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.

ROBERT WATT, who carries on general farming on section 9, Rosamond Township, is numbered among the honored pioneers of Christian County, his residence here, which covers a period of forty-one years, dating from 1852. He has therefore been an eye-witness of the greater part of the growth and development of the county, and has seen the transformation which has changed it from an unbroken and unsettled tract to a region of comfortable homes, good farms and flourishing towns.

Mr. Watt was born in the North of Ireland, March 22, 1833, and is a son of Robert Watt, who was also born in the same locality. The father was a flax manufacturer and owned two mills. He was killed in one of his mills on the 1st of August, 1840. His wife, who was in her maidenhood Margaret McNickal, was also born in Ireland, and never left that land. They became the parents of five children.

The subject of this sketch, who is the second in order of birth and the eldest son, spent the first fourteen years of his life on the Green Isle of Erin, and then crossed the broad Atlantic to America.

He landed in Philadelphia, Pa., and in that city spent the five succeeding years of his life, working by the day and month at various pursuits whereby he might earn an honest living. Thinking the West furnished better opportunities for young men than the older and more thickly settled States of the East, with the desire of benefiting his financial condition he came to Illinois
at the age of nineteen years. He worked by the month as a farm hand in Christian County for some years, but since 1872 has resided upon the farm which is now his home.

In 1861 Mr. Watt wedded Miss Mary Hines, a native of Ireland. Their union has been blessed with a family of five children, a son and four daughters, viz.: Mary, Eliza, Maggie, Josephine and George W.

The family have a pleasant home in the midst of a fine farm of one hundred and forty acres. The greater part of this land is under a high state of cultivation. In connection with the residence there are good barns and other necessary outbuildings, and these are surrounded by well-tilled fields. The place is neat and thrifty in appearance, a fact which indicates the careful supervision of the owner.

Mr. Watt is recognized as one of the representative and progressive agriculturists of the community. He possesses the sturdy independence and force of the Irish people, and has therefore won success. He has always borne his part in the advancement and upbuilding of the county in which he has so long made his home, and well deserves representation among its honored pioneers.



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