Show Summary Details

Page of
<p>Printed from American National Biography. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see <a href="" target="_blank">Privacy Policy</a> and <a href="/page/legal-notice" target="_blank">Legal Notice</a>).</p><p>date: 20 June 2019</p>

Altgeld, John Peterlocked

(30 December 1847–12 March 1902)
  • Philip Ray VanderMeer


Altgeld, John Peter (30 December 1847–12 March 1902), governor of Illinois and leader of midwestern reform forces in the 1890s, was born in Nieder Selters in Nassau, Germany, the son of John Peter Altgeld, a wagon maker and farmer, and Mary (maiden name unknown). He was three months old when he and his parents immigrated to the United States and settled in Newville or Mansfield, Ohio. Raised in poverty by a stern and parochial father who saw no benefit in education, Altgeld received instruction only in a few terms of public school and Methodist Sunday school. Seeking to escape his father’s control, in 1864 he joined the Ohio Home Guards for a 100-day stint. This experience confirmed his desire for advancement, but he also contracted a disease, probably malaria, which recurred throughout his life....

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription