Second Judicial District Court Historical Perspective

McKnight
William Mcknight

JUDGE WILLIAM McKNIGHT

(1939-1952)

William McKnight was born on the McKnight family ranch near Hamilton, White Pine County, Nevada, February 9th, 1894. As a youth he worked as rancher, stage driver, and copper miner at Ruth. He registered at the Agriculture College, Logan, Utah, graduating at the age of 21. He became deputy recorder of White Pine County under Denver Dickerson and when the latter was elected lieutenant governor in 1906, McKnight became recorder. During his six years in that office he became interested in law, which he studied, and in 1912 was admitted to the Nevada Bar. He practiced law in Ely for two years. In 1914 he was chosen secretary of the state Democratic Central Committee. From 1916 to 1919 he served as assistant attorney general of Nevada. In 1919 he went to Tonopah and opened a law office there and in 1921 moved his office to Reno. He was again elected secretary of the Democratic Central Committee in 1922 and re-elected to that post in 1932. In 1938 he was elected Judge of the District Court. He retired in 1952. He was a member of the Nevada, California and National Bar Associations. He was married to Grace Agnes Shiells of Ogden. The couple had one son, Daniel, who was killed in an accident in 1930, and an adopted son Donald Franklin. Judge McKnight died in Reno, October 26, 1957.
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Second Judicial District Court
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Reno, Nevada, 89501