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.
JOSEPH C. PHINNEY is engaged in business in Taylorville as a contractor and builder. He began operations in this line in 1872, and during the greater part of the time since has been a leading member of the trade. As he is widely and favorably known, both in business and social circles, we feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers.

A native of New York, Mr. Phinney was born in Lewis County, on the 18th of July, 1836, and there spent his first thirteen years. His father, Clark Phinney, then emigrated with the family to Lake County, Ill., settling in Hainesville. He was a carpenter by trade, and under his instruction our subject began learning the business. His father died when Joseph was twenty years of age, after which our subject went to Lowville, N. Y., his native town, and further perfected himself in his knowledge of carpentering.

After finishing his trade, he continued to follow the business in the East for a year. He began contracting immediately after his father's death, but on going to the Empire State, he found that he could advance in his business, and in consequence devoted himself to further improvement along that line.

While in New York, our subject was married, on the 17th of September, 1861, the lady of his choice being Miss Mary Ellen Phinney, his cousin. Their union has been blessed with two children: Charlie C., who is now working with his father; and Grace, wife of Frank Martin, agent for the Adams Express Company of Taylorville. The family is one of prominence in the community and its members rank high in social circles.

Returning with his young wife to Illinois, Mr. Phinney began contracting in McLean County, where he remained until his removal to Taylorville, in 1872. Since coming here, however, he spent one year in Independence, Iowa, and for two years, in 1888 and 1889, he was foreman in White's lumber-yard. With the exception of these short periods, he has continuously carried on business for himself in Taylorville. He employs from six to twelve men, and as he always lives up to his contracts, fulfilling his part of the agreement, he has received a liberal patronage, which has constantly increased from the beginning.

In connection with contracting and building, he has, to some extent, carried on farming, and has improved property in his own interest, erecting and selling a number of residences. He now owns seven and a-half acres of land, lying adjacent to the village, which he expects soon to plat and add to Taylorville. Straightforward and honorable in all his business dealings, he is a man of unswerving integrity, and has the confidence and high regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.


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