WAYNE, CHURCHWELL W. - Mr. Wayne's grandfather, John Wayne, was a brother to the celebrated Anthony Wayne, of the most renowned characters of the Revolutionary War. John Wayne was born of Scotch ancestry in Pennsylvania, and like his brother was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Continental army as an officer under Washington. He was in numerous battles, gained a marked reputation for bravery, was twice wounded, and bore a full share of the hardships and privations of that long and bloody struggle which resulted in the independence of our country. From Pennsylvania he moved to Virginia, and from the latter state to Kentucky, where he settled in Bourbon county eleven miles from the town of Paris. Mr. Wayne's father, Benjamin Franklin Wayne, was born and raised in Virginia and married Nancy Tankesly, who was a native of Ireland, and came to Richmond, Virginia, with her parents when quite small. Directly after this marriage the whole family, including both the father and grandfather of the subject of this sketch, emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky. Benjamin Franklin Wayne was a soldier in the war of 1812 and served under General Jackson at the battle of New Orleans.
Churchwell W. Wayne was the third of a family of eleven children. He was born at Stepsey's Cross Roads in Bourbon county, Kentucky, February 3, 1816. He was named by his grandfather, Churchwell Jones, a comrade of his grandfather from Virginia in the Revolutionary war, who was shot by his side in battle and died in his grandfather's arms. Mr. Wayne has since abbreviated the name to Churchell W. After improving a farm in Kentucky his father, like many of the pioneer settlers of that state, lost it through defeat of title, and after spending considerable money in litigation determined to remove to Illinois. He came in 1818, while Illinois was yet a territory, and settled in Edgar county, then a wild and thinly settled country abounding with Indians. Mr. Wayne remembers that the Indians on frequent occasions would gather into the little log school house in which he first went to school and crowd the scholars away from the fire, much to the terror of the younger children, who were glad to run away to their homes for safety. His father had a contract for carrying the mail between Terre Haute and Decatur, and Mr. Wayne, when a boy of thirteen or fourteen, rode horseback over the route, distributing the mail at only three points. The country was full of Indians and wolves, and these rides (part of the distance having to be traveled at night) over uninhabited prairies and through dark slough were solitary and lonesome enough. The people where he was raised knew little about the improvements and inventions further East. The first school teacher, Joel Dougherty, who had made a Congress Improvement, fenced it with some rails, and then went to teaching school. There was some talk of the construction of a railroad, and the school teacher remarked that "he wished to gracious a railroad would come along, for he would have chance to sell his rails." When the railroad was built Dougherty was probably surprised to find out that the cars ran on something different from oak rails. With such teachers as these it is not surprising that the sons of Western pioneers grew up without much education. When about twenty-one he went to Kentucky, and spent two years in the neighborhood where his father and grandfather had formerly lived. In 1829 he was mining lead in Wisconsin. February 25, 1840, he married Sarah J. Keller; she was born near Louisville, Kentucky; her father, Isaac Keller, was from Virginia, and her mother from Maryland.
He became a resident of Macoupin county in 1842, and bought one hundred acres of land in Dorchester township, where he has been residing ever since. His first wife died October 12, 1870. His second marriage occurred May 15, 1872, to Mrs. Mary Beere, formerly Miss Mary Eaton. Mrs. Wayne was born in Limerick county, Ireland, April 27, 1834; she came to New York in 1851; in January, 1858, married Henry Beere, and the same year came to Macoupin county. Mrs. Wayne has eight children; William F., farming in the American Bottom in Madison county; Isaac, Silas, Vetuvia, who married John McDonald and is now deceased; Sarah J., Mary, wife of Beverly Martin of Staunton; Jennie, wife of Jessie Sawyer, and Henrietta. The last name is by his second marriage. He has always been a democrat, and his first vote for President was cast for Jackson in 1832. It may be mentioned that his grandfather, John Wayne, removed from Kentucky to Edgar county, where he died at the remarkable age of one hundred and four; the bones of the old revolutionary soldier now repose at the head of Catfish Point, eleven miles north of Parish, where also are buried his grandmother and parents.