Gatewood, William J.

Born: 1803-XX-XX Warren County, Kentucky

Died: 1842-01-08 Springfield, Illinois

Flourished: Gallatin County, Illinois

As a boy, Gatewood moved with his family to Franklin County, Illinois. About 1823 he moved to Shawneetown, where he taught school and studied law. In 1826 the county seat was moved to Equality, and Gatewood moved there, receiving his admission to the bar two years later. Also in 1828, he married Elevira Hubbard. Gatewood, a Whig, represented Gallatin County in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1830 to 1832, then in the Senate from 1834 to 1842. In 1833 and 1834, Gatewood served as the commissioner of the Gallatin County saline reserve lands. By 1840 Gatewood advertised his law practice widely, offering to take cases to the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield and to the federal courts in Illinois. He worked with Abraham Lincoln in these courts as well as in the Illinois General Assembly. Gatewood served in the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was also a member of the Masonic order, and served as secretary of the Equality lodge. He died suddenly in his hotel room while in Springfield attending a term of the Illinois Supreme Court, leaving behind his widow and their four children.

Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 3 July 1840, 3:1, 14 January 1842, 2:1-2; John M. Palmer, ed., Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 2:852, 857; 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), 246, 265, 307; History of Gallatin, Saline, Hamilton, Franklin and Williamson Counties, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1887), 541-42; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:245, 248, 258; John Clayton, comp., Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 202, 203, 205, 206, 208; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Gallatin County, 4 December 1828, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois House Journal. 1833. 8th G. A., 1st sess., 711-12; Illinois House Journal. 1835. 9th G. A., 1st sess., 82.