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, p224.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

ELIJAH A. MILLER is one of the respected old settlers of Taylorville Township, having lived on his present farm since 1850. This property is situated on section 16, and has been developed from the wild prairie to its present thrifty and well-improved condition by our subject, who has acquired a good farm and a comfortable competence for his remaining years. He is a native of this county, having been born in South Fork Township, which was then a part of Sangamon County, on the 10th of March, 1825. His parents were Samuel and Hannah (Hainen) Miller, who were of German and Scotch-Irish descent, respectively. The former was a native of Virginia, and the latter of South Carolina. They were the parents of the following children: Sallie, Melinda, Isaac, Daniel, Martin, Levi, Elijah, Jane, Eli, Charles, and two who died in infancy. Only three of the number are yet living. Martin and Jane are residents of Saline County, Neb. The former is a retired farmer.

Samuel Miller removed from his native State to Kentucky, and grew to manhood in Christian County of that State. He was a farmer and maker of weaver's reeds. In 1822, he came to Illinois and settled in South Fork Township, this county, the trip overland being made on horseback. He pre-empted a piece of Government land, for which he paid $1.25 per acre. In the early days he gave as high as one hundred percent, on borrowed money. On his farm he erected a small log cabin, 16x20 feet. The nearest trading point was at Springfield. He was born in 1790, and passed away in October, 1833, having been a member of the Universalist Church. His wife was born in 1799, and died in 1866.

The subject of this sketch was born and reared on his father's farm in this county, and his education was obtained in the early subscription schools. The first one he ever attended was taught by Judge Vandeveer and was situated nearly a mile and a-half from his home. He obtained a good business education largely through his own study and diligence. When about sixteen years of age, he began teaching school, and continued during the winter months in that occupation until in his twenty-eighth year. From, the time he was a youth of sixteen years he took charge of his mother's old homestead, which he continued to manage until 1850.

The farm on which Mr. Miller still lives was purchased by him in 1850. This property of one hundred and sixty acres was school land and was purchased at the rate of $1.75 per acre. He has since extended its boundaries until it now comprises two hundred and seventy acres, where he carries on general farming and stock-raising. At the same time that he settled on this place he married Miss Jane S. Bishop, who was born in Rochester, N. Y., August 6, 1830.

Six children have been born to our subject and wife. Ada, whose birth occurred in April, 1855, is the wife of H. J. Huffman, who is a school teacher in Seward County, Neb.; Henry died November 30, 1866; Annie died in infancy; Jennie, born October 22, 1862, became the wife of O.E. Badger, a Methodist minister; Fannie, wife of A. J. Hayward, a farmer of Taylorville Township, was born July 6, 1864; and Alice, the youngest of the family, born July 3, 1866, died September 19, 1869.

The first vote cast by Mr. Miller was for Franklin Pierce, and he has supported the Democratic party ever since that time. A number of times he has been honored with various township offices, and among others we mention that of Township Collector, School Director and Trustee. Mrs. Miller holds membership with the Presbyterian Church. The family is highly respected and have always been warmly received in the social circles of the neighborhood.



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