Tinsley, Seth M.

Born: 1808-08-06 Virginia

Died: 1868-08-13 Springfield, Illinois

Tinsley came to Springfield in 1830. In April 1833, he married Hannah, a daughter of John Taylor, and together they had eleven children. Soon after settling in Springfield, Tinsley opened a general store in partnership with James Bell; in 1834, Tinsley bought out Bell and took on his father-in-law as partner until 1837. From 1837 to 1840 he operated his mercantile business alone, until March 1840, when he formed a partnership with Edmond Taylor and William Cowgill under the firm name of S. M. Tinsley & Co. In June of 1840, Tinsley, a Whig, was elected director of the State Bank of Illinois. In 1844, Tinsley became the commissioner of the Springfield and Alton Turnpike Company. In 1850, he gave his occupation as "merchant," and he owned real estate worth $40,000. In 1852, Tinsley became a director of the Mechanics and Farmers Bank in Springfield. From 1857 to 1860, he served as an alderman for Springfield. In 1860, Tinsley was a miller with real estate worth $36,000 and personal property worth $4,000. Tinsley owned the building that housed the second Logan and Lincoln law office, the first Lincoln and Herndon law office, and also a house at 214 South Fourth Street which Lincoln rented for a few months before purchasing his own home.

Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 1:331; Bruce Alexander Campbell, The Sangamon Saga: 200 Years: An Illustrated Bicentennial History of Sangamon County (Springfield, IL: Phillips Brothers, 1976), 55; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 566; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 30 October 1852, 3:2; Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 14 August 1868, 4:1; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 13 April 1833, 3:3; 7 June 1834, 3:3; 18 March 1837, 3:3; 27 March 1840, 2:7; 12 June 1840, 3:5; 21 March 1844, 3:3; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Springfield, Sangamon County, IL, 105; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Springfield, Sangamon County, IL, 132; John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 707. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.