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.

SAMUEL BROWN, who is now living a retired life in Taylorville, was born in Cumberland County, Pa., two miles from Carlisle, February 26, 1818. His father, George Brown, removed to Ohio with his family in 1831, and in 1845 went to Shelby County, Ill. About 1854 he left Taylorville and went to Bloomington, where his death occurred in 1857.

Samuel accompanied the family to the Buckeye State in 1831, and with his father learned the shoemaker's trade. Ere leaving Ohio, he was married, on the 31st of March, 1839, in Mt. Vernon, to Miss Margaret Sapp, and the following year started Westward with a desire to try his fortune on the broad prairies of Illinois.

He cast in his lot with the early settlers of Shelby County, and there purchased a small tract of land. In those days trade was mostly barter. Mr. Brown operated his farm in Cold Spring Township, which was situated a mile and a half north of Williamsburg, until the autumn of 1846, when he began working for James C. Morrison, a tanner. He worked that winter at Mr. Morrison's home, and the next spring he opened the first shoe shop in Taylorville.

Since that early day he has been prominently connected with the various interests of this city. Mr. Morrison's was the only tannery in the locality. Our subject formed a partnership with that gentleman, and together they carried on business for one year, after which the connection was discontinued and Mr. Brown was in business alone until 1852.

In 1852, our subject resumed farming, which he followed for two years. In 1854, he went West to Nebraska, but the Indians still held that country and he could not enter land until May, 1855. While waiting at Mormons' Ferry [ed., North Mormon Ferry], on the Missouri River, he lost his wife, who was called to her final rest in January, 1855. However, he continued his journey, and, crossing the river, made a claim on Rock Creek, of which he took possession in May. There he remained for two years and then returned to Illinois.

Again taking up his residence in Taylorville, he was here variously employed for some years. He carried on farming, dealt some in real estate, and for an extended period served as Constable. He was elected to that office in 1858, and for thirteen consecutive years filled the position with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of all concerned, as is indicated by his long term.

Mr. Brown has also engaged in renting houses. He has built a number of residences, which he rents, and also has the rental of dwellings belonging to other parties, but, practically he is living a retired life, and his rest is well deserved, for his career has been a busy and useful one.

Mr. Brown was a second time married, May 3, 1857, Amanda C. Brown becoming his wife. She was at that time a resident of Cass County, Neb., but was born in Ohio, and was reared in Decatur, Ill. Her father, Henry M. Brown, was the proprietor of the Social Hall Hotel of that city.

By the first marriage were born six children: Willard Jackson, who is a carpenter and Street Commissioner of Taylorville; Harriet, wife of Levi A. Witherell, of Taylorville; Martha Ellen, wife of William Fasnacht, of Denver; Adelaide, who became the wife of W. B. Nicodemas, of Taylorville, and died at the age of forty; Jerome, who died in infancy; and Oliver, who died in Taylorville, in 1883, at the age of thirty.

By the second union were born the following children: Clara, wife of P. D. Biggs, of Kansas City, Mo.; Etta, wife of W. H. Moore, of Taylorville; Eva, who is a successful teacher, now employed in Assumption; Minnie, also a teacher in the schools of Assumption; Edna, who is cashier and book-keeper in the Morrison store of Taylorville; Grace, who died at the age of seven years; two children who died in infancy; and Eugene and Roy H. at home.

Mr. Brown has been an eye-witness of the growth of Christian County for more than half a century and has been prominently identified with its upbuilding and development, doing all in his power for the promotion of its best interests. He well deserves to be numbered among its honored pioneers, and is justly classed among its best citizens, for his life has been one of uprightness and has won for him the high respect of all.



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