Carroll County Biographies

Mount Carroll Township

Christian S. Dennis, an old and well-known settler of Carroll County, owns and occupies a fine farm on section 24, in Mt. Carroll Township. He comes of Pennsylvania stock, and his paternal grandfather was closely identified with, and became one of, the victims subsequently of the atrocious massacre of Wyoming. This grandfather, whose name was john dennis, lived with his wife near Shamokin at time of the massacre, and during the trouble, he and his wife, taking their two little boys, made their escape to middletown, Dauphin County. They tied a feather bed on the back of a cow, and on it tied the two little boys, and traveld by night along the banks of the Susquehanna River until they reached Middletown, where quite a number of their relatives were living. After awhile, when he supposed the troubles to be over, the father went back alone, to secure some of his property which was left behind, and he was never seen again, having undoubtedly been killed by the Indians. One of the little boys who wer rescued in that manner was the father of Mr. Dennis, and was named John. He remained in Dauphin county all his lifetime, but the other brother went to Ohio. John Dennis married Mary Heptich, who was also born in PA and became the father of five boys and five girls. He was a cabinet-maker by trade, and worked at that until his death, which occurred in 1838 at the age of 64. His wife died in 1831, at the age of 45.

Our subject was the youngest of his parents children born Jan. 26, 1826 at Middletown, Dauphin County PA where he spent the first 8 years of his life. He was then taken, with his brother, to live with an uncle in Franklin County PA and there remained on his uncle's farm until he was 17 years of age. his opportunities for education were quite limited, most of his schooling being obtained during the first eight years of his life, he then only attending during a few weeks in the winter. At the age of 17 he was apprenticed to learn the trade of carpenter in Franklin County wiht a man who had married his cousin. Upon completing his apprenticeship, he returned to Middletown, where he worked at his trade for a couple of years. Then he removed to Harrisburg, and helped to put up the Cumerland Valley Railroad bridge across teh Susquehanna River, and was engaged on that work one and one-half years. His next work wsa on the PA Central Railroad bridge, five miles further up the river, and on that he was employed a year and a half, subsequently working on other and smaller bridges in that locality.

On completing his labors in Dauphin County our subject returned to Franklin County PA working at his trade there during the ensuing winter. On April 10, 1851, he left Franklin County for the West, going to Lawrenceburg, Ind., where he remained six weeks. Thence he went by steamer up the Ohio to Cincinnati, where he took passage on a packet-boat for St. louis, and from that place started for Glanea IL, but landed at Savanna on June 10, 1851; his whole worldly possessions being a good suit of clothes, a chest of carpenters tools, and 25 cents in money. Finding it impossible to procure work at his trade in that place, he went to work in the harvest field. In the fall he procured amployment as carpenter, and helped to build the first frame bridge between Mt. Carroll and Savanna, on Plum RIver. In 1853 he did the carpenter work on the First Presbyterian Church at Mt. Carroll; the first church erected in the county. Thereafter he worked more or less steadily at his trade until 1857, when he bought and removed to a farm, and since that time has divided his attention between farming and carpentering. This farm he sold, and bought another one, and selling that also, he bought his present home, on which he has lived since December 1867. His eldest son carries on the farm, while the father still works occassionally at his trade.

March 14, 1855 he was married to Miss Susan Dulybon, a daughter of Benjamin and Matilda (Seaburn) Dulybon and a native of Franklin County PA. Mrs. Dennis was the 2nd child in a familyof 8 and was born Nov. 13, 1832. Her life previous to her marriage was spent at her home in Franklin County, where she first became acquainted with her future husband, and her education was secured in the district school at Loudon, in her native county. Of her union with Mr. Dennis five children have been born, three sons and two daughters. The eldest daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, lives with her father and takes charge of his home. George P. is married to ALice Dulybon, and lives in Iowa, they have three children; John C. is married to Lizzie Clevidence, lives in Colorado and has two children; Edward M. is unmarried, and lives with his father; Laura May is attending the Mt. Carroll Seminary and expects to graduate in two years.

Mr. Dennis has occupied a prominent position in the local affairs of this township; has been School Director eleven years, and for seven years Road Commissioner, when he refused to serve longer. He is a member of the Carroll County Old Settlers Association and of the Home Insurance Co., and an esteemed member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics he is a stanch Republican. His farm contains 160 acres and is located three miles south of Mt. Carroll. In addition to his general farming he is interested in the breeding of horses and has some very fine Norman colts. The buildings on Mr. Dennis's farm are unusually fine, and are all the result of his own handiwork. They attract attention from every passerby, and are a credit to the county. As one of the original settlers of Mt. Carroll Township, he will long be remembered, and his genial and companionable manners have endeared him to all with whom he comes in contact.

Portraits & Biographical Carroll County 1889 Pg 867

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