James A. Connolly

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James A. Connolly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1895 – March 3, 1899
Preceded byEdward Lane
Succeeded byBen F. Caldwell
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1843-03-08)March 8, 1843
Newark, New Jersey
DiedDecember 15, 1914(1914-12-15) (aged 71)
Springfield, Illinois
Political partyRepublican

James Austin Connolly (March 8, 1843 – December 15, 1914) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.


Born in Newark, New Jersey, into a family of Irish descent, Connolly moved to Chesterville, Ohio, with his parents in 1850. He attended the common schools and Selby Academy, Chesterville, Ohio. He served as assistant clerk of the State Senate in 1858 and 1859. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1859 and practiced in Mount Gilead, Ohio. He moved to Charleston, Illinois, in 1861, where he was admitted to the bar.

After the outbreak of the American Civil War, Connolly enlisted in the Union Army as a private in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in 1862 and was afterwards captain, major, and brevet lieutenant colonel.

Connolly served as member of the State house of representatives 1872-1876, after which he was appointed the United States attorney for the southern district of Illinois, serving from 1876–1885 and again from 1889–1893. He ran unsuccessfully for election in 1886 to the Fiftieth Congress. He was again nominated in 1888 but declined to run.

Connolly was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1895 – March 3, 1899). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1898. He resumed the practice of law in Springfield, Illinois, where he died December 15, 1914. He was interred in Oak Ridge Cemetery.


  • United States Congress. "James A. Connolly (id: C000697)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edward Lane
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Ben F. Caldwell