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, p249.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

JOHN W. NICODEMUS, who is well known in Christian and neighboring counties as a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, now owns a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Taylorville Township. He was one of the pioneers of his denomination in central Illinois and was for a period of twenty-two years on the Illinois circuit. He was zealous and active for years as a minister and often walked from ten to twenty miles to conduct a religious service.

The birth of our subject occurred in Knox County, Tenn., February 29, 1824. He is a son of Frederick Nicodemus, and is one of two children, he being the eldest, and Locky Ann, who is deceased. The mother died when John was very young, and his father passed away when he was a lad of only seven years. He was taken by an uncle, and remained with him until he was seventeen years of age. Desiring to learn a trade, he apprenticed himself for two years to a blacksmith, working for his board and clothes. For two terms he was in Knoxville pursuing his studies. Afterwards he built a shop of his own and continued to work at his trade for a few years. Returning to Knoxville, be there resided until 1860, when he came to Illinois, making the trip by team. He located in what is now King Township, and purchased eighty acres of unimproved prairie land, where he lived for about five years.

Mr. Nicodemus became a resident of Taylorville Township in 1865, having sold his former farm and purchased one of eighty acres on section 14. There he engaged in agricultural pursuits for a few years and then located on his present farm, to which he came in 1882. This property comprises one hundred and twenty acres of arable and well improved land, and has been placed under a high state of cultivation.

Our subject has been twice married, his first union being celebrated October 3, 1843, with Miss Mary E. Ault, by whom he had six children: Joel A., who died in March, 1845; Martha A., who died in March, 1847; William K., a resident of Taylorville; Wesley B., a farmer of this county; Mary A., who died January 10, 1852; and Willie B., who died April 20, 1854. The mother departed this life May 7, 1854. The second marriage of Mr. Nicodemus was with Miss Mary A., daughter of John and Mary Falkner. The wedding ceremony took place July 20, 1854. She was born near Knoxville, Tenn., January 20, 1829.

In his political faith Mr. Nicodemus is a Democrat. He has held the office of Commissioner of Highways and has been a School Director. In his early life he met with a great deal of discouragement, and is a self-educated as well as a self-made man. He has always taken a great and active interest in all church and educational work, and is one of the valued citizens of this county.



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