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.
NELSON WARREN, a prominent farmer and early settler of Christian County, residing on section 23, Pana Township, has long been identified with the history of this community, and has been an eye-witness of its growth and development. His part he has always borne in the work of public improvement and advancement, and therefore well deserves mention among its honored pioneers.

Mr. Warren was born in Walnut Township, Pickaway Township [ed., probably Pickaway County], Ohio, April 23, 1826. His father, Silas Warren, was a native of Delaware, and in his youth removed to Pickaway County, where he married Sarah Riley, who was also born in Delaware. They began their domestic life upon a farm, and their last days were spent in Shelby County, Ill., where the father passed away at the age of seventy-three, while the mother readied the allotted age of three score-years and ten.

Mr. Warren was a Whig, and took quite an active interest in politics. He was a well-read man and was always well versed on questions of the day. Both he and his wife were members of the United Brethren Church. Of their family of seven children, six grew to manhood and womanhood, but only four are now living.

Our subject is the fifth in order of birth. The days of his boyhood and youth were quietly passed upon his father's farm midst play and work. In the summer months he aided in the labors of the field, and in the winter months attended the district schools, where he become familiar with the common branches of English learning. On attaining his majority, he left home to make his own way in the world, and began working by the month as a farm hand. The highest wages he received while engaged in that labor was $12 per month.

In his native county, Mr. Warren was married, August 17, 1849, to Lavina Brinker, also a native of Pickaway County. She was born February 9, 1830, and is a daughter of George and Mary (Shope) Brinker. Her parents were both born in Pennsylvania, and were of German descent.

At the age of nineteen her father left the Keystone State and went to Ohio, where he married Miss Shope. Mrs. Warren is the youngest child and seventh daughter in a family of thirteen children. Her mother died when she was only four days old, after which her father married again. Eight children have been born to our subject and his wife: Bennett and George, who were born in Pickaway County; Silas, who was born in Christian County; John R., who died at the age of four months; Sarah E., Lawrence, Mary A. and Nettie B.

After his marriage, Mr. Warren settled on a rented farm in Pickaway County, which he operated three years. He first came to Christian County on horseback in 1851, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of raw land, a part of his present farm, paying $3 per acre. The following year he brought his family, and they took up their residence in a log cabin, 16x16 feet, with a puncheon floor and clapboard door. Mr. Warren went to Springfield and purchased the first cook stove brought to this neighborhood. The furniture consisted of a set of common wooden chairs and a table, and they lived in true pioneer style.

There were only nine voters in what is now Pana and Rosamond Townships.

With characteristic energy, Mr. Warren began the development of his farm, and in his business undertakings has met with excellent success. In the home place he now owns six hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, mostly under cultivation, four hundred acres being devoted to growing hay. He also owns three other farms, including eighty acres in this county, two hundred and thirty acres in Shelby County, another tract of two hundred acres, and seventy acres of timber-land, making altogether about twelve hundred acres. He commenced life a poor boy, but by his industrious efforts has steadily worked his way upwards. Success was before him, and he possessed the necessary energy and perseverance to reach the goal. With untiring zeal he has labored, and is now numbered among the wealthy citizens of Christian County, a position which he has justly reached. His prosperity is certainly well merited. In politics, Mr. Warren is a most ardent Republican, but has never been an office-seeker. For over thirty years he has been connected with the Masonic fraternity.


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