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.
WILLIAM GRIMES, a farmer residing on section 30, Rosamond Township, claims Maryland as the State of his nativity. He was born in Baltimore County, seven miles east of the city of Baltimore, January 30, 1811. His father, Nicholas Grimes, was born in the same State, was of English descent, and was a farmer by occupation. He married Keziah Rolland, who was born in the same State and is of German lineage.

Our subject, who is their eldest child, was reared in the county of his nativity until seventeen years old. He then began learning the blacksmith's trade, at which he served a three-years apprenticeship, and then worked at that business in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Mississippi. In 1835 he came to Illinois, locating in Macoupin County, where he successfully followed his chosen occupation for some years, and later engaged in farming until his removal to Christian County, in 1873. Since then he has devoted his time to farming, and he now owns eight hundred and fifty acres of valuable land in the home farm in Rosamond Township, besides other tracts elsewhere in the county.

In 1837 Mr. Grimes was married to Nancy Wagner, a native of Madison County, Ill., who died many years ago, leaving three children, a son and two daughters: Elizabeth K., wife of F. M. Adams, of Macoupin County; Mary Ann, widow of John Kessinger; and Stephen N., who now operates the home farm.

Mr. Grimes cast his first Presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, and has since been a supporter of the Democracy, the principles of which he warmly advocates. He was once a member of the Blacksmiths' and Mechanics' Society [ed., probably the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen], of Baltimore, Md. All that he has he has made by his own efforts, and he may truly be called a self-made man.

When he became one of the pioneer settlers of Macoupin County, Ill., he was in quite limited circumstances, having nothing to depend upon but his own exertions. He has led an industrious, busy and useful life, and as the result of his labors, good management and business ability he has risen to a position of wealth and affluence. He is one of the largest land-holders of Christian County, his possessions aggregating some two thousand acres in Christian, Montgomery and Macoupin Counties. His children now manage part of his land and the remainder is rented.

Mr. Grimes is now practically living a retired life, and his rest is certainly well earned after the years of arduous toil which have preceded it. His example may well serve to encourage others who like himself have been dependent upon their own exertions from an early age. Success is not the result of chance, but is the reward of labor and may come to all.



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