Victory Park
1201 N. Pershing Ave.
Stockton, CA  95203
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James Budd: Stockton's Forgotten Favorite Son
November 6 - December 30, 2005
Display Case in the California Room

James BuddThe Haggin Museum will honor the 110th anniversary of the inauguration of James H. Budd, the only Stocktonian ever to be elected California Governor, with a small display of photographs and family memorabilia from the museum’s collections.

Born in 1851, Budd moved to Stockton with his parents in the early 1860s where he attended local schools. After graduating from University of California at Berkeley in 1873, Budd returned to Stockton to study law. His public career began as a San Joaquin County deputy district attorney.

In 1882 he accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for Congress, winning the election after tirelessly campaigning by buckboard in the overwhelmingly Republican district. During his single term in Congress, he was influential in winning a major appropriation that funded the dredging of the Stockton Channel.

Budd again beat the odds when he won the race for governor in 1894. Popularly referred to as “Smilin’ Jim,” his personal magnetism helped win the State house, where he served a single term. His legacy as governor was circumscribed by the enormous power of railroads like the Southern Pacific that he had vowed to reform. Nevertheless, he was credited with increased aid to higher education and the creation of a bureau of highways.

The items in the Haggin Collection that will be on display point to Budd’s strong Stockton ties. These include photographs of him and his wife, Inez Merrill, also of Stockton, along with personal items from the Budd home. This handsome Victorian mansion at the corner of Channel and Sutter Streets was demolished in the 1950s. Also featured will be jewelry worn by Mrs. Budd at the inauguration.

The museum acknowledges the encouragement and assistance of several of Budd’s descendants, including his great-niece, Professor Gael Hodgkins, in developing this display to mark the anniversary of Budd’s inaguration as governor.

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