Jefferson County

Family Histories

Standing out distinctly as one of the central figures in the history of Jefferson county is the name which introduces this sketch, a name better known perhaps than any other in the specific line of endeavor with which it was so long and so honorably identified. Prominent in local business circles and equally so in other than his own field of effort, with a reputation in one of the most responsible and exacting callings which won him a name for distinguished service, second to none of his contemporaries there was not in his day a more enterprising and successful man than Christopher D. HAM, and t is with pardonable pride that the people of his native county revere his memory and ascribe to him high honor as one of their leading citizens. Mr. HAM, for many years an influential factor in the financial affairs of Jefferson county, belonged to an old and widely known family whose earliest representatives in Illinois appear to have been Moses and James HAM, natives of Virginia, who migrated westward in the pioneer period and settled in Jefferson county where in due time both became large cattle owners and prominent in public affairs. Moses HAM, the father of James, and grandfather pf our subject, took an active part in county affairs, accumulated a handsome competency and stamped his individuality upon the community in which he lived as one of the influential men of his day and generation. James HAM was in the prime of life when he came to Jefferson county and like his father bore a prominent part in the settlement of the country and the development of its resources. He, too, became a noted figure in the early history of the county and for a number of years was one of its leading citizens and well-to-do men. In addition to large agricultural interests he conducted for some time a very successful mercantile business and later established a tannery, one of the first in the county, which like his other enterprises proved the source of a very liberal income. 

Christopher Devalcourt HAM, son of James and Frances (CRISEL) HAM, was born in Jefferson county, Illinois, September 10, 1838, and spent his childhood on the family homestead at HAM's Grove near the site of the present town of Opdyke. His early environment was conducive to moral as well as mental development, his home influence being such as to implant in his mind and heart those principles of rectitude which make for strong character and well rounded manhood, and while still young he laid broad and deep the foundation upon which his subsequent career was so solidly built. With the object in view of fitting him for the legal profession his parents gave him the best educational advantages the country afforded and after the usual intellectual course in the schools of his own county and higher institutions elsewhere he entered the Law School of Cincinnati and in due time was graduated therefrom with a creditable record and was licensed to practice by the Supreme Court. Having no taste for the profession, however, he did not engage in the practice, but turning his attention to a pursuit more in harmony with his inclinations he soon became one of the leading merchants of Mount Vernon and made an honorable name in the business world. In connection with merchandising be was also engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods, and during the period of the Civil war conducted a very profitable business in this line in partnership with James D. JOHNSON, the firm thus constituted operating for several years the woolen mills at Mount Vernon. After a long and remarkably successful career as a merchant; Mr. HAM turned his attention to another important business enterprise, having been one of the leading movers in the organization of the old CarlinCross Bank, which subsequently became the Mount Vernon Bank and still later was re-organized as the HAM National Bank. He served as president of the institution, always kept in close touch with its affairs and to him as much as to any other man was due the rapid growth and continued success of the bank, during the early years of its history. 

Mr. HAM was remarkably successful in his business affairs and everything to which he devoted his energies appears to have worked to his advantage. He was not only fortunate in a monetary sense but also manifested an abiding interest in whatever tended to advance his city and county materially and otherwise and for a number of years took an active part in public matters, serving several successive terms as a member of the local school board besides filling other positions of responsibility and trust 

The maiden name of Mrs. Christopher D. HAM was Helena Ann GRANT. She was the daughter of Angus McNeil GRANT, who came to Illinois from Kentucky about the year 1835 and subsequently became one of the leading business men of Jefferson county. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. HAM, only three of whom survive, namely: Mrs. Martha HAM PAVEY, of Mount Vernon, whose husband, Louis G. PAVEY, is cashier of the HAM National Bank; Sidney Breese HAM, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere, and GRANT TAYLOR HAM, president of the Mount Vernon Brick Company and one of the city's most enterprising citizens. Three children died in infancy and Bernadine after reaching the age of young womanhood. Mr. HAM's distinguished business career has few parallels in the history of Jefferson county and he will live in the memory of his fellow citizens of Mount Vernon as one who contributed liberally toward the growth of the city and gave stability to its business and financial interests. He died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, April 1 7, 1899, and left to his family and the community the heritage of a well spent life and an honorable name. 

