CHARLES S. DENEEN, Illinois’ twenty-fifth governor, was born in Edwardsville, Illinois, on May 4, 1863. He graduated from McKendree College in 1882 and earned a law degree from Union College (Northwestern University today) in 1888. Deneen entered politics in 1892, as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. He also served as attorney for the Chicago Sanitary District from 1895 to 1896 and was a Cook County state’s attorney from 1896 to 1904. Deneen won the 1904 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor’s office on January 9, 1905. He was reelected to a second term in 1908. During his tenure, he advocated for and was successful in securing financial support for higher educational advancements and for furthering improvements in the common schools. Also, the presidential preference primary law was sanctioned in 1912, becoming the first in the nation. After losing his bid for a third term, Deneen left office on February 3, 1913. In 1925, he secured an appointment to the U.S. Senate, filling the unexpired term of Medill McCormick. He served in the senate from February 26, 1925 to March 3, 1931. Governor Charles S. Deneen died on February 5, 1940 and was buried at the Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.