CHRISMAN, Ill. (WCIA) – Linda Barrett knows a lot about the town of Chrisman.

“In 1840, he registered 800 acres, which is where Chrisman stands now. And he built a home on what is now the Nazarene Church on Route 1,” she said.

That’s because the town history, is her family history.

“Back in 1830, one of the very first residents that came in 1832 was Abraham Smith. He was born in Tennessee in 1797. And he came with a group to this area. So, he was my third great grandfather,” she said. “So, when he left, he sold the ground to John Chrisman, and John had the land then until he passed away in 1870. And when he passed away, then it went to his son Mathias. Mathias would be my third great grand uncle.”

Mathias, Linda’s third great grand uncle, is who the town is named after. Her relation with him starts when someone from her family married into his family.

Abraham, Linda’s third great grandfather, is how the town got the land it sits on. He’s the one who planted the large walnut trees that are now a very well known part of Our Town Chrisman.

“I almost tripped on a walnut. Thank you, great great great grandfather, and so the trees are beautiful, but they are known for the dang walnuts that are everywhere,” Barrett said.

Even though it’s been nearly 200 years, Barrett can come right back to the town square and get a little closer to her family tree.

“The history doesn’t change even though the people do, and I’m glad that there are some of us who try to keep that alive,” she said.

Six of the original walnut trees are still growing strong in the town square in Chrisman.