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 LANGEN is a prominent young farmer and citizen of Ricks Township, where he is engaged in carrying on the old homestead on section 30 which formerly belonged to his father, Theodore Langen. He is one of the progressive agriculturists of this community, and has been very successful in general farming and stock-raising. He was born September 17, 1861, in Greene County, Ill., and has spent nearly his entire life in Christian County, in the development of which he has done his share.

Theodore F. Langen, our subject's father, was born in the village of Wiennenburg, Prussia, February 27, 1827. His parents were Frederick and Elizabeth (Wegener) Langen, and he was the youngest of eight children. His father being a farmer in good circumstances, he received superior educational advantages, and attended the higher schools, where he always stood at the head of his class and became proficient in Latin.

He served for three years in the Prussian army during the Revolution of 1848. In the spring of 1852 he landed in New York, and proceeded to Jersey County, Ill., in which county his brother was living. On the 17th of October, 1855, he married Elizabeth Brockamp, who was born in Allenburg, Germany, March 10, 1840, being a daughter of Henry B. and Catherine (Morman) Brockamp. Her father, who died in February, 1870, was for many years previous engaged in operating his farm seven miles west of Jeiseyville. He was a blacksmith by trade, and had served in the German army. Mrs. Langen came to America with her parents when five years of age.

After his marriage, the father of our subject removed to Greene County, this State, and rented a farm three miles distant from Carrollton, where he resided for eight years. In the spring of 1853 he came to Christian County and bought one hundred and sixty acres of wild land on section 30, Ricks Township. He made the road and surveyed it from his farm to Nokomis, fourteen miles across the prairie. The country was wild and the farm unimproved, but he was industrious and energetic, and at the time of his death left six hundred and forty acres, which were divided among his children.

He died August 31, 1876, in the faith of the Catholic Church, to which his family all belonged. He was straightforward and upright in his business and made many friends.

In politics, he was a Democrat. His wife was appointed administrator of his estate and wisely managed the affairs. She is now living in Morrisonville, where she has a pleasant residence and makes her home with her youngest daughter. She gave her children good educations, and her daughters attended the convent at St. Louis, where they became proficient in music and other accomplishments.

In the spring of 1863 William Langen came with his parents to Christian County and assisted his father in improving his land, which was nearly all a swamp. After his father's death he continued to make his home with his mother, brothers and sisters. Of the children, Henry lives in Morrisonville and is married. His wife was formerly Miss Amelia Schwab. Katie is the wife of Antony Lantz, of Morrisonville. Mary is the wife of Herman Todt, a farmer living in Montgomery County. Eleanora is the wife of Frank Todt, of the same county. John, who is also a farmer there, married Maggie Todt. Elizabeth and Helena live at the home of their mother in Morrisonville.

The education of William Langen was acquired in the common schools and in Alton, Ill., where for two winters he attended the German Catholic school, where his brothers and sisters were also students. Until reaching his majority he lived on the old homestead, of which he had charge for many years. His farm comprises two hundred and forty acres, in addition to which he operates another farm of a like amount. He has brought the place under good improvement and has laid over four miles of tile on the farm.

In Raymond, Mr. Langen was married in September, 1885, to Miss Elizabeth Todt, a daughter of John and Mary Todt, both natives of Germany. She was reared to womanhood on her father's farm, located five miles north of Raymond, and received her education in the public schools and the convent at Litchfield [probably under the tutelage of the Ursuline Sisters].

She has become the mother of five children: Johnnie, Theodore, Mary, Joseph and Florence. Our subject has served for six successive years as Township Commissioner and is now School Director. His first Presidential ballot was cast for Grover Cleveland, and he always votes on the side of the Democratic party. He and his wife are members of the Catholic Church at Morrisonville, and are highly respected in this vicinity.



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