Shelby Moore Cullom

Governor of Illinois, 1877-1883.
Andrew Shuman, Lieutenant Governor.
John M. Hamilton, Lieutenant Governor.

Shelby Moore Cullom was born in Wayne County, Kentucky, November 22, 1829. His parents removed to Tazewell County, Illinois in 1830, where his father became a member of the Legislature, and attained prominence.

He attended Rock River Seminary at Mount Morris, teaching school a part of the time to earn the money to continue his studies. He went to Springfield in 1853 to enter upon the study of law in the office of Stuart & Edwards, being admitted to the bar two years afterwards. He was almost immediately elected City Attorney of Springfield and in 1856 was elected to the Twentieth General Assembly from Sangamon County. He was again elected in 1860. In 1861 he was chosen Speaker of the House. In 1862 he was appointed by President Lincoln a member of the War Claims Commission at Cairo. Two years later (1864) he was a candidate for Congress, defeating his former preceptor, Hon. John T. Stuart. He was re-elected in 1866, and again in 1868, the latter year over Benjamin S. Edwards. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1872, and in 1874. He was elected Speaker in 1873, and 1875. In 1876 was elected Governor, was re-elected in 1880, and in 1883 he was elected to the United States Senate and served as Senator continuously until 1913.

After his term in the Senate expired he was appointed Chairman of the Lincoln Memorial Building Commission. Senator Cullom was married in December, 1855, to Miss Hannah Fisher; his second marriage to Miss Julia Fisher occurred May 5, 1863. Governor Cullom wrote his personal recollections which were published in book form in 1911, under the title of "Fifty Years of Public Service."

Governor Cullom died in Washington, January 28, 1914.

He is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Ills.

A fine account of the life and services of Shelby M. Cullom by Mr. Henry A. Converse, of Springfield is published in the Transactions of the Historical Society for 1914.

Source: "The Governors of Illinois, 1818-1918"; Issued by the Illinois Centennial Commission

SHELBY M. CULLOM—1876—1880.

SHELBY M. CULLOM, the eighteenth governor of Illinois, was born in Wayne County, Ky., Nov. 22, 1829. When but one year old his father emigrated with his family to Tazewell County, Illinois.

When Shelby Cullom was 19 years old he entered the Rock River Seminary at Mount Morris, but the close confinement to indoor life told upon his physical strength and his health failed. Upon recovering his health he began the study of law under Abraham Lincoln, at Springfield. Lincoln being absent from his office so much of the time, young Cullom went into the office of Stuart Edwards.

Soon after being admitted to the bar, he was elected city attorney. He was an elector in 1856 on the Fillmore ticket; was a member of the Illinois House in 1856, 1860, 1873 and 1874, and was speaker in 1861 and 1873; was a member of the Thirty-ninth, fortieth end forty-first Congresses. He was delegate to the Philadelphia Convention in 1872, and placed Grant in nomination. He was chairman of the Illinois delegation to the Republican National Convention of 1844.

He was elected governor in 1876. The events of his administration were: The results of the great depression in financial circles; a spirit of insubordination which began in Pittsburg, Pa., and extended west made a great railroad strike in parts of Illinois strongly affecting al industrial interests; the creation of the State Board of Health, also the Appellate Courts. The constitution was amended so as to give the Legislature power to create drainage districts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Board of Fish Commissioners were also created during the administration.

SHELBY M. CULLOM—1880-1883.

GOV. CULLOM succeeded himself by re-election and became the nineteenth governor of Illinois. (See above sketch.) John M. Hamilton was elected Lieutenant-governor on the same ticket. Feb. 6, 1883, Gov. Cullom resigned, having been elected to the United States Senate. In 1889, and again to 1895, and as well in 1901, he has been re-elected to the United States Senate. His home is in Springfield.

The events of his second administration began with the announcement, in his inaugural address, that every cent of the state debt had had provision made for it. The Republican National Convention met at Chicago and nominated James A. Garfield. The Greenback National Convention met at the same place and nominated James B. Weaver. January, 1881, the last state bonds were called in. The Board of Dental Examiners and Board of Pharmacy were created. Pure food legislation was an event of 1881. By a state and congressional re-apportionment, Illinois obtained twenty congressmen.

Source: Decisive Dates in Illinois History, A Story of the State, By Lottie B. Jones. Danville, Illinois: Illinois Printing Company, 1909.

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