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.
HON. JOHN L. DRENNAN, the founder of the Drennan family in Christian County, is a native of Kentucky, his birth having occurred in Caldwell County, November 14, 1836. His grandfather, John Drennan, was a resident of South Carolina at the time of the Revolutionary War, and served in the Colonial army. About the year 1802, he removed from that State to Kentucky, settling in Caldwell, then Livingston County, and was one of the pioneers of that part of the State. The location in which he took up his residence was a wilderness and still inhabited by the Indians.

The father of our subject, Eli Drennan, was born in South Carolina in the year 1800. From 1802 he resided in Caldwell County, Ky., until his death, which occurred in 1872. He married Margaret McDowell, of the same county, about 1824. She was descended from an Irish family that had also settled in South Carolina and removed from there to Kentucky at an early day.

John L. Drennan, whose name heads this record, was the eldest of nine children. The family was poor, work plentiful and schools scarce. The result was he only attended school for about three months, and for the education he received he is indebted entirely to his own efforts.

On the 13th of March, 1850, he married Henrietta Wimburley, only daughter of Moore and Emily Wimburley. Her father was of French and German descent, and his wife was a daughter of Isaac Rucker, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and belonged to the distinguished Rucker family so numerous in Kentucky.

Moore Wimburley was captain of a boat on the Mississippi in an early day. He lost his life from a relapse after measles, brought about from exposure on the river.

His widow afterwards married Henry Sanders. She was the mother of five children and is still living, her home being now in Taylorville. She is a woman of powerful intellect and great force of character, which qualities she transmitted to her daughter Henrietta.

John L. Drennan, with his wife and four children, Alfred M., Frank P., John G. and Adelia J., removed from Kentucky to Mt. Auburn Township in the fall of 1856, and thence to the present homestead of the family in Mosquito Township in 1862. The other children are Laura A. E., M. Emily, Henry E., George R., Henrietta A., Cora A., James L., Thomas M., Oscar W. and Charlotte O. These were born in Christian County.

Alfred M. now resides in Taylorville. Frank P. is an able and painstaking lawyer of Taylorville, and is regarded as one of the safest counselors, as well as one of the most careful business men, in the county. He has been quite successful. In 1881, he married May, youngest daughter of Judge W. S. Moore, and has two charming daughters. He served one term as Master in Chancery, and has always taken a prominent part in the councils of the Democratic party. John G., now residing in Springfield, Ill., is the junior member of the well-known law firm of Palmer, Shutt & Drennan, the first-named being now United States Senator, while Mr. Shutt is United States District Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

He married Maggie, daughter of Dr. L. B. Slater, May 26, 1881, and has two promising boys. Adelia J. is the wife of John F. Cole, and with their seven children they reside in Edinburgh, this county. Laura is the wife of James George, of Caldwell County, Ky., and they have three children. Emily is the wife of Clayton Clements, of Decatur, Ill., by whom she has four children. Henry E., now of Denver, Colo., has been twice married and has one daughter. George R., who married Miss Hignight and has three children, is a successful farmer and resides on the old homestead in Mosquito Township.

Henrietta A. is the wife of Lewis Wilson, by whom she has four sons, and they reside on their farm near Greeley, Kan. Cora A. married Miles Scott, and lives in Kansas. They have four bright little boys to gladden their home. James L. married May, daughter of Richard Jones, of Mt. Auburn. He is a law student of much promise, and has displayed much capacity and tact as a trial lawyer, although he has not yet been admitted to the Bar.

Thomas M. is a young man of promise. He is also studying law and gives evidence of success. Oscar W., an amiable young man of twenty, died a few months ago in Texas, where he had gone in the hope of regaining his health. Although he was too young for a business career, he displayed all the family qualities of a useful citizen. Charlotte A., now a young lady, resides with her mother in Taylorville.

The father of this family, John L. Drennan, died at his home in Mosquito Township, September 5,1882, of typhoid fever. He always commanded the confidence and respect of the people, and creditably filled several positions of public trust.

He was several times Assessor of Mosquito Township, and also represented his township as Supervisor for nine years. Politically, he was always a Democrat and cast his first vote for Gen. Cass. A man of good habits and much force of character, he was devoted to his family and used every effort to promote habits of industry and integrity in his children. The family is one of prominence throughout the county, and well deserves representation in this volume.



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