Bishop, William W.

Born: 1810-XX-XX Kentucky

Flourished: Charleston, Illinois

William W. Bishop was a newspaper editor and publisher, judge, and army officer from Charleston, Illinois. In December 1841, Bishop entered into a partnership with William Harr in publishing the Courier, which became a Whig Party organ. Bishop also became involved with editing and publishing the Charleston Republican. When the Mexican War commenced in May 1846, Bishop helped organize a company from Coles County, and in June, the company elected him company captain. On June 27, Illinois military officials enrolled Bishop and his company as Company D of the Third Regiment of Illinois Mounted Volunteers. Bishop and his command saw action at the battles of Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo. Discharged from service in May 1847, Bishop returned to Charleston and resumed his newspaper career. Bishop and Harr purchased the Rough and Ready, changing its name in November 1847 to The Charleston Courier. Bishop began the Courier as a Whig newspaper, but as the Whig Party receded from the political stage, Bishop embraced the Republican Party and transformed the Courier into a Republican journal. Bishop continued his involvement in the paper, becoming editor pro tempore in August 1858 to spearhead the paper's coverage of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the 1858 Senatorial Election, continuing in this role until his retirement in December. Bishop also assumed several judicial posts in Coles County. In 1847, he succeeded Robert S. Mills as probate judge of the county, serving in this capacity until 1857. In 1848, Bishop became the first county judge under the 1848 Illinois Constitution. In 1850, Bishop was living in Charleston and owned real estate valued at $5,760.

The History of Coles County, Illinois (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr., 1879), 246, 247, 282; Franklin William Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879, vol. 6 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910), 50; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 10 December 1841, 2:4; 25 June 1846, 2:4; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 25 November 1847, 1:5; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 10 August 1858, 3:1; 1 December 1858, 2:1; Isaac H. Elliott, Record of the Services of Illinois Soldiers in the Black Hawk War, 1831-32, and in the Mexican War, 1846-8 (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1882), 266, 272; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Charleston, Coles County, IL, 14.