David Davis (Supreme Court justice)
David Davis was a United States Senator from Illinois and associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. He served as Abraham Lincoln's campaign manager at the 1860 Republican National Convention, engineering Lincoln's nomination alongside Ward Hill Lamon and Leonard Swett. Educated at Kenyon College and Yale University, Davis settled in Bloomington, Illinois in the 1830s, where he practiced law, he served in the Illinois legislature and as a delegate to the state constitutional convention before becoming a state judge in 1848. After Lincoln won the presidency, he appointed Davis to the United States Supreme Court, where he served until 1877, he wrote the majority opinion in Ex parte Milligan, limiting the government's power to try citizens in military courts. He pursued the Liberal Republican Party's nomination in the 1872 presidential election, but was defeated at the convention by Horace Greeley. Davis was a pivotal figure in Congress's establishment of the Electoral Commission, charged with resolving the disputed 1876 presidential election.
Davis was expected to serve as the key member of the Commission, but he resigned from the Supreme Court to accept election to the Senate and thus did not serve on the commission. Known for his independence, he served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate from 1881 to 1883, placing him first in the line of presidential succession due to a vacancy in the office of the Vice President of the United States, he did not seek re-election in 1882 and retired from public life in 1883. He was born to a wealthy family in Cecil County, where he attended public school. After graduating from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1832, he went on to study law in Massachusetts and at Yale University. Upon his graduation from Yale in 1835, Davis moved to Illinois, to practice law, he married Sarah Woodruff Walker of Lenox, Massachusetts, in 1838. Two of their children and Sallie, survived to adulthood. Davis served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1845 and a delegate to the Illinois constitutional convention in McLean County, 1847.
From 1848 to 1862, Davis presided over the court of the Illinois Eighth Circuit, the same circuit where his friend, attorney Abraham Lincoln, was practicing. Davis was a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago, serving as Lincoln's campaign manager during the 1860 presidential election. After President Lincoln's assassination, Judge Davis was an administrator of his estate. On October 17, 1862, Davis received a recess appointment from President Lincoln to a seat on the U. S. Supreme Court vacated by the resignation of John Archibald Campbell, who had resigned in protest of Lincoln's perceived intent to go to war with seceding Southern states. Formally nominated on December 1, 1862, Davis was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 8, 1862, received his commission the same day. On the Court, Davis became famous for writing one of the most profound decisions in the Supreme Court history, Ex Parte Milligan. In that decision, the court set aside the death sentence imposed during the Civil War by a military commission upon a civilian, Lambdin P. Milligan.
Milligan had been found guilty of inciting insurrection. The Supreme Court held that since the civil courts were operative, the trial of a civilian by a military tribunal was unconstitutional; the opinion denounced arbitrary military power becoming one of the bulwarks of held notions of American civil liberty. In 1870 he held, with the minority of the Supreme Court, that the acts of Congress making government notes a legal tender in payment of debts were constitutional, he is the only judge of the Supreme Court with no recorded affiliation to any religious sect. After refusing calls to become Chief Justice, Davis, a registered independent, was nominated for President by the Labor Reform Convention in February 1872 on a platform that declared, among other things, in favor of a national currency "based on the faith and resources of the nation", interchangeable with 3.65% bonds of the government, demanded the establishment of an eight-hour law throughout the country, the payment of the national debt "without mortgaging the property of the people to enrich capitalists."
In answer to the letter informing him of the nomination, Judge Davis said: "Be pleased to thank the convention for the unexpected honor which they have conferred upon me. The chief magistracy of the republic should neither be sought nor declined by any American citizen."He withdrew from the presidential contest when he failed to receive the Liberal Republican Party nomination, which went to editor Horace Greeley. Greeley died before the return of the electoral vote. One of Greeley's electoral votes went to Davis. In 1877, Davis narrowly avoided the opportunity to be the only person to single-handedly select the President of the United States. In the disputed Presidential election of 1876 between the Republican Rutherford Hayes and the Democrat Samuel Tilden, Congress created a special Electoral Commission to decide to whom to award a total of 20 electoral votes which were disputed from the states of Florida, South Carolina and Oregon; the Commission was to be composed of 15 members: five drawn from the U.
