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.
WILLIAM M. PROVINE, an attorney-at-law of Taylorville, Ill., was born in McDonough County, Ill., August 22, 1841. His father and mother are now living, at the age of seventy-seven, in Vermont, Ill., where the boyhood days of the subject of this sketch were mostly spent.

His education was acquired in the common schools, supplemented by a few months in an academy at Macomb, Ill. After a short experience as a clerk and school teacher successively, he enlisted on July 30, 1862, in Company B, Eighty-fourth Regiment of Illinois Infantry, and was elected Sergeant on the organization of the company. He was afterward elected First Sergeant, and in 1863 First Lieutenant. He served in the Army of the Cumberland in all its campaigns until July 20, 1864, when he was taken prisoner at Peach Tree Creek, in front of Atlanta, Ga. Shortly afterward he was one of six hundred Union officers who were placed by the Confederates in the city of Charleston under fire of the Union guns on Morris Island. From Charleston the prisoners were removed to Columbia, S. C., and on March 1, 1865, were exchanged at Wilmington, N. C. Upon the expiration of his thirty days' leave of absence, the war being over, he was ordered to Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Mo., where he was assigned to duty as adjutant of paroled prisoners, who were then coming North in large numbers. He was discharged from the service May 15, 1865.

After a brief visit to his home, our subject entered Mayhew's Business College, at Albion, Mich. [ed., Albion Commercial College, founded by Ira Mayhew who wrote Mayhew's Practical Book-Keeping Embracing Single and Double Entry, Commercial Calculations, and the Philosophy and Morals of Business], where after completing the course of study he remained two years as Principal of the "theory department," reading law in the mean time.

On severing his connection with the college, Mr. Provine entered the law office of Palmer & Hay, of Springfield, and was admitted, upon examination, to the Bar of the Supreme Court in the fall of 1868. He was tendered and accepted the position of Cashier of the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank of Galesburg, Ill., but, preferring the law, resigned his position there after a year's service.

Since 1872 he has resided continuously in Taylorville, and devoted his energies assiduously to his chosen profession. His attention is chiefly devoted to commercial and chancery laws. He is an able advocate, and receives from the public a liberal patronage, which is well deserved.

In politics, he was long a supporter of the Republican party, but in 1888 and again in 1892 he voted for Mr. Cleveland for the Presidency, on account of his views on the tariff question.

Other interests have found in Mr. Provine a supporter. He was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Taylorville, and since its organization has been one of its Directors. He has served on the Township Board of Education since its organization and is President of the Board, which numbers five members. Under their supervision and through their instrumentality the fine High School building of Taylorville [ed., now Taylorville Senior High School]was erected in 1890, the building and grounds being valued at $32,000. Mr. Provine takes a commendable interest in educational matters and in every enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit.

On the llth of May, 1869, in Vermont, Ill., was celebrated the marriage of William M. Provine and Mary Murray. They have two children. Bertha graduated from Oxford College of Ohio [ed., Miami University], in the Class of '91, and is now a teacher of literature and languages in the High School of Taylorville. She is a cultured and refined young lady, and has marked ability as an instructor. Walter is now a student in the High School. The parents are members of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Provine is connected with the Masonic fraternity.



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