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.
JUDGE ALEXANDER McCASKILL, one of Christian County's prominent lawyers, who is engaged in practice in Taylorville as the senior member of the firm of McCaskill & Son, has been prominently identified with the judicial interests of central Illinois. Both on the Bench and as an advocate he has won a high reputation, and his abilities, both natural and acquired, have placed him in the front rank among his professional brethren.
The Judge has spent nearly his entire life in this State. He was born in Sangamon County, near Rochester, January 23, 1833, and is a son of Rev. Daniel and Esther (Turner) McCaskill, the former a native of North Carolina, and the latter of Virginia.
They were married in Sangamon County, Ill., and in 1834 removed with their family to Brown County. The father was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was also a medical practitioner. He died in Brown County about 1846, at the age of fifty years. His wife survived him some time, and passed away in 1861.
The subject of this sketch was the fourth child in his parents' family. He was only about a year old at the
time of their removal to Brown
County, and was a youth of only thirteen when his father died.
Mr. McCaskill suspended his professional labors in 1859, going to Pike's Peak. He spent about two years at Russell's Gulch, near Pike's Peak, where, in connection with his brother, Dr. John McCaskill, he purchased and operated some mines. The Judge also engaged in practice.
In 1861 he returned to Christian County and once more opened a law office, forming a partnership with his
brother Daniel. The latter served throughout the late war, went with Sherman on the celebrated Atlanta campaign,
and after the struggle studied law and then entered into partnership with his brother, as above stated. This connection
was continued until some ten years ago, when the health of the brother failed and he went to Pueblo, Colo. Judge McCaskill then admitted to partnership with him Kleber
E. Willcockson, now of Oakley,
Kan., and later the present firm was formed.
He is a clear reasoner, a logical thinker, carefully weighs evidence, and his deductions therefore are generally
correct and have weight with the jury. He has been employed on nearly all of the murder cases of the county, usually
on the defense, and was one of the counsel for the defense in the famous Emma Bond case.
Socially, the Judge was made a Mason in Mound Lodge No. 122, A. F. & A. M., of which he served as Worshipful Master for some years. He has filled the principal offices in Taylorville Chapter, R. A. M. Judge McCaskill is well fitted to be a leader of men and has therefore been prominent in public life. He possesses more than ordinary ability, yet his success is due in no small degree to his application and earnest efforts. Respected by his colleagues and honored by all, he well deserves prominent mention in the history of his adopted county.
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