Site Map


A Long-Range Plan to Brand the First Lincoln Namesake City as the Second City of Abraham Lincoln Statues

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Lincoln, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln and the Historic Postville Courthouse,
including a William Maxwell connection to the Postville Courthouse

About Henry Ford and the Postville Courthouse, the Story of the Postville Courthouse Replica,
Tantivy, & the Postville Park Neighborhood in the
Route 66 Era


The Rise of Abraham Lincoln and His History and Heritage in His First Namesake Town,
also the founding of Lincoln College, the plot to steal Lincoln's body, and memories of Lincoln College and the Rustic Tavern-Inn

Introduction to the Social & Economic History of Lincoln, Illinois,
including poetry by William Childress & commentary by Federal Judge Bob Goebel & Illinois Appellate Court Judge Jim Knecht

"Social Consciousness in William Maxwell's Writings Based on Lincoln, Illinois" (an article published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, winter 2005-06

Peeking Behind the Wizard's Screen: William Maxwell's Literary Art as Revealed by a Study of the Black Characters in Billie Dyer and Other Stories

Introduction to the Railroad & Route 66 Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois

The Living Railroad Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois: on Track as a Symbol of the "Usable Past"


Route 66 Overview Map of Lincoln with 42 Sites, Descriptions, & Photos

The Hensons of Business Route 66

The Wilsons of Business
Route 66
including the Wilson Grocery & Shell Station

Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial Park
(former Chautauqua site),
the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites

Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Salt Creek & Cemetery Hill,
the highway bridges, GM&O bridge, Madigan State Park, the old dam (with photos & Leigh's memoir of "shooting the rapids" over the old dam), & the Ernie Edwards' Pig-Hip Restaurant Museum in Broadwell

The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past & Present

Route 66 Map with 51 Sites in the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District,
including locations of historical markers
(on the National Register of Historic Places)

Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District

The Foley House:  A Monument to Civic Leadership
(on the National Register of Historic Places)

Agriculture in
the Route 66 Era

Arts & Entertainment Heritage,
including the Lincoln Theatre Roy Rogers' Riders Club of the 1950s

Business Heritage

Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era

including the hometown churches of Author William Maxwell & Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

Factories, Past and Present

Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era


Hospitals, Past and Present

Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras

Lincoln Developmental Center
(Lincoln State School & Colony in the Route 66 era), plus
debunking the myth of Lincoln, Illinois, choosing the Asylum over the University of Illinois

Mining Coal, Limestone, & Sand & Gravel; Lincoln Lakes; & Utilities


Museums & Parks, including the Lincoln College Museum and its Abraham Lincoln Collection, plus the Heritage-in-Flight Museum

with Distinction

News Media in the Route 66 Era

The Odd Fellows' Children's Home


Memories of the 1900 Lincoln Community High School,
including Fred Blanford's dramatic account of the lost marble fountain of youth

A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois

Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era

The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois

The Festive 2003 Sesqui-centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois,
including photos of LCHS Class of 1960 dignitaries & the Blanfords

Why Did the State Police Raid Lincoln, Illinois, on October 11, 1950?

The Gambling Raids in Lincoln and Logan County, Illinois,
During the Late Route 66 Era (1950-1960)


Pages in this section tell about Leigh Henson's Lincoln years, moving away, revisits, and career:

About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me

A Tribute to Lincolnite Edward Darold Henson: World War II U.S. Army Veteran of the Battles for Normandy and the Hedgerows; Brittany and Brest; and the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge)

For Remembrance, Understanding, & Fun: Lincoln Community High School Mid-20th-Century Alums' Internet Community
(a Web site and email exchange devoted to collaborative memoir and the sharing of photos related to Lincoln, Illinois)

Leigh Henson's Pilgrimage to Lincoln, Illinois, on
July 12, 2001

Leigh Henson's Review of Dr. Burkhardt's William Maxwell Biography

Leigh Henson's Review of Ernie Edwards' biography, Pig-Hips on Route 66, by William Kaszynski

Leigh Henson's Review of Jan Schumacher's Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois

Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of Lincoln, Illinois

Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life


Pages in this section are about the writing, memorabilia, and Web sites of other Lincolnites:

A Tribute to Bill and Phyllis Stigall:
Exemplary Faculty of Lincoln College at Mid-Twentieth Century

