List of people from Galena, Illinois
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The following list includes notable people who were born or have lived in Galena, Illinois. For a similar list organized alphabetically by last name, see the category page People from Galena, Illinois.
The Grant family and other notable Civil War era citizens
- Edward Dickinson Baker, U.S. Senator and Representative, served the Galena area; the only congressman to die in the Civil War
- Frederick Dent Grant (1850–1912), son of Ulysses S. Grant; went to public schools in Galena; New York City police commissioner
- Jesse Root Grant (1858–1932), son of Ulysses S. Grant; politician and author
- Julia Grant (1826–1902), wife of Ulysses S. Grant, First Lady of the United States (1869–77); first First Lady to write a memoir, though it wasn't published until 1875
- Nellie Grant (1855–1922), only daughter of Ulysses S. Grant
- Ulysses S. Grant (1823–1885), lived in Galena in 1860–1861, in a rented house while he worked at his father and brother's leather shop. After the Civil War, Grant returned to Galena to a hero's welcome on 18 August 1865, and was presented with a furnished home, in which he lived until becoming president in 1869, and which he visited regularly until 1880.
- Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. (1852–1929), son of Ulysses S. Grant; owned U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, CA
- Elihu B. Washburne, Grant's Secretary of State; notable abolitionist; resident of Galena; the Elihu Benjamin Washburne House is a registered historic site
Galena's other notable generals
Galena had more citizen generals per capita than any other city in the nation (9 in a city of approximately 12,000).
- Augustus Louis Chetlain, considered the first man from Illinois to volunteer for the Union army; U.S. Consul to Belgium
- Jasper Adalmorn Maltby (1826–1867), general in the Union army during the American Civil War; military mayor of Vicksburg; head of registration bureau, enrolling black voters
- Ely Samuel Parker (1828–1895), Civil War-era general; transcribed Appomattox surrender terms; Grant's Aide de Camp until 1869; U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1869–71); superintendent during the building of Galena's post office and Marine Hospital; restarted Galena's Masonic Lodge and chartered it as Miner's Lodge #273, still in operation.
- John Aaron Rawlins (1831–1869), Civil War general; Galena's City Attorney (1857); Grant's Secretary of War and adjutant assistant general
- John Corson Smith, general in the Union army during the Civil War; member of Miner's Lodge #273; later served in high-ranking positions in Illinois's Grand Lodge of Ancient and Accepted Freemasons, including Most Worshipful Grand Master
- John Eugene Smith, general in the Union army during the American Civil War
- John F. Beard (1822-?), lived in Galena for one year in 1845, plasterer and Wisconsin State Assemblyman.
- James Beckwourth (1798–1866), explorer; came to Galena as a miner in the 1820s; some reports say that he was an indentured servant
- Henry M. Billings (1806-1862), came to Galena as a miner in 1828; served in the Wisconsin Territorial House. In 1848, he served in the Wisconsin State Senate and then the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1858.
- John Wilford Blackstone, Sr. (1796-1868), miner and lawyer in Galena. Blackstone served in the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature.
- Richard H. Cain (1825–87), Congressman, Bishop, Vice President of the "Colored Convention" (1853), first president of Paul Quinn College
- Donald A. Callahan (1876-?), politician, born and raised in Galena; Republican Party nominee for the United States Senate seat in Idaho in 1938; was defeated; served in both chambers of the Idaho state legislature
- Thompson Campbell (1811–1868), politician, miner in Galena; Illinois Secretary of State (1843-46); United States Representative for Illinois' 6th Congressional District (1851–53)
- Samuel Crawford (1820–1860), Wisconsin Supreme Court
- Henry D. Dement (1840-1927), son of John Dement and Grandson of Henry Dodge; served in the 13th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Dement was then elected to two terms in the Illinois House of Representatives starting in 1870, then two terms in the Illinois Senate, then two terms as Illinois Secretary of State (1880-88).
