Image of Gillespie, Joseph

Gillespie, Joseph

b. August 22, 1809, in New York, New York; d. January 7, 1885, in Edwardsville, Illinois. n 1819, Gillespie came with his family to Illinois where they settled in Edwardsville in Madison County. In 1831, he studied law under Cyrus Edwards while attending two terms at Transylvania University. On December 6, 1836, Gillespie was admitted to the bar. Within a year, he became probate judge of Madison County, a position he held for two years until returning to active practice. He was elected to the state legislature in 1840, and in 1846, Gillespie was elected to the state senate where he served a total of ten years. In 1860, Gillespie campaigned for Lincoln's presidential nomination and presided over the Decatur Convention. In 1861, he was elected to the bench of the Twenty-Fourth Judicial Circuit and held that position for a total of twelve years.
Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: Chicago Legal News Company, 1879), 121-27; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1899), 2:684-89; United States Biographical Dictionary: Illinois Dictionary (Chicago: American Biographical Dictionary, 1876), 257-59; Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1936), 262. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.