October 5, 2005

Richard Northcraft and Elizabeth "Betsy" Coffey Cullom

Elizabeth Coffey was a daughter of Lewis Russell and Bidant (Biddy) Moore Coffey. She was born c1797 in Wilkes Co., NC, and died Dec. 5, 1868 in Tazewell Co., IN. Richard Northcraft Cullom was born Oct. 1, 1795 in MD, and died Dec. 4, 1872. He and Betsy was married Mar. 17, 1819.

Although there were probably other children, I know of only one child born to this union. Shelby Moore Cullom was born Nov. 22, 1829 in Wayne Co., KY, and died in Washington, DC on Jan. 22, 1914, at the age of 85. He outlived two wives, and served a long and distinguished political career as two-term governor of Illinois, and as United States Senator from that state.

Shelby first married Hannah Fisher of PA, on Dec. 12, 1855. Together they had three children: Ella, born c1857; Carrie, born c1859, and Lizzie, born c1861. Hannah apparently died at or shortly after Lizzie's birth. By 1870 Shelby had married again, this time to Hannah's sister, Julia. There were no children from this union.

**CULLOM, Shelby Moore, (nephew of Alvan Cullom and William Cullom), a Representative and a Senator from Illinois; born in Wayne County, Ky., November 22, 1829; moved with his father to Tazewell County, Ill., in 1830; received an academic and university training; moved to Springfield, Ill., in 1853; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1855 and commenced practice in Springfield; elected city attorney in 1855; member, State house of representatives 1856, 1860-1861, and served as speaker of the house during the second year; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and Forty-first Congresses (March 4, 1865-March 3, 1871); chairman, Committee on Territories (Forty-first Congress); member, State house of representatives 1873-1874, and served as speaker in 1873; Governor of Illinois 1877-1883, when he resigned; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1882; reelected in 1888, 1894, 1900, and 1906 and served from March 4, 1883, to March 3, 1913; chairman, Committee on Expenditures of Public Money (1885-87), Committee on Interstate Commerce (1887-93; 1895-1901; 1909-11), Committee on Foreign Relations (1901-11), Republican Conference Chairman (1911-13); Regent of the Smithsonian Institution 1885-1913; chairman and resident commissioner of the Lincoln Memorial Commission in 1913 and 1914; member of the commission appointed to prepare a system of laws for the Hawaiian Islands; died in Washington, D.C., January 28, 1914; interment in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Ill.

**Dictionary of American Biography; Cullom, Shelby. Fifty Years in Public Service: Personal Recollections. 1911. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1967; Neilson, James. Shelby M. Cullom: Prairie State Republican. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1962.

Cullom was a friend of Lincoln, knew U.S. Grant, and was one of the more outstanding politicians of his era. Much more information about him, including photos of him and Julia can be found on the web. His obituary can be found at Rootsweb.

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