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 by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.
WESLEY SIMPSON, one of the early settlers of Christian County, now residing on section 13, Rosamond Township, is numbered among the extensive land-owners of the community, his possessions aggregating seven hundred and sixty acres. In his business affairs he has been very successful and has achieved a prosperity which numbers him among the substantial citizens of central Illinois.

Mr. Simpson was born in Harrison County, Ohio, January 9, 1831, and is of Irish descent. His grandfather, John Simpson, was born in the Emerald Isle, and when a young man emigrated to America. He became one of the early settlers of Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1810, and afterwards removed to Harrison County, where he took up land from the Government, making his home thereon until called to his final rest.

The father of our subject, Alexander Simpson, was born in Huntingdon County, Pa., in 1796, and at the age of six years accompanied his parents to the Buckeye State. He married Eliza Mary Evans, a native of Ireland, who was a maiden of sixteen summers when she came with her sister to America. Their union was celebrated in Harrison County, and they began their domestic life upon a farm, Mr. Simpson entering land from the Government.

About 1860, they came to Christian County, Ill., locating in Rosamond Township, where the mother passed away. The death of the father occurred in Kansas. They were the parents of ten children, seven sons and three daughters, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, while nine are now living.

Our subject, who is the third in order of birth, remained upon the home farm until he had attained his majority, his childhood being passed in the usual manner of farmer lads. In 1852, he started Westward, hoping to benefit his financial condition thereby. Locating in Pike County, Ill., he worked by the month as a farm hand for a time, and then engaged in clerking in a store. Subsequently he returned to Ohio, where, January 17, 1856, he married Miss Sarah J. Cheney, at New Cumberland. Mrs. Simpson was born in Jackson County, Va., February 14, 1834. To them was born a family of nine children: Charles W., Asa O., Elmer E., Jennie, William G., Clyde, Austin U. and Royal D., all of whom are living, and Sarah E., who died in childhood. The mother of this family died May 30, 1873. She was for many years a member of the Methodist Church.

On the 6th of December, 1877, Mr. Simpson was again married, when Miss Martha S. Cheney became his wife. She is a niece of his former wife, and a native of Louisville, Ky. Six children were born of this union, but two died in infancy. Those living are Frank, Emma J., John A. Logan and Mary E. Again coming to this State, Mr. Simpson made a location upon a farm in Pike County, which he operated for a year, and then came to Christian County, the date of his arrival being April, 1857.

Mr. Simpson here rented a farm for a year at the head of South Fork, and then purchased railroad land of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, in what is now Greenwood Township, and turned his attention to general farming. He devoted his energies to the development and cultivation of his first purchase until 1886, when he removed to the farm on which he now resides, comprising five hundred acres. The old homestead is one hundred and sixty acres in extent, and he also has another farm of one hundred acres, his possessions therefore aggregating seven hundred and sixty acres of valuable land, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation and yields to the owner a good income. His son, Asa O., now operates the old home place.

For many years Mr. Simpson has now engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He gives his special attention to the latter branch of business at this writing and now has over one hundred head of cattle. Our subject started out in life a poor man, with no capital save a young man's bright hope of the future and a determination to win success if it could be achieved through industry and perseverance. He has succeeded, having more than realized the hopes of his early manhood.

That his prosperity is well deserved is acknowledged by all. In politics, Mr. Simpson has been a supporter of Republican principles since the organization of the party, and socially is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He is numbered among the early settlers of this community, and among the leading citizens of Christian County.


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