Wiliam H. Calkins, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Wiliam H. Calkins

CALKINS, HON. WILLIAM H., was born February 18th, 1842, in Pike County, O. In 1853 he emigrated to Indiana with his father's family, and for the next three years worked on their farm. In 1856, his father being elected County Auditor, young Calkins acted as his Deputy for two years. From 1858 to the spring of 1861 he was city editor and bookkeeper of the Indiana Daily Courier at Lafayette, employing his leisure hours in the study of law, first under the instruction of Major Daniel Mace and afterward in the office of Colonel William Wilson. He also attended the Commercial and Law School at Louisville, Ky., for about three months.

At the breaking out of the late Civil War he enlisted as a private in the company of Captain W. J. Templeton, from Benton County, Ind. This company was intended for three months' service, but the quota being filled, it was transferred to the State service for one year, and temporarily attached to the Fifteenth Indiana Regiment, and the following August it was disbanded. Mr. Calkins then went to Iowa, and assisted in raising a company in Jones County in that State, and in 1861 he entered the three years' service as First Lieutenant of Company H, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry. He fought at forts Henry and Donelson, and at the battle of Shiloh. At the close of the first day's fight in the last-named battle the remnant of his regiment surrendered, and he, with the other officers, was taken prisoner.

He was confined in the prisons of Macon and Madison, Ga., and in the famous Libby, and in October, 1862, he was paroled. While in the prisons the treatment he received was most severe. After his release he joined his regiment, and was ordered to Springfield, Mo., to repel the invasion of the Confederate General Marmaduke. He was then sent to Cairo, Ill., and thence to Paducah, Ky., where, in 1863, he left the regiment with his health seriously impaired from imprisonment and exposure. He re-entered the army in October, 1863, and was temporarily assigned to the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Indiana Infantry, then being recruited. In February, 1864, he was promoted to the rank of Major of the Twelfth Indiana Cavalry, with which he remained until he was mustered out of service in December, 1865, commanding it more than half the time during active service. At the close of the war he was brevetted for meritorious service.

On June 20th, 1864, he was married to Miss Hattie S. Holton, formerly of Maysville, Ky. In December, 1865, he returned to Valparaiso, Ind., to which place his father had in the mean time removed, and immediately entered upon the practice of law. In October, 1866, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for the district composed of nine of the northwestern counties of the State, and served to the entire satisfaction of his constituents, as is evinced by the fact that he was re-elected in 1868.

In 1870 he was a member of the Forty-seventh General Assembly from Porter County. In May, 1871, he removed to La Porte, Ind., and entered upon the practice of his profession with Judge Osborn. In 1874 he was nominated for Congress by the Republicans, and was defeated by Dr. Hammond, of Monticello. In 1876 he was again nominated, and was elected by eleven hundred votes over his old competitor, and was re-elected in 1878. In 1880 he was re-elected from the Thirteenth Congressional District, and was re-elected from the same district in 1882. He was nominated for Governor of Indiana at the Republican State Convention held in June, 1884, and was defeated at the ensuing election, the total vote being 550,000. He continued his practice of law in Indianapolis until February, 1889, when he removed to Tacoma, Wash. Terr. In April, 1889, he was appointed one of the four Supreme Judges of the Territory of Washington, which position he held until the Territory was admitted as a State; since that time he has been practising law in the city of Tacoma.

Source: Hawthorne, Julian, and G. Douglas Brewerton. 1893. History of Washington: The Evergreen State, from Early Dawn to Daylight; With Portraits and Biographies. Volume I. New York, New York: American Historical Publishing Company. 709 p.
Page(s) in Source: 399-400

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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