S. House of Representatives, five from the U. S. Senate, five from the U. S. Supreme Court; the majority party in each legislative chamber would get three seats on the Commission, the minority party would get two. Both parties agreed to this arrangement because it was understood that the Commission would have seven Republicans, seven Democrats, Davis, arguably the most trusted independent in the nation. According to one historian, "No one not Davis himsel
League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters is an American civic organization, formed to help women take a larger role in public affairs after they won the right to vote. It was founded in 1920 to support the new women suffrage rights and was a merger of National Council of Women Voters, founded by Emma Smith DeVoe, National American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Carrie Chapman Catt six months before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote; the League of Women Voters began as a "mighty political experiment" aimed to help newly enfranchised women exercise their responsibilities as voters. Only women could join the league. LWV operates at the local and national level, with over 1,000 local and 50 state leagues, one territory league in the U. S. Virgin Islands; the League of Women Voters is nonpartisan—it neither supports nor opposes candidates or parties. It does, support a variety of progressive public policy positions, including campaign finance reform, universal health care, abortion rights, climate change action and environmental regulation, gun control.
In 1909, Emma Smith DeVoe proposed at the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Seattle that a separate organization be created to educate women on election processes and lobby for favorable legislation on women's issues. When her proposal was ignored, DeVoe founded the National Council of Women Voters in 1911, she recruited western organizations to join the league. Ten years prior to the 1919 Convention of the NAWSA, Carrie Chapman Catt began negotiating with DeVoe to merge her organization with a new league that would be the successor to the NAWSA. Catt was concerned that DeVoe's alignment with the more radical Alice Paul might discourage conservative women from joining the National Council of Women Voters and thus proposed formation of a new league; as fifteen states had ratified the 19th Amendment, the women wanted to move forward with a plan to educate women on the voting process and shepherd their participation. Though not all members of either organization were in favor of a merger, a motion was made at the 1919 NAWSA convention to merge the two organizations into a successor, the National League of Women Voters.
The merger was completed on 6 January 1920, though for the first year the league operated as a committee of the NAWSA. The formal organization of the League was drafted at the 1920 Convention held in Chicago; the LWV sponsored the United States presidential debates in 1976, 1980 and 1984. On October 2, 1988, the LWV's 14 trustees voted unanimously to pull out of the debates, on October 3 they issued a press release condemning the demands of the major candidates' campaigns. LWV President Nancy Neuman said that the debate format would "perpetrate a fraud on the American voter" and that the organization did not intend to "become an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."State and local leagues host candidate debates to provide candidates' postions at all levels of government. In 2012, LWV created National Voter Registration Day, a day when volunteers work to register voters and increase participation; the League sponsors voter’s guides including Smart Voter and Voter's Edge, launched in collaboration with MapLight.
The League, including state and local leagues, runs VOTE411.org, a website that allows voters to input their address and get candidate information tailored to their ballot. The League lobbied for the establishment of the United Nations, became one of the first groups to receive status as a nongovernmental organization with the U. N; the League has opposed voter ID laws and supported efforts at campaign finance reform in the United States. LWV opposed the decision in Citizens United v. FEC; the League supports increased regulation of political spending. The League pushed for adoption of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires states to offer voter registration at all driver's license agencies, at social service agencies, through the mail; the League endorsed passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which banned soft money in federal elections and made other reforms in campaign finance laws. LWV supports the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Kyoto Protocol.
LWV opposes the proposed Keystone Pipeline project. In January 2013, the League of Women Voters in Hawaii urged President Obama to take action on climate change under his existing authority, the Clean Air Act of 1990, which the League supported; the League supports the abolition of the death penalty. LWV endorses both Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act; the League supports a general income tax increase to finance national health care reform for the inclusion of reproductive health care, including abortion, in any health benefits package. The League supports abortion rights and opposed the passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Act; the League opposed welfare reform legislation proposed in the 104th Congress. The League opposes school vouchers. In 1999, LWV challenged a Florida law that allowed students to use school vouchers to attend other schools; the League supports a system for illegal immigrants in the United States to earn full citizenship. It lobbied for passage of the DREAM Act.
