From the time of Aaron C. Jackson who represented Whiteside in the House from 1842 to 1844, our county has sent many of her best citizens to Springfield. Being attached to other districts, the member was often from some other county. But our own county has always had excellent men. All of our early members in house or senate have passed away. Hugh Wallace, Van J. Adams, M. S. Henry, D. Richards, James Dinsmoor, W. S. Wilkinson, Nathan Williams, J. E. McPherran, W. C. Snyder, John G. Manahan. These were all leaders in their communities, and loyal to their constituents. The writer will always cherish a kindly regard for Nathan Williams for some rare volumes of the state geological survey. Some of our later statesmen are still with us to watch the results of recent legislation. Charles Bent, Dr. Griswold, C. C. Johnson, C. A. Wetherbee, V. Ferguson, A. U. Abbott, H. L. Sheldon, Dean Efner. The latter is the Nestor of the .group, born in 1822, and yet remarkably clear-headed as he sits in his chair at his brick cottage in Albany. The next is Dr. C. A. Griswold of Fulton, the ready writer, and general scholar, who seems as competent for legislative business today as twenty years ago. Time has dealt kindly with C. C. Johnson and Virgil Ferguson, who continue in politics and are solicitous for the welfare of this glorious country.
By the apportionment of 1901, Whiteside, Lee, and DeKalb form the 35th senatorial district. A change from 1893 when Whiteside was with Bureau, Putnam and Stark.
SKETCHES OF SOME OF OUR REPRESENTATIVES AT WASHINGTON.
As our political readers know, the same counties in Illinois have not always been grouped for the election of a representative in Congress. Until 1832, the state constituted one congressional district. Since that year there have been eight acts of apportionment, 1831, 1843, 1852, 1861, 1872, 1882, 1893, 1901. At every deal Whiteside was placed in a new list of counties. Like a football kicked from post to pillar. For instance, by the apportionment of 1843, we were placed with-Stephenson, Ogle, Lee, Jo Daviess, Rock Island and ten others, forming the Sixth District, and our representative from 1847 to 1849 was
THOMAS J. TURNER.
He was a carpenter by trade, an expert mechanic, built the first courthouse in Stephenson county, studied law and became one of the ablest advocates at the Freeport bar. He is best known, doubtless, as the gallant colonel of the Fifteenth Illinois Regiment. Then came from 1849 to 1851. a man who afterwards made a brilliant record.
EDWARD D. BAKER.
He had a checkered career, a soldier of fortune. Coming from London at five with his father, studying law at Springfield, elected to the legislature, raising a regiment and fighting through the Mexican war with Scott, he returned to Galena, when he was elected as our representative from the Sixth. In 1851, at the close of his term, he settled in San Francisco, and soon took rank as the most eloquent orator in the state. On the death of Senator Broderick in a duel in 1859, Baker delivered a stirring oration in the public square of San Francisco. On removing to Oregon he was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1860, but the firing upon Fort Sumter roused his patriotism; he raised the California regiment in New York and Philadelphia, and at the assault on Ball's Bluff, he fell mortally wounded, while leading a charge.
By the apportionment of 1852, Whiteside was placed in the Second District with Cook, Du Page, Kane, De Kalb, Lee, and Rock Island, and our representative was
He was popularly known as Long John, from his extreme height. A plain man in his tastes, and a story is told of his fondness for ginger bread and his munching that simple diet at his desk in the House. Mr. Wentworth took much interest in agriculture, and there is a letter of his to George Davison; now in Whiteside County Historical Society, in which he speaks of certain breeds of sheep. 1 A graduate of Dartmouth, and a frequent writer and lecturer on topics connected with the early history of Chicago, as he voted at the first city election in 1837. An article in Munsey's magazine for November, entitled "New Englanders in the West," gives the following story: "Long John Wentworth, a personal friend of Lincoln, and a force in the Republican party, was the hero of an incident in a theater. Although sitting, his towering form interfered with the vision of the spectators, and they began to call: 'Down in front! down in front!' 'In order to convince the audience that I was sitting,' said Long John, now uprearing his person, like, a monument, 'I will now rise up,' whereupon the crowd burst into vociferous cheering." As Dixon H. Lewis, senator from Alabama in 1840, who weighed 430 pounds, and had to have a special desk made for him, was the heaviest member who ever sat in the Capitol, so Wentworth was doubtless the tallest who ever walked under the dome. He died in Chicago in 1888.
