McKinley, James B.

Born: 1821-02-10 Ross County, Ohio

Died: 1903-10-23 Champaign, Illinois

James B. McKinley was lawyer, teacher, banker, mayor, Republican, and Presbyterian. He attended common schools in his native state before attending South Haven Academy in South Salem, Ohio. After a short career as a clerk in a Chillicothe, Ohio, dry goods store, McKinley moved to Hennepin, Illinois, where he studied law and taught school. McKinley later moved to Petersburg, where he finished his studies and gained admission to the Illinois bar. Shortly thereafter, McKinley moved to Clinton, where he formed a law partnership with Lawrence Weldon. In 1857, McKinley moved to Champaign, where he served as mayor and formed a law partnership with James S. Jones. In 1860, McKinley married Jane Sandford and the couple eventually had four daughters. McKinley later went into banking.

The Biographical Record of Champaign County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1900), 636-37; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Champaign County, ed. by Joseph O. Cunningham (Chicago: Munsell, 1905), 2:806, 988-89; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Petersburg, Menard County, IL, 273; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Champaign, Champaign County, IL, 363; The Champaign County News (Champaign, IL), 24 October 1903, 1:7. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.