Robinson Argus-Dec. 7, 1876
HON. JESSE K. DUBOIS-Brief Account of His Life and Services
Hon. Jesse K. Dubois died at his home in Springfield, at 11 o'clock Wednesday night Nov. 23rd. Although he had long been suffering with disease of the heart, and no hopes were entertaining for his recovery, his death at the time was quite unexpected. He was buried on Saturday by the Masonic fraternity, of which he was long a member.
Jesse Kilgore Dubois was born in what now is known as Lawrence County, Illinois Territory on January 14, 1811. He was the third son of Major Toussaint Dubois and Jane Haint Dubois. His father was one of the oldest French settlers and a man of mark in his day. He was one of the friends and advisors of General Harrison, and commanded, with the rank of Major, a battalion of scouts and rangers at the battle of Tippecanoe. Major Toussaint was drowned in 1818 in an attempt to ford the Wabash River. He was a devoted Catholic, but his wife was a Presbyterian, and in this latter faith Kilgore was brought up.
Mr. Dubois had very little of what is called education now, for though he was sent while quite young to a college, such as Bloomington, Indiana afforded in the first quarter of the present century, he did not complete his studies there, and it is not known that he ever studied regularly thereafter. Nevertheless it would be a great mistake to suppose him an ignorant man, for his fine mind, his habits of reading and reflection, and especially his associations for nearly a half a century with all the leading men of the state, and with many of the men of the nation, more than supplied the lack of a collegiate course.
Up to 1834, he confined his attention to farming in Lawrence County, and to buying and shipping grain, pork, and other products to New Orleans, but in that year he was elected as a Whig to the General Assembly of this state, and he served continuously in the Legislature until 1841. While so serving he formed with Mr. Lincoln that intimacy and friendship that remain unbroken up to the latter's death. In 1841, General Harrison appointed Mr. Dubois as land registrar of the land office at Palestine, in Crawford County, and this position he held until 18xx, when Mr. Tyler having plainly proven what Mr. Dubois considered an xxxstate to the Whig party, he resigned and returned to Lawrence County. In 1846 he was again elected to the legislature, and continued as a member except the year 1847 until 1848, when he was appointed receiver of the public money at Palestine. This appointment was made by the influence of Mr. Lincoln, then a member of Congress, without Mr. Dubois' knowledge, and it did not please him as he desired to leave the state and expected to have been made United States Marshal of the territory of Iowa. But Mr. Lincoln desired that Dubois should remain in the State, and the appointment was therefore accepted and held until in 18xx when it was resigned upon the inauguration of Pierce.
In 1853 Mr. Dubois was elected judge of Lawrence County, and beheld this office until in 1856 he was nominated for State Auditor by the first Republican State Convention held in Illinois. He was elected, and in 1860 re-nominated and elected. The office was never more important than during these two terms, for during the first, the whole State Banking system failed and the money was redeemed with the proceeds of the State bonds deposited to secure it, while during the second term, the State finances were provided to meet the charge of training and equipping the quarter of a million men that Illinois sent to the war. In discharging all the duties of this position, Mr. Dubois was not only scrupulously honest, for that was expected of the school of politicians in which he was bred, but he was earnest, efficient and successful in granting the interests of the State, and in encouraging that policy, that was deemed due her own dignity and her relation to her sister commonwealths.
In 1865 Mr. Dubois left the Auditor’s office and retired from public life, with the exception of acting as delegate to County, State and National Conventions.
Although not a very old man, Mr. Dubois outlived most of his active political associates. His last public act was that of a delegate to the Republican convention of this State in May 18xx, which nominated a ticket he lived long enough to see elected. He was an ardent patriot, a firm friend and honest and efficient public officer. He filled out a long life amid stirring events, and while his many friends mourn his loss, his peaceful death is the desire of many, as his public.
NOTE from Researcher: The micro film was hard to read. When the actual dates were difficult to decipher, I used ‘xx.’ I am not of the spelling of his mother’s maiden name either.