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 GUDEHUS, who is successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Pana Township, owns and operates a fine farm of one hundred and eighty acres on section 31. He also has two hundred acres of land in Shelby County, and twenty acres of timber-land in Montgomery County, his possessions therefore aggregating four hundred acres. All has been acquired through his own industrious efforts, and is therefore a monument to his thrift and enterprise.

Mr. Gudehus was born in Brunswick, Germany [ed., Braunschweig], September 19, 1819, and is a son of Henry and Augusta (Lehman) Gudehus, who were also natives of the same locality. His father was a teamster, and engaged in freighting with teams. His death occurred in his eighty-third year, and his wife passed away at the age of fifty-eight years. Unto them were born seven children, five sons and two daughters, and all grew to mature years.

Our subject, who was the third in order of birth, remained in the place of his nativity until twenty-six years of age. When a youth of fifteen years he commenced learning the shoe-maker's trade, at which he served as an apprentice until eighteen years of age.

When he had arrived at man's estate, in accordance with the laws of his native land, he entered the army and served as a private for five years. Immediately after his discharge, he bade adieu to friends and Fatherland and sailed for the New World. This was in 1845, and he located first in Philadelphia, Pa., where he remained for four years working at the shoemaker's trade.

During that time, Mr. Gudehus was married, Miss Hannah Butt becoming his wife in 1847. She was born and spent her maidenhood days in Germany. In 1849. they removed to Louisville, Ky., where our subject carried on the shoe business for ten years. He was also proprietor of a hotel in Elizabethtown, Ky., during that period.

While in Louisville, his wife died, in 1858. Five children were born of that marriage, of whom four are still living: William, Henry, Charlie and Johanna.

In Louisville, Mr. Gudehus was again married, May 8, 1859, his second union being with Miss Victoria Zix, who was born in Baden, Germany. They became the parents of eleven children: Augustus, now deceased; Victoria; Minnie, wife of Frank Beyers; Theodore, who married Dora Shutt; Frank, who wedded Maggie Relligar; Matilda, wife of Ed Beyers; Emma, wife of Frederick Shuchs; Edward, Martha, Katie and Oscar. Four of the children are still at home.  During the war, Mr. Gudehus lost everything that he had at Elizabethtown, Ky., and in February, 1863, he came to Christian County a poor man with eight children to support.

He located upon his present farm, which was then an unimproved place with a log cabin upon it. He began its cultivation with characteristic energy, and in course of time his labors were rewarded with abundant harvests. In the years that followed he regained his lost possessions, and is now very comfortably situated, having a handsome competence. Having laid aside business cares, he now rents his land and is living retired in the enjoyment of a well-earned rest.

In politics, he is a supporter of the Democracy. Although he has met with some reverses since coming to America, it was not an unfortunate venture when he left his native land to seek a home in the New World.



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