Judge William Gold
In its 200 year history, Niagara County is fortunate to have had a great number of capable and dedicated judges who usually serve without fanfare and public acclaim. One such man was Judge William A. Gold, who had a special interest in helping disadvantaged youths.
As a child himself, Gold inherited his interest in politics from his father, William J. Gold, who served for several years as Lockport’s mayor. Graduating from Lockport High School in 1897, young William Gold worked in his father’s grocery store, among several other endeavors. Gold continued his education and was admitted to the NYS Bar in 1901. After several more years of legal practice, Gold rose to the position of Niagara County Judge Surrogate as judge of the children’s court. More than just a judge, Gold took a personal interest in the well being of children that were arraigned before him. He often visited the children he had served in court and encouraged them to make the best of their lives. It was this after-the-fact counseling that led Judge Gold to become known as “the father of probation in Niagara County.”
Besides many years of service to the judicial community, Judge Gold was also known for his dedication to community service. He held various positions including president of the YMCA, board member for Wyndham Lawn Home, master of Niagara Lodge F&AM, IOOF, FOE, Tuscarora Club, Town and Country Club, Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs and elder of the First Presbyterian Church. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment was founding the Boys Clubs of Niagara Falls and the Tonawandas. His work with youth in court aroused his compassion for children, knowing that often times, children could be positively influenced by substituting meaningful recreational opportunities instead of destructive activities. Passing away in 1969 at the age of 92, Judge William Gold was a citizen whose service to Niagara County is sorely missed.
Douglas Farley, Director
Ann Marie Linnabery
Erie Canal Discover Center
24 Church St.
Lockport NY 14094