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.
VINCENT E. FOY, County Judge of Christian County, Ill., was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, October 31, 1845. His father, Archibald Greenleaf Foy, was a farmer, a native of Belmont County, Ohio, of Irish parentage. His mother, Emeline Brisben, was born in the same county as the son; her parents were of Scotch-Irish descent, and natives of Pennsylvania.

Archibald Foy and wife were the parents of ten children, nine of whom grew to maturity, and all of these except one are now living. They consisted of six sons and four daughters, one of the latter dying in infancy. The fourth child and eldest son is he whose name heads this article.

In 1865, the family moved to Christian County, and sixteen years later to Sumner County, Kan., where the mother and one daughter died in 1891.

The youth of Judge Foy was passed on his father's farm, and his education was supplied by the common schools, except one term at the Graded School of Uhrichsville, Ohio. He left the home farm at seventeen years of age, and in the spring of 1864 he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Sixty-first Ohio Infantry, being mustered in May 2, 1864, at Camp Chase. He served at different points in the Shenandoah Valley, and was mustered out at Camp Chase September 2, 1864.

In March, 1865, he came to Christian County, and was variously employed as stage-driver, farm laborer and school teacher. In 1868 he borrowed some books from J. B. Jones, a lawyer of Taylorville, now of Little Rock, Ark., and began the study of law. This he pursued in his leisure moments until 1871, when he entered Mr. Jones' office, and was admitted to the Bar in 1874. He practiced in partnership with his preceptor for one year, and afterward alone until 1891, when he took a partner in the person of Mr. Grafton, the firm being Foy & Grafton.

He was for over eleven years Treasurer of Taylorville Township, and one year City Attorney. In 1876 he was elected State's Attorney, and in 1882 County Judge, which position he has filled continuously since, being twice re-elected. For four years he was editor and proprietor of the Taylorville Democrat, bringing up the circulation of that journal from three hundred and fifty to sixteen hundred.

He is a persevering and painstaking worker, and his ability is evinced by the fact that none of his decisions have ever been reversed either by Circuit, Appellate or Supreme Courts.

As a private citizen, Judge Foy is active in fostering any enterprise calculated to develop and benefit his home city. He was a member of the Taylorville Coal Company from its organization to 1891, and is a stockholder and Director of the hotel company which built the Antlers Hotel. He is a man of strong personality and fine presence, and bears the stamp of a born leader. He is a pleasant and approachable gentleman, wholly destitute of pedantry or ostentation. His heart reaches out to all mankind, and he classes himself as a member of the great human family. The only organization with which he is connected is the Grand Army of the Republic.

On the 30th of November, 1877, he was married to Miss Anna Michels, a native of Macon County, Ill., of German parentage, who came with her family to Christian County when a child. She is a woman of great intellectual force and sagacity, and the Judge attributes much of his success in business and public life to her wise counsels and extended influence.

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