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.
MRS. CATHERINE H. POPE, who resides on a fine farm on section 6, Pana Township, was born near Utica, in Herkimer County, N. Y., May 7, 1814. Her father, Henry Rosencrantz, was born and reared in the same county, and was a son of Rev. Abram Rosencrantz, a native of Paltz [ed., perhaps Pfalz], Germany.

When a young man he crossed the briny deep to New York, where he met and married Miss Anna Maria, daughter of Gen. Herkimer. He then took up his residence in the township of Little Falls, and was the first preacher of Herkimer County, the old German church being built expressly for him.

He was a prominent and influential citizen and a most highly-respected man. His death occurred at the age of seventy years. His eldest son became a United States Congressman. The second son, Henry, was a prominent farmer of Herkimer County. Nicholas, the next younger, was a soldier in the War of 1812. Abram followed farming in the same county. Joseph, who was a soldier of the War of 1812, was also a leading agriculturist. The daughters of the family were Margaret, Katie and Polly.

Henry Rosencrantz, the father of Mrs. Pope, was a farmer by occupation, and in his native county married Patience Easterbrook. She was born in Rhode Island, and was a daughter of Abel Easterbrook, also a native of Rhode Island. His people were sea-faring men, but he followed farming and blacksmithing.

Mr. and Mrs. Rosencrantz began their domestic life in Herkimer County, N. Y., and there remained until 1826, when they removed to St. Lawrence County, locating on a farm, where the father died at the age of fifty-eight. The mother died in this county in 1857, while visiting her daughter, Mrs. Pope. She was then in her seventy-ninth year.

Their family numbered seven sons and four daughters, of whom seven grow to mature years: Anna Maria, who married Luther Davis, both of whom died in Sangamon County; Mrs. Elizabeth Talman; Mrs. Henrietta Sturtevant, deceased; Mrs. Catherine H. Pope; George, deceased; Margaret and Patience, also deceased; and Abram Rosencrantz, who died at the age of fifteen. The other children died in infancy.

Mrs. Pope spent her early girlhood days in her native county, and then went with her parents to St. Lawrence County. The common schools afforded her educational privileges.

On the 14th of January, 1833, was celebrated her marriage with Abel Smith Pope, who was born in St. Lawrence County January 7, 1810, and was the fourth son of Timothy and Hannah (Stickney) Pope. His father was a prominent citizen and large landowner, and was a cloth-dresser, miller and tanner.

Mr. and Mrs. Pope began housekeeping in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and he engaged in cloth making, tanning, etc., in company with his father. After the death of his father he removed to Spencerville, Canada, six miles west of Prescott, where he engaged in hotel-keeping for two years. He then went to Prescott, where he ran a bus line for two years, after which he returned to St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and followed the same business in Ogdensburg, coming thence to Christian County, Ill., in 1853.

They were numbered among the early settlers, and went through all the experiences of life on the frontier. In 1868 they removed to the farm on which Mrs. Pope now resides, and he carried on its cultivation until his death, which occurred in 1882.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Pana, and was a Republican in politics. He possessed many excellencies of character, was upright and honorable in all things, and had the confidence of the entire community. Many friends mourned his loss.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Pope were born the following children: Henry H., who was born in New York, enlisted in Company D, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, served throughout the war, and for meritorious conduct was promoted to the rank of Colonel; Henrietta M., the next younger; Melissa M. and George, who are both deceased; James, a traveling salesman for a Kalamazoo firm; Albert, who carries on the home farm; and Sarah E., who died in infancy.

The family have a very pleasant home, situated in the midst of a fine farm, comprising three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, which yields to them a good income. The household is the abode of hospitality, and its members are widely and favorably known in the neighborhood. Mrs. Pope is a member of the Baptist Church, and is a most estimable lady.



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