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.
RICHARD PECK is one of the oldest survivors of pioneer days in Christian County. He has made his home for some forty-three years in this immediate locality, and has been a prominent factor in the development and prosperity of this county. His residence is on his farm, which is located on section 36, May Township.

Mr. Peck is a native of Yorkshire, England, his birth occurring January 8, 1816. He is a son of Samuel and Jane (Routledge) Peck, who were also natives of the same shire. The father was born in 1778, and was an agriculturist in Yorkshire for upwards of thirty years. In 1834 he determined to try his fortune in America, and soon after his arrival in the United States settled on a farm near Terre Haute, Ind. He continued to carry on agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in this county when he had attained to an advanced age. His wife passed away on the farm in Indiana. She was the mother of ten children, of  whom our subject was the fourth in order of birth and the only one now living.

When a youth of fourteen years, Richard Peck left the parental roof and started out to make his own way in the world. For some four years he worked by the month for neighboring farmers, and in 1834, when in his eighteenth year, he decided to come to America with his parents. For several years he worked a portion of the time on his father's farm in Indiana, while the remainder of his time was spent as an agriculturist in the vicinity. For a period of two years he worked at the molder's trade.

In 1850 Mr. Peck came to Christian County, where he entered two hundred and forty acres of wild land on the open prairie. At that time there were very few settlers in the district. They were located along the edge of the timber, but there were no settlements on the prairie prior to Mr. Peck's arrival. His farm, which he still owns and cultivates, he has greatly improved since it came into his possession. He has disposed of a portion of his land, but still owns two hundred acres, which are under good cultivation. Coming here a poor boy, he acquired a competency sufficient for his declining years entirely through his own industry and honest labor.

On the 6th of March, 1842, occurred the marriage of Mr. Peck and Miss Naomi Gould, of Vigo County, Ind., where her parents were early settlers. Mr. Peck affiliates with the Republican party, and though not an aspirant for official honors has been prevailed upon by his fellow -citizens several times to accept local positions. He was the first Township Collector of May Township, holding that position for seven years after its organization. For fourteen successive years he was the efficient Township Assessor, and in whatever capacity he has served his efforts have been marked with commendable fidelity and zeal. For a number of years he has served as a School Director, and has been a stanch supporter of education.

In his social relations he is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to Lodge No. 451, of Assumption. He is not identified with any church organization, but is honorable and upright in his dealings with all. He is justly esteemed one of the leading agriculturists of his township, in the prosperity of which he is greatly interested.



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