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James A. Connolly

James Austin Connolly (March 8, 1843 – December 15, 1914) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.


Born in Newark, New Jersey, Connolly moved to Chesterville, Ohio, with his parents in 1850. He attended the common schools and Selby Academy, Chesterville, Ohio. He served as assistant clerk of the State senate in 1858 and 1859. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1859 and practiced in Mount Gilead, Ohio. He moved to Charleston, Illinois, in 1861, where he was admitted to the bar.. After the outbreak of the American Civil War, Connolly enlisted in the Union Army as a private in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in 1862 and was afterwards captain, major, and brevet lieutenant colonel.

Connolly served as member of the State house of representatives 1872-1876, after which he was appointed the United States attorney for the southern district of Illinois, serving from 1876–1885 and again from 1889–1893. He ran unsuccessfully for election in 1886 to the Fiftieth Congress. He was again nominated in 1888 but declined to run.

Connolly was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1895 – March 3, 1899). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1898. He resumed the practice of law in Springfield, Illinois, where he died December 15, 1914. He was interred in Oak Ridge Cemetery.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edward Lane
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Ben F. Caldwell

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