There were nine districts and Whiteside was in the second with Cook. Under this same arrangement, our next representative from 1857 to 1859, and from 1859 to 1861, was
JOHN P. FARNSWORTH,
who also practiced law in Chicago. He was popular, an agreeable speaker, and often appeared in Sterling to discuss the issues of the day. Isaac N, Arnold contested his election the second time, and the rivalry almost led to a split in the party. In Sterling the excitement for awhile was intense. Farnsworth was the favorite, and an inflammatory meeting was called in the upper room of Commercial Block on Third street to express the outraged sentiments of the people. A campaign paper to advocate Farnsworth's interests was proposed, and Jacob Haskell and W W. Davis were suggested as editors. But as no money, was in sight for the new sheet, the matter was dropped. When the civil war broke out, Farnsworth was made colonel of the Eighth Illinois cavalry, but resigned in 1863, made his home in St. Charles, and from 1863 -to 1873 was a member of Congress from the Kane county district. He afterwards removed to Washington, where he resumed the practice of law, and died in 1897.
The hairs on his brow were silver white, And his blood was thin and cold.
ISAAC N. ARNOLD
was the third member and lawyer from Chicago to represent Whiteside. As he had only one term, 1861 to 1863, his face never became familiar to our citizens. A domestic tragedy saddened his life. While bathing with his son in the Rock river, he saw the poor boy drown before his eyes, being too distant to render assistance. Arnold was a resident of Chicago for fifty years, of fine literary taste, an excellent speaker and writer. As he was an intimate friend of Lincoln in early years before the presidency, he prepared a biography which is regarded as high authority on certain features of the martyred statesman's career. Mr. Arnold died in 1884, and Hon. E. B. Washburne delivered an address on his life before the Chicago Historical Society of which the deceased had been president for several years.
The apportionment of 1861 made thirteen districts, and Whiteside was associated with Stephenson, Carroll, Ogle, Lee, and J.o Daviess. This was the third district, and now from 1863 to 1871
ELIHU B. WASHBURNE
was our representative. His home was in Galena, and a few years ago the writer visited the old house, standing on a hill in that picturesque town. He lived here thirty years. It is on the same side of the river as the residence presented to Gen. Grant by the citizens. A long, commodious, brick structure with the front portico formed in southern style by the main roof projecting, and supported by tall, circular, wooden columns painted white. In the rear of the parlors is the library, the stationary bookcases built in the wall. Washburne was a faithful member, attentive to his constituents, and regularly visited our county. A plain, rugged face, strong features, honesty of purpose, decision of character, written all over it.
A pillar of state; deep on his front engraven. Deliberation sat, and public care.
He was called the Watch Dog of the Treasury, because when in Congress, he opposed every foolish expenditure of public money. Washburne was the stanch friend of Grant, who owed his promotion to the supreme command of the armies to the persistent efforts of the Galena congressman. President Grant was not ungrateful, and was glad to appoint his early friend to the French mission. Here his public services made his fame international. When the Commune after the Franco-Prussian war raised the red flag of riot, all strangers fearing another French Revolution fled from Paris and Washburne was the only foreign minister who remained at his post.
The American Embassy with the stars and stripes was an ark of safety, a castle of refuge, no profane hand dared to touch. His last appearance in Sterling was in 1877 at the opening of the Gait House. He stood in the main stairway and made a short address. On his return from Europe, he took up his residence in Chicago, where he died suddenly of heart trouble in 1887 at the age of seventy-one. As one stood in his old home in Galena, what memories arose of that brain, busy with cares of state.
And now 'tis silent all, Enchantress, fare thee well !
Under the apportionment of 1872, nineteen districts were formed, and Whiteside was thrown in company with Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll and Ogle, or the fifth district. Horatio C. Burchard of Freeport was our representative till 1879, succeeded by Robert M. A. Hawk, of Mt. Carroll from 1879 to 1881, and part of the following term, 1881 to 1883, filled out after his death, by Robert R. Hitt, of Mount Morris.
HORATIO C. BURCHARD.
Freeport was his home. No orator or campaigner, he never spoke to the galleries in the House, but will be remembered as one of the steady members who worked for their constituents in the quiet but efficient atmosphere of the committee room. He was an active member of the committee on ways and means, and was obedient to every wish of his constituents. After his service in Congress, he was appointed director of the U. S. mint, and was removed by Cleveland.
ROBERT M. A. HAWK
had his residence in Mount Carroll, and died somewhat suddenly as the result of a wound from which he had long suffered, received in a skirmish with Wade Hampton's cavalry near Raleigh, N. C.
