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.

HON. CHARLES A. MANNERS, of Taylorville, who has been prominent in public affairs in this county, is an example of the self-made men in which the Northwestern States abound. A native of New Jersey, he was born in Somerset County, on the 2d of August, 1827, and is a son of John S. and Penelope (Stout) Manners, who were also born in the same State. His father was a farmer in moderate but comfortable circumstances. Our subject received a fair common-school education and excellent training in mathematics, his preceptor being a retired sea-captain, from whom he doubtless imbibed a love of the ocean, for after leaving school he went to sea, where he remained until the age of twenty-two years, commencing as a boy before the mast and steadily advancing until he had attained to be second in command of a merchant trader. In this service he made several voyages around the navigable world, but at length his health broke down, and in consequence he discontinued nautical pursuits. In 1850, at the age of twenty-three years, the scene of his labors was changed. At that time Mr. Manners came to the West, locating in Christian County, Ill., where he still resides. In the following year he was elected County Surveyor, which position he filled for three years. In 1855, he was employed by the United States Survey Department [ed., now the United States Geological Survey] to fix the boundary between the States of Kansas and Nebraska, and he continued on the public surveys of the latter State until 1860. In that year he returned to Illinois, and in 1862 he was elected Sheriff of Christian County, a position which he filled until 1864, since which time he has been extensively engaged in the construction of railroads, being one of the largest and most successful contractors in the West. He built a section of thirty-four miles of the Pana & Northwestern Railroad, from Pana to Rochester; sixty miles of the Toledo, Wabash & Western, from Decatur to Litchfield, and also a division of the Vandalia Line. He aided in extending the Terre Haute and Richmond Line from Terre Haute Westward to the State line, and built a division of the Springfield, Gilman & Clinton Railroad, and the Warren Division of the Ashtabula, Youngstown & Pittsburg Railroad [ed., Pittsburg, Youngstown and Ashtabula Railroad (a Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary)]. He also received a contract for the Portland Division of the Cincinnati, Richmond & Ft. Wayne Railroad; the Indiana & Illinois Central from Decatur, Ill., to Montezuma, Ind.; and the Cairo Short Line from New Athens to Du Quoin. Mr. Manners also built a portion of the Indianapolis & St. Louis Road between Terre Haute and Indianapolis, and in connection with his railroad work he has been engaged in various other enterprises. It is his custom to carry forward to a successful completion whatever he undertakes, and in consequence he has accumulated a competence.

On the 2d of October, 1861, Mr. Manners was joined in wedlock with Miss Elizabeth A. Long, daughter of the late Maj. Thomas Long, of Taylorville, and their union has been blessed with two children, a son and daughter: Tom and Frances C. The family is one widely and favorably known in this community, and the parents hold an enviable position in social circles. In politics, Mr. Manners is a supporter of Democratic principles. He is a most energetic and active business man, and his prosperity in life is mainly due to the promptness which has characterized all his transactions.


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