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.

WILLIAM W. BAILEY, one of the early settlers of Illinois, and a representative farmer, residing on section 35, Rosamond Township, has here lived since 1867. His farm comprises two hundred acres of rich land, which was but slightly improved twenty-five years ago, but which he has transformed into rich and fertile fields. The little house which was upon it at the time of his purchase has been replaced by a substantial and tasty farm residence, which he erected in 1882 at a cost of $4,000.

The owner of this desirable place was born in Springfield, Essex County, N. J., June 21, 1812, and is a son of David W. Bailey, who was also a native of New Jersey. The grandfather, Abram Bailey, was of Welsh descent. When a young man, David Bailey engaged in the manufacture of nails, afterward carried on a shoe shop, and later operated a gristmill. He married Elizabeth Vreeland, who was born in New Jersey and was of Dutch descent. Their marriage was celebrated in Essex County, and there they spent their entire lives. Unto them were born nine children, five sons and four daughters, of whom our subject is third in order of birth.

W. W. Bailey acquired his education in the subscription schools of his native State, and at the age of twenty started out in life for himself. Since that time he has made his own way in the world. He began earning a livelihood by working at the carpenter's trade, which he followed for some years. In 1835 he emigrated to Greene County, Ill., and aided in building the town of Jerseyville. During his residence there he helped divide Greene and Jersey Counties and to establish Jerseyville as the county seat of the latter. He became Trustee of the town and was one of its prominent and influential citizens. Some of the first houses erected in that place were his handiwork, many of its important buildings were put up by him, and he was largely interested in property there for many years.

In 1843 Mr. Bailey was united in marriage with Mary A. Parker, a native of Hartford, Conn., who removed to Jerseyville when a little child. She died in 1874. Nine children had been born to them: John C., who served as Sergeant during the late war and is now deceased; Mary, widow of Rev. C. T. Deering, a Congregational minister; W. W., who served as one of the boys in blue and now resides in Bates City, Mo.; David W., of Leadville, Colo.; Laura, who died in infancy; Laura P., Lottie I. and Charles S., all at home; and one who died in infancy.

Mr. Bailey came direct to Christian County in 1867, and has since lived upon the farm which is now his home. In politics, he has always been a stalwart Republican. During the late war he tried to enter the army, but was not accepted on account of his age.

Although he has always taken an active part in political affairs, he has never been an office-seeker, and though once elected Constable he refused to serve. He was made a Mason in Morning Sun Lodge No. 47, and later became a charter member of Darsey Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Jerseyville. When he started out in life he was a poor boy, but he was ambitious and industrious, and he determined to win a foremost place among those with whom he should cast his lot. To this resolution he steadily adhered, and in the legitimate channels of business through well-directed efforts and perseverance he has acquired a competency which places him among Christian County's substantial citizens.



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