The Peter J. Shields Collection contains both personal papers and materials related to the creation of the University of California,
Davis campus. The collection materials date from 1896 to 1968. Peter J. Shields presided as a Superior Court Judge in Sacramento
County from 1900 to 1949. In 1905, Shields wrote the legislation that led to the establishment of the University Farm. He
maintained his association with the campus until his death in 1962.
Peter J. Shields was born on April 4, 1862 in Hangtown Crossing, a small farming town near Sacramento, California. At the
age of fourteen, Shields attended the Christian Brothers College in Sacramento and at seventeen he began to study law in Amos
P. Catlin's law office. After being admitted to the Bar in Los Angeles in 1884, Shields established a small law office in
Sacramento. At age twenty-three, he quit his law practice to travel. After ten years, he returned to Sacramento and started
working as a library assistant at the California State Library. Later Shields was promoted to become one of the Trustees of
the State Library. From 1896 to 1898, he worked for the Secretary of the California Code Commission and as a secretary in
Governor Budd's office. In 1899, Shields was the secretary of the State Agricultural Society. Shields and Hiram Johnson shared
an informal law partnership circa 1900. In 1900, Shields was elected as Judge of the Superior Court of Sacramento. He married
Carolee Wilsey on August 1, 1901. Shields sought the office of U.S. District Judge, in 1913, but did not get chosen for the
office. Shields retired in 1949.
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote
from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the Department of Special Collections, University of California, Library, Davis as the owner of the physical items and
is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.