Higbee, Chauncey L.

Born: 1821-09-07 Clermont County, Ohio

Died: 1884-12-07 Pittsfield, Illinois

Flourished: Pittsfield, Illinois

Chauncey L. Higbee was a lawyer, state legislator, and circuit court judge. Deciding on a career in law from an early age, Higbee read law with his uncle, Judge James Ward, in Griggsville, Illinois. He earned admission to the bar and commenced a law practice in Pittsfield, Illinois. He also immersed himself in Democratic Party politics. In February 1854, Higbee married Julia M. White, with whom he had two children. In November 1854, Higbee won election, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving in that body from January to February 1855. In 1858, Pike County voters sent Higbee to the Illinois Senate, where he served from January 1859 to May 1861. Higbee’s law practice proved lucrative, as by 1860, he owned real property valued at $10,000 and had a personal estate of $1,000. Upon the commencement of the Civil War, Higbee exhibited strong Union sentiment, serving on the resolutions committee of a Union meeting held in Pittsfield on April 20, 1861. In 1861, Higbee won election as judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, serving in that capacity until well after the Civil War. Higbee was among the original organizers and long-time president of the First National Bank of Pittsfield.

History of Pike County Illinois (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman, 1880), 371, 390, 882; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, Biographical and Memorial Edition of the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois (Chicago: Munsell, 1915), 1:748; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Adams County, 14 February 1854, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Pittsfield, Pike County, IL, 135; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220, 222, 223; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Pike County, IL, 29; William T. Davidson, “Famous Men I Have Known in the Military Tract,” Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society 9 (1908), 158; Gravestone, Oakwood Cemetery, Pittsfield, IL.