Hosmer, Ptolemy E.

Born: 1823-05-27 Windsor County, Vermont

Died: 1906-07-12 Nashville, Illinois

Flourished: Nashville, Illinois

Ptolemy E. Hosmer was an attorney and state legislator. Born in Chester, Vermont, Hosmer attended winter school in his native Vermont until the age of fourteen. After completing winter school, he continued his studies at Meriden Academy in New Hampshire and Vermont University in Burlington. He moved West to Ohio in 1842, where he read law and taught school until 1844, when he moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Hosmer earned admission to the bar in St. Louis and opened a law practice in Union, Missouri. After a year, he returned to Ohio, where in December 1845, he married Catharine D. Gosney. Hosmer and his new bride moved to Illinois, living in Franklin County before settling in Nashville, Illinois in January 1846. In 1850, he owned real property valued at $800. Hosmer established a large and lucrative law practice in Nashville, and he also became involved politics. In 1854, Washington County voters elected Hosmer, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served from January to February 1855. In 1860, Hosmer owned real property valued at $10,000 and had a personal estate of $5,000. In 1861, Hosmer changed his political affiliation to the Republican Party. Although the member of no church, Hosmer embraced the central tenets of Presbyterianism. Ptolemy and Catharine Hosmer had nine children together, five of whom died in infancy.

The Nashville Journal (IL), 12 July 1906, 3:3; History of Washington County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, 1879), 27; The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men: Illinois Volume (Chicago: American Biographical, 1876), 285; Vermont, U.S., Vital Records, 1720-1908 (Lehi, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, 2013); U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Washington County, IL, 103; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Nashville, Washington County, IL, 134.