William D. Jones - Silver Party, Elected

11th Nevada Attorney General

Term:  January 2, 1899 - January 15, 1901


Early information about the life of William Dudley Jones comes from the History of the Bench and Bar of Nevada, Biographies:[1]

Residence, 137 West Liberty Street;
Office, 200-1 Clay Peters Building, Reno
Born in Tennessee, December 24, 1850

. . .


Son of Alfred M. and Mary R. Jones. Moved to Austin, Nevada, 1868. Married January 3, 1876, to La Forga F. Birchim. Educated in the public schools for a short period before the Civil War. Admitted to the bar of Nevada 1892. Engaged in the general practice of law alone to the present time, except two years copartnership [sic] with late W. H. A. Pike. District Attorney of Lander County, Nevada, ten years, from 1886. District Judge of Lander, Nye and Eureka Counties. Attorney-General of Nevada, elected 1897[sic]. Member of Nevada Assembly 1911-12.  Member of Masonic Order; B. P. O. E.; Knights of Pythias; F. O. E., and Moose Fraternities.  Member of Nevada State Bar Association.  Served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  Democrat.

Jones gained admittance to the Nevada State Bar on May 7, 1892.  After his election as Attorney General, Jones resigned from office on January 15, 1901, to accept an appointment as a Judge to Nevada’s Third Judicial District (Lyon County).

Election of 1898

Elected as Nevada’s 11th Attorney General on November 8, 1898, Jones (Silver Party) received 4,407 (46.1%) of the 9,560 votes cast; Michael Murphy 3,750 (39.2%) received votes; and A. Chartz (Peoples Party) received 1,403 (14.7%) votes.  Murphy, Jones’ opposing candidate with the second highest number of votes, previously served as Nevada’s fifth Attorney General from 1879 to 1883.

Office Administration and Duties:

Jones had no deputies or other support staff according to the Attorney General’s budget for the 1899–1901 state biennial fiscal period:

1899–1901 Budget




Attorney General’s Salary



Office expenses came from an appropriation “[f]or a current expense appropriation, to defray the telegraphic, postage, and contingent expenses of the several state officers, Supreme Court, and State Library, to be expended under the direction of the Lieutenant Governor, State Controller, and Secretary of State, $3,600



. . . which said sum includes the sum of $300 for necessary typewriting for the offices of the Governor and Attorney General as directed by them . . .”

The 1899 Nevada State Legislature did not add additional duties to the office of the Nevada Attorney General.

[1] O’Brien, J.P.  “Biographies.”  History of the Bench and Bar of Nevada (1913): p. 13. Web. 23. September 2015.

    • William D. Jones - Nevada Historical Society