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.
WILLIAM C. HAINES, who occupies the responsible position of County Clerk of Christian County, and makes his home in Taylorville, is a native of Virginia. He was born in Rappahannock County, September 21, 1832, and is a son of Isaac and Lucy C. (Ferguson) Haines, who were also natives of the Old Dominion. The paternal grandfather, Ezekiel Haines, was born in Virginia, and was of German descent. He was a farmer by occupation, and spent his entire life in the State of his nativity. In religious belief he was a Methodist. He reared a large family of fourteen children, and lived to quite an advanced age.
Rev. Isaac Haines, father of our subject, was a farmer, and also a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He came to Illinois with his family in 1836, and located in Cooper Township, Sangamon County, four miles east of Rochester, where he died in 1838, at the age of thirty-one years and three months. At the time of his death he was a candidate on the Democratic ticket for the Legislature.
After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Haines married Thomas S. Young, by whom she had a daughter, Ellen T., now the wife of F. M. Young, a farmer of Christian County. She, too, was a member of the Methodist Church, and died in Christian County in August, 1849, at the age of forty-four years. Her father, Benjamin Franklin Ferguson, was a Virginia farmer and quite a prominent and public-spirited man. The Fergusons are of Scotch descent, and in religious belief the grandfather of our subject was an Episcopalian.
William C. Haines was one of four children, but has only a sister now living, Lucy, wife of Joseph N. Clark, of Frederickstown, Mo. Our subject was only four years old when his parents came to Illinois. He received his early education in the old-fashioned subscription schools, and in his youth he worked at the carpenter's trade for two years. Attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he went by wagon to the Pacific Slope in 1852, and there engaged in mining until 1859, when he returned home, reaching his destination on the 5th of October.
On the 16th of November following, Mr. Haines was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Ellen, daughter of Ezekiel and Nancy (Jones) Young, who were natives of Kentucky. Her father was the first County Clerk of Christian County. Two children were born of their union: Maude E., who died in infancy; and Dora Eugenia, now the wife of Amos Johnson. They have two children, Clarence anrl Eleanor. Mrs. Haines, who was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died November 14, 1864, and Mr. Haines was again married, in 1866, his second union being with Miss Margaret E., daughter of Henderson Hancock, of Kentucky. By this marriage eight children have been born: Belle; Clarence, now deceased; William C., Irene, Eugene H., Mamie, Anna F., and one that died in infancy.
After his return from California, Mr. Haines engaged in farming until 1861, when he went to Texas, where he remained ten months. He then carried on farming in this county until 1878, his home being located a mile west of Taylorville.
In November of that year he was appointed Deputy Sheriff under A. L. Clark, and served for sixteen months, when Mr. Clark died and Mr. Humes was appointed Sheriff to till the unexpired term. He was then elected to the office for two years. Under the new law he was again elected, and served a term of four years.
On leaving that office he embarked in the grocery business in partnership with Charles B. Young, which connection continued for two years. He then purchased his partner's interest and carried on the business alone for a year, when he admitted John Lewis to partnership.
After eighteen months, Mr. Lewis sold his interest to John W. Bedwell, and business is now carried on under the firm name of Haines & Bedwell. In March, 1893, Mr. Haines was elected at a special election to the office of County Clerk to fill the unexpired term of Charles Whitmer, who resigned to accept the first clerkship in the State Auditor's office. Mr. Haines has also served as Alderman for six years. It is needless to say to those who know him that it has been faithful performance of duty that has kept him in office for such long-continued periods, and that the honor thus conferred upon him has been well merited.
In his social relations, Mr. Haines is connected with the Independent Order of Mutual Aid. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In public and private life his career has been alike above reproach, in his business dealings he is upright and honorable, in his official duties he is prompt and careful. All who know Mr. Haines esteem him for his sterling worth and many excellencies of character, and as one of the influential citizens of Taylorville he well deserves representation in this volume.
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