Christopher was one of three children, a sister having died while still quite young; and O. M. D. HAM, of Mount Vernon, the only surviving member of this old and highly esteemed family whose history during the last three quarters of a century has been closely identified with that of Jefferson county. 

Angus McNeil GRANT, father of Mrs. C. D. HAM, was an early settler of Jefferson county and one of her men of influence. His arrival, as already indicated, was about the year 1835, and in the course of a few years he became the possessor of a large amount of land, which soon increased greatly in value and to him also belongs the credit of adding very materially to the growth and business interests of the county seat. Soon after locating at Mount Vernon he engaged in merchandising which he carried on with marked Success for a number of years and at one time he held the office of County Judge, besides being honored with various other positions and taking an influential part in public affairs. He was one of the organizers and first president of the Carlin-Cross Bank, the first institution of the kind in Mount Vernon and for a number of years thereafter kept .in close touch with monetary affairs and was long regarded as one of the sound, far-seeing and successful financiers of Jefferson county, and Southern Illinois. Despite his frail physique and modest demeanor he was an influential factor in promoting the advancement of Mount Vernon and the welfare of the people and to him as much as to any one man is the city indebted for its continuous growth and the prosperity for which it is now distinguished. Mr. GRANT possessed business ability of a superior order and was also noted for his inflexible integrity and the high sense of honor which characterized all his relations with his fellow men. A man of noble aims and high ideals, he made his influence felt for good in business as well as in social and religious circles and for many years he was a noted character in his city and county and as a leader in the world of finance. 

When a young man Mr. GRANT married Miss Martha ANDERSON, of Tennessee, who proved a true wife and helpmeet until her lamented death in the year 1883, and who bore him three children: Mrs. Helena Ann HAM, of Mount Vernon; Mrs. M. M. POOL, of the same place, and Mrs. W. C. POLLOCK, who lives in Washington, D. C. Mr. GRANT's long connection with the banking interests of Mount Vernon added much to the financial credit of the city and gave it an honorable reputation as a safe place for the judicious investment of capital as well as a desirable and attractive place of residence. He was always enterprising and public-spirited and gave his hearty support to all enterprises that tended to the advancement and progress of his fellow men. 

Source: Walls History Of Jefferson County 1909 

Submitted By: Misty Flannigan Dec 27, 1997 

The funeral party in charge of the remains of the late C. D. Ham, who died at Eurka Springs, Ark., Monday afternoon, reached here on the L & N train at noon today. Dr. A. C. Johnson, Mrs. Ham and daughter, Miss Martha, who accompanied the body home from the place of death were met at St. Louis by a deputation of citizens this morning and acted as a guard of honor to this city. The funeral party was met at the railroad station by a large number of the friends of the deceased who followed the hearse to the family residence at 124 East Maple street, many of them lingering to express to the sorrowing wife and children the sympathy they felt in the bereavement which had befallen them. The funeral will take place from the First M. E. church at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon under the ministration of Pastor John F. Harmon assisted by Rev. H. B. Douglas of the Presbyterian church. The interment will be at Oakwood cemetery where the services will be under the auspices of the Masonic order of which Mr. Ham was a member. An opportunity will be given the friends to view the remains of the deceased at the family residence this evening or any time previous to the funeral tomorrow. The band has courteously tendered its services and will pay homage to the memory of the dead by taking part in teh funeral services. 

