Image of Moulton, Samuel W.

Moulton, Samuel W.

b. January 20, 1823, in Hamilton, Massachusetts; d. June 3, 1905, in Shelbyville, Illinois. Moulton attended primary schools in Hamilton. As a young man, he taught school near Lexington, Kentucky, and in Mississippi. In 1844, Moulton married Mary H. Affleck in Mississippi. In the following year, the Moultons moved to Coles County, Illinois, where Samuel Moulton studied law. In 1847, the Illinois Supreme Court admitted Moulton to the bar, and he began his practice in Sullivan, Illinois. Moulton moved to Shelbyville, Illinois, in 1849. In 1853, voters elected Moulton as a Democrat for the first of three consecutive terms in the Illinois state legislature. The legislature selected Moulton as chairman of the education committee, and he drafted and helped pass Illinois’s first free school legislation. In 1857, Moulton helped secure passage of legislation that chartered the Illinois State Normal University, for the education of teachers. Beginning in 1857, Moulton was a member of the Illinois State Board of Education. Moulton was a presidential elector for James Buchanan in 1856. He served as president of the board of that university, resigning in 1882. Voters elected Moulton to Congress three times. He served as a Republican from 1865 to 1867, and as a Democrat from 1881 to 1885.
Shelbyville Democrat (Illinois), 8 June 1905, 1:2-3; The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Illinois of the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Co., 1875), 491-92; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899), 1:459-61. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.