Joe Quinney — Early Legal Career


Oct 05, 2021 |

After Joe’s first year at Harvard, Joe returned to Logan to marry Jessie Eccles.  They were married on August 17, 1917 in the Logan Temple.  After their wedding and Jess’ graduation from UAC (now USU), they returned to Boston.  Joe resumed his studies and Jess enrolled at Radcliffe where she studied both Russian and English Literature.   They both wrote very fondly of this time together and although they spent much time studying, they always found time for the Boston Symphony and the city’s many art museums.  They grew to have a strong love of the arts and took advantage of all that the East Coast had to offer.  

Joe’s studies were interrupted for a time when he was drafted into the army in the autumn of 1918.  After serving his country, he was discharged in January of 1919 and returned to Boston where Jess gave birth to their first child.  Their son David Eccles Quinney was born on March 29, 1919.  Later that autumn, Joe graduated from Harvard, and he and Jess decided that they would move back to Utah and settle down in Salt Lake City.  

Joe passed the Utah Bar Exam in late 1919.  He set up his first office in the Judge Building and began to build his practice.  His first clients included First National and First Savings Banks in Ogden, predecessors to First Security Bank.  In 1920, Joe joined the law firm of Clark & Richards and began working with J. Ruben Clark, Preston R. Richards and Albert E. Bowen.  They were later joined by Hugh B. Brown.  On February 1st, 1922, Jess and Joe were delighted by the birth of their daughter, Janet Eccles Quinney.  

During this time, Joe became sought out for his expertise and sat on many company boards, advising them in general corporate and business law.  By 1930 the firm had grown to become Clark, Richards, Bowen, Brown & Quinney.  Subsequently, Preston Richards moved to California.  In October of 1932,  J. Ruben Clark was called to serve the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in 1937,  Albert E. Bowen was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This seemed to be time for a new legal affiliation and Joe began to work on a different plan.  

In late 1940 the firms of Clark, Richards, Bowen and Quinney merged with Bagley, Judd & Ray and the resulting firm became Judd, Ray, Quinney & Nebeker.  Attorneys in the firm at that time included Robert L. Judd, Paul H. Ray, A.H. Nebeker, S. Joseph Quinney, Albert E. Bowen, and Thornely K. Swan.  In 1945, after Robert Judd’s death, the firm’s name was shortened to Ray, Quinney & Nebeker, and is amongst the largest and most reputable firms in Utah.  


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