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 Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of James W. Champ

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


, of Condit Township, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, on the 22d of February, 1822, and is the son of John William and Mary (SHANTON) CHAMP, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky.  The paternal grandfather of our subject, William CHAMP, removed from the Old dominion to Ohio at an early day, settling first in Pickaway County, whence he removed to Ross County, and there spent the remainder of his life.  His son, John, the father of our subject, removed with the family to Ohio, where he married, became the father of nine children, and in the midst of an interesting family was cut down in the prime of life, dying in Pickaway County in 1832.  The mother was thus left a widow with young children and a farm of 125 acres somewhat encumbered.  With heroic resolution she kept her family together until they were old enough to provide for themselves, they in the meanwhile assisting her in the improvement and cultivation of the homestead.  This she occupied until the close of her life in 1867.

Mr. Champ was the sixth child of his parents and lived with his mother until nineteen years old.  He then went out to work by the day or month as he could secure employment, and was thus occupied five years following.  At the expiration of this time, with the small sum he had saved by the closest economy, he took unto himself a companion and helpmeet, and renting a farm in Ross County, Ohio, resided there until 1855.  In the spring of that year he came to Illinois, locating first in Logan County, where he operated on rented land until 1870.  He was successful in his labors, and then coming into this county purchased the farm which he now owns and occupies.  It was a wild, uncultivated tract of prairie, and its present finely improved condition is the result of his uninterrupted labor since that time.  It is now enclosed, all under the plow, and supplied with handsome and substantial frame buildings, as will be seen by a glance at the view presented on another page.

The marriage of Mr. Champ and Miss Sarah A. HOBBS took place on the 23d of May, 1847.  Mrs. Champ is a native of Ross County, Ohio, born Oct. 28, 1826, and is the daughter of Ephraim and Sarah (CHASTEEN) HOBBS.  Her parents were born in Virginia, whence they removed to Ross Count, Ohio, at an early period in the settlement of that State.  The seven children born of this marriage are recorded as follows:  Zachariah T. and Francis Marion are residents of Gage County, Neb.; Mary, the wife of H. H. WOODS, lives on the home farm; Abraham, in Elk County, Kan.; Sarah Ann, Mrs. A. C. HATCH, in Gage County, Neb.; Maria, Mrs. John PARNELL, in Newton Township, this county, and John A. on the homestead. 

Our subject is Republican in politics, and with his excellent wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  During the long period in which they have moved in and out among the people of Condit Township, few have “named them but to praise.”

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