Pursley, James M.

Born: 1829-XX-XX

Died: 1857-03-XX Memphis, Tennessee

Flourished: Greene County, Illinois

James M. Pursley was a lawyer and state legislator. Pursley came to Greene County around 1850. He settled in Carrollton, where he opened a law practice. In 1854, Pursley won election, as a Democrat, to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving in that body from January to February 1855. In December 1855, Pursley shot Larken Massey in self-defense after Massey attacked Pursley with a large knife. Pursley died of "winter fever" (pneumonia) while visiting Memphis, Tennessee.

History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Continental Historical, 1885), 655, 710; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 7 December 1855, 3:1; 21 March 1857, 2:1.