Biography of Judge Howard Bowen Gorham

A member of an old and prominent Rhode Island family and himself a native and lifelong resident of Providence, Judge Gorham has been successfully active in the practice of law for almost three decades, ever since his admission to the Rhode Island bar in 1900. For the greater part of his time he has been associated with the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of Rhode Island, of which he is still judge. He is widely known as a very able and resourceful lawyer and as a courageous and invariably fair judge. Though his professional work has always received the major share of his time and attention, he has also a number of other interests, being a member of several fraternal and social organizations, having served as alderman and as a city councilman, and being fond of outdoor life and sports.

Howard Bowen Gorham was born in Providence in 1876, a son of the late Samuel and Abby H. (Fish) Gorham, both now deceased. His father was for many years a successful and prominent wholesale tobacco, tea and coffee merchant in Providence. Judge Gorham received his early education in the public schools of Providence and, after graduating from the Providence Classical High School, became a student at Brown University, where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1898. Following his graduation he pursued post-graduate work at his alma mater. At the same time he took up the study of law and, in 1900, he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar. For the first few years of his legal career he was engaged in the private practice of law, but since 1906 he has been associated with the Sixth Judicial Court of Rhode Island as its judge. He is now also a member of the committee on the revision of criminal law of Rhode Island, to which he was appointed by the Governor. Judge Gorham is known for his extensive knowledge of the law and is greatly interested in all aspects of his profession, his inclination toward a legal career dating back to his high school days. At one time he was a member of the Providence Board of Aldermen and later of the Providence City Council. During the World War he served as a member of the Legal Advisory Board of Providence under the Selective Service Act. He is a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association and of the Providence Central Club, the Shrine Club, the Anawan Club, and the Young Men’s Republican Club, as well as of St. John’s Lodge, No. 1, Free and Accepted Masons, and Manufacturers’ Lodge, No. 15, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, all of Providence. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party, while he finds his chief recreation in hunting and fishing.

Judge Gorham married, at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1905, Helen W. Whittemore. Judge and Mrs. Gorham are the parents of one son, David Keniston Gorham, like his father a graduate of Brown University, where he completed his studies in 1929, receiving at that time the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. The family residence is located at No. 290 Doyle Avenue, Providence, while Judge Gorham’s offices are at No. 85 Westminster Street, Providence.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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