John I. Rinaker

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John I. Rinaker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 16th district
In office
June 5, 1896 – March 3, 1897
Preceded by Finis E. Downing
Succeeded by William H. Hinrichsen
Personal details
Born John Irving Rinaker
(1830-11-01)November 1, 1830
Baltimore, Maryland
Died January 15, 1915(1915-01-15) (aged 84)
Eustis, Florida
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Alma mater McKendree College
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1862–1865
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Commands 122nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War

John Irving Rinaker (November 1, 1830 – January 15, 1915) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois and a brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War.


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Rinaker moved with his parents to Springfield, Illinois, in December 1836. He attended the Illinois College for one term and graduated from McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois, in 1851.

He subsequently studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1854 and commenced practice in Carlinville, Illinois.

With the outbreak of the Civil War he raised and organized the One Hundred and Twenty-second Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in 1862 and was commissioned as its first colonel on September 4, 1862. He served in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and commanded a brigade in the XVI Corps of the Army of the Tennessee. In the omnibus promotions at the end of the war, he was brevetted brigadier general dating from March 13, 1865.

Rinaker served as delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1876 and 1884 and then was chairman of the Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners of Illinois 1885-1889. He successfully contested as a Republican the election of Finis E. Downing to the Fifty-fourth Congress and served from June 5, 1896, to March 3, 1897. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1896 to the Fifty-fifth Congress.

Rinaker returned to Carlinville, Illinois, and resumed the practice of law. He died in Eustis, Florida, January 15, 1915. He was interred in the City Cemetery, Carlinville, Illinois.


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Finis E. Downing
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 16th congressional district

June 5, 1896 - March 3, 1897
Succeeded by
William H. Hinrichsen

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website