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.
JAMES HENRY DICKERSON, one of the most prominent physicians of Christian County, now resides in Taylorville, although his practice extends far beyond the limits of the city. In professional circles he certainly ranks high, and his skill and ability make his reputation well deserved. The Doctor was born in Washington, Ind., June 24, 1847. His parents, John and Mary (Bell) Dickerson, were natives of Kentucky, and when young people came to Illinois. They were married in Sangamon County, and afterward removed to Indiana. The grandfather, Isaac Dickerson, had emigrated to this State, but left it for the Hoosier State. The maternal grandfather, Robert Bell, also became one of the pioneers of Sangamon County. John Dickerson returned with his family to Sangamon County, and there lived for many years, but he and his wife now reside on their farm a mile west of Taylorville. Throughout life he has followed agricultural pursuits. In the family were six children, five of whom are yet living. One daughter, Alice, is now the wife of Dr. A. F. Hammer, of Taylorville.

The subject of this sketch was only three years of age when his parents returned to Sangamon County. Upon the home farm he remained until seventeen, when for two years he attended the
State Normal School [ed., Illinois State University]. He then engaged in teaching for two winters, while in the summer months he aided his father in the labors of the field. Previous to this time he had begun reading medicine, and while teaching, during his leisure hours and at other spare moments, he studied medicine in the office of Dr. Brooks, of Springfield. Later he pursued a course of study in the Philadelphia Medical College [ed., probably the Medical College of Pennsylvania which is now known as Drexel University College of Medicine], from which he was graduated in the Class of 70 with the degree

of M. D. After thirteen yenrs of practice he took a post-graduate course in
Rush Medical College, of Chicago; two years later took the Bellevue regular course [ed., probably Bellevue Medical College], and six years afterward, when he had practiced for twenty years, took the regular course at the medical department of the California University. The Doctor has spared neither labor nor expense in perfecting himself in his profession. After his first graduation, Dr. Dickerson located at Blackburn, which was then scarcely more than a blacksmith shop. He expected to remain there only a short time, but his practice steadily increased and yielded him a good income, so that he extended his residence there until it had covered a period of sixteen years. After a time he secured the post-office at that place, built a store, and carried a stock of general merchandise. He also received a liberal patronage in that line, enjoying a flourishing trade.

On the 3d of March, 1875, the Doctor was united in marriage with Miss Mary J. Humphreys, daughter of A. B. N. Humphreys, one of the pioneer settlers of South Fork Township. She is one of seven children, three of whom are now living. Born in
Springfield, Ill., she was a maiden of ten summers when her parents came to Christian County. With the Methodist Church she holds membership, and throughout thecommunity she is recognized as a most estimable lady. In 1886 Dr. Dickerson went to Los Angeles, Cal., where he spent five years. He there became identified with the real-estate boom and made considerable money. He still owns property in that place. He served as a member of the Board of Health in Los Angeles.

In 1892 he returned to Illinois, and has since lived in
Taylorville. He has sold his store in Blackburn, but still owns his farm at that place. Previous to his removal to California he had engaged in practice in Taylorville each summer, and his merits had become well known throughout the community, so that on locating permanently here he was at once accorded a liberal practice, which has constantly increased.

He has served as a member of the Fifth Regiment, Illinois National Guards, with the rank of Captain. He takes considerable interest in civic societies, and at the age of twenty-one was made a
Mason in the lodge in Rochester. He is now a member of Mound Lodge No. 122, A. F. & A. M.; Taylorville Chapter No. 102, R. A. M. Coeur de Leon Commandery No. 9, K. T., of Los Angeles, Cal.; and Al-Maliakah Temple, of Los Angeles. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and is serving as Major the Second Regiment, Second Brigade, Uniform Rank, K. P.

In politics, the Doctor was reared
Democrat, but being a man of decided opinion and firm convictions, he does not hold himself bound inseparably to any party. He believs however, that America is for Americans. He has been prominently interested in all that pertains to the welfare of the city and the promotion of leading enterprises, and has been connected with the Gas Company and the Antlers Hotel, his home is one of the most beautiful in the city, stands on a natural building site, and was erected by G. J. S. Culver, the marble man of Springfield. It is a monument to the industry and enterprise of the Doctor, for his possessions have all been acquired through his own efforts.


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