James W. SillimanRepublican
James Willys Silliman
Born: August 12, 1905 near Castroville, CA
Married: Nevelle Hawkins
Children: Thomas, Floyd, and Karen
Died: October 21, 1976 in Salinas, CA
1953-1954: Speaker, California State Assembly
1954: Primary Candidate for Lieutenant Governor (Lost)
1956: Presidential Elector for California
- Mount Silliman (elev. 11,188 ft) in Sequoia National Park is NOT named for the Assembly Speaker. The mountain was named after Professor Benjamin Silliman Jr. by a leader of Whitney Survey in 1864.
- It was Silliman who led a legislative modernization effort in 1951 which led to the adoption of the consent calendar in the Assembly (to facilitate the passage of unanimously-supported bills)
- Silliman was a member of the 'Good Government Group', and was the Speaker who eventually was able to reduce the power of noted lobbyist Arthur "Artie" Samish.
- Former Speaker Silliman lost the 1955 Senate special election to Fred Farr (father of Congressman Sam Farr), launching the Farr political dynasty that lasted until 2017.
Source: California Blue Book (1954)