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.
LYMAN WILCOX, who carries on agricultural pursuits on sections 14 and 23, Rosamond Township, is one of the worthy citizens that New York has furnished to Christian County. He was born in Oneida County, near Utica, and is one of eight children, three sons and five daughters, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. The father of this family, Charles Wilcox, was born in the Empire State, was of English descent, and was a machinist by trade. He married Harriet Robinson, a native of Oneida County, and a daughter of Nathan Robinson, who was born in Connecticut, of English parentage. His occupation was that of farming. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox located in the town of Paris, N. Y., where he worked as a machinist. Subsequently they removed to Niagara Falls, where the father died at the age of sixty-nine. The mother passed away the same year.

In the county of his nativity, Lyman Wilcox spent his boyhood and youth, and at the early age of fourteen years began to make his own way in the world, so that he is now a self-made man. He commenced learning the shoemaker's trade, serving an apprenticeship of six years, and receiving on an average $35 per year. Of this sum he required $30 to clothe himself, and the remaining $5 went for miscellaneous expenses. He earned his first money when a youth of eleven, working at six and a-fourth cents per day printing calico by hand. When he had learned the shoemaker's trade, he worked as a journeyman for two years, and subsequently started in business for himself in Oriskany, N. Y., in 1833.

During his residence there, Mr. Wilcox was married, in 1835, to Sallie Osborn, a native of Fairfield County, Conn., and a daughter of Daniel Osborn, of the same county. Her parents died when she was fourteen years of age, after which she went to Oneida County, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox removed to Verona, N. Y., where he engaged in farming until 1866, when he came to Christian County with his family, taking up his residence on the farm which is now his home.

In 1887 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 8th of April, the fifty-second anniversary of their marriage. Four children were born unto them: Harriet R., Catherine E. and Sarah, who died in childhood; and William, who aids his father in the cultivation of the home farm. The latter was born in Oneida County, N. Y., and married Emma, daughter of O. M. and Debby Aurelia (Hawley) Hawkes. They have seven children: Charles Arthur, Clara E., Mary O. and Martha H. (twins), Herbert R., Hattie A. and Ethel M. William Wilcox is an enterprising and progressive farmer.

In connection with his son, our subject owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land, and they are successfully engaged in general farming. During the late war, the latter entered the service of his country, enlisting in 1861 as a member of the Third New York Cavalry. After his previous term had expired, he re-enlisted in the same company and regiment as a veteran, and remained in the service throughout the entire war. He never received a wound, although he participated in many hard-fought battles. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal. He is now a member of Pope Post No. 411, G. A. R., of Pana, and holds membership with the Congregational Church [ed., probably the First Congregational Church of Rosamond], in which he is now serving as Trustee. Mr. Wilcox was Chairman of the first Republican convention held in the Third Assembly District of Oneida County, N. Y., and assisted in organizing the party there.

Lyman Wilcox is an inflexible adherent of Republican principles, and served as Highway Commissioner of Rosamond Township for three years. He belongs to the Congregational Church, and in church work takes an active interest, doing all in his power to promote the cause. At various intervals through sixty years he was Superintendent of the Sunday-school, and through his training of the young exerted an influence for good which will be felt long after he has passed to his reward. He is a stanch advocate of temperance principles and never uses tobacco or intoxicants in any form. His life has been a true and upright one, devoted to the cause of the Master, and full of kindly and generous deeds. His example is well worthy of emulation, for it will never lead to wrong.


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