History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Shepherd Leffler
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SHEPHERD LEFFLER was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, in 1814. His education was obtained in the common schools of that section and at Steubenville, Ohio. He studied law and came to the “Black Hawk Purchase” in 1835, locating at the “Flint Hills,” then a little frontier village of log cabins. He improved a farm near by and began the practice of law. In 1839 he was elected a Representative in the Legislative Assembly of the new Territory when but twenty-five years of age. He was reëlected in 1841 and in 1842 was promoted to the Council where he served by reëlection in the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Legislative Assemblies until Iowa became a State. He was chosen a delegate to the First Constitutional Convention in 1844, served through its sessions and in 1846 was a member of the second convention which framed the Constitution under which Iowa became a State. In 1846 he received the nomination for Congress in the State at large, by the Democratic Convention and was elected. He was reëlected from the Second District in 1848, serving four years. In 1856 he was again a candidate for Congress in the Second District but was defeated by Timothy Davis his old competitor, as the Republican party had now a large majority. In 1875 Mr. Leffler was nominated by the Democratic State Convention for Governor but was defeated by Governor Kirkwood. This was his last appearance in State politics. Few public officials in Iowa have exercised so wide an influence in shaping its policy, framing and enacting its laws and formulating its constitutions in the pioneer period, as Shepherd Leffler. Serving in six of its Territorial Legislatures, two Constitutional Conventions and four years in Congress immediately after the admission of the State, his impress is found upon all of our early laws. He was one of the trusted leaders of the Democratic party as long as it controlled the Territory and State. He died at. Burlington in 1879.