Tanner, Tazewell B.

Born: 1821-11-06 Virginia

Died: 1881-03-25 Mount Vernon, Illinois

Flourished: Mount Vernon, Illinois

Tazewell B. Tanner was a teacher, newspaper editor and publisher, circuit court clerk, state legislator, and circuit court judge. Born in Danville, Virginia, Tanner resided in his native Virginia until 1824, when he accompanied his parents to St. Louis, Missouri. He attended local schools and matriculated to McKendree College. After completing his education, he moved to Jefferson County, Illinois, where he taught school. Upon the discovery of gold in California, Tanner emigrated west. He remained in California for a year, returning to Jefferson County in 1850. Soon after his return, he won election as clerk of the Jefferson County Circuit Court. In May 1851, he married Sarah Ann Anderson, with whom he had three children by 1860. He resigned as circuit court clerk after two years, and in 1854, he became editor of the Jeffersonian, a Democratic newspaper in Mount Vernon. From January to February 1855, Tanner represented Jefferson, Marion, and Hamilton counties in the Illinois House of Representatives. After this term in the Illinois House, Tanner returned to Mount Vernon, where he published the Sentinel, the successor to the Jeffersonian, and read law. In 1857, he sold his interest in the Sentinel to devote himself exclusively to his law career. In 1860, he was practicing law in Mount Vernon and owned real property valued at $2,000 and had a personal estate of $1,200. In 1862, Tanner represented Jefferson, Marion, and Hamilton counties at the Illinois constitutional convention.

John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 2:597-99; William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Jefferson County, Illinois (Chicago: Globe, 1883), 164-65; Franklin William Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879, vol. 6 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910), 254-55; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Jefferson County, 22 May 1851, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 220; List of Members of the Illinois Legislature in 1855; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 2 January 1855, 2:3; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Mount Vernon, Jefferson County, IL, 3; Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Illinois (Springfield, IL: Charles H. Lanphier, 1862), 4; Gravestone, Oakwood Cemetery, Mount Vernon, IL.