The League advocates gun control policies including regulating firearms and supporting licensing procedures for gun ownership by private citizens to include a waiting period for background checks, personal identity verification, gun safety education and annual license renewal. A national board of directors
Springfield is the capital of the U. S. state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County. The city's population of 116,250 as of the 2010 U. S. Census makes it the state's sixth most populous city, it is the largest city in central Illinois. As of 2013, the city's population was estimated to have increased to 117,006, with just over 211,700 residents living in the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Sangamon County and the adjacent Menard County. Present-day Springfield was settled by European Americans in the late 1810s, around the time Illinois became a state; the most famous historic resident was Abraham Lincoln, who lived in Springfield from 1837 until 1861, when he went to the White House as President. Major tourist attractions include multiple sites connected with Lincoln including his presidential library and museum, his home, his tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery; the capital is centrally located within the state. The city lies in a plain near the Sangamon River. Lake Springfield, a large artificial lake owned by the City Water, Light & Power company, supplies the city with recreation and drinking water.
Weather is typical for middle latitude locations, with hot summers and cold winters. Spring and summer weather is like that of most midwestern cities. Tornadoes hit the Springfield area in 1957 and 2006; the city governs the Capital Township. The government of the state of Illinois is based in Springfield. State government entities include the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor of Illinois. There are three private high schools in Springfield. Public schools in Springfield are operated by District No. 186. Springfield's economy is dominated by government jobs, plus the related lobbyists and firms that deal with the state and county governments and justice system, health care and medicine. Springfield was named "Calhoun", after Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina; the land that Springfield now occupies was settled first by trappers and fur traders who came to the Sangamon River in 1818. The first cabin was built by John Kelly, it was located at what is now the northwest corner of Jefferson Street.
In 1821, Calhoun was designated as the county seat of Sangamon County due to fertile soil and trading opportunities. Settlers from Kentucky and North Carolina came to the developing city. By 1832, Senator Calhoun had fallen out of the favor with the public and the town renamed itself as Springfield after Springfield, Massachusetts. At that time, the New England city was known for industrial innovation, concentrated prosperity, the Springfield Armory. Kaskaskia was the first capital of the Illinois Territory from its organization in 1809, continuing through statehood in 1818, through the first year as a state in 1819. Vandalia was the second state capital of Illinois from 1819 to 1839. Springfield became the third and current capital of Illinois in 1839; the designation was due to the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and his associates. The Potawatomi Trail of Death passed through here in 1838, as the Native Americans were forced west to Indian Territory by the government's Indian Removal policy. Lincoln arrived in the Springfield area when he was a young man in 1831, though he did not live in the city until 1837.
He spent the ensuing six years in New Salem, where he began his legal studies, joined the state militia and was elected to the Illinois General Assembly. In 1837 Lincoln spent the next 24 years as a lawyer and politician. Lincoln delivered his Lyceum address in Springfield, his farewell speech when he left for Washington is a classic in American oratory. Winkle examines the historiography concerning the development of the Second Party System and applies these ideas to the study of Springfield, a strong Whig enclave in a Democratic region, he chiefly studied poll books for presidential years. The rise of the Whig Party took place in 1836 in opposition to the presidential candidacy of Martin Van Buren and was consolidated in 1840. Springfield Whigs tend to validate several expectations of party characteristics as they were native-born, either in New England or Kentucky, professional or agricultural in occupation, devoted to partisan organization. Abraham Lincoln's career reflects the Whigs' political rise, but by the 1840s, Springfield began to be dominated by Democratic politicians.
Waves of new European immigrants changed the city's demographics and became aligned with the Democrats. By the 1860 presidential election, Lincoln was able to win his home city. Winkle examines the impact of migration on political participation in Springfield during the 1850s. Widespread migration in the 19th-century United States produced frequent population turnover within Midwestern communities, which influenced patterns of voter turnout and office-holding. Examination of the manuscript census, poll books, office-holding records reveals the effects of migration on the behavior and voting patterns of 8,000 participants in 10 elections in Springfield. Most voters were short-term residents who participated in only one or two elections during the 1850s. Fewer than 1% of all voters participated in all 10 elections. Instead of producing political instability, rapid turnover enhanced the influence of the more stable residents. Migration was selective by age, occupation and birthplace. Longer-term or persistent voters, as he terms them, tended to be wealthier, more skilled, more native-born, more stable than non-persisters.
Officeholders were particularly
McLean County Museum of History
The McLean County Museum of History is an AAM accredited institution located in Bloomington, Illinois. It is the principal asset of the McLean County Historical Society, an Illinois nonprofit organization, founded in 1892 to study local history; the museum moved into its current location in 1991. The initial purpose of the McLean County Historical Society was to meet and present papers on local history topics. Soon, people in the community began donating historical objects to the society. In 1904, the society hired a curator. Reinvigorated by a change in leadership and New Deal dollars in the 1930s, the entire collection was re-inventoried and re-cataloged. Additionally, indexes to archival and local periodical collections were developed. A fire in the museum structure in 1972 forced the society to reevaluate itself, though the fire did not damage the collections. A newly organized board made the decision to operate the museum on a professional basis. In 1979. A long-range plan was developed to achieve AAM accreditation, realized in 1984.
