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.
JOHN M. COLEMAN, deceased, was born on the 31st of January, 1816, in Virginia, where the first fifteen years of his life were passed. On the expiration of that period his home was changed to the West, where he lived for many years. He first made a location in Indiana, and became a prominent and influential citizen of the community in which he resided.

He served as Sheriff of Owen County and filled other official positions with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. While living in the Hoosier State, he was twice married, and became the father of two children. His daughter, Mrs. Samuel Clark, is now living near Assumption, in Christian County.

In 1867, Mr. Coleman left his home in Indiana and came to Illinois. From that year until 1874, he made his home in South Fork Township, Christian County. On the llth of September, 1867, in Decatur, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Lydia J. Vandeveer widow of Charles Vandeveer, who was a cousin of H. M. Vandeveer. His parents were George and Jennie (Spears) Vandeveer. Charles was born March 1, 1816, in Orange County, Ind., and on the same day the birth of his cousin, the Judge, occurred. He came to Christian County with his parents in 1829, being at that time about fourteen years of age. The family settled in South Fork Township, where the father spent the remainder of his life. His children were Charles, Henry, Aaron and Joel, but all are now deceased.

Charles Vandeveer and Lydia J. Hill were married December 12, 1852. He followed farming for some time, and then removed to Pana, where he died April 1, 1865. After his death, Mrs. Vandeveer returned to the farm. Her parents, John and Elizabeth (Reed) Hill, located in Sangamon County in 1836, and the following year removed to what is now Christian County, settling in Bear Creek Township, near Palmer. Her parents died at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Coleman, the father passing away September 25, 1863, while his wife died on the 5th of February of the same year. Mrs. Coleman was the seventh in order of birth in their family of ten children, but she has only two brothers now living: John Tilford. of Bear Creek Township; and William, a resident of Sangamon County.

For a number of years after his marriage, Mr. Coleman followed farming, but during the last years of his life he lived retired. He was a public-spirited and progressive citizen and manifested a commendable interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community in which he made his home. Those who knew him esteemed him highly for his many excellencies of character and sterling worth. He passed away August 14, 1889, and his loss was mourned by many friends. Mrs. Coleman now makes her home in Taylorville, and her niece Mattie, daughter of Newton D. Hill, is now living with her. She is a member of the Christian Church, a most estimable lady, and a worthy representative of one of the honored pioneer families of Christian County.


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