Finding Aid for the William I. Foley papers, ca. 1899-1969

Processed by Vesta Winston in 2012 with assistance from Jillian Cuellar and Megan Fraser; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2003
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: William I. Foley papers
Date (inclusive): ca. 1899-1969
Collection number: 139
Creator: Foley, William I.
Extent: 4 document boxes (2 linear ft.)
Abstract: William I. Foley (1856-1920) was the Private Secretary to and law partner of California's 20th Governor, Henry T. Gage. The collection consists chiefly of copies of letters from Foley as the Governor's Private Secretary.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Processing Information

Processed by Vesta Winston in 2012 with assistance from Jillian Cuellar and Megan Fraser.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], William I. Foley papers (Collection 139). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233029 


William I. Foley (February 19, 1856 - April 19, 1921) was an attorney in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was the law partner of Henry Tifft Gage, a one-term governor of California from 1899-1902.
During Gage's term in office, Foley served as the Governor's Private Secretary. Gage recommended Foley to California's State Supreme Court, but Foley would not accept the appointment due to controversy in Governor Gage's administration.
Foley and Gage resumed their law partnership after Governor Gage's term ended. Foley was the attorney for a number of high profile cases of the time, including the case of the heirs of Jose Antonio Aguirre vs. Patrick William Riordan (Archbishop of San Francisco), et al. This case concerned the Pioius Fund, a fund to support the missions in California during the time that Spain ruled California. Foley also served as the attorney for California's State Medical Board. While he was in this position, he wrote California's State Medical Act.
Foley married Sara Dolores Sepulveda (April 1866 - August 1906), who was a member of the families of Sepulveda and Lugo, prominent landowners, politicians, and military men during the Spanish and Mexican rule of California. The Foley's had four children: Viola L., Zoraya F., Elsa, and Rupert Godfrey.
Sources: "Bar Loses Its Best-Read Son: W.I. Foley, Partner of Gage, Dies in Los Angeles." Los Angeles Times, April 20, 1921, p. I12.
"California, County Marriages Index, 1850-1952: Wm. I. Foley and Sara Dolores Sepulveda, 1886." Family Search. Accessed October 31, 2012.
"Foley Waves Honor Away: Reasons for not Accepting Supreme Judgeship." Los Angeles Times, December 30, 1920, p. 3.
"United States Census, 1910 Index: William J Foley, Los Angeles Assembly District 72, Los Angeles, California, citing sheet 25A, family 730, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374095." FamilySearch. Accessed November 6, 2012.  
Wood, Virginia. "Society: Told Over the Tea Cups." Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1920, p. I13.

Scope and Content

The collection mainly consists of copies of letters from W.I. Foley as the Governor's Private Secretary. In addition, there are copies of correspondence in his role as attorney for California's State Board of Health, some of his legal notes, reports concerning the missions of California, a legal agreement concerning a Pious Fund lawsuit and a drawing of R.F. Stockton.

Organization and Arrangement

Materials arranged by format.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Foley, William I. --Archives.
Lawyers --California --Archival resources.

Related Material

Related collections are at The Huntington Library.

Container List


Correspondence. 1899-1906.

Box 1, Folder 1

Letters from W.I. Foley and W.H. Davis. 1899 January 12 - 1899 April 27.

Box 2, Folder 1

Letters from W.I. Foley. 1900 May 21 - 1901 August 21.

Box 2, Folder 2

Letters from W.I. Foley. 1901 August 21 - 1902 October 15.

Box 3, Folder 1

W.I. Foley Correspondence. 1902 September 8 - 1906 December 17.


Notebook. c. 1880-1890.

Box 3, Folder 2

Legal Notes. circa 1880-1890.


Reports. 1884-1906.

Box 3, Folder 3

Pious Fund and the Missions of California (Partial). circa 1900-1906.

Box 3, Folder 4

Centennial of Padre Junipero Serra- Restoration of the Old Mission Church of San Carlos Carmelo Valley. circa 1884.


Legal Contract. 1879 December 30.

Box 3, Folder 5

Agreement between heirs of Jose Aguirre (deceased) and the Catholic Bishops of California (Pious Fund). 1879 December 30.


Pamphlet. 1900 September 28.

Box 3, Folder 6

Speech of Governor Henry T. Gage on Imperialism and Militarism. 1900 September 28.


Drawing. 1904.

Box 3, Folder 7

Commodore Robert Field Stockton (reproduction of engraving from painting). 1904.