Congressman J. Dennis Hastert (R-Elgin) was president of the Illinois State Society of Washington, DC from 1992 to 1994. In 1999, the Illinois State Society hosted a special reception at the Library of Congress to honor Hastert on his election as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as Speaker until his retirement in 2007. Congressman Hastert was the third Speaker from Illinois and the third who was an active leader of the Illinois club in DC. From 1933 to 1934, the Speaker of the House was Henry T. Rainey (D-Carrolton) who served only one important year during the first year of FDR's New Deal Administration. Speaker Rainey and his wife were both very active in the Illinois State Society and Mrs. Rainey was the historian. Henry Thomas Rainey was born in Greene County, on August 20, 1860, attended Knox College in Galesburg, and graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1883 and the Union College of Law in Chicago in 1885 (now called Northwestern University School of Law). He was admitted to the Illinois bar that same year. He returned to Carrollton to serve as master in Chancery for Greene County from 1887 until 1895. At the age of 42, he was elected to Congress, representing the southwestern Illinois counties south of Springfield and north of Alton. As noted elsewhere on this page, Joseph Gurney Cannon, called "Uncle Joe" Cannon (R-Danville), was the 44th Speaker of House from 1903 to 1911. Cannon was involved in many controversies with younger House Republicans who thought he was too dictatorial in his methods and he often feuded with President Tedddy Roosevelt. The Cannon House Office Buiding is named for Uncle Joe. Cannon served a total of 40 non-consecutive years in the House. For a sample of major cabinet members from Illinois, please click here.