Christ Walters owns and occupies a beautiful residence which stands in the midst of a fine farm on section 30, Dix township, and the property is the visible evidence of a life well spent in earnest, persistent and honorable labor. He was born in Germany, February 24, 1852, his parents being Henry and Sophie Walters, who came to America in 1864. They made their way to Peoria, Illinois, and thence to Elm Grove, about seven miles east of Pekin, this state, where they had friends living. There they established their home and spent their remaining days. They had hardly a dollar when they arrived in this country but they possessed the thrift, energy and determination so characteristic of the German people and as the years passed gained prosperity. The father purchased timber land, which his son Christ assisted him in clearing, and eventually the home place comprised eighty-four acres, constituting one of the valuable farms of the county.
Christ Walters was a lad of twelve years when he accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world. He remained at home until he had attained his majority and the period of his youth was one of earnest and unremitting toil. His education was acquired entirely in the schools of the old country before he came to the new world. Before reaching adult age he earned at farm labor in the neighborhood from one hundred and fifty dollars to two hundred dollars each year, which he gave to his parents.
At length he resolved to engage in business on his own account, and with a single horse as his own possession, started out. He rented land for eight years, living for five years upon a part of the Sullivant property. In the year 1881 he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of this land, for which he paid twenty-five dollars per acre, and after cultivating it for three years he sold part of it for thirty-four dollars per acre, retaining one hundred and sixty acres five years longer, after which he sold that tract for fifty dollars per acre. He next purchased the place upon which he now resides, first securing one hundred and forty-four acres, for which he paid thirty-seven and a half dollars per acre. To this he later added eighty acres, and by subsequent purchase has raised his landed possessions to three hundred and eight acres. He bought eighty-four acres — the old home place at Elm Grove, Illinois, for which he paid eighty-one dollars per acre, and he is now the owner of a very valuable and productive property. He has put all of the improvements upon his home farm, laying seventy thousand tile there and thus draining a wet district and converting it into arable and valuable land. In the early days he has seen the time when he could not get out to the road, so wet was the tract lying between his house and the highway. All this has been changed through the enterprising and unfaltering efforts of Mr. Walters, who is one of the most progressive and energetic farmers of the district. In 1905 he erected the largest house in the township at a cost of eight thousand dollars, equipping it with all modern conveniences and accessories. There are also good barns and outbuildings upon the place, and in fact everything about the farm is indicative of the progressive spirit of the twentieth century.
In 1879 Mr. Walters was united in marriage to Miss Mary Bastian and unto them were born six children, three of whom are now deceased. Those still living are Rose, wife of Emil Borchard, of Ford county; Bertha, wife of William Struve, of Gibson City; and Mary, wife of Isaac Petrie, of Knoxville, Tennessee. Having lost his first wife, Mr. Walters was married in 1890 to Catherine Shaffer, and they have become the parents of eight children: Lilly, Myrtle, Christ, Charles, Homer, Harry, Wilhelmina and Irene.
Mr. Walters is a member of the German Lutheran church at Sibley. He formerly gave his political allegiance to the republican party but is now an advocate of democratic principles. Starting out in life for himself empty-handed, he has made steady progress and as the years have gone by he has achieved a measure of success which is most gratifying. Moreover, his business methods have ever been honorable and reliable, winning for him the respect and good will of his fellowmen.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 850-852.

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