Charles Samuel Deneen

Governor of Illinois, 1905-1913.
Lawrence Y. Sherman, Lieutenant Governor.
John G. Oglesby, Lieutenant Governor.

Charles S. Deneen was born in Edwardsville, Illinois, May 4, 1863. He is a representative of one of the oldest families of Illinois. Governor Deneen received his early education in the public schools of Lebanon and graduated from McKendree College in 1882. He taught school in Jasper and Madison Counties during which time he studied law. In 1885 he went to Chicago and completed his legal studies in the Union college of Law. He taught for a time in the public night schools of Chicago.

He early became interested in local politics in Chicago and he was elected to the office of prosecuting attorney of Cook County. In conducting the duties of this office Mr. Deneen achieved a high reputation for ability and sound judgment. In 1893 he was elected to the General Assembly of the State. In 1904 he was nominated for governor of the State by the Republican party after a prolonged contest in the State Convention, memorable in the annals of the Republican party as the "Deadlock Convention." He was elected and was inaugurated in January, 1905. He was re-elected in 1908.

During Governor Deneen’s administration much important and constructive legislation was enacted, among which may be mentioned the Direct Primary Law, Municipal Courts for Chicago, the creation of a State Highway Commission and many other measures of great importance.

Mr. Deneen married Miss Bina Day Maloney, of Mt. Carroll, Illinois, May 10, 1891. Governor Deneen resides with his family in Chicago.

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


CHAS. S. DENEEN was elected the twenty-sixth governor of Illinois. He was born May 4, 1863, at Edwardsville, Illinois. He was educated in the public schools of Lebanon and at McKendree College, completing his course at the Union College of Law (now Northwestern Law School). He moved to Chicago where he practiced his profession.

In the fall of 1892, he was elected a member of the Illinois Legislature; in 1895, Attorney for Sanitary Board; in l896, states attorney for Cook County and re-elected in 1900. He was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1900. Was elected chief executive in 1904, and re-elected in 1908 as the twenty-seventh governor of the state.

A bill passed the Legislature during the first winter of Governor Deneen’s second term, making native oak the state tree and the wood violet the state flower. This was done on the result of a vote cast by the school children of the state.

Other legislative acts during his administration have been as follows:

Civil service in state charitable institutions; general primary law; Saturday half-holiday in Chicago; revising marriage and divorce laws; municipal court law; sale of gas and electricity in Chicago; state geological survey; revision of laws relating to food, factory inspection, care of insane, county detention houses, interest on state money, motor vehicles and primary election. The local option law was passed and a test case resulted in it being declared constitutional. The constitution was amended relating to deep waterways.

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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