April 19, 1899 Mt. Vernon Register News 

submitted by: Sharlet Bigham LaBarbera 

Oct 25, 1997 


Marriage licenses were issused Wednesday afternoon to Joel H. Ham and Susan A. Emmons, both of Dodds township; Percy A. Harris, of Venedy and Lillian Stonemetz, of Opdyke; Thos. A. Clark, of Farrington and Dora Smith of Shiloh. 

December 1, 1899 Mt. Vernon Register News
submitted by: Sharlet Bigham LaBarbera
Oct 22, 1997 

Joel Harvey Ham 13 April 1916, b, 09 Feb 1851, Ham Co., Il, d. 08 Apr 1916; 

eldest son of John - d. 1868 & Sibby Ann (Jordan) Ham. Married Susan Ann Emmons, July 1899- she d. 07 Oct 1902; 1 son, Geirge W. Ham. married Rose E. Story, 13 Feb 1910; no children. Leaves wife; 1 bro.: Logan Ham; 1 sis. : Orlena Ham; 1 half- bro.: Thomas Ham interred Ham's Grove 

Source: Legacy of Kin Harold Felty 1994 
HAM, ARTAMISSA          CUMMINGS, HEZEKIAH      06-21-1855
HAM, ARZILLA            ATCHISSON, SAMUEL       01-21-1847
HAM, C D                GRANT, ANNIE H          10-16-1865
HAM, DIANNA             WATSON, ASA B           06-27-1833
HAM, DORCAS             SMITH, WILLIAM          02-14-1842
HAM, FRANCES T          TAYLOR, JEREMIAH        08-28-1848
HAM, JAMES L            EUBANK, SUSAN E         10-25-1871
HAM, JEMINA             ADAMS, JOHN             04-08-1864
HAM, JOEL H             EMMONS, SUSIE A         12-20-1899
HAM, JOHN               JORDON, LIBBY ANN       12-23-1849
HAM, KELSSERNA          BRADFORD, WILLIAM       05-30-1841
HAM, LOUISA             SMITH, JAMES            12-19-1833
HAM, MORNING ORLENA     MCCANN, S A D           03-15-1879
HAM, MOSES              BLISS, ELIZABETH        10-16-1843
HAM, ORLANDO M D        GOODNER, MARINDA E      02-10-1861
HAM, ORLEY T            HOLDEN, CLARA H         09-28-1893
HAM, PERRY              SUMMERLAND, LURINDA     09-13-1871
HAM, PERRY              ROSE, NANCY JANE        02-05-1852
HAM, SARAH              WILBANKS, ROBERT A D    11-19-1829
HAM, VIENNA             HARRIS, RICHARD H       05-12-1845

Legacy Of Kin Book 1 By Harold Felty
Ham, Sibba A. - female, white, age 80y8m25d, b. Missouri, lived
in Illinois 78 yrs., widow, house maid.  Died June 12, 1908, 7:30
P.M. in Dodds TWP. of heart failure complicated by paralsis.
Buried Ham Opdyke

Ham, Susan A. Emons- female, white aqe 23y 8d , b. Jefferson
County, Il lived in Ill 23 yrs, married,wife. Died Oct 7. 1902, 9
PM in Dodds TwP., Jefferson Co.,  of tyfoid Fever. Buried Ham's
Grove Cem, Jefferson Co., IL Opdyke

LEGACY OF KIN VOL 2 1958-1992 by Harold Felty
1965-91 HAM, Recy ........ Kniffen; Times Leader, OB Jul 1965; b.
21 Sept 1886, Hamilton Co; d. 06 Jul 1965- resident of Mt. Vernon;
dau of John and Eliza Jordan Kniffen. married (John A. Logan Ham,
1907- from 1925-50 namnes children) Leaves 2 sons; bro.; 6 grch.;5
gr grch. Opdyke Cm.
Submitted By Misty Flannigan Mar 1999

Photo Gallery Submitted by: Elizabeth Parr-Johnston Aug 2001

Angus McNeil Grant 

Grant Taylor Ham, Leota and Helene
Article from the Mt. Vernon Registered News, Mt. Vernon Ill. 8/25/1905 Submitted by: Elizabeth Parr-Johnston Aug 2001 

THE WAY OF LOVE  Grant T. Ham and Miss Leota Pope Ward Married Last Night Look down, ye gods  and on this couple drop a blessed crown.  Shakespeare.

