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.
JACOB YOCKEY, a retired farmer now residing in Taylorville, has made his home in Christian County for almost thirty years. As he is both widely and favorably known, we feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers, and therefore gladly give this sketch a place in the history of his adopted county.

The place of his birth was near Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pa., the date being November 17, 1835. His parents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Snyder) Yockey, were also natives of the Keystone State, and the father was a farmer by occupation. With their family they emigrated to Ohio about 1852, and there the parents spent their remaining days.

Mr. Yockey comes of a very old Pennsylvania family, his great-grandfather having been born in Lancaster County, that State, as was also his grandfather, John Yockey, who removed to Franklin County, where his son Joseph, the father of our subject, was born. His great-grandfather on the maternal side, Conrad Snyder, was born in Prussia and emigrated to this country when a young man, settling in Pennsylvania. John Snyder, son of Conrad, was born in Franklin County. He served as a Colonel in the War of 1812 and was a prominent man in his time.

Mr. Yockey of this sketch was a young man of seventeen years at the time of the removal. At the age of twenty he left home and went to Akron, Ohio, where he secured a clerkship in a drug and grocery store, receiving about $800 per year for his services. Later he suffered from a lingering illness, and in order to benefit his health removed to Columbus, Ind., in 1857. He then engaged in teaching school in Bartholomew County until the fall of 1864, and proved an able and successful instructor.

On the llth of August, 1864, Mr. Yockey was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Martin, their union being celebrated in Indianapolis, Ind. The same year they came to Christian County, where they have since resided. Their union has been blessed by the birth of six children, as follows: Dr. William M., who was graduated from the Normal School of Valparaiso, Ind., and was graduated from the Rush Medical College of Chicago, in 1891, has since been engaged in the practice of his profession in Joplin, Mo.; Jacob Arthur is now a student in the Valparaiso Normal School; Sarah Louise, Charlotte Emma, Jane Miriam and Ella May are the younger members of the family.

On coming to Christian County, Mr. Yockey located in Mt. Auburn Township, about twelve miles north of Taylorville, and resided just east of Grove City for nineteen years. Subsequently he purchased a farm two miles southwest of Mt. Auburn, comprising two hundred and eighty-two acres of arable and valuable land, upon which he resided until the 1st of January, 1893. This is one of the best farms and most desirable places in the county, being complete in all its appointments and supplied with all modern conveniences. The fields are well tilled and the improvements stand as monuments to the thrift and enterprise of the owner. His property has increased in value from $44 to $80 per acre. When he came to the county he had only about $1,500, but is now numbered among the substantial citizens of Taylorville. In addition to his other property he owns a one hundred and sixty acre farm in May Township, north of Willey Station, which is rented.

In 1892 Mr. Yockey erected a neat residence in Taylorville at a cost of $2,500, and since the 1st of January, 1893, has made his home in this city, where he is now living a retired life, enjoying a well-earned rest. In politics, he is a supporter of Democratic principles, takes an active interest in the success of his party, and has been called upon to fill various township offices, the duties of which he has ever discharged with promptness and fidelity. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he served the congregation at Grove City as Trustee.



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