genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893.  Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

JOHN TILLSON ANDERSON, a contractor and builder of Taylorville, has spent his entire life in Illinois, his native State. He was born in Montgomery County, on the 22d of October, 1830, and is the eighth in order of birth in a family of fifteen children, all of whom were reared to maturity, but only four are now living.

The parents were George H. and Nancy (Mann) Anderson, the former a native of Virginia, and the latter of Tennessee. Their marriage was celebrated in North Carolina, and for some years they lived in Kentucky. About 1827 they came to Illinois, locating in Montgomery County.

Our subject was reared to manhood upon the home farm, and educated in the district schools of the neighborhood. He remained under the parental roof until after his father's death, when he started out in life for himself. He had learned the carpenter's trade with his father, who was a carpenter as well as a farmer, and followed the dual occupation.

At the age of twenty-four, Mr. Anderson whose name heads this record went to Hillsboro, Ill., and at once began contracting and building. There he carried on business until 1862, which year witnessed his arrival in Christian County. He located in May Township, seven miles southeast of Taylorville, and for five years engaged in operating a rented farm.

In 1867 he came to this city and at once resumed contracting and building, which he has carried on continuously since, with the exception of three years. In 1875 he purchased a furniture store, which he conducted until 1880, when he resumed operations in his present line. He contracts for all classes of buildings, both brick and frame, and has erected a large part of the brick blocks around the square. He employs an average of six men, a fact which indicates that he is enjoying a liberal trade.

We now turn from the business life to the private life of Mr. Anderson, and note that on the 5th of September, 1854, in Montgomery County, Ill., when twenty-four years of age, he was united in marriage with Rachel Easley. She died February 1, 1867, leaving two children: Jennie, now the wife of Jacob Ballet, a hardware merchant of Edinburgh; and Laura, wife of Anson Simpson, a teacher now employed in Foreman, N. Dak. [ed., probably Forman, N.D.]

Mr. Anderson was again married, January 25, 1870, his second union being with Sarah E., daughter of Alfred E. Boyd, a pioneer of Christian County, who had settled near Palmer at an early day. By the second marriage there have been born two sons and a daughter: Walter H., who is now bookkeeper for the Taylorville Coal Company; George Burton, who is with T. B. Kraft, a plumber; and Addie, a maiden of fifteen, who is still with her parents.

Mr. Anderson has always been a stalwart supporter of Democratic principles, but is not strictly partisan. Socially, he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was reared in the faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, uniting with that organization at the age of sixteen, and is now serving as Elder of his congregation, and has done so over twenty years. Straightforward and honorable in all his business dealings, and true to every private trust, his upright life has gained him universal confidence, and the record of such a man we gladly present to our readers.  

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