John Edwards (Arkansas politician)

For other people named John Edwards, see John Edwards (disambiguation).
John Edwards
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1871  February 9, 1872
Preceded by Thomas Boles
Succeeded by Thomas Boles
Member of the Indiana Senate
In office
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born October 24, 1815 (1815-10-24)
Louisville, Kentucky
Died April 8, 1894 (1894-04-09) (aged 78)
Washington, D.C.
Spouse(s) Mary Bevens Edwards
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Rank Brevet Brigadier General
Commands 18th Iowa Volunteer Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War

John Edwards (October 24, 1815 – April 8, 1894) was an American Civil War brigadier general in the Union Army, an American politician and a U.S. Representative from Arkansas.


Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Edwards received a limited schooling, but he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He married Eliza Jane Knight on July 8, 1834 in, Lawrence, Indiana, and they had seven children: Eugene Edgar, John, Marcus, Mary W., Susan Huldah, William T., and Montgomery Gray. His second wife was Catherine Whisenand, and they were married on May 8, 1854 in Chariton, Iowa. They had three children: Nancy, Clarence B., and Alfred. On April 28, 1880, he married Mary Burland Bevans in Washington, D.C., and they had two daughters: Frances Sterling ("Fanny") and Mary Ellen ("Mamie").[1]


In order to live in a free state, Edwards moved to Indiana, where he served in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1845 and 1846. He had inherited slaves from his father's estate in Kentucky but freed them and gave them property with which to begin a new life in Indiana.[2] He moved to California, and in 1849 was elected an alcalde.

Edwards returned to Indiana in 1852, and as a Whig, he served as member of the Indiana State Senate in 1853. In 1853 he moved to Chariton, Iowa, where he began the practice of law. In 1856 he was chosen a member of the convention which framed the new state constitution which was adopted the following year. He was founder in 1857 of the Patriot newspaper, and became a Republican when that party was organized. In 1858 he was a member of the House of the Seventh General Assembly. He was reelected and in 1860 was chosen Speaker of the House of the Eighth General Assembly.[3]

When the Civil War began Edwards was appointed as lieutenant colonel May 21, 1861 and served as aide on the staff of Governor Kirkwood of Iowa protecting the Missouri border from invasion. On August 8, 1862 he was commissioned colonel of the 18th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving through the war, after which he was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers to date from September 26, 1864.

After the war Edwards settled at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and was appointed by President Johnson as Assessor of Internal Revenue and served from August 15, 1866 to May 31, 1869. He was presented credentials of election as a Liberal Republican to the Forty-second Congress and served from March 4, 1871, to February 9, 1872, when he was succeeded by Thomas Boles, who contested the election.[4] Not a candidate for renomination, he settled in Washington, D.C..


Edwards died in Washington, D.C., on April 8, 1894. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.[5]

See also


  1. "John Edwards". Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  2. "John Edwards". The Iowa Legislature. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  3. "John Edwards". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  4. "John Edwards". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  5. "John Edwards". The Political Graveyard.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Edwards (Arkansas politician).

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas Boles
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas Boles

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

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/8/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.