Peters, Habib, McKenna, Juhl-Rhodes & Cardoza, LLP was originally located at Third and Broadway in the Phoenix Building. The law firm moved one block west and one block south to its current location at 4th and Salem during the 1960’s. The founding and long-term members of the firm were:
Guy R. Kennedy (1871-1933)
Guy R. Kennedy, born in Chico in 1871, was the son of John Reynolds Kennedy and Cora Wayland Kennedy. He was a grandson of Chico’s first physician, Dr. Joseph Franklin Wayland, and nephew of Annie Ellicott Kennedy Bidwell. Annie K. Bidwell died in 1918, her husband, John Bidwell, having predeceased her twenty years earlier. Guy Kennedy, then a local attorney, prepared Mrs. Bidwell’s lengthy will, naming Wells Fargo Bank of San Francisco as the executor, which was admitted to probate in Butte County, in 1918. Guy Kennedy and another local attorney, Jerome D. Peters, Sr., were the attorneys for the executor. The estate was kept open for many years, finally being closed in about 1936. During her lifetime, Mrs. Bidwell deeded to the City of Chico the land that is now Upper and Lower Bidwell Park, and the Children’s Playground.
Jerome D. Peters (1891-1953)
Jerome D. Peters, Sr., was one of Chico’s earliest influential lawyers. Arriving in Chico in July of 1913, he associated his practice of the law with the late Guy R. Kennedy until 1918, when he established his own offices and entered practice for himself. Mr. Peters was born in Washington, D.C., in 1891. He came to California at an early age with his parents, Harold R. Peters, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and Susan J. Peters, whose birthplace was Lincoln, Virginia.
The family settled in the Santa Clara valley where Mr. Peters was reared and received his early education. He attended Santa Clara College from which he received his A.B. degree in 1908, and an A.M. degree in 1909. He then entered Stanford University where he graduated in 1911 and received his law degree in 1913, just prior to taking up his residence in Chico.
In January 1914, Mr. Peters married Miss Alma Eaton of Salinas, Monterey County. Alma died in November of the same year, leaving an infant son, Jerome D. Peters, Jr. Two years later Mr. Peters served with the National Guard on the Mexican border. In 1917 he attended the first officers’ training camp at the Presidio, San Francisco, and in 1918 served at Fort Zachary Taylor in Kentucky. From 1923 to 1932 he served as City Attorney for the City of Chico and devoted his time to the practice of civil law. Attorney Peters organized all of the irrigation and drainage districts in the vicinity of Chico and served as their attorney for many years thereafter.
Jerome D. Peters, Jr. (1914-2000)
After graduating from Chico High School, Jerome Peters, Jr. spent seven years at Stanford University, taking a post-graduate course in law, which he completed in 1939. Mr. Peters was admitted to the practice of law in California in January, 1940. He associated with his father in the practice of law in Chico, actively practicing with the Peters, Habib, McKenna, Juhl-Rhodes & Cardoza, LLP until shortly before he died in 2000.