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, p231.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

W.R. BEAMAN, who owns a good farm on section 16, Greenwood Township, has given his main attention to agricultural pursuits since boyhood, and is one of the successful farmers of the county. He was born in Owen County, Ind., November 5, 1833, and is a son of James Beaman. His grandfather, Samuel Beaman, was born in North Carolina, as was also his son. He went as a pioneer to Indiana, which was then a wilderness, and made a farm in the heavy timberland. There he passed his remaining years and died on the old farm.

James Beaman, father of our subject, located in Indiana with his parents in boyhood and managed to obtain a good education. He afterwards engaged in teaching, and was noted as a fine penman. He was one of three boys who constituted the family. In later years he became a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church, and for a quarter of a century was an itinerant preacher and laborer in the Master's vineyard. He is still living, at the age of eighty-two years, on the old Indiana farm where our subject was reared. He married Lydia Helm, a native of Kentucky, who removed with her parents to the Hoosier State at an early day. She is now deceased. Her eldest son. Calvin, lives in the southwestern part of Missouri; George W., who was for three years in an Illinois regiment, resides near Ft. Scott, Kan.; Samuel is a farmer of Greenwood Township; Jacob B. lives on the same farm as his father; Elihu resides near the old home in Indiana; James F., who is a minister of the Baptist Church in Douglas County, Ill., was educated at Ladoga, Ind., and is a leading minister of his denomination; John T. is a farmer of Oklahoma; Rachel Goff lives in Christian County; Sarah Goff is deceased; Elizabeth Meek is a resident of Indiana; and Nancy Jane, now Mrs. Burton, lives in southern Missouri. The father of these children was for a great many years a Justice of the Peace and School Trustee. He was formerly a Whig and in later years a Democrat.

W. R. Beaman grew to manhood among pioneer surroundings. The farm was covered with rock and stumps, and the home was a hewed-log house with doors and floors of lumber cut with an old whipsaw. After learning what he could in the district schools, he went, when nineteen years old, to Franklin (Ind.) College, to pursue his studies further, and there took a scientific course. After two years spent in college, he returned home and taught school for a time and also clerked in a store. In 1854, he went to Montgomery County, Ill., and taught there and in Bond and Fayette Counties. Thence he went to Nodaway County, Mo., where he was engaged in teaching, and was also thus employed for some time in Kansas. The border-ruffian war caused him to return from the West, but in 1860 he made two trips across the plains with freight by ox-teams to Pike's Peak. Though this business was paying, he was obliged to give it up on account of the hostile Indians.

In 1862, Mr. Beaman returned to Christian County, and taught school until 1865. He then began farming during the summers though he engaged in teaching during the winter months, and has lived since that time on his present farm, sixty acres of which he bought in 1865. He has continued to improve and develop the place, which he has brought under good improvement. He owns three tracts, one of one hundred and sixty-four acres and the others of eighty acres each.

In 1859, Mr. Beaman married in Montgomery County Mary Jane Landers, who was born and reared in that county, where her family were early residents. Mr. and Mrs. Beaman are the parents of the following children: James L., who married Miss Hall and lives on a farm in this township; Laura B., wife of Mr. Livergood, of Stonington; Osta Estelle, wife of Charles Oller, now living on the home farm; Sina, wife of William Shafer, of Greenwood Township; George Herman, who lives on the home farm; Eva and William Grant. They were all reared on the home farm and educated in the public schools. Laura was a successful teacher of this county until her marriage.

In 1856, Mr. Beaman deposited his first Presidential ballot for Fremont, and has since been a true-blue Republican. In the canvass of 1859 he had the pleasure of hearing a speech by Abraham Lincoln. He has held several local offices and has been Township Clerk. He is a reliable business man and good citizen of the county, having always been alive to its best interests.



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