Born: 1799-04-07 Cincinnati, Ohio
Died: 1890-04-05 Vermilion County, Illinois
Fithian learned the printing trade in Urbana, Ohio, and at seventeen he began studying medicine. While practicing medicine, he served as county judge. In June 1830, he moved to Danville, Illinois, where he practiced medicine and ran a general store. On August 15, 1839, he married Julia K. Alexander. Fithian was an officer in the Black Hawk War, was a Whig, and served in the Illinois State legislature from 1835 to 1847, first as a state representative and then as a state senator. On June 20, 1850, Fithian married Josephine L. Black. Fithian retained Abraham Lincoln to represent him in several lawsuits.
H. W. Beckwith, History of Vermilion County (Chicago: H. H. Hill, 1879), 370a; G. C. Pearson, Past and Present of Vermilion County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clark, 1903), 825-27; 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), 275, 308, 354; For cases involving Lincoln, search "Fithian, William," Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Search.aspx; Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL), 6 April 1890, 6:2; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Vermilion County, IL, 3; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Vermilion County, 15 August 1839, 20 June 1850, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL.