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.
EDWIN HARRIS, one of the honored early pioneers of Christian County, owns and operates a farm on section 10, May Township. For over half a century he has been identified with the remarkable progress of this part of the State, having settled in this county in 1840.

He was born October 18, 1824, in Dixon County, Tenn. [ed., probably Dickson County, Tenn.], being a son of Silas and Toboisy (Shappel) Harris. The father was a native of North Carolina, where he remained until arriving at man's estate.

After his marriage he removed to Tennessee, where he engaged in farming until 1840. At that time he came to Illinois, and entered land from the Government in Christian County. On this place he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in his seventy-eighth year. He was among the first settlers of the county, and among them he was favorably known.

He was a descendant of English and Irish stock. His wife was also born in North Carolina, where she grew to womanhood and was married. She passed from this life in 1848, on the old homestead, and lies buried by her husband's side in the Harris Cemetery, situated on the old farm.

Edwin Harris is one of a family of fourteen children, being the eleventh in order of birth. His boyhood and early youth were passed in Tennessee, where he pursued the usual life of a farmer lad. He was sixteen years of age when he came to this county with his parents, and to them his services were dutifully given in clearing and cultivating the new farm until he attained his majority. He then started out in the battle of life for himself, working for his father on the home farm, which he operated for some years.

For his life companion Mr. Harris chose Miss Ann Bugg, their union being celebrated November 28, 1850. Mrs. Harris was born June 7, 1829, in Yorkshire, England, and is a daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann (Bradley) Bugg.

The father was a native of Yorkshire, and emigrated to the United States in 1837, first settling on a farm near Terre Haute, Ind., where he remained for eight years. In 1845 he came to Christian County and entered land from the Government. There he made his home until his death, which occurred January 31, 1858, at the age of fifty-five years.

His wife, who is still living, was born July 21, 1805, in Yorkshire. She is making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Harris, and has been blind for thirty-four years. Otherwise she retains all her faculties, and well remembers when this locality was a wilderness, with numerous wolves and other wild game.

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Harris. Robert T. is a prosperous farmer of Christian County. He is married and has a family of six living children: Mary E., Edwin C., Schuyler, Rowley, Hattie May and Orville, who are all living at home. Two children, Robert and Minnie, died in infancy. Harriet E., our subject's younger child, is the widow of Delbert C. Pinney, and is now living with her parents and has the care of her son, Otis D., now thirteen years old. Mr. Pinney died in Ohio, in 1882. Mary L., her stepchild, is now in Ohio.

The farm of Mr. Harris is one of the best in the township and comprises eighty acres. He has improved it materially since it first came into his possession, and it is a model one in every respect. In his political views, Mr. Harris is on the People's ticket, and, religiously, holds membership with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.



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