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, p243.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

CAPT. DAN DE CAMP, one of the most prominent citizens of Edinburgh, and an early settler of Christian County, was born in Giles County, Va., August 31, 1824. His father, David De Camp, was a native of New Jersey, from where he removed to Virginia. By trade he was a hatter. The grandfather, Zachariah De Camp, was born in New Jersey, and his father was a native of France and the founder of the family in America. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Ford. She was born in the Old Dominion, and was a daughter of Lewis Ford, a native of the same State. The parents of our subject were married in Virginia, and located in Pearlsburgh, Giles County, where Mr. De Camp worked at his trade. His wife died in that place, after which he came to Illinois, spending his last days in Galena. They were the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters, namely: Elizabeth, Henry, Lewis, Daniel, John D., William, Sarah A. and Napoleon.

The subject of this sketch remained in the county of his nativity until eighteen years of age, and when a youth of fifteen started out in life for himself, since which time he has been dependent upon his own resources. He served an apprenticeship to the hatter's trade, and then for three years and a-half drove a team for one company, driving fifty-three miles each day from Salem to the Natural Bridge. In 1842, Capt. De Camp emigrated Westward, taking up his residence in Springfield. He drove a stage from Taylorville to Shelbyville for about a year, also engaged in staging from Taylorville to Springfield and from St. Louis to Springfield. Subsequently he established himself in the livery business in the capital city and continued in that line for about four years, when he purchased a farm in Christian County, comprising two hundred acres of partially improved land. At that time there was but one house at Buckhart Grove. The county was wild and undeveloped, and he lived in true pioneer style. During one winter he shot forty-four deer with forty-two shots from a small rifle. Wild game was very plentiful and kept the table supplied with meat. The Captain at once began the development of a farm, and soon transformed the unimproved tract into rich and fertile fields.

In 1862, our subject entered the service of his country as a member of Company D, One Hundred and Thirtieth Illinois Infantry, and for two years served as Captain. He was sunstruck at Alexandria, La., in 1864, and being thus disabled for duty resigned his position. He participated in thirteen hard-fought battles and the siege of Vicksburg, was always found at his post and proved himself a valiant defender of the Union.

After being mustered out, Capt. De Camp returned to his home, purchased more land, and devoted his energies assiduously to farming. In 1870, he laid off the town of Edinburgh, which was built on his farm and has laid off the fourth addition to the place. Within the corporate limits are now comprised eighty acres. He has been instrumental in the upbuilding of the county from an early day, and has ever borne his part in the work of public improvement and advancement. He has seen the many changes that have taken place, and has watched with interest the onward march of progress that has placed Christian County in the front rank in Illinois.

On the 7th of October, 1847, Capt. De Camp was united in marriage with Perneey Langley, a native of Kentucky, who in early childhood was brought to Christian County, in 1828. She is a most estimable lady and presides with grace over the hospitable home where their many friends delight to gather. In politics, the Captain has been a Republican since the organization of the party. He voted that ticket when he and William George were the only Republicans in the precinct. He was elected Justice of the Peace, filling the office eight years, and was the first Postmaster of Edinburgh. He established the office and named it Blueville.

While in the war he resigned the position, in 1863. He again was Postmaster under Gen. Grant, and during that time changed the name to Edinburgh. The Captain was one of the organizers of Mother Bickerdike Post No. 402, G. A. R., at Edinburgh, was Commander of the same for three terms, and largely through his instrumentality a good hall was built for the society. He is now engaged in dealing in fine horses, and is a true lover of the noble steed. He owns several of the best horses that can be found in this part of the State. The Captain is a gentleman in the truest and best sense of the word, is genial and pleasant in manner, kindly and generous in disposition, and has the warm regard of all who know him.




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