The museum was reaccredited in 1996 and 2008. In 1989-1991 McLean County Courthouse was converted to a museum. Further information: McLean County Courthouse and Square The museum square is the site of three previous courthouses; the first county courthouse was built in 1831 out of black walnut. In expectation of an economic boom, a new two-story Federal-style courthouse was constructed in 1836; this courthouse served other attorneys of the Eighth Judicial Circuit. It was used by religious groups and it housed the county's first newspaper. Alfred Piquenard designed the third courthouse in 1868 in the Italian Renaissance style. On June 19, 1900, a fire in downtown Bloomington destroyed four and a half square blocks and caused major damage to the structure; the Peoria, IL firm Reeves and Baile were commissioned to rebuild the courthouse. Reeves designed the new courthouse in the American Renaissance style, completed in 1903; the building served as the county courthouse until 1976 when the courts moved to an up-to-date facility.
The courthouse continued to be used for administrative purposes until 1988, was converted into a museum. In 2002, the dome and its base were restored; the original copper decorative elements were salvaged and reused, the limestone drum stone was repaired. The c. 1957 clock mechanism was replaced, in 2004 the bell, from the 1868 courthouse rung for the first time in nearly half a century. In 2005, Landmarks Illinois presented the Outstanding Restoration award to McLean County for their efforts to restore the dome; the museum's collection consists of materials that document the growth and development of McLean County from the prehistoric period through the present. The materials in the collection represent McLean County's diverse cultural history, people's relationship to their physical environment and economic activity, the history of institutions and organizations, civic culture, iconography. Exhibitions draw from the museum's own collections, which numbers 18,000 objects; the museum's permanent exhibit, Encounter on the Prairie explores the lives of the people who settled McLean County.
The exhibit is housed in four galleries. Making a Home interprets the culture of immigrants who settled McLean County; the gallery compares the unique aspects of the lives of Native American, African American, Irish, Upland Southern, Yankee settlers, featuring objects relating to religion, recreation and home life. The Politics Gallery focuses on the military history of McLean County, it outlines the founding of schools and public services. It describes prominent court cases and political campaigns, including those of Abraham Lincoln, David Davis and Adlai Stevenson II. Additionally, the gallery details the effects military conflict had on the citizens of McLean county, spanning the Black Hawk War to World War II; the Work Gallery outlines the county's economic and industrial history. Beginning with Native American trading systems, this gallery traces the economic growth the county has achieved with advancements in technology, features various occupations and local businesses of its residents.
Farming in the great Cornbelt explains the important relationship between the county's citizens and agriculture. The gallery gives a sense of life on the homestead, describing farming strategies, implement technology, animal husbandry, house building techniques; the museum houses three temporary exhibit spaces: The Dolan & Behr Gallery, the Helen Alexander Bender Gallery and the Merwin Gallery. Exhibits are mounted by museum staff and guest curators with objects and images from the museum's collection; these galleries feature short term exhibits. Past award-winning exhibits include Just Corn: The "Amaizing" Story; the museum displays the Tilbury Flash, a racing plane designed by Bloomington resident Owen Tilbury in 1932. It was the smallest plane in the world when it was built, won many aircraft racing competitions. A goal of the McLean County Museum of History is to support research in local and family history by operating a publicly accessible library and archive; the Stevenson-Ives Library and Benjamin Hoopes Family Archives contain a wide range of primary and secondary source material relating to Central Illinois history from the early 1800s to present.
Types of materials housed in the archives include correspondence, diaries and farm ledgers, maps, manuscripts and o
Hillside Home School II
The Hillside Home School II was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901 for his aunts Jane and Ellen C. Lloyd Jones in the town of Wyoming and their school called the Hillside Home School. "Hillside" was a nonsectarian, coeducational and boarding school for children from first through twelfth grade. This structure was the third building, he designed the first building, Hillside Home School I, for his aunts in 1887. and the Romeo and Juliet Windmill Tower in 1896. The Hillside Home School institution ran from 1887 until 1915, after which the buildings and grounds were acquired by the architect. Educator Mary Ellen Chase taught at the Hillside Home School for three years in the beginning of her career, she wrote about her experiences in the book, The Goodly Fellowship:I suppose that the Hillside Home School, were it existing today as it was existing in 1909, would be termed a progressive school by all the supporters and disciples of such institutions. Yet the charm and value of Hillside lay in the fact that it did not stand off and gaze complacently at itself as a pioneer in the new education.
