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.

HARRY CHENEY, one of the enterprising and successful farmers of Christian County, Ill., whose home is just outside the corporation limits of Taylorville, claims Ohio as the State of his nativity, his birth having occurred in Coshocton County, on the 30th of November, 1842. His parents, Abraham and Jeannette (Evans) Cheney, were both natives of Pennsylvania. In 1824, the father left the State of his nativity and removed to Ohio, where he remained until 1843, when he emigrated to Illinois. Locating in Sangamon County, he there made his home until 1870, which year witnessed his arrival in Taylorville. His death occurred in that city September 22, 1887, at the age of eighty-nine years, six months and ten days.

By occupation he was a farmer, and followed agricultural pursuits during the greater part of his life. His wife had passed away several years previous to the death of her husband, dying September 26, 1875, at the age of seventy-eight. The family numbered eight children, of whom Harry is seventh in order of birth. John, the eldest, has made his home in Colusa, Cal., since 1852; Thomas died in Taylorville; Amon died at the age of thirty-two, leaving a family, and his son, Thomas H. Cheney, of Springfield, is now Court Stenographer; Talitha became the wife of Dr. W. J. Chamblain, of Mason City, Ill., and both are now deceased; Rebecca C. is the wife of Alpheus Lewis, and resides in Roseville, III.; Elizabeth, wife of J. R. Johnson, is now keeping house for her brother Harry, who is the next younger in the family; and Margaret Ellen is the widow of J. E. Bradley, of Springfield.

The subject of this sketch acquired a good English education in the schools of Springfield. He was reared to manhood in Sangamon County, having been only a year old at the time of his parents' removal thither. His education was completed by a course in a commercial school at St. Louis, and when he had completed his studies in that line he secured a position as clerk in the post office of that city, serving for four years under Presidents Buchanan and Lincoln.

Subsequently he was made Deputy Marshal for St. Louis County, and in a prompt and faithful manner discharged the duties of that office for two and a-half years. On his return to Springfield, Mr. Cheney embarked in the drug business, which he carried on for several years, and in the spring of 1870 turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he has since followed. The farm which he now owns was mainly improved by his brother Amon, and after his death was carried on by the father, until he too departed this life, when our subject purchased it. It comprises one hundred acres of rich and valuable land and lies just west of the corporation limits of Taylorville. The fields are well tilled, and the neat and thrifty appearance of the place indicates the careful supervision of the owner. Mr. Cheney has made a specialty of breeding, raising and selling fine stock and now has a fine herd of about twenty Jersey cows. He supplies cream to the restaurants of the city and has upon his farm a cold storage warehouse, in which to keep his cream and milk. He also raises hogs, and has some fine horses. His land is a beautiful tract, and the place is one of the model farms of the county. Mr. Cheney has always been a supporter of the Democratic party, having been a war advocate of its principles. His first Presidential vote was cast for George B. McClellan in 1864. In 1880, he was elected Township Supervisor by a handsome majority, and discharged his duties with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents, being a prudent and painstaking officer. Socially, he is connected with Mystic Lodge No. 64, K. P. For almost a quarter of a century, Mr. Cheney has now lived in Christian County, and throughout the community in which he now makes his home he is widely and favorably known.



© Judy Edwards and Genealogy Trails