Duncan, James M.

Born: 1792-XX-XX Kentucky

Died: 1854-08-01 Berlin, Illinois

James M. Duncan was a military officer, clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court, merchant, and church elder. He was also the brother of Illinois governor Joseph Duncan. Born in Paris, Kentucky, James Duncan graduated from Transylvania College. During the War of 1812, he served as captain of the Seventeenth United States Infantry from March 1812 until 1814. On February 1, 1820, he married Margaret Sprigg, with whom he eventually had five children. After moving to Illinois sometime before 1821, he settled in Vandalia and became clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court. He was a founding member of the Antiquarian and Historical Society of Illinois, and, between 1821 and 1839, he acquired more than 445 acres of land in Fayette County. Sometime in 1839, he relocated to Springfield. In May 1850, he acquired another 128 acres of land in Fayette County. He later moved to Jacksonville, where he worked as a merchant and served as a church elder for the Old-School Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville.

Julia Duncan Kirby, Biographical Sketch of Joseph Duncan, Fifth Governor of Illinois (Chicago: Fergus, 1888), 7-8, 28; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Randolph County, 1 February 1820, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Fayette County, 146:12, 57, 150:4, 10, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Robert W. Johannsen, “History on the Illinois Frontier Early Efforts to Preserve the State's Past,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 68 (April 1975), 127; U.S. General Land Office Records, 1776-2015, Fayette County, IL, Certificate #8561; Certificate #10182 (Provo, UT: Ancestry,com, 2008); Gravestone, Wood Wreath Cemetery, New Berlin, IL.