notables of the West, Vol. I, Page 336, International News Service, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta.  1913.

© 2007 Gloria Lane.


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