James B. McCreary
James Bennett McCreary was an American lawyer and politician. He served as Kentucky’s 27th and 37th governor. He was the only major in the 11th Kentucky Cavalry during the American Civil War. He represented the state in both houses of the U.S. Congress and was twice chosen Speaker of the House. He died in 1915 and his county, McCrearies, was named in his honor.
About James B. McCreary in brief
James Bennett McCreary was an American lawyer and politician. He served as Kentucky’s 27th and 37th governor. He was the only major in the 11th Kentucky Cavalry during the American Civil War. He represented the state in both houses of the U.S. Congress and was twice chosen Speaker of the House. He is the only governor to have lived in both the old and new governor’s mansions in Kentucky. He died in 1915 and his county, McCrearies, was named in his honor. His son, Edmund, was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives and served as its speaker as well as a U. S. Senate member. He also served as the state’s first lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and was captured by Union forces in 1863. He remained a prisoner of war until the end of the war, when he was released and returned to his law practice in Richmond, Kentucky. His wife, Sabrina, died in 1998 and he was buried in McCreysburg, Kentucky, where he had lived most of his life until his death in 1915. He had three children, two daughters and a son-in-law, all of whom died before he was able to complete his second term in office. He never married and died in his 90th year of age on July 25, 1915. His funeral was held at his home in Richmond on July 26, 1915, and he is buried in the town of McCrerysburg, near his wife’s birthplace of Dyersville, Kentucky (now Dyersfield, Kentucky).
He is survived by his son Edmund and his daughter Sabrina’s son Edmund, who also served in the United States House of Reps. and was elected to Congress in 1884 as a Democrat. He later died in Dyerswood, Kentucky and is buried at the University of Kentucky’s College of Law and Science. He has a daughter, Susan, who was born in Richmond and grew up in the same town as his father, and is also a former member of Congress and the state House of Rep. and Speaker of House. His grandson, Edward, was also a congressman and served in Congress as a Democratic member from Kentucky from 1875 to 1884. He went on to serve in the Kentucky Senate from 1902 to 1908. He won a second term as governor in 1911. He succeeded in convincing the legislature to make women eligible to vote in school board elections, to mandate direct primary elections, and to create a state public utilities commission. He became the first inhabitant of the state’s second governor’s mansion; he is also the only Governor to have inhabited both theOld and new mansions. He helped secure increases in education spending and won passage of reforms such as a mandatory school attendance law, but was unable to secure passage of laws restricting lobbying in the legislative chambers and providing for a workers’ compensation program. His last term was in 1915, when his term expired and he died in retirement.