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Plato, William B.

Born: 1810-XX-XX Genesee County, New York

Died: 1874-05-26 Geneva, Illinois

Flourished: Geneva, Illinois

William B. Plato apprenticed as a merchant before moving to Aurora, Illinois in 1840, where he studied law. He opened a practice in Geneva, Illinois, married Elmira Stearns, and won election to the Illinois Senate as a Free-Soil candidate—all in 1850. He remained in the Illinois Senate until 1856. In 1857, he assumed a seat on the board of commissioners for the erection of a second state penitentiary, in Joliet, Illinois. The following year, he returned to the Illinois General Assembly, serving one term as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. A Republican by that time, during the 1860 Federal Election Plato was one of Abraham Lincoln’s electors in Illinois. He had at least four children, and his family’s prosperity increased modestly between 1850 and 1860. He owned $2,500 in real estate in 1850, and $6,000 in real and personal property by 1860. Plato Township in Kane County, Illinois was named in his honor.

Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Kane County, ed. by John S. Wilcox (Chicago: Munsell, 1904), 880; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Stephenson County, 1 April 1850, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Geneva, Kane County, IL, 135; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Geneva, Kane County, IL, 676; U.S. Census Office, Ninth Census of the United States (1870), Geneva, Kane County, IL, 18; Decatur Republican (IL), 28 May 1874, 6:2.