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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



High on the roll of prominent professional men who have achieved wide reputation for honesty of principle, integrity of purpose and exceptional force of will, is Chauncey Homer Dunn, now senior member of the well-known law firm of Dunn, Cowan & Brand, whose offices are located in Sacramento, but whose clientele embraces a large area of the surrounding country. Inheriting the brilliant proclivities of his honored father, who though following a different walk in the professional life, left an indelible impress upon his locality as a kindly, generous and unselfish character, full of thoughtful acts and charitable undertakings, Chauncey H. Dunn grew to manhood, giving close attention to his studies, being very observing and possessing a retentive memory. Of studious nature, he attained rare mental achievement, which, added to a naturally strong personality and a self-possessed, cool attitude, enabled him to become the brilliant, keen-sighted and unusually successful lawyer he is today. Among his fellow workers he is recognized as an unerring, alert and accurate thinker, his active mind and intuitive power being valuable attributes in his professional make-up, to say nothing of his clever delivery and forceful manner of bringing his subjects to the attention of his hearers, who arc compelled by his very presence to feel his influence. He is most conscientious in the handling of all cases and his reputation is that of a most generous, kind-hearted and charitable gentleman, whose manner of giving is unostentatious and quiet, and the many who have felt the aid of his helping hand have reason to hold him in the high respect he receives today.

The father of Chauncey H. Dunn was the Rev. Thomas S. Dunn, who with his wife, Freelove M. (Conkling) Dunn, came from Ohio to California in 1860, via the Isthmus of Panama. At San Jose, Cal., Rev. Dunn became pastor of a Methodist church, in which he labored among the poor and needy for many years, giving of his time and means wherever needed with an unselfish hand, and his memory is revered in many parts of the country where his benevolence and un- tiring perseverance were felt. The Rev. Dunn was a member of the California Methodist Episcopal conference from 1860 until his death, in February, 1899, since which time his widow has made her home with her daughter in San Jose.

Chauncey H. Dunn was born September 25, 1856, at Laurel, Clermont county, Ohio, where his father was pastor of the Methodist Church. When he was four years old he was brought by his parents to San Jose, Cal., where he received his elementary education, supplementing attendance at the public schools there with a course at Napa College and at the University of the Pacific near San Jose, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1878 with the degree of A. B. His legal training was obtained in the Hastings Law School of San Francisco, and since becoming a member of the bar he has continued in active practice in Sacramento, May 1, 1912, being the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of his professional career. He is now senior member of the law firm of Dunn, Cowan & Brand, in which capacity he has accomplished many splendid actions in court and elsewhere, and he is retained by various firms and corporations in Sacramento, his practice being extensive and most gratifying. Mr. Dunn organized Reclamation district No. 537, known as the Lovdal district, above the town of Washington, Yolo county, and represents it as its attorney; in Sutter county he also improved a farm from the tules until it was brought to a high state of cultivation, when he disposed of it and is now building one of the largest modern apartment houses in Sacramento. He is a director of the Chamber of Commerce of Sacramento, of which he is a very active member, and his interest in his adopted city is such that he is ever ready to contribute of his time, means and influence for the betterment of conditions there and the upbuilding and development of its resources.

For twenty years, almost without interruption, Mr. Dunn was the president of the Sacramento Young Men's Christian Association, and he has been a member of its board of directors for twenty-seven years. A loyal worker in the First Methodist Episcopal Church at Sacramento, he has filled the position of Sunday-school superintendent for twenty years. When the Law and Order League was organized he was its president for two years, and since it has been known as the Municipal League he has served in that capacity for a like period, proving a most valued official. Mr. Dunn is a public-spirited man in tlie fullest sense of the word, and all interests for the welfare of his community receive his hearty co-operation.

The marriage of Mr. Dunn occurred in 1884, when he was united with Miss Merrium V. Blasdel, of Oakland, Cal., niece of the Hon. Henry 6. Blasdel, who was the first governor of Nevada. Mrs. Dunn is a member of the Tuesday Club and of the Woman's Council, a federated club of all the women's clubs of the city of Sacramento; is vice-president and director of the California Civic League, a new organization whose mission is the instruction of women as to their political rights, and she is also an active suffragist. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn are the parents of three children: Winifred Blasdel, born in 1890, is a student at Mills College; Carroll Conkling, born in 1892, is attending Belmont school; and Chauncey Homer, Jr., born in 1897, is a student in the Sacramento high school. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011