Dayton resident William Stadden was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1836 and served for four years, representing La Salle, Iroquois, and Kane counties. He served at the same time that Abraham Lincoln was serving in the Illinois House of Representatives. In the Senate, Stadden was on the committee on canal and canal lands, where his familiarity with the Illinois & Michigan canal, and the feeder from Dayton to Ottawa, might be useful.
In 1847, Illinois needed to revise its first constitution to meet the needs of a growing population and a constitutional convention was convened. William Stadden was one of two delegates from La Salle County to the convention, where he served on the revenue committee. The convention met in June, 1847, and spent nearly three months devising a new instrument; the following March its work was ratified by a large majority of the voters; and on April 1, 1848, it became operative. William Stadden was able to see the new constitution become law before he died the following November.
Additional biographical information on William Stadden may be found here.