In other words, it lacked the self-consciousness as well as the self-righteousness of certain of our modern experiments in child growth instead of child discipline.... It was a school, a home, a farm all in one.... The Hillside Home School structure is now part of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin estate in Wisconsin and is one of five Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings on the Taliesin estate. Only one of them can be seen from the school; the others are: Tan-y-Deri, the home he designed for Jane and Andrew Porter, his sister and brother-in-law. In 1932, Wright was able to use the Hillside Home School building for his newly established Taliesin Fellowship, he and his apprentices in the Fellowship converted the old gymnasium on the west side of the original Hillside Home School structure into a theater. On the north end of the original Hillside Home School structure, he added a large drafting room with dormitories on either side; the original theater was re-designed and reconstructed after the original one was destroyed by fire in 1952.
In 1941, architectural historian, Henry-Russell Hitchcock described the Hillside Home School building in his book, In the Nature of Materials:The construction is unusually solid for this period of Wright's work, comparing thus with the contemporary Heurtley house. The lower walls are of native rock-faced random ashlar, superbly laid and reminding one of the finest of Richardson's masonry, but the stone was light and flesh-coloured and has remained so in this country environment, so that the effect is not grim or severe. The marked batter of the pavilion walls serves to concentrate their design; this batter was used on the Imperial Hotel fifteen years later. It appears once more in the rough stone and concrete bases of Taliesin West, 1938, the Pauson house, 1940, near Phoenix, Arizona. Mary Ellen Chase, A Goodly Fellowship. Henry-Russell Hitchcock, In the Nature of Materials, 1887–1941: The Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright. Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Frank Lloyd Wright Complete Works Taschen, 2009. William Allin Storrer, The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion.
University of Chicago Press, 2006, ISBN 0-226-77621-2. Taliesin Preservation, Inc; the School of Architecture at Taliesin – official website. – Steinerag's website has a lot of description pages on Frank Lloyd Wright.
A sanatorium is a medical facility for long-term illness, most associated with treatment of tuberculosis in the late-nineteenth and twentieth century before the discovery of antibiotics. A distinction is sometimes made between "sanitarium" and "sanatorium"; the first suggestion of sanatoria in the modern sense was made by George Bodington, who opened a sanatorium in Sutton Coldfield in 1836 and published his essay "On the Treatment and Cure of Pulmonary Consumption" in 1840. His novel approach was dismissed as "very crude ideas and unsupported assertions" by reviewers in the Lancet, his sanatorium was converted to an asylum soon after; the rationale for sanatoria in the pre-antibiotic era was that a regimen of rest and good nutrition offered the best chance that the sufferer's immune system would "wall off" pockets of pulmonary TB infection. In 1863, Hermann Brehmer opened the Brehmersche Heilanstalt für Lungenkranke in Görbersdorf, for the treatment of tuberculosis. Patients were exposed to plentiful amounts of high altitude, fresh air, good nutrition.
Tuberculosis sanatoria became common throughout Europe from the late-19th century onward. The Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, established in Saranac Lake, New York, in 1885, was the first such establishment in North America. According to the Saskatchewan Lung Association, when the National Anti-Tuberculosis Association was founded in 1904, its members, including renowned pioneer in the fight against tuberculosis Dr. R. G. Ferguson, believed that a distinction should be made between the health resorts with which people were familiar and the new tuberculosis treatment hospitals: "So they decided to use a new word which instead of being derived from the Latin noun sanitas, meaning health, would emphasize the need for scientific healing or treatment. Accordingly, they took the Latin verb root sano, meaning to heal, adopted the new word sanatorium."Switzerland used to have many sanatoria, as health professionals believed that clean, cold mountain air was the best treatment for lung diseases. In Finland, a series of tuberculosis sanatoria were built throughout the country in isolated forest areas during the early 1900s.
