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 by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

ANDREW BRISBEN has devoted the greater part of his life to agricultural pursuits, but is now living retired in Pana, in the enjoyment of a rest which he has truly earned and well deserves. He was born in Chester County, Pa., August 18, 1815, and is a son of John and Jane (McNeal) Brisben. On the paternal side he is of Irish, and on the maternal side of Scotch, descent. His paternal grandfather never left the Emerald Isle. John Brisben, who was there born, came to America, an orphan boy of seven years, and settled in Chester County, Pa., where he learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed during the greater part of his life.

In 1818 he removed to Ohio, and after a few years spent in Harrison County went to Tuscarawas County, where he made his home until 186,5. That year witnessed his arrival in Illinois, and on the 1st of November he settled in Christian County, on a farm two miles east of Pana, where he died in 1873, at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife passed away in 1872, at the age of eighty-six.

They were members of the Presbyterian Church. The Brisben family numbered seven children, two sons and five daughters, but only two are now living: Margaret Ann, widow of Jacob Huston, of Urichville, Ohio  [ed., probably Uhrichsville]; and Andrew, of this sketch, who was only three years of age when his parents removed to the Buckeye State, where he was reared and educated. He learned the blacksmith's trade with his father, and followed that pursuit for several years. Under the parental roof he remained until he had attained his majority, and even after his marriage he continued on the home farm for some time. At length he opened a blacksmith shop in Urichville, where he carried on business for some fifteen years.

On the 23d of April, 1837, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Brisben and Miss Rebecca, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Rippeth) Price, who then resided in Ohio, but were natives of Virginia. Fourteen children were born of this union, but several died in infancy. Sarah Jane and William G. died in childhood.

John P., who resides in Lyons, Kan., married Belle Messer, and they have one son, John. Mary B. is the wife of Emanuel Johns, of Washington, by whom she has five children now living, namely: Charles, Belle, Carrie, Helen and Victor E. Alice, deceased, was the wife of Gus Brown, of Taylorville, by whom she had four sons, two yet living, Bert W. and Milton O. Carrie completes the family. Mrs. Brisben, the mother, died on the 19th of July, 1891, at the age of seventy-one years. She was a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church and a lady whose many excellencies of character gained her a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Her son John was a soldier of the late war. He belonged to the Ninety-eighth Ohio Infantry and participated in many hard-fought battles. He enlisted as Corporal and was mustered out with the rank of Captain. After the war he served for twelve years as a civil engineer in Shelby County.

Mr. Brisben of this sketch has been a resident of Christian County since 1865. He located upon a farm near Pana, and there successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, making his home at that place until after the death of his wife. At length he retired from active business life, rented his land and removed to the city.

In politics, he is a supporter of the Democracy. He was elected and served as Highway Commissioner one term, and was Township Collector in 1868. In 1889 he was elected Justice of the Peace, which position he still holds. Socially, he is a member of Pana Lodge No. 226, A. F. & A. M., and for many years has been a member of the Presbyterian Church, in the work of which he is actively interested. Mr. Brisben has been the architect of his own fortune, and has builded wisely and well.



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