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.

RICHARD B. TEMPLE, the efficient and popular Mayor of Taylorville, is a man of sterling worth, whose excellencies of character and fitness for the position have placed him at the head of municipal affairs in his adopted city. He claims Tennessee as the State of his nativity, and was born in Knoxville April 4, 1846, being a son of James and Mary E. (Alexander) Temple, the former a native of Georgia, and the latter of South Carolina. In 1849, when their son was only three years of age, they came to Illinois, locating on a farm in Greene County, where the father died two years later. The mother was thus left with a large family dependent upon her. In her later years she removed to Wichita, Kan., where her death occurred.

Our subject was educated in the public schools, and remained at home until sixteen years of age, when he began earning his own livelihood. Since that time he has been dependent upon his own resources, so that whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own industry and enterprise. He entered upon his business career in a grocery store in Rockbridge, Ill., where he was employed as a salesman for two years. He then went to Macon, Macon County, where he engaged in clerking in a drug store for about five years.

At the age of twenty-three he came to Christian County, Ill., and embarked in merchandising in his own interest. He also began dealing in live stock and subsequently formed a partnership with A. B. Chapman. When he began business for himself he had a capital of about $1,000. After two years he was joined by Mr. Chapman, and operations were carried on under the firm name of R. B. Temple & Co. for two years, they doing a large business. Mr. Temple continued business at Stonington for two years after the dissolution of the partnership, and during that time sold over $50,000 worth of goods, besides making extensive deals in live stock.

In the latter line of business Mr. Temple has since continued. Removing to St. Louis, he continued in the live-stock commission business for one year, and was live-stock agent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, having charge of the Kansas business, with headquarters at Wichita, Kan. He opened up the Kansas territory for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company and secured a fine share of the trade in that line.

Returning to Christian County, Mr. Temple resumed business in his own interest, and continued his residence in Stonington until September, 1891, when he came to Taylorville. He yet continues to make extensive shipments of stock from Stonington, Willey, Taylorville and Owaneco. He handles about $75,000 worth of stock per year, and in some years his sales of cattle, sheep and hogs have reached $150,000. For four years he has been engaged in feeding from five hundred to eight hundred head of cattle annually, and from five hundred to two thousand hogs.

On the 1st of May, 1872, Mr. Temple married Miss Hattie A. Peabody, of Stonington, daughter of W. S. Peabody, deceased. Their union has been blessed with two daughters: Maud, who is a student in the High School; and Edith G., deceased. Mrs. Temple and her daughter are members of the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Temple is a member of the Modern Woodmen. In politics he is a Republican, for two years served as Supervisor of Stonington, and in April, 1893, was elected Mayor of Taylorville over J. B. Ricks. He has never had a law suit, but has lived a quiet, unassuming life, that has gained him the confidence and high regard of all with whom business or pleasure has brought him in contact.  



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