Biography of Joseph Kirkland
Chicago, Cook County, Il Biographies

KIRKLAND, JOSEPH. - Born at Geneva, N. Y. Son of William Kirkland and Caroline Matilda (Stansbury) Kirkland, both from England. His paternal grandmother, Sally (Backus) Kirkland, was a daughter of Major Ebenezer Backus, who was distinguished in the Revolution, and fifth in descent from William Bradford, who came over in the Mayflower and became the first governor of Plymouth Colony. His grandfather, Gen. Joseph Kirkland, was the first mayor of Utica, N. Y. The first of the Kirkland ancestors in America was Philip Kyrtland, who settled in Connecticut in 1635; whose successive descendants were John, Daniel, Samuel, Joseph, Joseph, William and Joseph, the subject of this sketch. The latter was educated at home and came to Chicago in 1856. He began life as a merchant's clerk, and was afterward a railroad officer, coal miner, soldier, lawyer and writer. Among the positions of trust held by him during his career in Chicago were those of auditor of the Illinois Central railroad, and deputy collector of internal revenue under Collector Joseph D. Webster. At the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion he enlisted as a private soldier in the 12th Illinois Volunteer Infantry for the three months' service, and afierward served through the war, being promoted successively to lieutenant, captain and major of volunteers. He was aidede-camp to Gen. McClellan at the battles of Rich Mountain, etc., aide to Gen. F. J. Porter at the siege of Yorktown, and the battles of Hanover Court House, Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, Malvern, Antietam, Fredericksburg, etc. His principal commercial enterprises have been in the direction of coal mining in Vermillion county, Ill., and Fountain county, Ind, As a lawyer, he stood well in his profession, being a partner in the law firm of Bangs & Kirkland. One of the firm's most notable cases was the defense of J. B. Doyle, who was charged with the forgery of $200,000 United States bonds. His professional work was largely connected with internal revenue cases. He occupies a prominent position in literary and social circles. He has been the literary editor of the Chicago Tribune, and was one of the original members of the Chicago Literary Club. Was the first president of the Twentieth Century Club and is a member of the Folk-lore Society, the Contributors' Club, the Historical Society, the Press Club, the New York Authors' Club, etc. He has written a number of novels, among them "Zury," "The McVeys," "The Captain of Company K," and numerous short stories, etc. His historical works embrace "The Story of Chicago," "The Chicago Massacre of 1812," etc. Major Kirkland's religious views are those of the Unitarian, while in politics he has been successively an abolitionist, republican and independent, he married Theodosia Burr Wilkinson, and his children are Caroline Matilda, Louisa Wilkinson, John Wilkinson and Ethel. The family on the mother's side (Stansburys) were tories in New York city and were exiled to Nova Scotia after the Revolution. His mother, Caroline M. Kirkland, wrote "New Home," "Forest Life," "Western Clearings," etc.


FROM:
The Handbook of Chicago Biography
Edited by John J Flinn.
The Standard Guide Company
Chicago 1893

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