Carroll County Biographies


Joseph C. Christian, one of the representative and leading farmers of Mt. Carroll Township, resides on section 1, where he has one of the finest farms in this part of the county. His farm is thoroughly fenced, and otherwise well improved; his residence is commodious and comfortable, and his out-buildings ample for all farm purposes. Especially is his barn a model one, fitted with every appliance to lighten labor and reduce the work of running the farm to a minimum. He comes of an old Maryland family, his father, Daniel Christian, having been a native of Washington County, and his mother, whose maiden name was Christiana Arnsbarger, a native of Frederick County, in that State. They settled in Washington County after their marriage and lived there until 1838, when they removed to Carroll County, Ill., settling on the place which is now owned by our subject, and there they both spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1848 and the mother in 1870. They were the parents of ten children, five sons and five daughters.

The subject of this sketch was born April 8, 1837 in Washington County MD and was eleven years of age when his parents removed to Carroll County. His education was received in the common schools of the county, which, with the exception of a few years spent on the Pacific Coast, has ever since been his home. In 1850, at the height of the gold fever, he went to California overland, and remained there eighteen months engaged in mining and then returned to his home in this county. On the renewal of the excitement in California and Oregon, in 1862, he made another trip to those States and spent the year in prospecting, but again returned to his home in Carroll County, which he has never since left.

Mr. Christian has been twice married, first on May 8, 1856 to Miss Elizabeth C. Freed, of Mt. Carroll, a daughter of Daniel Freed, her mother's maiden name being Catherine Stonecipher. This union was blessed by the birth of eight children, all living save two. Sameda, the eldest of the family, died at the age of four years; Etha is living with her father; Lizzie Belle is the wife of Luther Green of Manilla, Iowa; Lena, who was the wife of Clarence Race (Ross?), died at her home in Chicago last winter; May is the wife of John Smith of Carroll Township; Herbert, who married Miss Mary Tipton, lives on the home farm; Ralph is unmarried, and Amy is the wife of William Mullen, a resident of Chicago. The mother of this interesting family died in Carroll Township, May 14, 1868. (Cemetery Reading indicates her death on May 31, 1868).

The second marriage of our subject was contracted Nov. 22, 1870 at Sharpsburg, MD, his bride being Mrs. William Marker, whose maiden name had been Miss Mary Highbarger, a daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Bowers) Highbarger, all natives of Washington County MD, where the parents lived all their lifetime, both dying in that county. The father had been a wagon-maker and barn builder by trade and was well known in the place and vicinity where he lived. Mr. and Mrs. Christian are the happy parents of three children - Luvia, Hattie and an infant unnamed. All the chilren are bright and intelligent, and show the evidence of careful home-training. The wife and mother is a model housekeeper and their home is one of culture and comfort. In the society of the township, Mrs. Christian takes a leading part, for which she is well fitted by nature and education. Mrs. Christian by her first marriage had one child, a son, Charles V. Marker, who married Miss Susan Soule, daughter of the Rev. H.L. Soule and they reside in Canton, Lincoln Co Dakota, where he is engaged in the hardware business. Mr. William Marker, the first husband of Mrs. Christian, departed this life Dec. 7, 1864 in Sharpsburg MD. They have two children deceased.

Our subject has, since the beginning of the organization of the Republican party, been one of its stanch supporters, but has always avoided holding a public office, preferring the quietude of his own home to the turmoil of politics. At the time of his first marriage he engaged in farming on the home place, and he has ever since been noted as one of the successful and prosperous agriculturists of the township, having a fine farm of 199 acres and engaging somewhat in stock-raising, as well as in general farming. The marked success he has met with in life is a just tribute to the industry and intelligence of the man himself, who has ever been noted for his sound judgment and for a character without stain and above reproach.

Portrait and Biographical Carroll County 1889 Pg 813
Photo contributed by Paul Christian

The era was gold, 1850. Gold became the dream of many a soul in Mt. Carroll. After the financial panic in 1837, gold was the currency of choice. My 2nd great Grandfather Joseph C. CHristian was not spared this "gold bug" and what follows are accounts of his trip to the California gold fields. An 1850 census lists him at Placerville California in November 1850, occupation miner. - Paul Christian

The Mumma Party

In the Mumma party was Joe Christian who was the proprietor of the the transportation facilities; Abe Beeler; Billy powers, a lead miner who loved at the Mansion House, kept at that time by George Hollinger; and George Hay, then quite a young man, who was enabled to go with this gold seeking party through the assistance of his uncle, Peter Hay, a lead miner who came here from the Galena lead mines. He was the father of the present superintendent of schools, John Hay and William J. Hay, for many years supervisor from Woodland township and chairman of the County Board.

George Hay had stated to friends many interesting incidents of this trip across the continent. On their way out he said, they were obliged to stop three different times to let the immense herds of buffalo go by, as it was not safe to cross their trail while they were in motion, which seemed to be day and night for two or three days in succession; he said not only thousands but a million or more sssmed to be in the procession. On the overland trip their horses gave out and they were obliged to buy oxen and when they got to the Sierra mountains, the last mountain range they had to cross, they were reduced to such straits, that they traded the whole outfit, except what they could carry, for a sack of flour. Then they trudged along over the mountains on foot; a weary tramp it was.

Contributed by Paul Christian
Newton Bateman, P.S. (1913). Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County Vol II. Chicago; Munsel Publishing Company Page 670.

Early Carroll County History
Written by Fay Freed Christian
Son of Herbert J. & Mary (Tipton) Christian

Patents held by Fay Freed Christian

Eight Generations

Joseph C. Christian Biography
Son of Daniel & Christiana (Arnsbarger) Christian Jr.

Kindergarten Days of Paul Fay Christian
Grandson of Fay Freed & Laura (Gillogly) Christian

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