Convention Member John Edwards
Born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, October 24, 1815. He was educated in the schools of Louisville and when quite young removed to Indiana for the purpose of leaving a slave State. In 1848, he was elected to the Legislature, serving but one term. In 1852, he was elected to the State Senate by the Whigs. He had inherited slaves from his father’s estate in Kentucky but abhorring the system, he liberated them and gave them property with which to begin life in Indiana. In 1853, Mr. Edwards removed to Iowa, settling in Chariton, Lucas County, where he began the practice of law. In 1857 he was chosen a member of the convention which framed the new Constitution. He became a Republican upon the organization of that party and in 1858 was a member of the House of the Seventh General Assembly, was reelected and in 1860 was chosen Speaker of the House of the Eighth General Assembly. When the Civil War began he was appointed aide on the staff of Governor Kirkwood and served in protecting the Missouri border from invasion. In 1862, he was commissioned colonel of the Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, serving through the war, after which he was brevetted Brigadier-General. After the war he settled at Fort Smith, Arkansas, and was appointed by President Johnson Assessor of Internal Revenue. He united with the Democratic Party and in 1871 was elected to Congress, serving but one term.