Elias Kent Kane

Elias Kent Kane was born June 7, 1794 in New York City, NY. In addition to being a territorial judge, his public service included the following offices & appointments:

Delegate to the Illinois State Constitutional Convention, 1818 (making him one of the State's 'founding fathers')
Illinois Secretary of State, 1818-1822
Illinois House of Representatives, 1824
US Senator from Illinois, 1825 - 1835 ***

He died in Washington, DC, December 12, 1835 and was originally buried at a family cemetery, then reinterred at Evergreen Cemetery, Chester, IL.

His time as US Senator is a time during which he would have been well acquainted with President John Q. Adams. He was no stranger to the country's early "movers & shakers".

I can find no evidence that he ever lived within the boundaries of Kane County. Most references to him indicate a more southern home. Chester is the County Seat of Randolph County, which is located in Southern Illinois, down river from St. Louis. Remember, during most of his lifetime, Chicago was still mostly undeveloped swamp land, and the Illinois State Capital was Kaskaskia and Vandalia. Many more people populated southern Illinois during his lifetime than the north. With the Ohio River as a major travel route, the population of the south end of the state far outnumbered their northern cousins. As Kane County was formed in January, 1836, it would have been but a month after Senator Kane's death, and fresh in the minds of the people. I should imagine it was a rather simple decision to honor a man who had so served the people of Illinois by naming one of the next counties formed in his memory. January, 1836 was the formation date of 6 Illinois counties - Kane, McHenry, Will, Ogle, Winnebago & Whiteside.

Senator Kane's cenotaph is at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.


The Political Graveyard (this is a fantastic site, by the way - very interesting stuff to be 'un-earthed') http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/kane.html

Congressional Biography

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Copyright © 1999, Marcia Holpuch