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.

SYLVESTER SCHRANTZ, one of the most enterprising agriculturists of Stonington Township, is the owner of one of the best improved farms in the county and which is situated on section 8. His earliest ancestors in America were natives of Switzerland, who emigrated in 1745. Since that time the descendants have been stanch and true patriots of their adopted country.

The birth of Mr. Schrantz occurred February 28, 1847, in Canton, Ohio, his parents being Ephraim and Nancy (Mohler) Schrantz. The father was a native of Lancaster County, Pa. His great-grandfather, John Schrantz, was a native of the canton of Berne, Switzerland, and, as previously stated, located in America in Colonial days.

With his parents our subject's father removed to Ohio, and settled on a farm near Canton, where he remained until 1867. He then made a settlement in this county, and purchased seven hundred acres of wild land in Stonington Township, paying at the rate of $7 per acre. The remainder of his life he devoted to the cultivation and improvement of this land. He died June 24, 1892, at the age of sixty-nine years, and lies buried in Oaklawn Cemetery, in Taylorville.

In politics, he was a Republican and was a much respected early settler of these parts. His land and property he divided among his children. His father was an Advocate Judge of Stark County, Ohio, at the time of his death and was a Captain in the Mexican War. Our subject's mother was also born in Lancaster County, Pa., and is still living, her home being in Stonington.

Sylvester Schrantz is one of five children. The others are still living and are as follows: Syvilla, the wife of B. F. Young, a well-to-do farmer of Stonington Township; Wilson, Lee and John, who are also engaged in farming in the same township. Remaining with his parents on the home farm, our subject's time was occupied until his seventeenth year in farm duties and in attending the common schools.

On the 29th of February, 1864, he joined Company A, Nineteenth Ohio Infantry, and served until May 27, 1864. He was captured at the battle of New Hope, and was taken to Andersonville Prison, where he was held until the 13th of September. He was then transferred to the Charleston prison, there kept until October 15, and thence removed to Florence. In the latter prison he remained until December 1, when he was paroled at Charleston.

He was then so weak that he could not walk, and was left lying in a lumber-yard with the dead and dying. The Sisters of Charity had him taken to a hospital, where he partially regained his health and strength. With about sixty others he was then taken by the rebels and placed upon boats to be sent to their parole ship. These poor soldiers, still weak and exhausted, were exposed all night to the weather, and with the exception of fifteen they all died from the result. Only a few days had passed when there were none living of the number with the exception of our subject and one comrade. Mr. Schrantz was next taken to the St. John's College Hospital, at Annapolis, Md., where he stayed for about two months. After a furlough of ninety days at home, he went to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he received an honorable discharge June 25, 1865.

Returning to the old farm, our subject attended school at Greensburg Seminary [now Albright College] until the fall of 1866, when he came to Christian County. He continued to live at home until the fall of 1870, when he came to the farm on which he now resides, a portion of which had been given him by his father. The farm now comprises one hundred and sixty acres, which are well managed and thoroughly cultivated by the owner, who has practical and progressive ideas on farm work.

On the 4th of September, 1873, Mr. Schrantz and Miss Lovine Waltz were united in marriage. The lady was born in Medina County, Ohio, and by her marriage has become the mother of two children, a son and a daughter. Brace D. is a highly educated young man and has taught school in this community. Jessie M. has also been given a superior education and is an accomplished musician. The family is well received in social circles of the neighborhood. In politics, Mr. Schrantz is a loyal Republican, and, fraternally, holds membership with Francis M. Long Post No. 392, G. A. R., of Taylorville.




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