HON. N. W. BRANSON, attorney, Petersburg; one of the most prominent of the Menard Co. bar; was born in Jacksonville May 20, 1837; his parents were natives of Kentucky; his boyhood and youth were distinguished by the same energy and attention to study that have marked his subsequent life and contributed so much to his success; after a preparatory course of study, he entered Illinois College, where he graduated in 1857, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts; his taste led him to choose the legal profession, and at the conclusion of his college course he began the study of law in the office of David A. Smith, of a Jacksonville; he was admitted to the bar in January, 1860, and began the practice of his profession at Petersburg the same year; here his knowledge of the law, his ready adaptation to business and his habits of close application rapidly gained for him a high professional standing at the bar and wide influence in the community; in 1867, he was appointed by Chief Justice Chase Register in Bankruptcy for the Ninth Congressional District of Illinois, which position he held for a number of years. In his political convictions, Mr. Branson has always been identified with the Republican party, and ever since its organization he has been an enthusiastic supporter of its principles; in 1872, he received the Republican nomination for Representative in the Legislature, and was elected to that office; upon taking his seat, he became an active member of the body, and served two sessions as Chairman of the Committee on State Institutions, contributing much by his energy to the furtherance of action on subjects which came under the attention of him committee, as well as to the general course of legislative proceedings; his course in the Legislature gave him increased popularity, and he was again elected in 1874; in 1876, he was a delegate to the National Republican Convention at Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Branson was married Feb. 21, 1861, to Fanny D., daughter of Dr. Francis and Ann S. (Goldsmith) Regnier, of Petersburg. As a lawyer of ability and integrity, a citizen of usefulness and honor, all classes of the community unite in giving him their confidence.