Joseph W. Fifer Photo

Joseph W. Fifer

Born: Oct 28, 1840

Death: Aug 6, 1938

Birthplace: Staunton city

Nationality: United States

Joseph W. Fifer

Date of Birth : Oct 28, 1840
Date of Death : Aug 6, 1938
Birth Place : Staunton city

Joseph Wilson Fifer was the 19th Governor of Illinois, serving from 1889 to 1893. He also served as a member of the Illinois Senate, 1881–83. “Private Joe” Fifer was born at Staunton, Virginia on October 28, 1840. At the age of 16, in 1856, he moved with his family to Danvers, Illinois and worked in his father’s brickyard for several years. Fifer enlisted as a Private in the 33rd Illinois Infantry at the start of the Civil War and was severely wounded at Jackson, Mississippi during General Grant’s Vicksburg campaign. He refused a discharge and spent the rest of the war guarding a prison boat. After the war, Fifer married Gertrude Lewis, and had three children. The oldest child died in infancy, leaving Herman and Florence. He studied law at Illinois Wesleyan University and became the tax collector at Danvers Township. He served as the City Attorney of Bloomington, Illinois and as a state’s attorney as well. In 1880, he was elected to the state senate where he served for seven years.

Also known as

  • Joseph Fifer
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