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, p235.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

DAVID BURCHFIELD, a retired farmer now residing in Taylorville, and one of the honored veterans of the late war, has during his residence in Christian County been recognized as one of its best citizens, for he has ever faithfully discharged his duties of citizenship and borne his part in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the community. A native of the Buckeye State, he was born near Carrollton, in Carroll County, on the 1st of March, 1833. His father, Joseph Burchfield, was a native of Pennsylvania, and in his youth went to Ohio, where he met and married Phoebe Tope, a native of that State, born on the 16th of April, 1795. Coming to this State, they located in Greenwood Township, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The father, who was born February 2, 1802, died on the 1st of March, 1880, at the age of seventy-seven, and his wife, who was seven years his senior, and who survived him seven years, was called to her final rest February 25, 1887, at the age of ninety-two. They had six children, three of whom are now living: Thomas, Joseph and David.

The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood in the usual manner of farmer lads, and remained at home until twenty-six years of age. For three years he followed the carpenter's trade, and then resumed the occupation to which he was reared. As a companion and helpmate on life's journey, he chose Miss Mary Price, their marriage being celebrated March 22, 1860. Her father, Benjamin Price, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, April 1, 1808, and was a son of Thomas and Sarah Price. On the 16th of January, 1830, he married Elizabeth Seran, who was born October 11, 1806. Together they traveled life's journey for fifty-four years, sharing with each other its joys and sorrows, its adversity and prosperity; but at length the hand of Death separated them, and the mother passed away in Leesville, Ohio, November 4, 1884. Mr. Price survived her a few years, dying in Leesville, April 12. 1888. They held membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and were people whose lives of uprightness won them the respect of all with whom they were brought in contact.

At the time of his marriage, Mr. Burchfield possessed no cash capital, and had only a small farming outfit, but he rented land, upon which he made his home until after his return from the army, when he bought a farm of forty acres. Feeling that his country needed his services, in the fall of 1864 he joined Company H, One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Ohio Infantry, which was attached to the Army of the Cumberland. They were, however, detailed to supply cattle for Sherman's army, and for that purpose were stationed at Tullahoma, Ga [ed. Battle of Hoover s Gap]. The regiment afterward went to Raleigh and joined Sherman's army at Wheatswamp Church, in North Carolina.

Afterward the regiment was sent to Charlotte, N. C., as guards, and its members were discharged June 29, 1865, and mustered out at Columbus, Ohio. At one time, Mr. Burchfield was with a squad of twenty-five men, all of whom were captured except himself, but he stood his ground, and after the rebel guns were discharged, he and his comrades turned on their captors and escaped. He took part in about one hundred and fifty skirmishes while engaged in guarding railroads. When the war was over and the country no longer needed his services, Mr. Burchfield returned home and carried on farming in Ohio until 1867, when he left his native State for Illinois.

Coming to Christian County, he located in Greenwood Township, where he purchased eighty acres of land, making that farm his home for eight years. In 1875, he rented one hundred and sixty acres of land in Johnson Township, and removed to that place for the educational facilities of that neighborhood were superior to those near his old home and he wished to afford his children good advantages. For eleven years he operated a rented farm, and then, in 1886, purchased a small tract of land in Johnson Township, to the cultivation and improvement of which he devoted his energies until the spring of 1891, when he came to Taylorville. He has now invested in city property, which yields to him a good income.

By the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Burchfield, five children were born, two sons and three daughters: James William, Elizabeth, M. Belle, Benjamin Price and Violet F. With the exception of the eldest child, all are still under the parental roof. The family have a pleasant home in Taylorville, and their hospitable doors are ever open for the reception of their many friends. In his farming operations, Mr. Burchfield was successful, and under his care and cultivation the soil was made to yield to him a ready return, so that he is now comfortably situated in life, having a competence that enables him to live retired.



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