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 and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.
CAPT. ALFRED COWGILL, who is one of the honored veterans of the late war, having as a member of the boys in blue defended the Union in her hour of peril, is now a grain and hay dealer in Rosamond. He is widely known throughout this community, and it is with pleasure that we present to our readers this record of his life work. He was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on the 16th of August, 1833, and comes of an old Canadian family, his great-grandfather having been born in Canada.

His grandfather was Samuel Cowgill, and the father of our subject also bore the name of Samuel. The latter was a native of Delaware, and throughout his entire life followed the occupation of farming in pursuit of fortune. He married Louise Dorsey, a native of Maryland, and a daughter of Seth Dorsey. The wedding ceremony was performed in Tuscarawas County, where they lived for many years.

In 1853, they came to Christian County, Ill., locating in Rosamond Township, where the father died at the age of eighty-seven years, while the mother survived him until she had reached the allotted three-score years and ten of the Psalmist.

Our subject is the eldest in a family of five sons and two daughters. He lived quietly in the county of his nativity until he had attained his majority, spending his boyhood days midst play and work and acquiring a good English education in the common schools of the neighborhood.

At the age of twenty-one he came to Christian County. After the breaking out of the late war, he entered the service of his country, in August, 1861, and was assigned to Company H, Ninth Illinois Infantry. Ho was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant, and was afterwards made First Lieutenant. In October, 1863, he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps as First Lieutenant, and was mustered out with the rank of Captain in 1865, after more than four years of faithful service. He participated in many hard-fought battles, including the engagements at Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing, Corinth and many others. He was wounded by a minie-ball in the left knee at the last-named battle on the 3d of October, 1862, and was struck in the breast. Had it not been for some letters and a memorandum book which he had in his pocket he would have been killed. He was always found at his post of duty and stood by the Old Flag until the war was over, and the Stars and Stripes floated triumphantly over the united Nation.

Returning to Christian County in 1865, Capt. Cowgill embarked in the hardware business in Assumption, as a member of the firm of H. H. Baltzley & Co., which connection was continued three years, when he sold out and removed to Pana.

There he worked for Joel Beckwith in the grain business for two years, after which he entered the employ of S. M. Hawood & Son, grain dealers, as manager. In 1874, he came to Rosamond, and here carried on the grain business for that firm for two years. His place of residence changed again in 1876, when he went to Montrose, Mo., where he dealt in grain for a year. He then returned to Rosamond, and re-entered the employ of Hawood & Son, with whom he continued until 1878. Since 1891 he has been connected with J. B. Waddington in the grain business, and the firm is now enjoying a good trade.

In 1864, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, Capt. Cowgill was united in marriage with Sarah Bear, a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. By their union have been born seven children: Catherine, wife of B. F. Carper, of Rosamond; Sarah, who is engaged in teaching; Alfred B., of Rosamond; Edward G., deceased; Mary, who is also a teacher; Casanna, deceased; and Jesse, who completes the family.

Our subject is a member of Pope Post No. 411, G. A. R., of Pana. He has followed in the political footsteps of his father, voting with the Republican party, of whose principles he is a stanch advocate. He is a man of good business ability, and is now doing well in the enterprise to which he devotes his time and attention. He is a faithful citizen in times of peace as well -as in times of war, and Rosamond recognizes in him a valued representative of the community.



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