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.

JOSEPH H. BOYD has been a resident of Christian County for about half a century and is one of the representative men of this section. He owns a fine farm in Bear Creek Township, and is also engaged in dealing in grain in Palmer. His residence is on his farm, which is situated half a mile east of the village. Mr. Boyd was born in Christian County, Ky., January 21 1834, his parents being Alfred and Zilla A. (McCormick) Boyd. The father was a native of North Carolina and passed his youth in Tennessee. His wife was born at Herndon, Christian County, Ky., where Alfred Boyd made her acquaintance and where their marriage was celebrated.

The father was a farmer by occupation, and on his arrival in Illinois, on the 6th of April, 1839 he located on a farm in this county. He became the owner of fifty-eight acres of wild prairie land and as the years passed increased the extent of his possessions until his property comprised two hundred and thirty-eight acres, besides residence property in Palmer.

He was one of the pioneer settlers, as there were only a few families in this neighborhood when he located here, among them being Gabriel R. and Lewis Jernigan, William Ricks, Col. Bond, Emanuel T. Lee, Sr., Joel Trailor and Mr. Clark. About that time Jesse and Tom Anderson also located here.

Mr. Boyd was killed by the cars in 1880, at the age of seventy one years. He was a son of John Boyd, who was a native of North Carolina, and during the Revolutionary War was in the service a short time. He was also a farmer, and reared a large family of fourteen children. His death occurred in Tennessee, at the age of eighty-seven years.

Our subject's mother was a daughter of Andrew McCormick, who was also from North Carolina. He followed agricultural pursuits for a livelihood, and died at Herndon, Ky., while still a young man.

Our subject is one of thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters. Eight of the number are still living: Joseph H.; James M.; Elizabeth E., widow of Cyrus Denny, of Bond County, Ill.; Alfred E.; Robert A., of California; Eliza, wife of John Anderson, of Taylorville; Josiah L.; and Mary, widow of George E. Anderson, of Lincoln, Ill. The mother of these children died at the age of sixty-six years. Both she and her husband were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Chinch, in which Mr. Boyd was a Deacon for about forty years.

Joseph H. Boyd of this sketch was not yet six years of age when his parents removed to this county. He was reared on his father's farm, and remained at home until his nineteenth year. In early life his education was limited, but he afterwards pursued his studies by himself and learned surveying. On leaving home he was first employed on a farm during the summer, and in the fall and winter seasons worked for five years in a sawmill, located between Palmer and Taylorville. Being ambitious and frugal, he managed to lay aside a considerable sum, which he invested in land, and farmed during the summer. During the last two years of his work in the mill, he acted as foreman.

On the l5th of September, 1858, Mr. Boyd was united in marriage with Miss Minerva A. Donald, daughter of John and Polly Donald, of Bond County, Ill. Seven sons and two daughters were born of this union. John A. married Miss Ida Cassel and has a family of three children, Alfred C., Bonita and Mary. James A. married Miss Minnie Kirvy and has one daughter, Vera. They reside on the old homestead.

Adelai M. wedded Miss Lizzie Heuffner, and they live in Appleton, Mo. [ed., Probably Appleton City, Mo.], where he is a half-owner in the Appleton City Mills. Otis H. is the next in order of birth. Ewing D. married Miss Cora Corn. Calvin O. and Robert are the sixth and seventh of the family. Olive Luella married James Shrout, of Palmer, and is the mother of one child, Earl. Flossie A. completes the family.

The mother of these children was called from this life April 3, 1886, at the age of forty-five years, one month and twenty days. She was a devout member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and numbered many friends in the neighborhood of her home.

Our subject engaged in farming in Johnson Township until 1864, carrying on a farm of one hundred and thirty-three acres. He then sold the place and purchased six hundred and forty acres of improved land in Bear Creek Township, and also bought considerable other property, about eleven hundred acres in all. He is still devoting himself to the cultivation of this land and has been very successful as an agriculturist. He has good improvements upon the farm, which is one of the best in this region.

A marriage ceremony was performed August 5, 1891, whereby Mrs. Florence Davis became the wife of Mr. Boyd. She was the widow of Alexander Davis, and a daughter of Harrison and Lizzie (Hawthorne) Marquis. One child has been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, a daughter, Emily Elizabeth. The mother was formerly identified with the Methodist denomination, but is now a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

In the financial crisis of 1873 our subject met with severe reverses, as at that time he went security for some men for a large sum of money. It was a number of years before he recovered from these losses, but he is now prospering financially. He has given his children a good education, and is giving his boys a good start in business. In politics, he is a very strong Republican, but has declined to fill office. He is a member of Palmer Lodge No. 501, I.O.O.F.


© Judy Edwards and Genealogy Trails