Benjamin S. Edwards was born on June 3, 1818 in Edwardsville, Illinois, the son of Ninian Edwards, who was governor of the Illinois Territory 1809-1818 and Governor of Illinois 1826-1830. Edwards was educated at Yale University, graduating in 1838. He then spent a year reading law with Stephen T. Logan, before being admitted to the bar of Illinois in March 1840.
Edwards practiced law for three years, and then, in 1843, set up a law partnership with John T. Stuart that would ultimately last forty years. His law practice would bring him into regular contact with Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Edward Dickinson Baker, Jesse B. Thomas, and other prominent Illinois lawyers. Edwards gained a reputation as an excellent attorney.Benjamin S. Edwards in Wikipedia