Image of Matheny, James H. (Matheany, Matheney)

Matheny, James H. (Matheany, Matheney)

b. October 30, 1818, in St. Clair County, Illinois; d. September 7, 1890, in Springfield, Illinois. In 1821, Matheny came to Springfield where he lived for the duration of his life. In 1841, he studied law under the firm of Baker and Bledsoe and was admitted to the bar in 1843. During the 1840s, Matheny formed a legal partnership with Edward D. Baker. Matheny served as Abraham Lincoln’s best man when Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. He served as a member of the Illinois constitutional convention in 1848. Matheny became a circuit court clerk in 1852 and served one four-year term. During the Civil War, he was a commissioned lieutenant-colonel in the One Hundred Thirtieth Illinois Infantry. In 1873, Matheny was elected judge of the Sangamon County Court, a position he held until his death.
David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 70, 111; John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960); Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 8 September 1890, 4; Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 207; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899), 1:191; United States Biographical Dictionary: Illinois Dictionary (Chicago: American Biographical Dictionary, 1876), 171-72. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.