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.
|JOHN HEDGES resides on section 32, Pana Township. Among the prominent
and reptative farmers of this county our subject certainly deserves mention. He is not only a leading agriculturist,
but is also an honored veteran of the late war, who in her hour of peril gave to his country his services, faithfully
defending the Old Flag and the cause which it represented.
Mr. Hedges was born in Berkshire, England, December 13, 1841, and is a son of James and Ann (Stratten) Hedges, who were also natives of Berkshire.
In 1857 they came with their family to the New World, and located near Griggsville, in Pike County, Ill., where they made their home until 1869, coming from there to Christian County. Here the father died in his eightieth year, and his wife passed away in her eighty-fourth year. Their family numbered six children, who grew to maturity.
Our subject, who was the third in order of birth, was a youth of fifteen when he crossed the broad ocean with his parents and came to Illinois. He began his education in the schools in England, and completed it by study in his own room after the hours for out-door work were over.
He began work as a farm hand at $12 per month, and gave his wages to his parents to help them buy the little farm in Pike County which was their home for a number of years. He remained with them there for seven years faithful and true to the interests of his employer, as his long service well shows. In 1862, however, he entered the service of another master. In that year Mr. Hedges became a member of Company H, Seventy-third Illinois Infantry. He enlisted as a private, but was made Sergeant, and after three years was honorably discharged, in 1865. He participated in all the battles of his regiment, including the engagements at Stone River, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge and Knoxville.
During all his service he never received a wound. He was struck on the knee by a spent ball, a bullet passed through his clothing, and one struck his gun, but never penetrated his flesh. He participated in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign under Sherman, and when the war was over was honorably discharged in Nashville, in June, 1865.
Mr. Hedges at once returned to Pike County, Ill., and resumed farming. He was married February 18, 1869, to Miss Hattie A. Dean, who was born in Pike County February 9, 1846, and is a daughter of Henry E. and Mary A. (Coughenour) Dean. In their family of nine children she was second in order of birth. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Hedges has been blessed with a family of four sons and three daughters, as follows: Charles A:, who is married and resides in Pana Township; Alice, John A., Mary E., Arthur J., Alvin R. and Mabel A.
Mr. Hedges' residence in this county dates from 1869. On his arrival he located upon the farm which is yet his home, and at once began its development. It now comprises one hundred and thirty-three acres, the greater part of which is under a high state of cultivation. His first home, a small frame house, has been replaced by a two-story residence of eight rooms, built in a modern style of architecture. There are good barns and outbuildings, surrounded by well-tilled fields, which yield to the owner a golden tribute in return for his care and labor.
Mr. Hedges has led a busy and useful life, yet has found time to devote to public interests. In politics, he is a Republican. He served as Pathmaster, School Trustee and School Director for many years. He holds membership with Pana Post No. 744, G. A. R., and belongs to Pana Lodge of the Modern Woodmen.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Millersville finds in him an active worker and leading member, and he is now serving as Steward and Trustee. With the work of that organization he has been prominently identified, and his aid is always given to all objects calculated to prove of public benefit.
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