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.
|NOYES LADD, one of the early settlers and representative farmers
of Christian County, who now resides on section 23, Buckhart Township, was born in Franklin Township, New London
County, Conn., on the 31st of March, 1822.
His father, Noyes Ladd, Sr., and his grandfather, Darius Ladd, were both natives of the Nutmeg State, and the family
is of English descent. The former married Harriet Williams, who was born in Connecticut,
and was a descendant of Elias Williams, a sea-captain, a descendant of William Williams, one of the signers of
the Declaration of Independence, and of Capt. W. Stanton, who served in the Revolutionary War. His father, Joseph
Stanton, was a son of Thomas Stanton, who ran away from home when a boy of fifteen years, took passage on the Mayflower,
and came to America with the Pilgrim Fathers. Here he learned the language of the Indians and became an interpreter.
He was considered a man of prominence and influence in the community where he lived.
Fifty out of one hundred and one of the colonists dying the first winter, he left them and went among the Indians, Chief Massasoit being the one who taught him to become an interpreter. He was afterward the interpreter for the five colonies until his death, and he assisted Chief Uncas [ed., see Last of the Mohicans] in writing the history of their achievements. After leaving the Indians he returned to his father, who fitted him out with a store at Hartford.
Mr. Ladd is a third cousin to President Cleveland. Mrs. Ladd's paternal ancestors married into the Hyde family of England, to which family Mr. Cleveland traces his lineage, and through which the Cleveland family made claim to Hyde Park, London. There is no doubt of their inheritance centering there, but there are missing links in the evidence for the claim. Chauncy Cleveland, an eminent lawyer and Governor of Connecticut, made a strong effort, but finally abandoned it.
Our subject became first acquainted in Springfield, Ill., with Abraham Lincoln, he being the first man he got acquainted with in that place. Afterward he became the bosom friend of Lincoln, many times discussing the slavery question with him at Lincoln's home until midnight.
Mr. Ladd has in his possession a rare relic, in the shape of a picture of his grandfather, Capt. Elias Willis, a painting over a hundred years old, painted on glass, and a picture of his grandmother, taken over fifty years ago. She died in Charleston, S. C., of yellow fever.
The parents of our subject were married in the Nutmeg State, and located on a farm in Franklin Township, New London County, where they resided until 1834, when they removed to Stonington. Conn., where the father died at the age of forty-one.
The mother afterward came to Illinois, and departed this life in the home of our subject, at the age of seventy-two. They had been the parents of the following children: Noyes, of this sketch; Harriet Z., who died when one year old; William, who died at the age of sixteen; Elizabeth, widow of John A. Rolston, and a resident of Springfield, Mo., whose son is W. C. Rolston, Judge of Pocahontas County, Iowa; Curtis K., who died at the age of nineteen; and Cyrus F., Darius, Nathan and Elias, all of whom were drowned from the steamer Empire, on North River, off Newburg, N. Y., while coming to this State.
Our subject, his wife and three children and his mother were on the same boat, but were saved. In that collision, however, fifty-four lives were lost.
Mr. Ladd whose name heads this record was reared in Connecticut, and on the 20th of January, 1843, married Phoebe Williams, a native of New London County, that State. Seven children were born unto them: Anna, now deceased; Harriet H., wife of Samuel Headen; William Slanton, who died at the age of sixteen; Curtis K., of South Fork Township; John P. W., also a farmer of South Fork Township; Jesse Y., a farmer of Taylorville Township; and Julia, who died in infancy. The mother of this family died, and January 30, 1868, Mr. Ladd married Eliza J. Kennard, a native of Mifflin County, Pa., but reared in Pickaway County, Ohio. Three children grace this marriage, Eliza Jane, Emily Augusta and Lillie.
Our subject carried on farming in Connecticut until 1848, which year witnessed his arrival in Christian County. The farm on which he now resides he entered from the Government. It was a raw tract of land, upon which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made. The entire county was wild and undeveloped. There were only nine voters in the township, six miles square.
Mr. Ladd has been prominently identified with the development and upbuilding of the community. He was one of the committee to build the first schoolhouse in the township, and was taxed for that purpose $1.50. His entire taxes were only $20.
He is now the oldest resident of the township, the others who were here at his arrival having removed or been called to the home beyond. He devotes his energies untiringly to the cultivation of his farm, and at one time owned one thousand acres of land. His possessions have all been acquired through his own efforts and stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. Mr. Ladd was a Whig in early life. Although not old enough to vote himself, he aided the election of Gen. Harrison by carrying voters to the polls. In 1856 he supported Fremont, and has since been a stalwart advocate of the Republican party. He was instrumental in the convention which nominated Gov. Bissell, the first Republican Governor of Illinois, and did campaign work in his behalf, making speeches throughout this part of the State. He has never been an office-seeker, in fact has steadily refused to hold office.
Mr. Ladd holds membership with the Presbyterian Church. The history of pioneer life in Christian County is certainly familiar to him, and the county owes to him a debt of gratitude for the labors he has performed in its behalf. He has done all in his power to aid in its upbuilding and advancement, and his labors have not been without their result. As an honored pioneer and valued citizen of the community, he representation in this volume.
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