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, p. 272.  Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

MARION C. BRENTZ, who resides just outside the city limits of Taylorville, where he is engaged in the culture of small fruits, has spent his entire life in this community, Christian being his native county, and he is a worthy representative of one of the pioneer families. His father, William C. Brentz, was born in Kentucky, April 16, 1814, and was the sixth of seven sons. His father died in Kentucky, and his widowed mother with her seven sons and one daughter came to Illinois, locating in Christian County at an early day.

Upon the home farm William Brentz was reared to manhood, and there spent his entire life. He was married July 10, 1853, to Patience Durbin, but lost his wife on the 29th of May, 1854. He was then married, on the 16th of November, 1856, to Mary A. Martin, also a native of Kentucky. They continued to reside on the old homestead until the death of Mr. Brentz, which occurred February 3, 1861.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brentz were born four children: Alice, who died at the age of fourteen; Alma, who died in infancy; William A. and Marion C.

William A. was born August 26, 1858, and died on the old homestead in September, 1879, soon after his twenty-first birthday. His death resulted from a knife-cut inflicted by Frank Trailer, a cousin, who later on was convicted for the offense. A quarrel arose between them over a collision of buggies, and the result was as above stated. It was thought that companions of Trailer bore an old grudge against William and took this opportunity to get even. His cousin served one year in the penitentiary and died soon after his release.

After Mr. Brentz's death his widow became the wife of Dennis O. Johnson, of Sangamon County, who came to Christian County and here died September 21, 1873, at the age of fifty years. The mother of our subject was called to her final rest on the 7th of December, 1876. By her second marriage she had eight children, four of whom were living at her death. Thomas, a young man of nineteen years, now resides in Taylorville.

In taking up the life record of Marion Brentz, we give to our readers the history of one who is widely and favorably known in this community. He was born on the old home farm April 14, 1861, after his father's death. Midst work and play his boyhood days were passed, and after the death of his brother he carried on the farm, keeping the family of three children together. The farm is located just south of Taylorville, and comprises two hundred and twenty acres of land. They also owned two other tracts of forty acres each, but these were sold.

On the death of Mrs. Johnson, her brother, A. S. Martin, was appointed guardian, and continued to superintend the estate until our subject became of age. In 1888, Mr. Brentz left the old homestead, but he still owns a part of the farm. He has eleven acres of rich land where he now lives and forty-six acres of the old place. About seven acres are planted in small fruits, and he is giving his special attention to horticulture.

On the 1st of May, 1882, Mr. Brentz was united in marriage with Miss Helen Killman, daughter of George Killman, of Kentucky. Her mother, who bore the maiden name of Matilda Newman, is now a widow, and resides in Taylorville, where she has made her home since 1880.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brentz was born a son, Francis Marion, who died January 14, 1889, at the age of three and a-half years; another little son, whom they call Herman, was born May 28, 1893. This worthy couple are highly respected citizens of the community, and their many excellencies of character have gained them numerous friends. In politics, Mr. Brentz is a Democrat, and himself and wife hold membership with the Christian Church.

 
 

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