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.
ORLANDO MANVILL HAWKES, whose honorable, upright life has won him the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has been brought in contact, is now engaged in farming on section 26, Rosamond Township. He was born in Franklin County, Mass., November 14, 1820. The family was founded in America by three brothers of English birth, who emigrated to this country in early Colonial days and located in Massachusetts. One was made an officer in the French and Indian War, and was killed in that struggle. Their descendants are now very numerous, over five hundred members of the family having assembled at a re-union in Salem, Mass., a few years ago. One of the three brothers was the great-grandfather of our subject. The grandfather, Jared Hawkes, was the first male child born in Charlemont, Mass.

The parents of our subject, Horace and Rachel (Smedley) Hawkes, were also natives of the Bay State, and there spent their entire lives, the father dying at the age of eighty-five, while the mother reached the advanced age of ninety-one. In their family of twelve children, our subject was fourth in order of birth. His boyhood days were quietly passed under the parental roof, and his education was acquired in the common schools, and in the academy at Charlemont.

On the 1st of September, 1846, Mr. Hawkes of this sketch married Debby A. Hawley, who was born in Hinsdale, Mass., March 19, 1824, and is of English descent. Her parents were William A. and Debby A. Hawley. Mr. and Mrs. Hawkes began their domestic life upon a farm in Franklin County, Mass., where they resided until 1854. Going to Buffalo, N. Y., our subject became clerk in a hotel, and in the spring of 1856 he emigrated to Christian County. His was one of the first families to settle in Rosamond Township. He purchased a tract of land and began the development of a farm. The county was in its primitive condition, deer and wolves were seen in the neighborhood, and the work of progress and civilization seemed scarcely begun.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hawkes were born ten children, as follows: Emma, wife of William O. Wilcox; Nellie C., who died at the age of eleven years; Herbert H., now of New York City; Henry M., who is in business in New York City; Leila A., wife of Wellington Walker, of Springfield, Mass.; Martha O., wife of Herbert V. Bullock, who is in the Globe-Democrat office of St. Louis; Mary A., twin sister of Martha, now the wife of Marion Nicholson, of Rosamond Township; Flora A., wife of Clinton Hawkes, of Massachusetts; Edwin A., who for seven years was in business in New York City, but is now at home; and Joseph B., who is also in New York City.

Mr. Hawkes cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, in 1840, and has never failed to support a Presidential candidate since that time. He has been a stalwart Republican since the organization of the party.

During the late war he was a member of the Union League, and is now a member of the Good Templars' Society. He has always been a strong temperance man, using neither intoxicants nor tobacco, and with one exception all of his sons abstain from the use of the latter.

Since twenty-one years of age, Mr. Hawkes hai been a faithful and consistent member of the Congregational Church, and, with the exception of three years, has been Deacon of the church in Rosamond since locating here. He has also been Trustee, and was Superintendent of the first Sunday-school organized in the place. On various occasions he has again filled the office. He is always found in his place in the house of worship, and has been one of the prominent leaders in church work in this community, untiring in his efforts to promote the Master's cause. He believes in practical Christianity, is charitable and benevolent, is generous and open-handed, and to the poor and needy is a friend.


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