By the apportionment of 1882, the state was divided into twenty districts, and Whiteside was put into the seventh with Lee, Henry, Bureau and Putnam and
THOMAS J. HENDERSON
of Princeton became our representative. He was born in Tennessee, where he received a common school education, removed to Illinois, and after several terms in the legislature, entered the army in 1862, as colonel of the 112th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, serving gallantly to the close of the war. He was our member from 1883 to 1895, his repeated re-election showing the favor in which he was held by his constituents. Whiteside has always been conservative, and always ready to stand by public servants who render efficient service. Gen. Henderson, now an old man, eighty-three in November, 1907, is enjoying his deserved retirement at his early home in Princeton, but was happy in response to a cordial invitation to appear at the opening of the Hennepin canal feeder in Sterling. October 24, 1907, make a speech, and receive the congratulations of his admirers on the completion of an enterprise to the inception of which his unwearied efforts in Congress and elsewhere were so largely due. Another deal in 1893, and Whiteside was lined with Rock Island, Mercer, Henry, Knox and Stark, forming the tenth district with
PHILIP SIDNEY POST
of Galesburg, as our member, but dying in January, 1895, soon after the beginning of the term,
GEORGE W. PRINCE
was elected to fill the vacancy, and was continued in office by successive re-elections to 1903. In the case of Mr. Prince, there was a practical example of civil service. He rose to his high office by gradual preparation. A graduate of Knox college, city attorney, member of the legislature. Only about forty when first elected, he proved himself a worthy successor of his predecessors of ampler experience, and was always equal to the responsible demands of his position. He is still in the prime of life, and continues his residence in Galesburg. As the state continues to develop, new arrangements become necessary, and in 1901 another apportionment was made, dividing Illinois into twenty- five districts, giving Chicago ten congressmen, and the rest of the state fifteen. Whiteside is now in the thirteenth district with Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle and Stephenson.
EGBERT ROBERTS HITT
of Mount Morris, was elected as our new representative in 1903. He was new to our district, but a tried member for successive terms from the ninth, so that when he took his seat, he was in familiar work and amid familiar scenes. In fact he was at home in Washington. Hitt was indeed a veteran in political life. Born in Ohio, like Grant, Sherman, Garfield, Bishop Simpson, and a dozen other great men, removing to Illinois, receiving his early education at Mt. Morris seminary which he continued at De Pauw university, he took up as a diversion, shorthand reporting, which formed the starting point of a brilliant career. As an acquaintance of Lincoln, he was requested to make full reports of the famous debate between Lincoln and Douglas in 1858. An old citizen, Albert Woodcock, gives the following incident of the debate at Freeport, August 27: "A stand was erected in a field adjacent to the city. Thousands of people gathered about the platform. The speakers were ready, the throng was impatient. The tall form of Lincoln arose. He looked anxiously over the crowd and called out: "Where's Hitt? Is Hitt present?' "Hitt from the outskirts of the surging mass answered, 'Here I am, but I cannot get to the platform.'
"The good-natured people understood the situation, seized the slender youth and passed him over their heads to the stand." Hitt's report of that epoch-making discussion is the authoritative standard of this day. Then began that versatile career which kept him in the public eye to its mournful close. In 1867-8 he made the tour of Europe, Egypt and Palestine. In 1874 Grant appointed him secretary of legation at Paris, a position continued by President Hayes, and during the six years of Mr. and Mrs. Hitt in the French capital, his tact and her charm won golden opinions from all classes. Although offered a foreign mission by President Arthur, he declined, preferring to remain in his own country. Hitt was like Lincoln, a plain man, fond of mingling with the people, and ever ready to accept any responsibility in the line of his work. Illinois or the United States never had a more conscientious public servant. He had a comfortable cottage at Mt. Morris, and in Washington occupied the mansion at Fifteenth and K streets, formerly the residence of William M. Evarts, secretary of state in the cabinet of President Hayes. Hitt's health was gradually failing, however, and his death was not a surprise.
FRANK O. LOWDEN.
A country boy getting his education in the primitive style, working on the farm in the summer, and attending school in the winter. A graduate of the Iowa State University in 1885, where he was valedictorian, and then of the Union College of Law, Chicago, where he repeated his literary success. He married a daughter of the late George M. Pullman, and began the practice of law in Chicago, in connection with various avenues of business. His early love of rural life returned, however, and closing his commercial interests, he purchased a large tract of land near Oregon in Ogle county, and began the career of farmer on an extensive scale.
When the late Senator Pettus of Alabama was asked what he would do if he had his life to live again, he replied, "Buy a big piece of land, and settle in the middle of it." Many of our statesmen felt the same way in regard to an Arcadian retreat. Jefferson had Monticello, Clay had Ashland, Webster, Marshfield. So Col. Lowden is following some eminent examples. The original dwelling of his purchase has been enlarged, necessary farm buildings erected, several miles of road laid out, choice stock secured, arid every arrangement made for the development of a farm model in every detail. The spacious residence on a high slope along Rock river, like Abbotsford on the Tweed, has already become a Mecca not only for politicians, but for friends and neighbors, who are sure of a cordial reception. As in the case of Gen. Harrison's cabin, the latch string is always out. Col. Lowden was elected by a large majority in the fall of 1908 to take the place of the lamented Hitt, and he promises to keep up the prestige that Whiteside has always been fortunate in enjoying in her Congressional representatives.
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