Beaverton Historical Society
Gladwin County Obituary/Death Notice
John A. Logan
Death Of The Illustrious Soldier And Statesman,
Which Event Occurred At His Home In Washington, December 26.
A Sketch Of His useful and Eventful Life.
His illness dates back nearly two weeks, when the doctor was called and found him suffering
considerably from acute rheumatism, which was then confined chiefly to his right wrist. In the
course of three or four days it yielded to treament and he grew much better. Within a day or two,
however, he took additional cold, which resulted in a relapse, the rheumatic affection extending
to his lips and lower extremities as well as both arms. These attacks were attended at times by higher
fever and nervous prostration, in which the brain was considerably involved, resulting in delirium,
more or less active. While he was not suffering any pain incident to rheumatism, yet there has been,
for the past two or three days, a gradual decrease in strength and a tendency to brain complications
of a very serious nature. The fact is that he was much reduced in strength by overwork and his system
was not in proper condition to resist disease. He was most of the time in a semi-unconscious condition,
from which he was with difficulty aroused. At times he recognized his friends, but would soon again sink
into a lethargic sleep. His condition late Christmas night was thought to be more favorable, as he seemed
to have improved a little in strength, and less inclined to stupor. After this he grew worse and did not
again rally, and died Sunday afternoon, December 26, 1886.
He was born of Irish parents, in Jackson County, Ill., February 9, 1826. The infrequent lessons of
the school in the new settlement where he lived led his father to take upon himself the early education
of young Logan. Upon the declaration of war between the United States and Mexico he volunteered, and was
made lieutenant of the first Illinois Infantry. At the close of the war he studied law with his uncle,
Alex M. Jonkins, and in 1849 was made clerk of Jackson County. He subsequently completed his legal studies
at the Louisville University, and was admitted to the bar in 1852. His popularity may be inferred from the
fact that in the year of his graduation he was elected to the State Legislature, and in the next to the
office of Prosecuting Attorney of the Third Judicial District, holding that office until 1857. He was
re-elected to the State Legislature in 1853-56-57, and was Presidential Elector on the Buchanan-Breckenridge
ticket. In 1858 and 1860 he was elected Represe ntative in Congress. During the summer of 1862 he was urged to run for Congress, but he replied: I have entered the field
to die if need be for this Government, and never expect to return to peaceful pursuits until the object
of this war of preservation had become a fact established.
From the close of the war, until 1871, he occupied various positions of honor which attended his
frequent elections as Representative of his State at Washington. In 1871-79, and again in 1885, Mr. Logan
was chosen to represent Illinois in the United States Senate. In the Presidential election of 1884 he was
the Republican candidate for Vice President, but was unsuccessful. In his election in 185 the struggle
was long and hotly contested, lasting form the early part of February to May 19. His oppenent was W. R.
Morrison, who withdrew on May 14, and was succeeded by Judge Lambert Tree.
The Legislature at the beginning of the contest was tie on a joint ballot, the Senate having a
Republican majority of one, while the Democrats controlled the House by the same narrow margin, while
102 votes, or one more than either party had, were necessary to elect a Senator. Both sides tried by all
means within their power to increase their number by one. A Republican member died but was replaced by a
new member of his own faith, thus leaving things in the same predicament as before. It was not until the
12th of April that there was any material change in the condition of affairs on that day a Democratic
member died. He coming from a strong Democratic District, and the Republicans being apparantly unconcerned
as to his successor, led the Democrats to believce that one of their own faith was reasonbly sure to be
elected. The Republicans, however, were straining every nerve to secure the district. They worked so
quietly and effectively that it was not until late election d ay that the Democrats learned how sadly
they had been daped, and that they had been deprived of their last chance of success. A Republican member
was elected, thus giving them 102 on a joint ballot to 100 Democratic, and thus Gen. J. A. Logan secured
the prize for which he had fought so stubbornly.
Gen. Logan was a man of fine appearance, rendered striking by his jet-black hair and strongly-marked
features. He possessed in a high degree those traits of character which win success--a strong personal
magnetism, undaunted courage, and untiring industry. He was married November 27, 1855, to Mary S.
Cunningham, a lady superior education and rare social qualities, who has taken a deep interest in her
husband's career, and has done much to aid in his advancement by her genial intercourse with his supporters
and the care which she gave his large correspondence.
Gladwin County Record, Gladwin, MI