Justice Walter H. Jaycox was born on September 3, 1863 in Wassaic, Dutchess County, NY. Following the death of his father when he was nine years old, he lived in Rockville Centre and Patchogue, Long Island, where he helped run his brother-in-law”s hotel and eventually opened his own store. Future Justice Wilmot M. Smith, then a young lawyer in Patchogue, noticed Jaycox reading Gibbons” Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the shop and convinced Jaycox to study law with him. Jaycox was admitted to the bar in 1889. In 1893 and 1896, he was elected Suffolk County District Attorney.
He joined the bench in 1902 when he won election as a judge for Suffolk County. Three years later, Governor Higgins appointed Jaycox to the Supreme Court for the Second Judicial District, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Wilmot M. Smith, the very person who have Jaycox his start in law. Justice Jaycox was elected to a second term on the Supreme Court in 1919. In 1922, he was designated to the Appellate Division, Second Department.
He was a charter member of the Union Savings Bank of Patchogue, President of the Patchogue Investment Company, and a member of the Patchogue Board of Education and several fraternal organizations.
He married Inez Leaming in 1896. He died due to heart disease on February 3, 1927 while riding to his home in Patchogue in the automobile of Justice Leander B. Faber.
“Jaycox Made Justice.” New York Times (1857-1922): 10. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Apr 13 1906. Web. 2 Feb. 2012.
“Justice Jaycox Dies in Automobile.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 19. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Feb 04 1927. Web. 2 Feb. 2012.