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.
JOHN RAYHILL, who is engaged in general farming on section 1, Pana Township, is a native of the Hoosier State. He was born in Washington County, Ind., May 14, 1844, and is the sixth child and third son in a family of ten children. We see him in his boyhood spending his time in work around the home and in the fields, or else engaged in the sports which furnish entertainment for farmer lads. He remained under the parental roof until eighteen years of age when, prompted by patriotic impulses, he offered his services to the Government, enlisting as a drummer boy in Company B, Sixteenth Indiana Infantry.

He thus served for one year, after which he was made Corporal. He participated in twenty-six regular engagements, and for forty-seven days aided in besieging Vicksburg. He was also in the siege of Jackson seven days, and took part in the Red River expedition. He served in the mounted infantry, and although he was at the front in so many important and hotly-contested engagements, he was never wounded. His brother Cyrus, however, was wounded in his first battle, and entirely disabled for further duty. When the war was over and the country no longer needed his services, our subject was honorably discharged and mustered out at New Orleans. On the 22d of July, 1862, he went into camp, and on the 22d of July, 1865, just three years later, he arrived in Pana.

Mr. Rayhill at once embarked in farming at the place of his present residence. He was married February 21, 1867, the lady of his choice being Mary Brooks, a native of Kentucky, who came to Illinois when a maiden of seventeen summers. In early life she was left an orphan, and has no recollection of her parents. Six children were born of this union, but Alexander died at the age of seven years; and John died at the age of sixteen months. Lillia M., twenty years of age; Nellie B., aged seventeen; and Frank and Fred, twins, aged ten, are still with their parents.

The Republican party finds in Mr. Rayhill a stalwart advocate. He has been honored with different local offices, for six years acceptably filling the position of Highway Commissioner, and he has also served as School Director, to the satisfaction of all concerned. Socially, he holds membership with Pope Post No. 411, G. A. R., of Pana. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, and does all in his power for the best interests of the community, but his time and attention are chiefly given to his business interests. He owns a half interest in the old homestead farm of one hundred and forty acres, and in connection with the cultivation of the fields ho also carries on stock-raising. He has long been a resident of this community and is both widely and favorably known.


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