Ninian Wirt Edwards (1809 - c.1889)

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Death: Died in Springfield, Sangamon County, IL
Occupation: Superintendent of Public Instruction
Managed by: Shelley Chrystal Mactyre
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About Ninian Wirt Edwards

Ninian Wirt Edwards, lawyer, born in Frankfort, Kentucky, 15 April 1809, was taken by his father, when an infant, to Kaskaskia, then the capital of Illinois territory. He was graduated at the Transylvania University, and at its law department in 1833. Before his graduation he was married to Elizabeth P. Todd, a sister of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Edwards began the practice of law in 1833, and in 1834 was appointed attorney general of Illinois, but resigned in 1835, and removed to Springfield. In 1836 he was elected to the legislature, and with Abraham Lincoln and others was active in securing the removal of the capital to Springfield. Mr. Edwards remained a member of the legislature continuously till 1852. During that period he was also a member of the convention that framed the State constitution in 1848.

In 1854 he was appointed by the governor attorney before the board of commissioners whose duty it was to investigate the claims of canal contractors against the state, amounting to over $1,500,000. From 1854 till 1857 he served as superintendent of public instruction, and drafted a bill regarding free schools, which afterward became a law. In August 1861, he was appointed by President Lincoln captain commissary of subsistence, which appointment he held until 22 June 1865. In the latter year Mr. Edwards retired almost entirely from the practice of his profession. At the request of the State historical society, he prepared a volume entitled "The Life and Times of Ninian Edwards, and History of Illinois," which is considered an authority (1870).

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Ninian Edwards's Timeline

April 15, 1809
Age 20
February 14, 1832
Age 22
Lexington, Fayette, KY, USA
February 7, 1835
Age 25
April 29, 1837
Age 28
Springfield, Sangamon, IL, USA
Age 30
January 7, 1843
Age 33
Springfield, Sangamon, IL, USA
July 6, 1846
Age 37
Springfield, Sangamon, IL, USA
March 24, 1854
Age 44
September 3, 1889
Age 80
Springfield, Sangamon County, IL