Henry Horner


Governor Henry Horner (Democrat), member of a pioneer Illinois family, was born in Chicago fifty-four years ago. Receiving his preliminary education in the public schools of Chicago, and the Chicago Manual Training School, and the South Side Academy, he then attended the Kent College of Law, being admitted to the Bar in 1899. He has received the degree of Doctor of Laws of Knox College, Galesburg, and also from the Lincoln Memorial University of Tennessee.

He began the practice of law in 1899 with another young attorney, Frank A. Whitney, whose father, Henry C. Whitney, was a law partner of Abraham Lincoln, and subsequently one of his best biographers. It was through this association that Governor Horner became an ardent admirer of the rail-splitter, an admiration that has inspired him to gather one of the great collections of Lincolniana.

Early becoming interested in civic affairs, Henry Horner soon became recognized as an authority of the problems of social and civic welfare. This brought him into public life. In 1911 he was a member of the Chicago Charter Convention.

In 1914, he was nominated by the Democratic Party of Cook County for Probate Judge and elected. Then, for five successive terms of four years each, he was re-nominated and re-elected, each time with a larger majority than before. He was serving his eighteenth y ear as Judge of the Probate Court of Cook County, when he resigned the bench to become Governor of Illinois, having been elected chief executive of Illinois in November, 1932.

During his long tenure of office in the Probate Court, Judge Horner
introduced many changes in procedure that have been widely followed in other states including the “Horner Plan” for handling the estates of war veterans without legal costs, expenses or attorney's fees to the beneficiaries.

Governor Horner, prior to his election to the Governorship, was called upon many times to serve as the neutral arbitrator in labor disputes. He also served on many boards and commissions dealing with social and public welfare problems.

Governor Horner is not married.

/Source: Illinois Blue Book 1933-34/


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