- John Dement (1804–1883), Receiver of Public Moneys (two tenures); U.S. representative; delegate to every Illinois Constitutional Convention during his lifetime; president pro tempore of the 1862 and 1870 conventions
- Nelson Dewey (1813–89), clerk for Daniels, Dennison, and Co. in Galena for a month in 1836; first Governor of Wisconsin (1848–52).
- Moses Dickson (1824-1901), lived for a brief time and was married in Galena. Dickson was an abolitionist and helped organize the International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor, the Order of Twelve, was created in Galena and used St. Louis as its headquarters to aid slaves in the Underground Railroad.
- Augustus C. Dodge (1812–83), politician; worked in his father's lead mines (1827-1837); part of the first set of senators from Iowa (1848–1855); Minister to Spain (1855–59)
- Thomas Drummond (1809–90), lawyer, had a practice in Galena (1835-50); member of the Illinois General Assembly as a Whig (1840-1841); during this time he became acquainted with fellow Whig Assemblyman Abraham Lincoln. Drummond served as a judge for the Circuit Court of Illinois from about 1841 to about 1850. On January 31, 1850, President Zachary Taylor, a Whig like Drummond, nominated Drummond to the United States District Court for the District of Illinois (which at that time had only one seat); he replaced Nathaniel Pope, who had died recently. Drummond was confirmed by the United States Senate, and received his commission, on February 19, 1850.
- Jacob Fawcett (1847-1928), Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice
- John Froelich (1849-1933), lived most of his early life and attended school in Galena. In 1892, he developed the first stable gasoline/petrol-powered tractor with forward and reverse gears.
- John H. Gear (1825–1900), 11th Governor of Iowa (1878-1882), Congressman, and Senator. Gear was also appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury by Benjamin Harrison, serving from 1892-1893.
- Joseph Gillespie (1809-1885), mined in Galena. Later served as a member of the Illinois State Senate.
- Henry Gratiot (1789–1836), trader and businessman who moved to Galena to raise his family in a free state; helped conduct a treaty that ended the Black Hawk War for the Galena area; his daughter married Elihu Washburne
- Moses Hallett (1834–1913), born in Galena; lawyer; moved to Colorado as a gold miner in 1860. On January 9, 1877, following the admission of Colorado as a state, Hallett was nominated by President Ulysses Grant to a seat on the newly established United States District Court for the District of Colorado. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 12, 1877, receiving his commission the same day. Hallett served until April 7, 1906, when he retired.
- William S. Hamilton (1797–1850), son of Alexander Hamilton. In late 1827, Hamilton served during the Winnebago War in the volunteer Illinois Militia as a captain. Hamilton commanded a company raised in Galena, known as the Galena Mounted Volunteers. Hamilton's company was under the command of Henry Dodge and was mustered into service on August 26, 1827 and released on September 10, 1827.
- Granville Hedrick (1814–81), leader in the Latter Day Saints movement after the 1844 succession crisis; worked in Galena lead mines, 1843-44
- Stephen P. Hempstead (1812–1883), 2nd Governor of Iowa
- Joseph P. Hoge (1810–1891), Illinois congressman, president of the California state constitutional convention (1878), superior court judge
- William Henry Hooper (1813–1882), engaged in trade on the Mississippi River in the mid-1830s in Galena; later became a member of the LDS Church; Utah delegate to the United States Congress (1859–61, 1865–73)
- Thomas Hoyne (1817–1883), US District Attorney for Illinois
- Henry Jackson (1811-1857), operated a store in Galena. Later served in the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, and in 1849 was elected to the first Minnesota Territorial Legislature. He help founded Mankato, Minnesota in 1852.
- Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905), at age 13 with his family performed for a year in Galena at the current site of Fried Green Tomatoes
- George W. Jones (1804–1892), one of the first two senators from Iowa; mined in Galena and owned a store in Galena during the 1830s
- Joseph Russell Jones (1823–1909), politician, lawyer, merchant who became so successful that he built the Belvedere Mansion, the largest house in Galena, in 1857. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln became president and appointed Jones as U.S. Marshall for the Northern District. In 1869, Grant was sworn in as president and nominated Jones as Minister Resident to Belgium. In 1875, Jones asked to leave his post in Belgium. He returned to Illinois where Grant made him Collector of the Port of Chicago.
