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Jenkins, David P

Born: 1823-08-25 Ohio

Died: 1915-03-30 Spokane, Washington

David P. Jenkins was an attorney, businessman, philanthropist, and Union army officer. Born to orthodox Quaker parents on a farm near Mount Pleasant, Ohio, Jenkins received his early education at a Quaker seminary and a high school in Mount Pleasant. Prevented by his parent's religious convictions from entering the U.S. Military Academy, Jenkins read law and attended law classes in Cincinnati, finishing his legal studies and earning admission to the bar in March 1845. Relocating to Lafayette, Indiana, he commenced practicing law. He returned to Cincinnati in 1847, and in 1849, he moved to Hennepin, Illinois, where he practiced law and served as postmaster from May 1849 to October 1852. He soon moved to La Salle, Illinois, where he launched a successful law practice. In 1860, he was practicing law and living in La Salle with his wife Hannah and their two children. In addition to a personal estate of $200, Jenkins owned real estate valued at $4,000. When the Civil War commenced, Jenkins volunteered for the Union Army. On July 1, 1861, he received a commission as major of the First Illinois Cavalry. He held commands at two engagements in Lexington, Missouri, in September 1861, serving as one of the negotiators in surrendering Union forces to the Confederates, becoming a prisoner of war. Exchanged the following November, Jenkins commanded two companies at Bird's Point, Missouri, in December 1861. He continued to serve in Missouri until July 1862, when the War Department mustered the First Cavalry out of service. In December 1862, Jenkins returned to the army, receiving a commission as major of the Fourteenth Illinois Cavalry, which he helped raise and train. The War Department later promoted him to lieutenant colonel. Jenkins led his command in battles in Kentucky and Tennessee, and was with General William T. Sherman at the capture of Atlanta. Jenkins resigned his commission in May 1865. After leaving the army, Jenkins practiced law in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Colorado Territory before moving to the Washington Territory, settling in Spokane, where he was active in political and philanthropic circles.

Gravestone, Fairmount Memorial Park, Spokane, WA; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971, NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls, Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28, 1845-1855, 18:162, National Archives Building, Washington, DC; John Livingston, Livingston's Law Register (New York: Monthly Law Magazine, 1851), 50; John Livingston, Livingston's Law Register (New York: Law Magazine, 1853), 90; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), LaSalle, LaSalle County IL, 81; Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Jas. Grant Wilson, Biographical Sketches of Illinois Officers Engaged in the War Against the Rebellion of 1861 (Chicago: James Barnet, 1863), 100; Jonathan Edwards, An Illustrated History of Spokane County State of Washington ([San Francisco]: W. H. Lever, 1900), 392.