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.
JESSE HANON is one of the pioneers of Christian County, his birth having occurred April 14, 1830, about ten miles from Taylorville. He is a farmer, now residing in Morrisonville, and is the owner of a number of fine farms. His father, Martin Hanon, was the first settler in this county, having settled near Taylorville in 1818. He was a native of Tennessee, and was a farmer by occupation.

He took up about eighty acres of land, but afterward bought a lumber mill, which was located on the farm where our subject was born. This mill was subsequently known as the Elgin Mill, and this he operated for a number of years. From there he removed to the present site of Taylorville, before the town was laid out.

His father, Michael Hanon, was born and reared in Ireland, and came to America when a young man. He was a farmer in Tennessee, and died while still in the prime of life. The name of the family was originally spelled Hening.

Michael Hanon reared a family of four daughters and five sons. Our subject's father died April 5, 1879, aged seventy-nine years.

The wife of Martin Hanon, whose maiden name was Sarah Miller, was born in Pennsylvania, her people being of German birth. Her parents came to America after their marriage, settling in Pennsylvania, where the father died in middle life. To Mr. and Mrs. Hanon were born ten children, only four of the number now living: Jesse; Joseph; Susan, wife of G. R. Sharp, of Sharpsburg, Ill.; and Elijah, who is a resident of Lamed, Kan. Joseph lives at Willow Springs, Mo. The parents were members of the Predestination Baptist Church.

The subject of this sketch has spent his entire life in this county with the exception of three years, when he was absent during the late war.

His early education was obtained in the old-fashioned subscription schools, but in later years he enlarged his knowledge by wise reading and thoughtful observation.

His life work has been mainly that of farming and stock-raising, though for about four years he carried on a sawmill. He has been very successful in his enterprises and now with his three sons, William, John and Cyrus, owns eight hundred acres of land in Clay County, near the town of Flora. This land is operated by them under the firm name of J. Hanon & Sons. He is also the owner of a good home property in Morrisonville.

During the late war, Mr. Hanon enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, and was in the service for about three years. He took part in the battle of Chickamauga and was in a number of important skirmishes. On the battlefield of Chickamauga he was taken prisoner and was confined for seven months in Libby Prison; was thence removed to Macon, Ga., where he was a prisoner for two months, and was then transferred to Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S. C., being two months in each prison. For four months he was in the prison at Columbia, S. C., and after spending a short time at Charlotte and Raleigh was exchanged.

Altogether he was a prisoner for seventeen months and ten days. He received an honorable discharge at Camp Butler, September 23, 1865, after three years of service and imprisonment for his country's sake.

On his return from the army, Mr. Hanon resumed his sawmill business, at which he continued for two years. Prior to the war he was Superintendent of the Schools of this county for two years. For three terms he served as Justice of the Peace, and for three terms was a member of the Board of Supervisors.

In 1890, he was the Republican nominee for Congress, running against William M. Springer. The honor was entirely unsought. Socially, he is a member of Morrisonville Lodge No. 681, A. F. & A. M., and also took the chapter degrees at Taylorville.

In October, 1847, Mr. Hanon was united in marriage with Miss Missouri Ann Minnis, daughter of James and Hester Ann (Outhouse) Minnis, of Christian County. Twelve children have blessed this union. Thomas E. was the eldest of the family and is now deceased. Alice E. became the wife of John D. Murphy, by whom she had four children, only one now living, William J. After the death of Mr. Murphy, his widow re-married, becoming the wife of Lucian Murphy. They now live at Pawnee Rock, Kan., and have three children, Charlie, Glenn and Ralph. William F. married Miss Sarah Halgren and lives in Flora, Ill., where he is engaged in the fruit-growing business. He has two children, Jessie E. and Winnie. Sarah E., Eva, George R., Nellie and Jennie are now deceased. Cyrus E. married Miss Katie Hayes and is also engaged in fruit-growing and farming near Flora. He has one child, John Edgar. Ferdinand M. and Seth are also deceased. John E. is a resident of Morrisonville, Ill.

Mr. Hanon is a man of originality and liberality of thought. He is an earnest believer in the principles of morality and is a strong advocate of abstinence from intoxicating liquors and of temperance in every respect, but controverts the theological ideas which enter into the creeds of orthodox churches. He is a sincere admirer of that great sentiment of Thomas Paine, "The world is my country, and to do good is my religion." [ed., Paine actually said, "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."  The version quoted was the Robert Ingersoll s paraphrase, but probably more commonly known version, of Paine s quote.]



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