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.

C. N. WALLS, editor of the Democrat, is a native of Edgar County, Ill., and first saw the light at Paris December 3, 1852. He attended the public schools of that city until he was nine years old, when his father, Elza Walls, having died, he removed with his mother, (who re-married two years afterward) to a farm. The war coming on unsettled the country school, and for the next eight years he had little or no opportunity for education.

Happening to see in a copy of a local newspaper that a boy was wanted to learn the printing trade, he applied for the position, was accepted, and in two years became foreman. Having employed all his time between 7 p. m. and midnight in study, a year later he was advanced to the position of associate editor, which he threw up to enter college at Chicago.

While a student, he dashed off a few lines of jingle, which he sent to the Terre Haute (Ind.) Gazette, and which attracted the attention of the editor, O. J. Smith, who offered him a place on the editorial staff of the Saturday Evening Mail, which he contemplated establishing. He remained with the Mail for nine months, when he took editorial charge of the Moravia (Iowa) Vedette. He left Moravia to establish the Democrat at Princeton, Mo., but in a few months returned to Moravia and started the Messenger.

Mr. Walls married Miss Mary McDivitt, of Edgar County, Ill., and bought the Indianian, the Democratic organ of Hendricks County, and removed to Danville, Ind., in June, 1872. He remained at Danville for five years, and was Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee during all of that time.

In 1879 he removed to Decatur, Ill., and established the Decatur Saturday Herald, now the Herald Despatch [ed., now Herald & Review]. His health failing, he sold the Herald and did a little reportorial work on the Republican [ed., Paris Republican], at Paris, Ill. 

In 1881 he bought the Macon (Ill.) Independent [ed., probably the Independent of Blue Mound in Macon County], and a year later established the Assumption Enterprise. He ran both papers for two years, and then bought the Monticello (Ill.) Bulletin, making Monticello his headquarters.

Not content with having three papers on his hands, he entered the Railway Mail Service as Postal Clerk on the Champaign & Havana Line [ed., probably the Illinois Central Railroad]. He passed a final examination at the end of three months, in half the time required, leased the Macon and Assumption papers, and remained in the service for nearly two and a-half years, when he sold the two smaller papers and bought the Taylorville Democrat and removed to Taylorville March 31, 1888.

In May he resigned as Postal Clerk, and in October following he sold the Monticello Bulletin. Having only one paper to run, he turned his attention partially to invention, and had obtained ten patents up to the date of the issue of this work.

He was Secretary of the Democratic Central Committee of Christian County for more than four years, and since January, 1893, has been Chairman. Such, in brief, is the record of a busy life, and a gratifying triumph over many difficulties.



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