Jackson, William M.

Born: 1810-XX-XX New Jersey

Died: 1889-03-31 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Flourished: McHenry County, Illinois

William M. Jackson, farmer, moved with his family from Rochester, New York to McHenry County, Illinois when he was twenty-six. He worked as a teacher before winning election as county commissioner in 1838. The following year, he purchased 260 acres of land in the county. Jackson took the county’s 1840 census, served as the school treasurer for the townships of Coral and Seneca, and was the first president of the county agricultural society. He represented Boone, DeKalb, McHenry, and Kane counties in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1842 to 1846. James K. Polk appointed Jackson register of the U.S. General Land Office in Chicago in 1845 and he held the position for four years. In 1854, he ran unsuccessfully as Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the First Illinois Congressional District. In 1860, he owned real estate valued at $25,000 and $2,000 in personal property. He and his wife, Sarah, had several children. Jackson added the middle initial to his name by act of the Illinois General Assembly in 1839.

History of McHenry County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1885), 1:215, 2:533; “An Act to Permit William Jackson to Insert a Middle Letter in his Name,” 1 February 1839, Laws of Illinois (1839), 48; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, McHenry County, 684:104, 116, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Sixth Census of the United States (1840), McHenry County, IL, 248; Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1887), 6:432, 443-44; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Seneca, McHenry County, IL, 353; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Coral, McHenry County, IL, 468; John Clayton, The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 211-12; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 9; The McHenry Plaindealer (IL), 3 April 1889, 5:1.