Stephenson, James W.

Born: 1806-XX-XX Virginia

Died: 1838-08-12 Galena, Illinois

Flourished: Galena, Illinois

The son of Benjamin Stephenson, James W. Stephenson came to Illinois with his father in 1809. In the summer of 1828, he moved to Galena, and served as the clerk of the county commissioners' court and clerk of the Jo Daviess County Circuit Court. He served as the captain of a company of mounted riflemen in the Black Hawk War for just over a month. He was wounded while fighting a small group of Sac warriors at Kellogg's Grove. He won election to the Illinois Senate in 1834 and served one term, representing Jo Daviess, Cook, La Salle, Putnam, Rock Island, and Peoria counties. Stephenson subsequently served as an incorporator for the Galena Railroad and Transportation Company. In 1837-38, he represented the Sixth Judicial Circuit on the Board of Commissioners of Public Works. He was a potential Democratic candidate for governor in 1838, but did not run due to a possible financial scandal and, later, his death.

The History of Jo Daviess County Illinois (Chicago: H. F. Kett, 1878), 288-89; John Clayton, The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press), 203; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 11 March 1837, 3:1; 6 January 1838, 2:3; 14 April 1838, 2:2; 25 August 1838, 2:5; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:530-33; An Act to Incorporate the Galena Rail Road and Transportation Company; Gravestone, Freeport City Cemetery, Freeport, IL; Freeport Journal-Standard (IL), 19 November 1940, 4:3; John H. Krenkel, Illinois Internal Improvements 1818-1848 (Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch, 1958), 79.