The most famous was the Paimio Sanatorium, completed in 1933, designed by world-renowned architect Alvar Aalto. It had both sun-balconies and a rooftop terrace where the patients would lie all day either in beds or on specially designed chairs, the Paimio Chair. In Portugal, the Heliantia Sanatorium in Valadares was used for the treatment of bone tuberculosis between the 1930s and 1960s. In the early 20th century, tuberculosis sanatoria became common in the United States; the first of several in Asheville, North Carolina was established by Dr. Horatio Page Gatchell in 1871, before the cause of tuberculosis was known. Fifty years earlier, Dr. J. F. E. Hardy had been cured in the "healing climate". Medical experts reported that at 2200 feet above sea level, air pressure was equal to that in blood vessels, activities and lack of stress helped. In the early 1900s, Arizona's sunshine and dry desert air attracted many people suffering from tuberculosis, rheumatism and numerous other diseases. Wealthier people chose to recuperate in exclusive TB resorts, while others used their savings to make the journey to Arizona and arrived penniless.
TB camps in the desert were formed by pitching tents and building cabins. During the tuberculosis epidemic, cities in Arizona advertised the state as an ideal place for treatment of TB. Many sanatoria in the state of Arizona were modeled after European away-from-city resorts of the time, boasting courtyards and individual rooms; each sanatorium was equipped to take care of about 120 people. The first sanatorium in the Pacific Northwest opened in Milwaukie Heights, Oregon in 1905, followed by the first state-owned TB hospital in Salem, Oregon, in 1910. Oregon was the first state on the West Coast to enact legislation stating that the government was to supply proper housing for people with TB who are unable to receive proper care at home; the West Coast became a popular spot for sanatoriums. The greatest area for sanatoria was in Tucson with over 12 hotel-style facilities in the city. By 1920, Tucson had 7,000 people. So many people came to the West. In 1910, tent cities began to pop up in different areas.
Many of the infected slept in the open desert. The area adjacent to what was central Phoenix, called Sunnyslope, was home to another large TB encampment, with the residents living in tents pitched along the hillsides of the mountains that rise to the north of the city. Several sanatoria opened in southern California in the early party of the 20th century due to the dry, warm climate; the first tuberculosis sanatorium for blacks in the segregated South was the Piedmont Sanatorium in Burkeville, Virginia. Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a Louisville, tuberculosis sanatorium, was founded in 1911, it has become a mecca for curiosity seekers. Because of its dry climate, Colorado Springs was home to several sanatoria. A. G. Holley Hospital in Lantana, was the last remaining freestanding tuberculosis sanatorium in the United States until it closed on July 2, 2012. In 1907, Stannington Sanatorium was open in the North East of England to treat tuberculosis in children; the sanatorium was opened using funds raised by a local charity, the Poor Children's Holiday Association
Joseph W. Fifer
Joseph Wilson Fifer was the 19th Governor of Illinois, serving from 1889 to 1893. He served as a member of the Illinois Senate, 1881–83."Private Joe" Fifer was born at Staunton, Virginia on October 28, 1840. At the age of 16, in 1856, he moved with his family to Danvers and worked in his father's brickyard for several years. Fifer enlisted as a Private in the 33rd Illinois Infantry at the start of the Civil War and was wounded at Jackson, Mississippi during General Grant's Vicksburg campaign, he spent the rest of the war guarding a prison boat. After the war, Fifer married Gertrude Lewis, had three children; the oldest child died in infancy, leaving Florence. He became the tax collector at Danvers Township, he served as a state's attorney as well. In 1880, he was elected to the state senate, his name was elevated to state level after fighting with General John Black, the pension commissioner, when the latter tried to remove him as a "typical Republican politician who did not deserve a pension." Fifer's pension was $24 a month.
Due to his celebrity status "Private Joe" Fifer was elected Governor of Illinois in 1889. One of his notable acts as Governor was to commute the life sentence of murderer Neill Cream, allowing his release, freeing Cream to commit at least four more murders in London. Fifer lost a reelection bid, twice refused the nomination to run again for governor, he was appointed to the Interstate Commerce Commission by President William McKinley in 1899. Governor Fifer lived to see his daughter, Florence Fifer Bohrer, elected as the first female State Senator of Illinois in 1924. Works by or about Joseph W. Fifer at Internet Archive bio squib at Illinois National Guard bio squib at Daily Pantagraph Joseph Fifer House Fifer-Bohrer Papers Collection - McLean County Museum of History archivesThis article incorporates facts obtained from: Lawrence Kestenbaum, The Political Graveyard