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.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN CARPER is one of the most prominent and enterprising farmers and stock-raisers of Christian County. He resides on section 23, Rosamond Township, where he owns two hundred and thirty-four acres of valuable land. In return for the care and labor he bestows upon it, it yields to him a golden tribute, for much of it is highly cultivated. He makes a specialty of the breeding of fine Jersey cattle, horses and sheep. Upon his farm may be found seven head of Jersey cows, one hundred and forty head of Shropshire sheep, and eight fine Percheron horses. No man has done more to advance the grade of stock in this community than our subject, and no finer specimens of stock can be shown in Illinois than may be found on his place.

Mr. Carper was born in Upshur County, W. Va., January 7, 1849. His paternal grandfather, Abram Carper, a native of Pennsylvania, was of German descent, and was a hatter by trade. Daniel Carper, the father, was born in West Virginia, and became an extensive farmer. He married Sarah J. Squires, a native of the same State, and a daughter of Asa Squires, an agriculturist, who was born in Maryland.

Our subject is the second in order of birth in a family of five sons and one daughter who graced the union of his parents. His early education was acquired in the district school, and he afterward attended Morgantown University [ed., probably West Virginia University in Morgantown]. He engaged in merchandising in Buckhannon, W. Va., which was his first business venture.

After two years he sold out, and in 1869 he came to Christian County, locating in Rosamond Township, where he purchased a farm. In February, 1 871, he married Amelia Hutton, who died leaving a daughter, Amelia, who is now with her grandmother in West Virginia. For his second wife Mr. Carper chose Clarissa Childs, who died leaving two children, Daniel and Clara. The lady who now bears the name of Mrs. Carper was Catherine B. Cowgill, daughter of Alfred and Sarah Cowgill.

In 1884, Mr. Carper went to >Rockford, Mich., where for three years he engaged in the manufacture of paper. He then returned to his present home and has since extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising, meeting with good success in his undertakings.

In politics, he is a supporter of Democratic principles, and socially belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America of Rosamond. He also belongs to the Congregational Church [ed., First Congregational Church of Rosamond].

His home, a commodious and beautiful two-story frame dwelling, is the best residence in Rosamond. Mr. Carper has made his way in life unaided by financial assistance, and from a humble position has worked his way upward to one of wealth and affluence. His business career has been a profitable and prosperous one, and for his success he certainly deserves much credit. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, and manifests a commendable interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community and its upbuilding.

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