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, p229.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

JUDGE WILLIAM STANTON FRINK, deceased, was one of Christian County's leading and influential citizens, and well deserves representation in its history. He was born in Lebanon, New London County, Conn., December 17, 1790, and was a son of William and Wealthy (Downer) Frink, who were also natives of the Nutmeg State. The family is of Welsh origin, and was founded in America during Colonial days, a tract of land being granted to Isaac Frink by King George III. This is still in the possession of the family. The father of our subject died in 1850, at the age of eighty-two. He was a substantial farmer and a man esteemed for his many excellencies of character. The mother was an exemplary Christian lady, who did much toward molding the lives of her children.

The primary education of our subject was supplemented by study in an academy at Westerly, R. I. He remained at home until eighteen years of age, and during the succeeding twelve years engaged in teaching in Connecticut and New York. In 1824, he made a voyage to Martinique as supercargo on a vessel owned by Messrs. Trumbull, Smith & Co., of Stonington, Conn., and in 1826 went to the island of Trinidad, where he visited the grave of Commodore Perry, who was there interred. In February of the following year he was appointed assignee of a bankrupt concern, and his duties occupied his attention for two years. In 1829 he began business for himself at his old home, and afterwards spent four years in Brooklyn, N. Y., in mercantile pursuits.

During a business trip to the West, Mr. Frink was so impressed with the future prospects of Illinois that he determined to here make his home, and accordingly, in 1837, settled on Flat Branch, in the southeastern part of what was then Sangamon County, where he entered land and began farming. In 1838 and 1839 he took an active part in the formation of Christian County, in which was included his farm. There he successfully carried on agricultural pursuits until 1853, when he removed to Taylorville, where he spent his remaining days.

Judge Frink was married October 21, 1830, to Sarah Grace, daughter of Nathan Grant, of Troy, N. Y. She was born September 22, 1808, and died November 24, 1866. Two children survived her, but Emily J., wife of William M. O'Farrell, of New York, died April 26, 1868. Sarah Ann, wife of Oscar F. Morrison, is now living in Taylorville.

Judge Frink was frequently honored with public office. In 1837 he was appointed Deputy Surveyor of Shelby County, and from 1838 until 1840 was Postmaster of Allentown. During that time he was also proprietor of what was known as the Halfway House, on the Great Eastern stage route, and there frequently entertained Abraham Lincoln and Gen. Baker. In 1843 he was elected Probate Judge of Christian County, and served four years. He afterwards spent five years in merchandising in Taylorville with marked success, and in 1863 was appointed Deputy United States Collector of Internal Revenue for the Third Division of the Tenth Congressional District, a position which he held until his resignation, in 1868, from which time he lived retired until his death.

Judge Frink served as a private in the War of 1812, in the company in which his father was Lieutenant. For his faithful and efficient service he was awarded a grant of one hundred and sixty acres of land, forty of which formed a part of the farm which he owned at his death. In politics, he was identified with the Whig and Republican parties. In 1841 he became a member of the Baptist Church, and throughout his life was a liberal supporter of religious and benevolent work. His death resulted from a stroke of paralysis, September 12, 1887, in his ninety-seventh year. Probably no man in the county is more widely known, and none is held in higher regard than Judge Frink, who is numbered among the honored pioneers, to whom a debt of gratitude is due for the prominent part which they took in the upbuilding of the county and the promotion of its best interests.



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