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.

JOSEPH DAWSON, a retired farmer, now living in Taylorville, is a native of the Buckeye State. He was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, September 14, 1823, and is a son of Joseph and Orpha (Buffington) Dawson. His parents were both natives of Pennsylvania, and their marriage was celebrated in that State. Removing to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, they there spent the remainder of their lives.

Our subject is the youngest in a family of six sons and three daughters, all of whom grew to mature years, while four are now living. He was a lad of only four summers when his parents located upon the old homestead farm, where their last days were spent. He aided in the labors of the field and attended the public schools until seventeen years of age, after which he served an apprenticeship of two years and a half to the blacksmith trade in Uhrichsville. The first year he received $35, the second $50, and $125 for the last six months. After his term had expired he continued to work for his employer, Andrew Brisbane, who is now a Justice of the Peace at Pana.

On the 12th of March, 1846, in Uhrichsville, Mr. Dawson wedded Lucinda Treakle. He then formed a partnership and opened a shop. He had only $65 in cash and went in debt $75 for his tools. There he remained for eight years, carrying on business with fair success. On the 25th of September, 1854, he started from his Ohio home to Illinois by team, and at length arrived in Taylorville.

He settled on the Buckeye Prairie, but in the spring of 1855 removed to Johnson Township, where he rented land for three years, operating it in the summer months and working at his trade in town during the winter. When he had obtained a sufficient capital, he purchased eighty acres of partially improved land in Johnson Township, three and a-half miles southeast of Taylorville, and also a tract of raw land of eighty acres.

Previously he had traded a horse for forty acres near Rosamond, and subsequently bought another forty-acre tract. Mr. Dawson continued to carry on agricultural pursuits in Johnson Township until September, 1890, and made of his place a finely improved farm, one of the best in the county. It sold for $50 cash per acre.

In connection with the raising of crops, he engaged in breeding and raising fine hogs, and was quite successful in the undertaking. On account of rheumatism that crippled one arm, Mr. Dawson was forced to lay aside business cares, and in 1890 he removed to Taylorville.

In 1878, our subject was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 14th of September, his fifty-fifth birthday. She had proved a faithful companion and helpmate to him for thirty-two years. Unto them were born the following children: Sarah Emeline, who died at the age of eighteen; John F., a farmer and stock-dealer of Missouri; Amanda A., wife of Samuel Denton, of Taylorville; Alice A., wife of John Robinson, of Kansas; William A., a carpenter of Missouri; Cynna A., wife of Ed H. Hopson, of Texas; Laura B., at home; Julia A., widow of Adam J. Aufrecht; and Henry, who died at the age of three years.

Julia was married May 13, 1891, to Adam Aufrecht, who for three years had been employed as motorman on the St. Louis Street Railway. Shortly after his marriage he was stricken with typhoid fever, and died at the home of Mr. Dawson August 22, 1891. His widow has since lived with her father. Four years before her marriage she engaged in teaching, and recently she has taken a course of study in the business college of Springfield.

Since coming to Taylorville, Mr. Dawson has purchased a number of residences, which he rents, and thus a good income is afforded him. His own home is a pleasant dwelling on Franklin Street. He has led a busy and useful life, and his industry and perseverance have gained for him a comfortable competence, which is well deserved.



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