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.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN LANTZ occupies the position of Postmaster of Taylorville, and is proving himself a capable and efficient officer, as well as a popular one. He is widely known throughout the community, and is a man who has many warm friends. He was born in Lancaster, Ohio, October 19, 1840, and his parents, Martin and Lavina (Hines) Lantz, were also natives of the Buckeye State. They had only two children, Benjamin, and Samuel W., who now resides in Lyons, Kan.

The father carried on the butchering business in Lancaster for many years. At length he came to Illinois, in 1870, and located in Taylorville, where he carried on business until his death, which occurred in 1873, at the age of fifty-six years. His wife survived him, and departed this life in 1883, at the age of sixty-nine.

The paternal grandfather, Martin Lantz, was a Pennsylvanian by birth, and became one of the early settlers of Ohio. He entered land within three miles of Lancaster, and there made his home until his death, which occurred when more than eighty years of age. He was twice married, and reared a family of seven children.

The gentleman whose name heads this record spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his native city, and there acquired a good practical English education. At the age of eighteen, he began learning the blacksmith's trade, at which he served a three-years apprenticeship, but on the breaking out of the war he abandoned the forge and shouldered the musket.

Prompted by patriotic impulses, he responded to the President's call for troops in the beginning of the strife, and served for nearly four years in Company F, Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry. At the battle of Pittsburg Landing, in which he participated, during the first day of the struggle he was taken prisoner, and after being incarcerated for about thirty days, he was paroled, but was not exchanged for almost a year, returning to his regiment just a year after he had been made a prisoner. The next battle in which he took part was at Memphis, Tenn., it commencing on the 2d of May, at Resaca. He was in front of Atlanta during the siege of that city, and on account of a wound received on the 5th of August was incapacitated for duty for thirty days. Rejoining his regiment at Jonesboro, he went into battle there and remained with the troops until reaching Washington, when he left the Capitol City for Louisville, Ky., where he was mustered out. Mr. Lantz saw much hard service, but he remained true to the Old Flag and to the cause of the Union until the fact of her preservation was an established one.

Our subject was then returned to Lancaster, Ohio, and worked at his trade for a year. In 1866, he went to Decatur, Ill., where he joined an old army comrade. Forming a partnership, they went to Wheatland, and, opening a blacksmith shop, there did business for a year, from which place Mr. Lantz came to Taylorville. He was here employed in the agricultural implement warehouse

of Sattley Brothers for four years, after which he secured a position with Brooks & Shutler, with whom he remained for about three years. He then served as Deputy in the office of the County Clerk, under William H. Kirkwood. On the 17th of June, 1875, he entered the post office as assistant to John J. Squires, and has here remained continuously since. On the 27th of January, 1891, he was made Postmaster by President Harrison, and is the present incumbent. His connection with the office covers a period of eighteen years, a fact which well indicates faithfulness to duty, promptness and fidelity.

Turning from the public to the private life of Mr. Lantz, we record that on the 8th of October, 1867, was celebrated his marriage with Miss Berlina J. Dean, a daughter of Allen and Maria (Webb) Dean, of Lancaster, Ohio. Four children grace this union, Albert E., Bertha, Roy and Minnie, and they also lost a daughter in infancy. Albert, a cigarmaker of Taylorville, married Miss Belle Murphy, and unto them has been born a son, LaMoine.

The Lantz family has a pleasant home in Taylorville, which is the abode of hospitality, and the members of the household rank high in the social circles in which they move. Mr. Lantz is a warm advocate of Republican principles, and socially is connected with F. M. Long Post No. 392, G. A. R. His wife is a consistent member of the Methodist Church. One of the honored boys in blue, a public-spirited citizen and a faithful officer, Mr. Lantz well deserves representation in this history of his adopted county.


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