Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
AVOLT, CHRISTOPHER - Riverton is the home of some of the most substantial men of Sangamon County, who having retired from various lines of industrial activity, seek a congenial home where they can enjoy urban advantages without the restrictions which attend residence in the larger centers of civilization. One of these men is Christopher Avolt, of Riverton, formerly one of the most prosperous of carpenters. He was born August 26, 1839, in La Salle, Ill., a son of John and Catherine Avolt, natives of Germany, who transmitted to their son many of their sterling German characteristics. John Avolt came to America in young manhood, locating in La Salle, Ill, where he lived until his death. While he and his wife were the parents of three sons and one daughter, Christopher is the only survivor.
Mr. Avolt grew up on La Salle, attending the primitive school of his day and working on his father's farm. Later he learned the carpenter trade, working at it in La Salle for many years. When the war broke out he enlisted from La Salle in Company H., Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving three years, and being discharged at Vicksburg, Miss. He participated in many engagements, including those of Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Corinth and many others, and being wounded in the first named. He served as Corporal of his company, and was a gallant and brave soldier. At the close of his military experience, he returned to La Salle, remaining there until 1872, when he came to Springfield. Being a skilled workman, he there found ready employment, and worked at his trade until he settled in Riverton, which has continued to be his home. Mr. Avolt belongs to Stephenson Post, No. 30, G.A.R. In political convictions he is a Republican, being proud to belong to the party Abraham Lincoln helped found.
The marriage of Mr. Avolt occurred in La Salle, Ill., in 1868, when he was united with Anna Hughes, born in Wales. Her parents came to America, first settling in La Salle, where they lived for several years, later going to Riverton, where both died. Mrs. Avolt died in Riverton, in 1886, leaving a sorrowing husband and six children to mourn her loss. These children are: Maggie, wife of Ferd Volmar of St. Louis; Elizabeth, wife of L. G. Duncan, a carpenter and builder of Riverton, with whom Mr. Avolt makes his home; John, of Pawnee, Ill.; Thomas, of Riverton, and David, of Girard, Ill., as well as one who is deceased. There are two grandchildren in the family. Mr. Avolt owns property in Riverton, and is in receipt of a pension from the government in grateful appreciation of his services. He has worked hard all his life and has done his full duty, both as a soldier and as a private citizen.