O’Kean, Mortimer

Born: 1808-XX-XX Ireland, United Kingdom

Died: 1873-04-30 Olney, Illinois

Flourished: Jasper County, Illinois

Mortimer O’Kean was a farmer, county government official, state legislator, and army officer. Between 1841 and 1853, O’Kean acquired over 750 acres of public land in various portions of Jasper County. In February 1842, O’Kean won election as a school commissioner for Jasper County, and in March 1842, the Jasper County Commissioners Court appointed O’Kean county treasurer, serving in that capacity until 1857. In 1850, he was farming near Newton and owned real property valued at $6,000. In 1852, Jasper County voters sent him, as a Democrat, to the Illinois Senate, where he served from 1853 to 1859. By 1860, O’Kean owned real property valued at $30,000 and had a personal estate of $10,000. During the Civil War, O’Kean served as a lieutenant colonel in the Thirty-Eighth Illinois Infantry Regiment. In December 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed O’Kean provost marshal of the Eleventh District, at Olney. O’Kean was a Roman Catholic.

Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties Illinois (Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1909), 426; Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, Illinois (Philadelphia: J. L. McDonough, 1883), 96, 114, 125; For an exhaustive list of O’Kean’s land purchases, search "OKean" and "OKeen," https://www.ilsos.gov/isa/landsrch.jsp; Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois. Historical and Biographical (Chicago: F. A. Battey, 1884), 425, 426; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Jasper County, IL, 265; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 218, 220, 221, 222; List of Members of the Illinois Legislature in 1855; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Jasper County, IL, 98; Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Chicago Daily Tribune (IL), 16 December 1863, 3:6; Abraham Lincoln to James B. Fry; The Olney Weekly Times (IL), 30 April 1873, 1:3; Gravestone, Haven Hill Cemetery, Olney, IL.