History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/James S. Hurley
JAMES S. HURLEY was of Quaker ancestry, and was born in Champaign County, Ohio, May 18, 1829. In 1840 the family removed to Iowa, locating in Wapello, Louisa County. His early education was acquired in the public schools and in 1852 he entered the academic department of Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois. In 1853 he entered a law school and was admitted to the bar in 1854, serving the following year as prosecuting attorney for the county. In 1861 he was elected to the State Senate and during his term secured the passage of a bill for the settlement of the long pending swamp land claims. Under the provisions of this act a large amount of swamp land was reclaimed. As chairman of the committee on State Library in the session of 1864, Senator Hurley secured the enactment of laws greatly improving the library. He was one of the originators of the railroad from Burlington to Cedar Rapids and became a director of the company and member of the executive committee. In 1869 Mr. Hurley was again elected to the Senate where he was chairman of the committee on public lands. In 1872 he was chairman of the judiciary committee being the author of important changes in the judicial system. He was also the author of the act of that session regulating the taxation of railroad property. Mr. Hurley died many years ago.