William Alexander Hoke

12th NC Supreme Court Chief Justice

Date Born: October 25, 1851

Date Died: September 13, 1925

Place Born: Lincolnton, NC

Place Buried: St. Luke's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Lincolnton, NC


Chief Justice 1924-1925
Associate Justice 1905-1924

William Alexander Hoke was born on October 25, 1851 in Lincolnton, NC, the son of John Franklin Hoke and Catherine Wilson (Alexander) Hoke. His education years were during the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, and his initial schooling was at the Lincolnton Male Academy. He then studied law under Chief Justice Richmond Mumford Pearson at his Richmond Hill Academy. He was subsequently admitted to the NC bar on October 25, 1872.

Also in 1872, William Alexander Hoke established his own private law practice in Shelby, NC, the county seat of Cleveland County. After eight years, in 1880, he then returned to Lincolnton and entered into a law partnership with his father, who subsequently died in 1888.

In 1888, William Alexander Hoke was elected to represent Lincoln County in the NC House of Representatives of the:
- 88th General Assembly that met in 1889

In 1890, William Alexander Hoke was elected as a Judge on the NC Superior Court. He remained on the Superior Court bench until he was sworn in on the NC Supreme Court in early 1905.

On December 16, 1897, William Alexander Hoke married Mary McBee, daughter of Vardry Alexander McBee and Mary Elizabeth (Sumner) McBee of Lincolnton, NC; they had one daughter.

From July 4, 1902 until his death, William Alexander Hoke belonged to the Society of the Cincinnati, as a direct descendant of Lieutenant William Lee Alexander, who served in the 4th NC Regiment during the American Revolution.

In the 1904 General Election, William Alexander Hoke was elected as an Associate Justice on the NC Supreme Court, replacing Associate Justice Walter Alexander Montgomery, who retired. Hoke was re-elected in 1912 and in 1920.

In 1909, William Alexander Hoke was awarded the honorary doctor of laws degree by the University of North Carolina and by Davidson College.

On June 2, 1924, Governor Cameron A. Morrison appointed William Alexander Hoke as Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court, replacing Walter McKenzie Clark, who had died on May 20, 1924. Hoke was re-elected in the November 1924 General Election, but he resigned soon thereafter, on March 16, 1925, due to poor health.

On September 13, 1925, William Alexander Hoke died, and he was buried in the St. Luke's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Lincolnton, NC.

Appointed as Chief Justice by Governor Cameron A. Morrison on June 2, 1924. Re-elected in the general elections in 1924. Resigned on March 16, 1925.
William Alexander Hoke (1851-1925) was a North Carolina politician and jurist who served as an Associate Justice (1905-1924) and Chief Justice (1924-1925) of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, Hoke's father was a cousin of General Robert Hoke. He studied law under Chief Justice Richmond Mumford Pearson. A Democrat, "Alex" Hoke, as he was known, represented Lincoln County in the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1889 and was elected a state Superior Court Judge the following year. He was elected to the State Supreme Court in 1904 as an Associate Justice. Re-elected in 1912 and 1920, Hoke was appointed Chief Justice on June 2, 1924 by Governor Cameron Morrison, upon the death of Chief Justice Walter Clark. Although he was elected Chief Justice in November 1924, Hoke resigned in March 1925 due to failing health. He died on September 12, 1925.

A friend of Zebulon B. Vance, Hoke chaired the commission to provide a statue of Vance for Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol.

William A. Hoke was born at Lincolnton on October 25, 1851; educated at private schools; studied law under Chief Justice Richmond Pearson and was admitted to the bar in 1872. He was State Senator in 1889, and Judge of the NC Superior Court 1891-1904; elected to the NC Supreme Court, taking his seat on January 1, 1905, and re-elected in 1912.
William A. Hoke, Democrat, of Lincoln County, was born at Lincolnton, NC on October 25, 1851. Son of John Franklin Hoke and Catherine Wilson Alexander. Educated at private schools. Studied law under Chief Justict Richmond Pearson, at Richmond Hill, NC. Admitted to Bar 1872. Practiced law at Shelby and Lincolnton, NC until 1891. Representative in Legislature of North Carolina in 1889. Judge of the NC Superior Court 1891-1904. Elected Associate Justice of the NC Supreme Court in 1904, re-elected in 1912. Member Society of the Cincinnati. LLE from the University of North Carolina. Married Mary McBee on December 16, 1897.

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