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CHRISTIAN COUNTY - a rich agricultural county, lying in the "central belt"
and organized in 1839 from parts of Macon, Montgomery, Sangamon
Counties. The name first given to it was Dane, in honor of Nathan Dane, one
of the framers of the Ordinance of 1787 (a/k/a the Northwest Ordinance), but a political prejudice led to a change.
A preponderance of early settlers having come from Christian County, KY., this name was finally adopted.
The surface is level and the soil fertile, the northern half of the county being best adapted to corn and the southern
to wheat. Its area is about 710 square miles, and its population (1900) was 32,790. The life of the early settlers
was exceedingly primitive. Game was abundant; wild honey was used as a substitute for sugar; wolves were troublesome;
prairie fires were frequent; the first mill (on Bear Creek) could not grind more than 10 bushels of grain per day,
by horse-power. The people hauled their corn to St. Louis to exchange for groceries. The first store was opened
at Robertson's Point, but the county-seat was established at Taylorville. A great change was wrought in local conditions
by the advent of the Illinois Central Railway, which passes through the eastern part of the county. Two other railroads
now pass centrally through the county - the Wabash and the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern. The principal towns
are Taylorville (a railroad center and thriving town of 2,829 inhabitants), Pana, Morrisonville, Edinburg and Assumption.
Encyclopedia of Illinois, 1901]
The county was renamed Christian County in 1840.
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