Biography - Charles Crist

CHARLES H. CRIST, identified with the commercial interests of Roodhouse as the junior member of the firm of Ludlum & Crist, hardware merchants, was born in Greene county, September 15, 1870, upon a farm not far from Roodhouse. He represents one of the old families of the county. His grandfather, David Crist, who became one of the pioneer settlers of this county, was born near Cincinnati, In Hamilton county, Ohio, in 1809, and was of German descent. He was a son of Moses Crist, who had a family of eleven children, but nearly all died in infancy. David Crist, in 1833, when about twenty-three years of age came to Illinois, and for a short time was engaged in merchandising in White Hall. He afterward purchased a farm covering the present site of Roodhouse and continued its cultivation until 1847, when he sold that property and became the owner of forty acres about two and a quarter miles southeast of Roodhouse. He also entered three hundred and sixty acres of land from the government, and he built there a substantial house and barn, made other improvements and devoted his attention to general farming and stock-raising. He was deeply and actively interested in the early development of the county and throughout his life was the champion of all progressive measures which promised practical benefit for the community. His death occurred in 1890. He was three times married. He first wedded Maria Jackson, whose father lived southwest of White Hall, on the old McCallister farm. They had three children: Louisa became the wife of B. D. Strong and died two years later, leaving a child that also died in infancy. Sarah married Amboy Campbell by whom she had eight children and they lived on the old homestead until 1902. They now reside in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The third member of the family was Jacob Crist, the father of our subject. For his second wife David Crist chose Lucinda Blevins, a native of Greene county, Illinois, and they had four children but all died young, the eldest being but six years of age. The third wife of David Crist was Sarah Campbell, a native of Greene county, who died in 1880, ten years prior to her husband's death. David Crist, although not a member of any church, was a man of high principles and upright life, commanding the respect and confidence of all who knew him. His political allegiance was given the Democracy.
Jacob Crist, father of our subject, was born in 1845, on the old home farm near Roodhouse and in the summer months assisted in its cultivation, while in the winter seasons he attended the public schools, being thus engaged until eighteen years of age, when in the winter of 1864-5 he was employed in Platteville, Wisconsin. He then returned to the farm and in November 1866, he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza J. Wales, who was born in 1847, and was descended from an old New England family. Her father, Harman Wales, was born in the state of New York and was married there to Lydia Anderson, who is now living in Atchison, Kansas. He brought his family to Illinois when his daughter, Mrs. Eliza Crist, was but eight years of age. His death occurred in 1892.
Mr. Crist had a house built and furnished before his marriage and he at once took his bride to the home that he had prepared. For thirty-three years they resided upon the old homestead farm in Greene county, Illinois, and then removed to Jacksonville, Illinois, where they remained for a year, and then came to Roodhouse, where they made their home until 1903, since which time they have been residents of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Mr. Crist is a Democrat in his political affiliation and while living in Roodhouse township her served as assessor for many years and was also justice of the peace for a long period. He engaged in teaching school for fifteen years and was always deeply and actively interested in the work of public education. He has always kept well informed on the political questions and issues of the day and in matters of citizenship has ever been helpful and public-spirited. He has long held membership in the Christian church. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Crist have been born six children: Mrs. Louisa Wyatt, a widow, who has one child, Harold, and resides with her parents; Charles H.; Carrie, the wife of J. H. Harp, who is engaged in clerking in Roodhouse; Mary, at home; Fannie, now Mrs. I. E. Rawlins, living near McCloud, Oklahoma; and Frank, who is living in McCloud. The father was the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred acres in this county and now owns two hundred and forty acres in Oklahoma, but leaves the active work of the farm to his children there.
Charles H. Crist was reared on the old home farm, pursued his early education in the public schools and continued his studies in the high school of Roodhouse, but did not graduate. After completing his course of study, he engaged in farming. In 1899 he removed to the old homestead farm, which he operated for three years, when it was sold, prior to the removal of his parents to Oklahoma. In 1903 he entered the hardware business, becoming a member of the firm of Ludlum & Crist. Although but four years have passed since the establishment of the business by Mr. Ludlum, the senior member of the firm, they enjoy a trade second to none in the town. Their location is especially advantageous, for they are situated on the northeast corner of the square. Their business policy commends them to the public patronage and their trade is constantly increasing.
Politically Mr. Crist was formerly identified with the People's party, but is now independent in politics. He was married October 11, 1893, to Miss Loodie Nichols, who was born in Macoupin county, Illinois, and was educated in White Hall and Roodhouse, completing the high school course in the latter place by graduation with the class of 1892. Mr. and Mrs. Crist are widely known and their pleasant home in Roodhouse is noted for its pleasing and generous hospitality. Mr. Crist, although one of the younger merchants here, is classed with the leading business men and in the conduct of his mercantile interests displays marked enterprise and ability.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Greene County, Illinois, by Ed Miner, published in 1905, pages 585-587.

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