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.
CHRISTIAN WENZLER, who is engaged in farming on section 35, Bear Creek Township, has been a resident of Illinois for about forty years. It is now over two decades since he cast in his lot with the citizens of Bear Creek Township, his home being still on the farm where he first located. He has accumulated a large properly by his own industry and thriftiness, and is highly esteemed by his neighbors and friends. They have honored him a number of times by electing him to fill positions of trust, and their confidence has never been misplaced.

Mr. Wenzler is a native of Germany, having been born in Wurtemberg [ed., Wurttemburg], December 20, 1831. He is a son of Joseph and Monica (Haller) Wenzler, both natives of Germany. The grandfather of our subject, George Wenzler, was a cabinetmaker by trade, and was a fine musician. He was the father of a large family, and lived to be about fifty-five years of age. Mathias Haller, the maternal grandfather, was celebrated as a teacher, and conducted a school in one town for forty-seven years. He died at the age of sixty-six years.

Joseph Wenzler was also a wood-turner and cabinet-maker by trade. He was a musician in the regular standing army of Germany, and died in his native land at the age of sixty years. His wife died some years previously. They were both adherents of the Catholic faith. Their family comprised eight sons and four daughters, namely: Christian, Paulina (deceased), Kate, Mary Ann (deceased), Magdalene, Bertha, Mary, Paulina (deceased), Ludwig, Stephen (deceased), John, and one who died in infancy.

The subject of this sketch in his youth learned from his father the cabinet-maker's and woodturner's trade, and followed that vocation until twenty-eight years old, when he was obliged to abandon it on account of failing eyesight. Believing he could better make a livelihood in America, he left his native land in 1851, and for a short time, as he did not know what other means to take, continued at his trade in Pike County, Pa. In the fall of 1853 he removed to Indiana, and in the following year located at Springfield, Ill., where he worked at various occupations for the following six years.

In 1860, Mr. Wenzler concluded to try his hand at farming, and rented a farm in Pawnee Township, Sangamon County, where for the eleven years succeeding he farmed on rented land. In 1872, he came to Christian County, and invested in one hundred and sixty acres of land in Bear Creek Township, which has been his home ever since. To his original purchase he has since added fifty acres. He has made good improvements upon the farm, which has upon it substantial buildings and is one of the most fertile and best-cultivated places in the district.

The marriage of Mr. Wenzler was celebrated July 19, 1860, with Miss Hester Ann Staley, daughter of Thomas and Jane (Fikes) Staley. The father, who was a native of Kentucky, was a man of patriotic impulses, and although past the usual age when he enlisted, served for two years as a soldier in the late war. He was wounded at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, and afterward died of his injuries at Benton Barracks, near St. Louis, Mo. His father before him was also a patriot, being in the service during the War of 1812. Nine children blessed the union of our subject and wife. In order of birth they are as follows: William T., Louis C., Joseph E., Mary Ann, Ida Belle, Laura, Ella, Rosetta L., and one who died in infancy. They are deceased with the exception of Joseph, Ida Belle and Rosetta L. The latter is the wife of John L. Corn, and has one daughter, Alice. Their home is now in Taylorville. Mrs. Wenzler, the mother of these children, was called from this life in 1878. She was a consistent member of the Baptist Church, and was a lady who was greatly beloved by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance.

For a number of years, Mr. Wenzler served in the capacity of Commissioner of Highways. He is greatly interested in educational movements, and served for several years as School Director, and was also School Trustee for one year. He is a Republican in politics, and religiously holds membership with the German Reformed Church. He is greatly esteemed by his neighbors and friends, and is unquestionably a man of high character and unblemished reputation.


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