This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by John Shaffer. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Christian F. Summit

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


CHRISTIAN F. SUMMIT, a representative German farmer of Ludlow Township, whose native place was the little Kingdom of Wurtemberg, crossed the sea in 1853, when a young man twenty-two years of age, and two years later sought the Prairie State, of which he has since been a resident. He has proved one of the most highly esteemed and reliable men of this section, and has in all respects identified himself to American institutions and customs. In the establishment of his home and the rearing of his family he has set an example worthy of imitation. He chose for his helpmeet a rarely intelligent lady, and their three children have been given an excellent education. He is now surrounded by a large circle of friends who have learned to respect and esteem him for his enterprise and industry, his promptness in meeting his obligations, and his value as a farmer and a usefull member of the community.

The family patronymic is spelled SAMMET in Germany. The birth of our subject occured Jan. 11, 1831. He is the son of Frederick and Dorothea SUMMIT, both also natives of Wurtemburg, where they spent their entire lives on a farm. Our subject was placed in school at an early age and pursued his studies uninterruptedly until fourteen years old, when he was apprenticed to the blacksmith's trade, which he worked at in the old country until 1853, and in April of that year started for the New World. After a voyage of thirty days he landed in New York City, and first found employment on a farm near Syracuse, where he remained until coming to the West. He had been with one family during this time and was accompanied by them to this State, remaining with them in Logan County for some time afterward and until his marriage. After this important change in his life he rented a tract of land in Logan County, until 1867, whence he removed to McLean County and cultivated rented land near Bloomington until 1873.

In the meantime Mr. Summit had purchased the land which he now owns and occupies, and which he took possession of in the spring of 1873. A few acres of this land had been broken, and upon it stood a rude shanty. He occupied this with his young wife for a time until enabled to put up a good frame dwelling. He has now all the land in a good state of cultivation, with all necessary buildings, and has beautified his home by planting of choice fruit and shade trees. His stock and farming utensils are all first class, and his farming operations are being conducted with that skill and judgment which have assured him a comfortable home and competency.

Mrs. Summit before her marriage was a resident of Philadelphia, by name Miss Magdalena SPOEHRLE. She also was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, and was educated there in the same school as her husband. Her birth occurred Nov. 26, 1830, and her parents were Gottlieb and Catherina (SHAFER) SPOEHRLE. She emigrated to America with her parents in 1854, and resided with them in the Quaker City until a short time before her marriage. She joined her future husband in Logan County on the 16th of June, 1858, and they were married ten days later.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Summit, four in number, are Maude, Saddie, Lydia C. and Minnie C., John F., the second child, died when two and one-half years old in Logan County. Saddie and Lydia are teachers in the public school. The parents and children are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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