- H. H. Kohlsaat (1853-1924), Chicago newspaper publisher who became a friend and adviser to five U.S. presidents
- Heinrich Lienhard (1822–1903), lived in Galena for a few months before emigrating to California; his writings are an important historical source for the history of the California Trail and Sutter's Fort in California from 1846 to 1850
- James D. Lynch (1839–1872), minister, first black Mississippi Secretary of State
- George Frederick Magoun (1821–96), educator, taught school in Galena 1844-46; first president of Iowa College (1865–85) and a founding trustee; a liberal president, permitting the teaching of evolution despite his personal disagreement with Darwin's work; after his retirement as college president, took a professorship in Mental and Moral Science at Iowa College (1884-1890)
- Father Samuel Mazzuchelli (1806–64), Italian Catholic missionary; built, founded, and was pastor (1835–1843) of St. Michael's Church; built St. Mary's Church in Galena, among many others built in the tri-state area; declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1993, the first step to becoming a saint
- William Douglas McHugh (1859–1923), born in Galena and practiced law there, 1883–1888; general counsel to International Harvester Corporation in Chicago from 1920 until his death in 1923.
- Robert H. McClellan (1823-1902), practiced law in Galena for most of his adult life. He was elected as a Republican to a term in the Illinois House of Representatives (1860-62) and two terms in the Illinois Senate (1876-1880). He also edited the Galena Gazetteand was President of the Bank of Galena.
- Thomas McKnight (1787-1865), arrived in Galena as a miner and was appointed land receiver for the United State Land Office in Galena. McKnight served in the first Wisconsin Territorial Council in the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature. He opened the first smelt furnace business in Dubuque, Iowa. He ran for Governor of Iowa in 1846, but was defeated.
- Herman Melville (1819-1891), lived in Galena during the summer of 1840. His uncle was a prominent citizen in Galena in the 1840s.
- Richard L. Murphy (1875–1936), Senator from Iowa (1933–36); began his journalism career at age 15 as a reporter for the Galena Gazette newspaper, 1890-92
- Charles Sreeve Peterson (1818–89), lived in Galena and was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement.
- Thomas R. Potts (1810-1874), lived in Galena from 1841-1849 and was a local physician. Served as Saint Paul, Minnesota's first mayor from 1850 to 1851.
- Orville C. Pratt (1819–91), lawyer, judge, lived in Galena, had a law practice in Galena (1843–49); 2nd Associate Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court (1848–52)
- William A. Richards (1849–1912), fourth Governor of Wyoming, was educated in Galena.
- Frederick Schwatka (1849–92), explorer and Army lieutenant. He was a noted explorer of northern Canada and Alaska.
- Benjamin R. Sheldon (1811-1897), lived in Galena until 1871. He served as an Illinois circuit court judge from 1848 to 1870. Sheldon then served on the Illinois Supreme Court from 1870 until his retirement in 1885.
- James W. Stephenson (1806-1838), lived in Galena and raised a company and served in the Black Hawk War. Stephenson also served in Illinois Senate (1834-1838). He was nominated as the Democrat's candidate for Governor in the first Illinois Democratic State Convention in 1837, but had to withdraw six months later. He later died and was buried in Galena.
- Levi Sterling (1804-1868), lived in Galena and later served in the Wisconsin Territorial Council of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature.
- James M. Strode (1800?-1848), lived in Galena most of his life; during the Black Hawk War he was given command of the 27th Regiment of the Illinois militia and oversaw the construction of a fort in that city
- George Bell Swift (1845–1912), mayor of Chicago (1893; 1895–97), grew up in Galena.
