Pearson, John

Born: 1802-01-XX Avon, New York

Died: 1875-06-XX Danville, Illinois

Pearson graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) and studied law before marrying and moving west. By 1832, he had made his way to Chicago and turned south to settle in Danville, Illinois. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1833. In 1837, Pearson moved to Joliet when he was appointed circuit court judge for Cook, Will, Iroquois, DuPage, and DeKalb counties. He resigned his seat on the bench in August 1840, when he was elected to represent DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, and Cook counties in the Illinois Senate. After his wife died in 1842, Pearson resigned his seat in the legislature. In 1843, he married Katherine Passage, and they moved to New York City until 1846, when they returned to Danville. In 1849, Pearson moved his family to California, where he became a merchant. After a failed trading expedition among the Yumas almost cost him his life, Pearson returned to Danville, where he still owned a large amount of property. Politically, Pearson was a Democrat.

The Past and Present of Vermilion County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1903), 11-13; Weston A. Goodspeed and Daniel D. Healy, eds., History of Cook County, Illinois (Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association, 1909), 2:216; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 208, 210.