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William Rand


Centurion, 1908–1931

Full Name William Henry Rand Jr.

Born 8 January 1866 in Chicago, Illinois

Died 10 February 1931 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Greenwood Union Cemetery, Rye, New York

Proposed by S. Sidney Smith and Charles C. Burlingham

Elected 5 December 1908 at age forty-two

Century Memorial

William Rand was a familiar figure at the Century’s dinner-table of a Saturday afternoon, where his interest in present-day politics and his reminiscence of the politics of another day at once enlivened the conversation. Rand’s achievement in the law stretched back to that singularly interesting episode in New York’s political history, long known as the “Jerome campaign.” Nowadays, the “whirlwind canvass” which followed Tammany’s refusal to re-nominate the district attorney who had rejected orders and had shaken the organization’s hold on city graft is almost a forgotten legend; but some of us still remember the tense excitement that shook every circle of New York as the campaign reached its climax, twenty-nine years ago, and the sweeping majority with which the independent ticket was carried to victory.

Rand as Assistant District Attorney and Jerome’s lieutenant became the trial lawyer for the new administration. He instantly won distinction as a formidable antagonist in court to the seasoned counsel who appeared in behalf of indicted public enemies. He became known to shifty witnesses as a crafty and dangerous cross-examiner; not the less because of his bland and matter-of-fact demeanor. It was through these qualities, and because of his skilful preparation of the case, that Sam Parks, the blackmailing labor agitator, was sent to serve a prison sentence in 1905, and was shortly followed by the notorious Abe Hummel. In those days Hummel’s resources as shyster lawyer were considered to be such that no criminal defended by him would ever pay the penalty of law, yet he could not escape the penalty for his own misdoings after Rand was through with him.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1932 Century Association Yearbook