- Henry H. Taylor (1841-1909), born and lived most of his life in Galena. Served in the 45th Illinois Infantry. Taylor received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Vicksburg. He was honored in 1893. Taylor was the first to plant the Union's colors on the "enemy's works".
- Horace A. Tenney (1820-1906), moved to Galena in 1845 and started the Galena Jeffersonian newspaper with his brother. Later was the Wisconsin assistant state Geologist and served in the Wisconsin General Assembly in 1857.
- Jesse B. Thomas, Jr. (1806–50), lawyer, judge, moved to Galena after he retired from the Illinois Supreme Court (1843–48); Illinois Attorney General (1835–36)
- William B. Waddell (1807–72), a founder of the Pony Express; mined in Galena 1824-29
- Hempstead Washburne (1851-1918), mayor of Chicago (1891-93); son of Elihu B. Washburne; born and raised in Galena; relocated to Chicago where he practiced law and served one term as mayor.
- John Henry Weber (1779-1859), was the assistant superintendent of U.S. government lead mines in Galena in 1833, and served briefly as superintendent until his retirement in 1840. Prior to Galena, Weber was an explorer and fur trader. Weber explored territory in the Rocky Mountains and in Utah. Weber State University is named in his honor.
- Hiram M. Van Arman, (1839-1904), received his education in Galena. Van Arman served as lieutenant in the 58th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Later served as Secretary of the Arizona Territory (1882-1885).
- Leo E. Allen (1898–1973), U.S. Congressman (1933–61) representing the 13th and 16th districts; Jo Daviess County Clerk; taught at Galena; practiced law
- John W. Cox, Jr., Congressman from Illinois' 16th (1991–1993), the first Democrat to serve the area since 1850
- Edgar Cunningham (1910–80), first African American Eagle Scout; married in Galena and briefly lived there.
- G. Walter Dittmar (1872-1949), lived and practiced dentistry in Galena. Later became the father of the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Dentistry and became president of the American Dental Association.
- Katharine Gibbs (1863-1934), born in Galena. Gibbs was the founder of Gibbs College.
- John Hope (1911-2002), lived his final years in Galena. He was an American meteorologist who specialized in hurricane forecasting and was an on-air personality on The Weather Channel.
- Thomas B. Howard (1854-1920), born and raised in Galena. He served as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet prior to entry into World War I. He also sailed around the world with the Great White Fleet.
- Donald William Kerst (1911–1993), physicist, born in Galena, earned a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin in 1937; professor at University of Illinois, 1938-1957; during World War II, worked at Los Alamos, New Mexico; was employed at the General Atomic Laboratory, La Jolla, working on the Manhattan Project (1957–62); developed the betatron in 1940 and became the first person to accelerate electrons using magnetic fields
- Francis Marshall, brigadier general during World War I; awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal for his achievements in his command during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive
- Don McNeill (1907–96), radio personality, creator and host of Don McNeill's Breakfast Club, which aired for more than 30 years
- Jim Post, folk singer-songwriter, playwright and actor; former member of band Friend and Lover; wrote the top 10 Billboard hit "Reach Out of the Darkness" in 1968
- James Wright, president of Dartmouth College (1998–2009), and history department faculty member 1969-2009; graduated from Galena High School in 1957; wrote a book on Galena's lead district in 1966
- Adlai Stevenson II (1900–65), politician; owned a farm outside of Galena in the 1940s; Governor of Illinois (1949–53); United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Democratic Party presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956
- LaMetta Wynn, first black woman to head an Iowa municipality: mayor of Clinton, Iowa (1995–2007); graduated from Galena High School
- Illinois State Military Museum (February 27, 2007). "Ulysses S. Grant". Archived from the original on February 16, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2007.
- "Ulysses S. Grant Home". Galena State Historic Sites. Galena, Illinois: Chris Gordy. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- 'Who's Who in the World, 1912,' Biographical Sketch of Jacob Fawcett, pg. 447
- United States Congress. "John Henry Gear (id: G000110)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2007-04-13.