Convention Member James Grant
Born in Halifax County, North Carolina, on the 12th of December, 1812. He was prepared to enter college at fourteen years of age and graduated at eighteen. After teaching in Raleigh for three years he went west and in 1834 opened a law office in Chicago. He was soon after appointed Prosecuting Attorney of the Sixth District and in 1838 removed to Davenport, settling on a farm near the little village. In 1841, he was chosen to represent Scott County in the Legislative Assembly. In 1844, he was elected a delegate to the first Constitutional Convention and took an active part in framing the Constitution, which was rejected. In 1846, he was a member of the second convention and was the author of the “bill of rights” in that instrument under which Iowa became a State. In 1847, he was elected judge of the District Court, serving five years. In 1852, he was again elected to the Legislature and chosen Speaker of the House. When a young man he began to acquire a law library and continued to add to it through mature life until he had secured the largest and best selected collection of law books in the West. He became one of the great lawyers of the country and was employed in some of the most important land and bond cases in the West. In one railroad case he won for his clients a million dollars and received for his services $100,000. In politics he was a life-long Democrat.