He was born in Libertyville, Iowa, on June 25, 1841 and attended the Nebraska state normal school. He moved to Peru, Nebraska in 1860 and entered the Union Army in June 1861 as a first lieutenant of Company C, First Regiment, Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. He served successively as captain, major, and lieutenant colonel of that regiment and was mustered out June 15, 1866.
He was a member of the last Nebraska Territorial council in 1866, and its equivalent after Nebraska was accepted as a state, the first Nebraska State senate, from 1867 to 1869. He was appointed assessor of internal revenue for the Nebraska district in 1869 until the offices of collector and assessor were merged into one.
He was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth United States Congress as the second member of Nebraska's house congressional delegation. He did not present his credentials and was not seated as the house only recognized Nebraska as having one representative. When the recognized representative, Frank Welch, died, he ran and subsequently was elected. He was elected to both the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh United States Congresses again as the second member of the delegation, but the House, on February 24, 1883, disallowed Nebraska's claim to an additional Member and refused to seat him.
He returned to Nebraska and became the director of Citizens' State Bank of Peru. He was elected to the Nebraska State House of Representatives in 1889, and became the sixth Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska from 1891 to 1895 serving under three different Governors John Milton Thayer, James E. Boyd and Lorenzo Crounse. He ran for Governor of Nebraska in 1894 against Silas A. Holcomb, but lost. He then served as a member and president of the State board of education. He died in Peru on July 11, 1932 and was buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery, Peru.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 1st congressional district
November 5, 1878 – March 3, 1879
Edward K. Valentine
George D. Meiklejohn
| Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
1891 – 1895
Robert E. Moore