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.
JAMES MUIRSON TAYLOR, the senior member of the firm of Taylor & Abrams, attorneys-at-law of Taylorville, is of Scotch birth. He was born on the 2d of December, 1839, in New Byth, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and is a son of Samuel and Isabella (Lawrence) Taylor. His father was a bookbinder and bookseller, a man of superior intelligence and an incessant reader, who took a great delight in collecting rare books, of which he possessed many. He also took an active part in the establishing of circulating libraries.

He and his wife were members of the Baptist Church, and carefully looked after the religious training of their children.

Our subject was only about five years old at the time of his mother's death. He inherited a literary taste, and his books were his dearest companions in boyhood. With an elder sister and younger brother, he sailed from Aberdeen, April 24, 1854, and crossed the Atlantic to the New World, joining a sister who was living near Millburn, Lake County, Ill. There he began working as a farm hand at $7 per month. He also attended school in Lake County, and in the fall of 1856 went to La Crosse, Wis., where he aided in setting up an engine in a sawmill and became assistant engineer.

He was thus employed for a year, after which he returned to Lake County, where he engaged in teaching school during the winter seasons. He had attended for a limited time the High School of Kenosha, Wis., and the academy of Waukegan, Ill.

Prompted by a desire to aid his country in her struggle to preserve the Union, Mr. Taylor joined the boys in blue August 1, 1862, and became a member of Company C, Ninety-sixth Illinois Infantry, his younger brother, John Y., having enlisted in the same company. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland and took part in all the engagements -throughout the summer of 1863. Mr. Taylor was left at a hospital for six weeks in Tennessee, and then rejoined his command in Georgia. May 9, 1864, at Buzzard's Roost, just after the Atlanta campaign had begun, he was wounded, a gun-shot shattering his right arm, which on the 27th had to be amputated. This terminated his career as a soldier. He remained in the hospital until the 27th of July, when he was sent home, but gangrene set in and for a long time his life was despaired of.

October had come before he was even able to ride, and it was nearly a year before he had sufficiently recovered his strength to engage in any kind of labor. He was discharged March 20, 1865, with the rank of Second Sergeant. His brother was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, and died from the effects of said wound November 24, 1863.

When he had somewhat recovered his health, Mr. Taylor went to Philadelphia and took a course of book-keeping in Bryant & Stratton's Business College. In January, 1866, he became a student in the law office of Blodgett, Upton & Williams, and there remained until October 1, 1868, although he was admitted to the Bar in March of that year before the Supreme Court.

At the date above mentioned, he came to Taylorville and formed a partnership with Judge Andrew Simpson, which connection continued two years. The firm of Taylor & Abrams has been in existence three years and does a general law practice, receiving a liberal share of the public patronage.

On the 26th of November, 1868, Mr. Taylor was married in Waukegan, Ill., to Miss Adelia A. Stewart, a native of this State, and unto them have been born seven children, as follows: Samuel S., who is now proprietor of a book store in Taylorville; Mary F., who was educated in Mt. Carroll Seminary [ed., later known as Frances Shimer Academy; later allied to the University of Chicago; eventually known as Frances Shimer Academy of the University of Chicago]and Moulton College; Mabel Geneva and Leslie J., who are students in the High School; John W., George G. and Clara Isabel. The family circle yet remains unbroken and the children are still at home. The household is the abode of hospitality and its members rank high in social circles.

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are members of the Baptist Church and take an active part in church work. He has served as Trustee for a number of years and has also been Superintendent of the Sunday school. The early religious training given our subject by his parents has borne fruit in his honorable, upright life. Socially, he is a member of the Odd Fellows' society and Encampment belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to Francis M. Long Post No. 392, G. A. R. In these various orders he has held a number of offices.

In politics, he is an inflexible adherent of the Republican party, and has been an active campaign worker making many speeches in support of the candidates of that party. With the same fidelity, with which he went to the relief of his country when the Union was in danger, he discharges his duties of citizenship, taking an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community. He has now been engaged in the practice of law with marked success for about a quarter of a century and is classed among the prominent legal practitioners of Christian County.


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