Biography of Hon. Orlando B. Ficklin

Hon. Orlando B. Ficklin, attorney at law, Charleston; he was born in Kentucky Dec. 16, 1808, being the son of William and Elizabeth Kenner (Williams) Ficklin, both of Virginia. His early education was obtained in country schools, in Kentucky and Missouri, except about one year, which he spent at Cumberland College, located at Princeton, Caldwell Co., Ky., under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His parents having removed to Potosi, Washington Co., Mo., he commenced the study of law with Henry Shurlds of that place, who was afterward elected to the Circuit Court bench, and at a later period removed to St. Louis and engaged in banking until his death; Mr. Ficklin spent the winter of 1829 and 1830 in the law office of Gen. Robert Farris, of St. Louis; in March, 1830, he was admitted to the bar at Bellville, St. Clair Co., Ill., having been examined by Edward Cowles, then an old and well-established lawyer of that place; from thence he went to McLeansboro, Hamilton Co., Ill., meeting there with Chief Justice William Wilson, who advised him to locate in Mount Carmel, Wabash Co., Ill.; Mr. Ficklin attended the courts of that circuit commencing at Carmi, and when the circuit closed, he located at Mt. Carmel. In 1832, he went to the Black Hawk war in Capt. Elias Jurdon’s Company, and at the organization of the regiments and brigades, was appointed Quartermaster, and was attached to the brigade of Gem Milton R. Alexander, then of Paris, Ill.; in 1833, he was elected Colonel of the militia of Wabash Co., under the old militia system, long since exploded. At the election in August, 1834, Mr. Ficklin was elected to the Lower House of the Legislature, and was chosen by that body State’s Attorney for the Wabash Circuit. In 1837, he removed to Charleston, Coles Co., where he has ever since resided. At the election on the first Monday of August, 1838, he was elected as Representative in the Legislature from that county, and was again elected to the same place in August, 1842; at the August election in 1843, he was elected to Congress from the Wabash district; his colleagues were Robert Smith, John A. McClernand, John Wentworth, Joseph P. Hoge, John J. Harding and Stephen A. Douglas; he was re-elected to Congress in August, 1844, and again in 1846, and declining to be a candidate. at the next election, he resumed the practice of law in Charleston; in 1850, he was again a candidate for Congress, and was elected at the August election; on the expiration of his term, March 4, 1853, he engaged again in the practice of law; in 1856, he was a member of the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, that nominated James Buchanan for President; in 1860, he was a member of the National Convention, held at Charleston, S. C., and was present at the disruption of that body, and also attended the adjourned meeting at Baltimore, where Stephen A. Douglas was nominated; in 1864, he was a delegate to the National Convention, held at Chicago, that nominated Gen. George B. McClellan for President; he represented the counties of Coles, Moultrie and Douglas in the State Constitutional Convention, in the winter of 1869-70; after which, he gave his attention to the practice of law, and was not a candidate for any office in the gift of the people until the fall of 1878, when he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. While in Congress, he was married to Miss Elizabeth H. Colquitt, a daughter of Senator W. H. Colquitt, of Georgia, and has four children living.



Chapman Brothers Portrait and biographical album of Coles County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887.

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