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.
EZRA M. MILLER, who resides in Assumption, is numbered among the honored early pioneers of this part of Illinois. He located in Shelby County, near the present town of Assumption, when this region was an undeveloped wilderness. In many places the grass grew as high as a man's head while sitting on his horse. The few settlements were widely scattered, and the work of progress and development seemed hardly begun.

Mr. Miller is a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, born on the 9th of December, 1832. His father, Christian Miller, was a native of Germany, and when a child came to the New World with his parents, the family locating in Pennsylvania. There he grew to manhood, and when a young man went to Ohio, locating in Fairfield County, where he was married. He was a cooper, carpenter and millwright, and followed all three trades in the Buckeye State.

In 1842 he emigrated Westward to Illinois, locating in Shelby County, where he bought a tract of land and opened up a nice farm. There he reared his family and spent the last years of his life. He was called to his final rest February 24, 1893, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years and four months.

He was twice married, his first wife dying in 1837, and his second in February, 1879. Two children were born of the former marriage, Ezra M., and James C., now deceased, and by the latter union there were seven children.

We now take up the personal history of our subject, who was a lad of only ten summers when he came to Illinois, where his boyhood and youth were passed. He had but limited school advantages in his early life and is almost wholly self-educated.

He remained with his father until he had arrived at years of maturity, when he began to earn his own livelihood by hauling rails. After one winter spent in this way he engaged in trading in stock, and the succeeding year embarked as a dealer in hedge plants. For fifteen years his energies were devoted to the raising and setting out of hedge fences. He has planted miles and miles of hedge in Shelby and Christian Counties.

In 1862 he turned his attention to farming, and was actively and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits for twenty years. He first purchased forty acres of land, to which he added from time to time until he now owns four hundred acres of valuable and well-improved land about six miles east of Assumption, and also another tract of forty acres just east of the corporation limits. He is also the owner of a fine residence property in Assumption, in which he now makes his home. He is a worthy example of a self-made man, who commenced life for himself at the lowest round of fortune's ladder, and has steadily climbed upward to a position of affluence, being now numbered among the substantial citizens of the county.

On the 8th of December, 1849, in Shelby County, Mr. Miller was united in marriage with Miss Alice McSherry, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of John W. McSherry, who died in the Hoosier State. Four children have been born of their union: Eva L., wife of George Dickson, a merchant of Finley. Ill.; Lillian, wife of Lon Milligan, a railroad engineer, residing in Amory, Miss.; Rose, wife of W. L. Hinto, a merchant of Decatur; and Maud A., a young lady at home. They also lost three sons and a daughter in early childhood. The parents have given all their daughters good educations.

Politically, Mr. Miller has been identified with the Republican party since casting his first Presidential vote for Hon. John C. Fremont, in 1856. He always votes the Republican ticket at State and national elections, but in local elections votes independently, supporting the man whom he thinks best qualified for the office, regardless of party affiliations. Mr. Miller has spent almost his entire life in Shelby and Christian Counties, and is well known here and in adjoining counties. He possesses good business ability and is an excellent financier, hence his success in life. He is a man of upright character and sterling worth, and he and his estimable wife have the respect and esteem of all who know them.



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