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 by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

RICHARD JOHNSON is one of the influential farmers of Johnson Township, his home being on section 14. He is a native of the Buckeye State, born May 14, 1830, in Cadiz and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Orr) Johnson, who were both natives of Washington County, Pa., where they grew to manhood and womanhood.

Richard Johnson is one of six children, of whom he is next to the youngest. His eldest brother, James, is deceased, and was buried in Louisville, Ky.; Margaret, who was next in order of birth, and was formerly a resident of Waterbury, Conn., is now deceased; Albert was one of the devoted missionaries to India and was killed in the mutiny in 1848, about seven hundred miles from Calcutta; Junius C. died in Ohio; William, who was in India for a few years, is now President of the Biddle Institute (now Johnson Smith University) in North Carolina, and is a man of superior attainments. The father of these children died in 1837, and was buried in Cadiz, Ohio. His wife died three years later and was placed in her last resting-place in Washington County, Pa., which was also the county of her birth.
Our subject was early deprived of his father's guidance and mother's loving care, for he was only a child of seven years on the death of the former, and three years later occurred his mother's death. He was therefore early obliged to strike out and make his own livelihood. He obtained employment in a tannery and worked at that business for six years in Ohio. In 1859 he wedded Matilda Baker, who was born in Pennsylvania, and with her parents removed to Clarke County, Ohio. With her parents, she later settled in Christian County, Ill. They were natives of Washington County, Pa., and were of Scotch and Irish descent.

They became residents of these parts in 1854, when the county was a wilderness. Our subject and wife became the parents of eight children. Margaret married James Hawkins, of Johnson Township; William, who is deceased, lies buried in the Taylorville cemetery; Mary became the wife of Henry Dappert, a farmer of Johnson Township; Drusilla and Sophronia are at home; Rebecca is married and resides on the homestead; Matthew is also at home; and Rachel died in infancy.

The farm belonging to our subject is well improved and comprises four hundred and seventy acres. The owner is one of the enterprising farmers of the township and is thoroughly familiar with the duties pertaining to farm work. He is a stanch Republican, prior to the organization of which party he affiliated with the Whigs. His first vote in a Presidential election was cast for Winfield Scott. For many years after coming to this county, the father of our subject was well known as one of the pioneer physicians. In everything pertaining to the upbuilding of the community in which he dwells, Mr. Johnson is active and interested, and is a believer in giving the rising generation the best possible advantages in the way of an education. He has served as one of the School Directors, and is ever to be found on the side of progress.



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