Chrisman (Christman), David

David Chrisman’s parents came from the Carolinas. Some records suggest David, the 11th of 15 children, was born in South Carolina, while others suggest North Carolina, or that David was born after the family moved to  Christian County, Kentucky. Dates range from 1798 to 1803. When David was an adult, his extended family moved to Morgan County, Illinois.

1829 – married  Jane Dickson (Dixon) in Sangamon County
1832 – David & Jane moved to McDonough County (birthplace of 4 daughters and 3 sons)
1840 – McDonough County federal census
1850 – McDonough County federal census
1860 – McDonough County federal census
1863 – July. Marion and Joseph enumerated in Civil War draft record Industry Township, McDonough Co, IL
1863- David, Jane and two sons (Marion and Joseph) moved to Logan Township, Gage County, Nebraska
1880 – Gage County, Nebraska federal census
1885 – Gage County, Nebraska state census
1887 – David dies in Gage County, Nebraska

Per the Gage County history, keeping in mind the editor’s view may have been tainted by his not subscribing to his newspaper: “If Tom Shubert had been able to read and if “Old Man Chrisman” could have remained sober long enough to have achieved the same accomplishment, it is certain they would have been among the readers of the Express.”  Perhaps he was referring to David’s son Joe whose intoxication and interest in guns weren’t a good mix and made him the topic of the Beatrice, NE Daily Sun Nov 4, 1923.

David’s younger brother Charles also moved to Morgan County where he married in 1830, and later to Macedonia, Hancock County, Illinois.  In 1837, Charles united with the Latter Day Saints, and by 1845 was an elder in the Mormon church. In 1845, he was accused of stealing iron (3 loads totalling about 4500 pounds) from the railroad between Jacksonville and Meredosia.  He had taken altogether three loads, weighing in the aggregate about 4,500 pounds. The charge seemed to surprise the newspaper who said “Chrisman is of a respectable family, and is said to be a man of property.” He fled Nauvoo in Feb 1846, and was affiliated with Bishop George Miller who had lived in McDonough County. Charles Crisman was a mill builder and settler of the west.
Macomb Eagle – June 21, 1862
A small shooting affair occurred in town last Saturday.  While David Chrisman was talking with Mr. Davis, a man named Brooking “put in” with some offensive remarks towards Chrisman, which the latter replied to in the same style.  From words Brooking resorted to potatoes and struck Chrisman on the face with one.  Chrisman, though having no objection to potatoes in the proper way, did not like for them to come at him in that style, and resented the assault by drawing a revolver and firing two shots at Brooking.  There was “nobody hurt.”  Chrisman waived an examination and gave bail for his appearance at the next term of the circuit court.
A Big Row. – Another big row occurred in this city on Tuesday last. – Dave Chrisman, the same man who shot at Mr. Brooking last fall, came into town and soon got into a muss.  J. Q. Lane, City Marshal, undertook to arrest him, when Chrisman drew a knife.  This was taken away from him.  He then got an axe and marched out into the street, and defied the Marshal to take him.  The Marshal then started towards him, when Chrisman raised the axe to strike.  The Marshal then fired a pistol at him, but without effect.  Chrisman then made for the Marshal and struck him three times without doing much injury.  At once a crowd gathered and for a few moments it seemed that a general muss was inevitable.  Chrisman was subsequently arrested and taken before Justice Withrow for examination.  A jury was empanelled and after hearing the evidence, brought in a verdict fining Chrisman $3.  We don’t know but this is justice, but it looks to us that such penalties for such offenses, is making a mere farce of the matter.  If men are to be allowed to attack officers while in the discharge of their duties with murderous weapons, by paying a fine of three dollars, how long will it be before anarchy and confusion will prevail in Macomb.  This man Chrisman is in the habit of quarreling and fighting, but through the influence of his friends always gets off with impunity.  The quarrel as usual, started at one of the licensed whisky shops of this city, and just as long as our city authorities allow these hell holes to exist in our midst, just [obscured] will our city be disgraced by [obscured] as the above. – Many men, when sober, are peaceable and quiet, when under the influence of liquor are quarrelsome and factious.  Abolish whisky and you abolish fighting and bloodshed.


  1. History of Gage County, Nebraska: A Narrative of the Past, with Special … By Hugh Jackson Dobbs.
  2. Alton (Illinois) Telegraph & Democratic Review. June 21, 1845.
  3. The Christian Mirror, Portland Maine. July 17, 1845.

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