Carroll County
By Fay Freed Christian
Contributed by Alice Horner (From the Goodly Heritage)

Fay Christian - Mount Carroll's oldest businessman, who will be 90 in 1976 (the time of this writing).
His is the only business on Market Street that is still operated by the original owner.

The Early history of Carroll County, Illinois, beginning about 1830, coincides with an interesting background in Washington County Maryland. An article appeared in the National Geographical magazine of July, 1935 to the effect that within the border of the State of Pennsylvania at the close of the American Revolutionary War, there were more people born of white parents than in any other state of the union. There were nearly a million more then in the State of New York, its closest rival, altho the population of the Empire State was approximately three million greater as it included races of all colors and nationalities.

There was a mass migration to the territories. South and West, at the end of the War. The first large number moved thru the Shenandoah Valley into North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. A large group moved from Berks County, Pennsylvania, to Maryland where they established the borough of Boonsboro in Washington County, about the beginning of the 19th Century. In the early 1800's this was the migration that carried the Lincolns, Boones, Caldwells, Calhouns, Prestons, Christians, Rutledges, Breckenridges, (to say nothing of the large group of Lutherans, Dunkards and Menonites) to Carroll and Jo Davies and other chosen locations in northern Illinois, a new State as of 1818.

Daniel Christian, Jr., a veteran of the War of 1812, with his wife, Christiana, and five sons and four daughters, was in that migration from Boonsboro in 1826. The following year Daniel Christian, Sr., a veteran of the Revolutionary War, aged 75, accompanied by a grandson and two grandaughters, arrived to join his son and family. Both father and son remained in Mt. Carroll Township and were buried in Oak Hill Cemetery at their death. Eight generations of this family have claimed their residence to be in Mt. Carroll Township, Carroll County Illinois. This may set a record in the County, or even in the State. The Preston-Downing family, with seven generations living hereabouts, woud be second oldest family in the Township.

The first home built in Mt. Carroll Township and the birthplace of Fay Christian
Five generations of Christians lived in this house which stood to the left (South of the top of Creamery Hill)

Daniel Christian Sr. and Daniel Christian Jr., were personal friends of Daniel Boone ever since all were living at Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, and later at Boonsboro, Maryland. The families were related by marriage - by affinity - thus their migration was influenced by friendship and a mutual relationship. They came overland by ox teams and covered wagons to the Prairie State of Illinois. Others came from the same regions - the Nikirks, Nymans, Etnynes, Embicks, Gelwicks, Beelers and Hibargers. The Freeds, Aikins, Feezers, Carrolls, Hurleys and many others, all pioneers and all ready to build a new life in the wilderness.

The first group that established themselves in Mt. Carroll Township was the Jacobstown area, about two miles west of the present location of Mt. Carroll. After the building of the flour mill the settlement of Jacobstown no longer existed. Mt. Carroll was a non-existent village in 1837. The Black Hawk War ended in 1838 so it was considered safe to settle here. Galena was a prosperous city with a fortification that had provided a refuge during the Indian hostilities.

In 1837 a Mill Site Company planned to locate on Waukarusha Creek as it was too inconvenient to drive forty miles to Galena for flour, calico and other necessary supplies. About 1840, the Mill Site Company owned by Messers. Christian, Hitt, Mathews, and Swagert, was purchased by an eastern firm and the flour mill was erected. Many newcomers were attracted to settling in the region of the mill as it was centrally located besides having the advantages of many cold water springs and abundant pasturage for livestock. Soon a hotel, copper shop, blacksmith shop, etc. were built.

In 1842 the village was incorporated and named Mount Carroll after Charles Carroll or Carrollton, one of the fifty-six signers of teh Declaration of Independence. He had died on November 14, 1832, at the age of 95. His home was Baltimore Maryland. The city of Mt. Carroll as we know it today, has a magnificent history of 134 years to its credit.

The pioneers brought only the absolute necessities of life with them; kitchen utensils, useful articles of furniture, wooden plows, grain cradle, etc. They did not forget sharp axes, mauls and wedges needed to clear the land of forest trees, build log cabins and split rails for fences. Livestock had to be protected from the depredation of roving wolf packs as well as other dangers.

Wild game was very plentiful in this area; deer, buffalo, grouse, prairie chickens, wild pegeons, and many kinds of edible fish from the streams and rivers. The early pioneers were endowed with skills beyond the average, and they needed, and used, every one just to exist.

Later with the coming of the railroad, the automobile and vast network of cement roads, telephones and other modern facilities, Mount Carroll is connected with the rest of the world; but the early pioneers had to have faith, self confidence, integrity, perseverance and courage in order to achieve their cherished aims and purposes for future generations. It is for us to carry on where our ancestors left off, to honor and be inspired by their thrilling existance in the wilderness, and to be everlastingly grateful for their sacrifices and examples of industry and character.

Daniel Christian IV and his wife Catherine Etnyre Christian
Left Carroll County and migrated to Oregon

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