century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

View all members

William Gardner Choate


Centurion, 1866–1920

Born 30 August 1830 in Salem, Massachusetts

Died 14 November 1920 in Wallingford, Connecticut

Buried In Memoriam Cemetery, Wallingford, Connecticut

Proposed by James C. Carter and Charles F. Blake

Elected 7 April 1866 at age thirty-five

Archivist’s Note: Brother of Joseph Hodges Choate

Century Memorial

The great number of Century members whose lives, though full of active professional labor, stretched far beyond the limit assigned by the Psalmist, found another example in William Gardner Choate, whose death at the age of ninety ended a distinguished legal career that was not obscured by the more brilliant achievements of his distinguished younger brother[, Joseph H. Choate]. Judge Choate, indeed, had the best of it in his first competition with the future Ambassador to England; for both were in the class of 1854 at Harvard and Joseph had to be content with the fourth place at Commencement while William delivered the valedictory. In his profession Judge Choate was known for his profound acquaintance with the law, in which he was considered by some fellow-practitioners a higher authority than his eminent brother. His skill in admiralty law was recognized by the government in his appointment to the Federal District Bench at New York City. He had been retired from active practice during many years, but he never lost his interest in the city of his professional career, and he was sought as consulting counsel up to the very last years of his life.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1921 Century Association Yearbook