Thomas Johnston TURNER, Congress, IL (1815-1874)

TURNER Thomas Johnston , a Representative from Illinois; born in Trumbull County, Ohio, April 5, 1815; completed preparatory studies; moved with his parents to Butler County, Pa., in 1825; moved to Lake County, Ind., in 1837 and to Freeport, Ill., in 1838; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1840 and commenced practice in Freeport; judge of the probate court of Stephenson County in 1842; postmaster of Freeport in 1844; State district attorney in 1845; established the first weekly newspaper (Prairie Democrat) in Stephenson County; elected as a Democrat to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1847-March 3, 1849); member of the State house of representatives in 1854, serving as speaker; elected first mayor of Freeport, Ill., in 1855; delegate to the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861 in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; enlisted in the Union Army May 24, 1861, and served as colonel of the Fifteenth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry; resigned on account of ill health in 1862; member of the constitutional convention in 1863; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for United States Senator in 1871; moved to Chicago in 1871 and resumed the practice of law; died at Hot Springs, Ark., April 4, 1874; interment in the City Cemetery, Freeport, Ill.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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