One of the most beautiful weddings Mt. Vernon has ever known, was solemnized last night at the spacious home of Mr. and Mrs. G. F. M. Ward, when their daughter Leota Pope, became the wife of Grant Taylor Ham , of this city. 

For the event, the Ward home was most beautifully decorated throughout with sweet peas and asparagus, a color scheme of pink, green and white being prettily carried on. 

In the halls vines and asparagus were daintily entwined in the grills and the stairway; and here the guests were served to punch by two young ladies. In the library where the ceremony was performed a bower was built of ferns, asparagus and potted plants. Two large white pillars around which were clinging vines marked the limits of the bridal altar. Around the room were hung sprays of asparagus over which were festoons of daisies tied with baby ribbon, producing a strikingly dainty effect. 

The decorations in the dining room were pink and white. The table was decorated with pink and white ribbons, wound with southern smliax, drawn form the chandelier to the four corners of the table. Dan Cupid in a miniature automobile laden with pink and white sweet peas steered his way down a rice strewn road while from the other chandelier over his head swung another cupid. The room was lighted, entirely, by pink shaded candles, diffusing their soft light on an entrancing scene, producing a beautiful effect. 

Promptly at 8:30 o'clock, to the strains of the Lohengrin wedding march, played by Miss Ethel Ruth Johnson, the bride leaning on the arm of her father descended the stairs and proceeded through an aisle of ribbons to the bridal bower where they were met by the groom, and Elder C. M. Smithson and to the accompaniment of the soft sweet music the impressive ring ceremony of the Christian church was read, joining together two young and happy hearts. After the bridal pair had received congratulations from the guests, delicious refreshments were served. The bride was attended by two little cousins, Hiley and Merill Ward, who carried the ribbons which formed the aisle for the bridal party. Mis Ward was a beautiful bride, and her gown was an exquisite, imported, embroidered cream net over white silk, princess style; it was simple yet beautiful due to its simplicity. Her tuille veil was held by chaplets of sweet peas and she carried a large bouquet of white sweet peas. 

The bride and groom are two of Mt. Vernon's most popular young people and the realization of the esteem in which they are held by the people who know them is a source of much satisfaction. The bride is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. F. M. Ward and her numerous accomplishments have well fitted her to grace a home with a perfection that is seldom equalled and never excelled. Mr. Ham is the youngest son of Mrs. Annie Ham and is a prominent young business man associated with the Mt. Vernon Press Brick Co., as secretary and assistant manager. 

The presents were numerous beautiful and costly. 

The out of town guests were Mrs. Emeline Pope, Grandmother of the Bride, P. [Pleasant] D. Pope and wife, P.[Pleasant] N.[Newton] Pope, wife and daughter, Emily, B.[Benjamin] F. Pope and wife, H. O. Pope and wife, Dr. R. D. Pope and wife, Karl D. Pope, J. H. D. Pope, J. H. Ward and wife, W.[William] D. Ward, wife and daughter, Miss Myrtle, Snider Ward and wife, Mrs. Mamie Ward and sons, Hiley and Merrill of Du Quoin; Clarence E. Pope and wife, E. St. Louis; J. Soloman and Miss Helen Soloman, Chicago; Mrs. Henry Watkins, Owensboro, Kentucky; Miss Grace Ham, Opdyke. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ham left on the Southern last night, for Louisville Kentucky, and from there they will go to other points in Kentucky expecting to be gone about a week after which they will return, to make this city their home. 

The Register joins their many friends in extending best wishes for their happiness with the hope that no greater trouble will every assail them then on the day when the bride said "yes". 

They will be at home at [4] Grant Place after September first. 



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