Denning, William A.

Born: 1817-XX-XX Kentucky

Died: 1856-09-04 Benton, Illinois

Denning practiced law in Frankfort, Illinois, and moved to Benton when the county seat of Franklin County relocated from Frankfort to Benton in 1841. He served in the Illinois State Militia, advancing up the chain of command from captain to colonel by 1837. In 1839, he married Susan M. Hubbard. He represented Franklin, Pulaski, and Alexander counties in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1844 to 1847. The Illinois General Assembly appointed Denning to serve as state's attorney in the Third Judicial Circuit in 1845. He resigned from the House in January 1847 to accept appointment as associate justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. His appointment filled the vacancy created by the resignation of Walter B. Scates. Denning sat on the supreme court until December 1848. In the reorganization of the judicial system, Denning was elected judge of the Third Judicial Circuit Court in December 1848, serving in that position until his resignation in September 1853.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Franklin County, 17 October 1839, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 24 September 1853, 3:1; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 5 September 1856, 2:2; Frederic B. Crossley, Courts and Lawyers of Illinois (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1916), 1:388; H. M. Aiken, Franklin County History (Illinois: Franklin County Centennial Committee, 1918), 130, 131, 157, 158; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 105, 212, 214. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.