Official History


History of Jo Daviess County  1904

As already set forth, Jo Daviess County was not a separate and distinct corporation until the year 1827; so that those who represented the Territory in Congress only represented the territory of Jo Daviess County in a general way. Shadrach Bond was the first Delegate to Congress from Illinois Territory, serving in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Congresses. He took his seat at the second session of the Twelfth Congress, December 3, 1812, and served until Oct. 3, 1814, when he was appointed Receiver of Public Moneys.

Benjamin Stephenson succeeded Bond and took his seat at the third session of the Thirteenth Congress, Nov. 14, 1814, and served during the third session of the Thirteenth and first session of the Fourteenth Congresses, when he also was appointed Receiver of Public Moneys, April 29, 1816. Nathaniel Pope was elected the successor of Benjamin Stephenson, and entered Congress at the second session of the Fourteenth Congress, Dec. 2, 1816, and served during that session and the first session of the Fifteenth Congress, he being the Delegate at the time of the admission of the Territory as a State. It must be remembered that these were only Territorial Delegates, and had only the power of making speeches in Congress; they had no vote.

John McLean was the first Representative in Congress from the State, taking his seat at the second session of the Fifteenth Congress. He was succeeded by Daniel P. Cook in the Sixteenth Congress, which met in December, 1819, and he continued to represent the State during the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Congresses, a period of nearly nine years, from December, 1818, until March, 1827.

Joseph Duncan succeeded Daniel P. Cook, taking his seat at the first session of the Twentieth Congress, in 1827, and represented the State in the Twentieth, Twenty-first and Twenty-second Congresses, covering the period from 1827 to 1833.

A new apportionment was had under the census of 1830, and the State having been divided into three Districts, Jo Daviess County fell into the Third. Joseph Duncan was again elected to the Twenty-third Congress, but having been elected Governor before the close of his term, resigned his seat in Congress and was succeeded by William L. May, of Springfield, who filled out the unexpired term, afterwards being elected to the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Congresses and serving until 1839.

May was succeeded by John T. Stuart, of Springfield, who served in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses (1839-43).

Under the apportionment of 1843, following the census of 1840, Illinois was divided into seven districts, Jo Daviess being assigned to the Sixth, and for the first time the county was represented by one of its own citizens, Hon. Joseph P. Hoge, of Galena, who represented the District by re-election in the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses' (1843-47).

In 1847 to 1849, Thomas J. Turner, of Freeport, represented Jo Daviess County in the Thirtieth Congress, the county being still a part of the Sixth District.

In the Thirty-first Congress (1849-51), the Sixth District was represented by Edward D. Baker, of Galena.

In the Thirty-second Congress (1851-53), the Sixth District was represented by Thompson Campbell, also of Galena.

Under the re-apportionment based upon the census of 1850, Illinois was given nine Congressmen. Jo Daviess County was then placed in the First Congressional District, and was represented by E. B. Washburne from 1853 to 1863, when a new apportionment was made whereby Illinois was given fourteen Congressmen, of whom thirteen were elected from regularly organized districts and one from the State-at-large. Under this apportionment Jo Daviess County was placed in the Third Congressional District, represented by E. B. Washburne until the Forty-first Congress (lt369), when, having been appointed Secretary of State by President Grant, he resigned and Horatio C. Burchard, of Freeport, was elected Congressman in his place, taking his seat Dec. 6, 1869. Mr. Burchard, by re-election in 1870, represented the Third District, which included Jo Daviess County, in the Forty-second Congress (1871-73).

Another congressional apportionment was made in 1873, when Jo Daviess County was placed in the Fifth District and, in the Forty-third, Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses (1873-79), it continued to be represented by Mr. Burchard under this apportionment. In the Forty-sixth Congress (1879-81), the Fifth District, including Jo Daviess County, was represented by R. M. A. Hawk, of Mt. Carroll, who was re-elected to the Forty-seventh Congress to serve from 1881 to 1883, but died while in office, when Robert R. Hitt (the present incumbent) was elected his successor.

In 1883 another congressional apportionment was had, when Illinois was given twenty Congressmen and Jo Daviess County placed in the Sixth District, with Robert R. Hitt as its Congressman, who has continued to serve Jo Daviess County in that capacity up to the present time, 1904. Two apportionments have been made since that of 1883-the first in June, 1893, under the census of 1890, and the second May 13, 1901, under the census of 1900. Under the first of these the State was divided into 22 Congressional Districts, with Jo Daviess County in the Ninth; and under the second (now in force) there are 25 Districts, Jo Daviess being in the Thirteenth. As already indicated, however, there has been no change during this period in the representation of the county in Congress.

It will thus be seen that the Congressional Districts in which Jo Daviess County has been placed, have been represented by men who have had more than local reputation. Some of them can fairly be claimed by Jo Daviess County, of whom we shall speak more at length in the chapter devoted to a short history of the many citizens of Jo Daviess County who became men of national reputation.

Jo Daviess County, since its organization, has played its part in the formation of the various Constitutional Conventions which have been held during that period. In the Convention of 1847 it was represented by Thompson Campbell (of whom a brief sketch has been given elsewhere), 0. C. Pratt and William B. Green, all of whom exerted a marked influence in the convention. In the Constitutional Convention of 1862 Jo Daviess County was represented by Wellington Weigley, one of the most brilliant advocates of the Galena Bar. At that time the nation was torn by civil strife, so that careful deliberation was almost out of the question, and the-result of the convention was so distasteful to Mr. Weigley, that he took the stump and earnestly advocated that the work of the convention be rejected by the people, which was done. Mr. Weigley is still living, residing with his daughter in Chicago at the age of nearly 90 years. In the convention of 1869-70; William Cary, an attorney then in practice in Galena, represented the county, the result of which convention was the present Constitution of the State.

The following named persons have directly represented Jo Daviess County in the State Legislature since the organization of the State. The list is believed to be correct and the services rendered in the order named:

Several of the persons mentioned below, namely: Wallace A. Little, Henry Green, R. H. McClellan and J. C. McKenzie, L. P. Sanger, G. W. Harrison, Jas. W. Stephenson, A. G. S. Wight and H. H. Gear were State Senators. Wallace A. Little, R. H. McClellan, Henry Green and J. C. McKenzie served in the House before becoming Senators.

The list is as near complete as the records show:

Benjamin Mills,
Jas. W. Stephenson,
Elijah Charles,
A. G. S. Wight,
S. M. Bartlett,
James Craig,
G. W. Harrison,
Germanicus Kent,
Thos. Drummond,
Hiram W. Thornton,
Jno. McDonald,
Cyrus Aldrich,
Abner Eads,
L. P. Sanger,
H. H. Gear,
C. D. Denio,
J. R. Jones,
R. H. McClellan,
Henry Green,
Jno. D. Platt,
William Cary,
A. M. Jones,
Forest Turner,
Hiram Tyrell,
C. S. Burt,
Joseph Moore,
Julius A. Hammond,
D. A. Sheffield,
G. W. Pepoon,
James Carr,
George W. Curtiss,
Henry Frentress,
B. B. Howard,
J. C. McKenzie, (is the present State Senator 1903)
Wallace A. Little,
James Berryman,
H. S. Townsend,
M. H. Cleary,

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