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Denny, John

Born: 1793-05-04 Mercer County, Kentucky

Died: 1875-07-28 Seattle, Washington

Denny, a member of a regiment of Kentucky volunteers, was a soldier in the War of 1812 and was with General William Henry Harrison at the Battle of the Thames. On August 25, 1814, he married Sarah Wilson. The next year, he and his wife moved to Indiana, where their children were born. The family lived in Washington and Putnam counties. In the mid-1830s, the family resettled in Knox County, Illinois, where Denny won election to the Illinois House of Representatives as a Whig in 1840. His wife Sarah died in 1841. In 1842, he lost his bid for a seat in the Illinois Senate, but he won election to that body in 1846. On September 10, 1848, he married Sally Boren in Knox County. In 1851, the Denny family went west and settled in Portland. He joined the Republican Party; and in 1858, he was that party's unsuccessful candidate for governor of Oregon. He was known as a eloquent speaker and a great humorist. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln appointed Denny's son, Arthur A. Denny, as Register of the Land Office at Olympia, Washington.

Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 347, 351, 409; Gravestone, Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, WA; Frederic James Grant, ed., History of Seattle, Washington (New York: American Publishing and Engraving, 1891), 393-96; History of the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington (Portland, OR: North Pacific History, 1889), 362; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Knox County, 10 September 1848, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Appointment of Arthur A. Denny as Register of Land Office at Olympia, Washington Territory.