Mr. Day was born in Ravenna, Ohio, United States, on April 17, 1849, the son of Emily Spaulding Day and Luther Day. The reluctance that the future Supreme Court justice exhibited toward entering public life once he reached adulthood cannot be traced to his family background. Though Ravenna was a small town some 30 miles southeast of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Day’s family connections were considerably more prestigious than the venue of his birth might have suggested. Both sides of his family boasted prominent judges: his mother’s grandfather had served as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, and his father and maternal grandfather both served on the Ohio Supreme Court. William Day’s choice of a vocation seems to have been early directed toward the path of the law.