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.
NAPOLEON B. CHALFANT is one of the most prominent and leading stock-dealers of Pana Township. He resides on section 30, where he has a good farm. A native of Ohio, he was born near Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County, on the 9th of December, 1846, and is a son of Abner and Rachel (McDonough) Chalfant. The father was born in Brownsville, Pa., and the mother in Tuscarawas County. The paternal grandfather, Charles Chalfant, was also a native of Pennsylvania, but was of French descent. By trade he was a wheelwright.

Hugh McDonough, the maternal grandfather, was born in Harrison County, Ohio, and was of Irish lineage. He served in the War of 1812 under Gen. Harrison, and the father of our subject also bore arms in that struggle. Abner Chalfant was a farmer and speculator. He came to Illinois in 1863, and settled in Clay County, where he died in 1865, in his seventy-ninth year. His wife died in her fifty-second year. They were the parents of four sons and a daughter. Our subject was the third child and second son, and is the only one of the family now living. He was reared in the county of his nativity, and the common schools afforded him his educational privileges. During the late war he abandoned his text books and the plow to shoulder the musket in his country's defense, and became a member of Company E, Fifty-first Ohio Infantry, under Capt. David Chalfant, his brother, and Col. Stanley Matthews. Our subject was then only in his fourteenth year. He was not regularly mustered in, but went as a drummer-boy and remained with the regiment for two years without pay. After his brother was killed at the battle of Stone River he returned home and re-enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, in which he served until the close of the war, being mustered out in Springfield, Ill., September 16, 1865.

Mr. Chalfant then returned to his father's home in Clay County, Ill., and carried on his farm until 1876. January 13, 1876, he was united in marriage with Caroline Bourquin, a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Her parents were natives of France, who, emigrating to America, located in the Buckeye State in an early day. She died very suddenly on the 15th of June, 1881, leaving two children, Edward and Otto. Mr. Chalfant was again married, October 17, 1887, his second union being with Miss Amanda Speke, a native of Sangamon County, Ill. Three children grace this union, Leon, Garred and Mary.

Mr. Chalfant continued in Clay County until 1877, when he came to Christian County, locating on a farm in Rosamond Township, where he remained until the 2d of March, 1880, when he removed to his present farm. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land, which is highly cultivated, but he is now making a specialty of the breeding of Jersey cattle, having a fine herd of thirty head.

In politics he is a Republican, and is a member of Pope Post No. 411, G. A. R., and served for some years as Aide de-Camp on the staff of the Department Commander. He attends all the State and national encampments, has been a delegate to these, and in 1893 was a delegate to the National Encampment in Indianapolis.

Mr. Chalfant is practically a self-made man, his possessions having all been acquired through his own efforts. He is also a self-educated man, and is one of the best-informed citizens of the community. He has always been a great reader of standard works and has been a special student of history and biography. He has a fine library, and his familiarity with the thoughts of our best writers has not only made him an intelligent man, but an entertaining and interesting conversationalist as well.



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