Born in what is now West Virginia Lewis Steenrod attended the public schools of his home. After a subsequent law degree in 1835 and its recent approval as a lawyer, he began to work in Wheeling in this profession. At the same time he proposed as a member of the Democratic Party launched a political career. In the congressional elections of 1838, he was in the 19th electoral district of Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of Archibald Stuart on March 4, 1839. After two re- election he was able to complete in Congress until March 3, 1845 three legislative periods. From 1841 to 1843 he represented there the 21th and the 15th District since 1843 his state. The period since 1841 was overshadowed by the tensions between President John Tyler and the Whigs. It was also at that time already been discussed about a possible annexation of the independent Republic of Texas since 1836 by Mexico.
After the end of his time in the U.S. House of Representatives Lewis Steenrod again practiced as a lawyer. From 1853 to 1856 he sat in the Senate of Virginia. He died on October 3, 1862 near Wheeling.