Open main menu

History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Joseph B. Leake

JOSEPH B. LEAKE was born in Cumberland County, New Jersey, April 1, 1828. In 1836 he removed with his parents to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he received his early education. He entered the Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, graduating in the class of 1846. After leaving college he studied law in Cincinnati and was admitted to the bar in 1850. Coming to Iowa in 1856, Mr. Leake opened a law office at Davenport. In 1861 he was elected to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives at the extra session of the Eighth General Assembly in 1861. He was elected to the Senate of the Ninth General Assembly, serving at the regular and extra sessions, when he resigned to enter the army. Mr. Leake was commissioned captain of Company G, and was soon promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the Twentieth Regiment of Volunteers. He participated in the Battle of Prairie Grove, where he commanded the regiment. Soon after his command was transferred to the Army of the Tennessee, and after the fall of Vicksburg the Twentieth Regiment joined the Army of the Gulf in the Mobile campaign. Colonel Leake was taken prisoner at the Battle of Bayou Fordoche, remaining in a Confederate prison until July, 1864. In 1865 he was brevetted Brigadier-General for conspicuous services and was mustered out in July of the same year. Upon his return to Iowa, General Leake was again elected to the State Senate of the Eleventh General Assembly where he was chairman of the judiciary committee. Later he occupied several positions of trust in his home city and county. Early in the seventies General Leake removed to Chicago, where in 1879 he was appointed by the President, United States Attorney for the District of Northern Illinois, serving until 1884. From 1887 to 1891 he was the attorney for the Chicago Board of Education; and he has filled the position of Commander of the Legion of Honor of Illinois.