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

A Tribute to Robert Wilson (LCHS '46): Author of Young in Illinois, Movies Editor of December Magazine, Friend and Colleague of December Press Publisher Curt Johnson, and Correspondent with William Maxwell

Brad Dye (LCHS '60): His Lincoln, Illinois, Web Site,
including photos of many churches

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

J. Richard
(JR) Fikuart
(LCHS '65):
he Fikuarts of Lincoln, Illinois, including their connections to the William Maxwell family and three generations of family fun at Lincoln Lakes

Jerry Gibson (LCHS '60): Lincoln, Illinois, Memoirs & Other Stories

Dave Johnson (LCHS '56): His Web Site for the Lincoln Community High School Class of 1956

Sportswriter David Kindred: Memoir of His Grandmother Lena & Her West Side Tavern on Sangamon Street in the Route 66 Era

Judge Jim Knecht
(LCHS '62): Memoir and Short Story, "Other People's Money," Set in Hickey's Billiards on Chicago Street in the Route 66 Era

William A. "Bill" Krueger (LCHS '52): Information for His Books About Murders in Lincoln

Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories

Stan Stringer Writes About His Family, Mark Holland, and Lincoln, Illinois

Thomas Walsh: Anecdotes Relating to This Legendary Attorney from Lincoln by Attorney Fred Blanford & Judge Jim Knecht

Leon Zeter (LCHS '53): His Web Site for the
Lincoln Community High School Class of 1953
including announcements of LCHS class reunions

(Post yours there.)


Highway Sign of
the Times:

The Route 66
Association of Illinois

The Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois Tourism Site:
Enjoy Illinois



    Email a link to this page to someone who might be interested.  Internet Explorer is the only browser that shows this page the way it was designed.  Your computer's settings may alter the display.

April 24, 2004: Awarded "Best Web Site of the Year" by the Illinois State Historical Society "superior achievement: serves as a model for the profession and reaches a greater public"

Marquee Lights of the Lincoln Theater, est. 1923, Lincoln, Illinois

   You can go home again. Email Leigh Henson at

David Kindred's Memoir of His Grandmother Lena and the Forehands' West Side Tavern on Sangamon Street in Lincoln, Illinois

     In providing information for his Web page in this site, Illinois Appellate Court Judge Jim Knecht wrote that he grew up in a second-story apartment above the West Side Tavern on Sangamon Street in Lincoln, Illinois. Jim mentioned that this tavern was owned by the grandmother of one of his childhood acquaintances: "another note on "Lena" Forehand's tavern--she was Dave Kindred's grandmother, and he spent every summer with her from the time he was 9 to age 15 because he played baseball and Atlanta--where he lived--had no Pony League or Junior baseball. I knew him and his sister and cousin-- Merle Helton. He went on to [Illinois] Wesleyan [University] and then became a sportswriter for the Louisville paper, the Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution, Sporting News, etc., and is one of the most respected writers in those circles today. . . .  He wrote an article that was carried nationally when his grandmother died, and he wrote about the tavern" (email message from Jim to Leigh, 9-9-2003).

     Note: In a phone conversation I had with David Kindred in January of 2004, he said his first job in journalism was at the Lincoln Evening Courier, where he was paid in brand-new, crisp dollar bills. He said he wondered if they were printed in the back room. I wonder if they might have been printed in the office of the publisher--Mrs. Nugent. In that conversation, Dave gave me permission to re-publish his memoir in this Lincoln Web site. Many thanks, Dave.

     The photo below shows the West Side Tavern: 

Schlitz Signs Denoting the Forehands' West Side Tavern

(Photo compliments of D.D. Welch and sent by Fred Blanford)

David Kindred's Memoir of the Forehands and Their West Side Tavern

     LINCOLN--It was seven-tenths of a mile from the tavern to Grandma's house on Sixth Street. Grandma [Magdalena "Lena"] and Tommy ran the tavern for 33 years.

     Every summer I came to stay at Grandma's house.  I came so I could play Little League baseball.

     I don't know how much a guy's life is shaped by what happens from the time he's 9 until he's 15. Probably a lot. Grandma made that time wonderful. All I'd do every day is play ball. At dark I'd go to the tavern and read books and wait for closing time.

     The tavern was a great and mysterious place. Forehand's West Side Tavern sat next to the railroad tracks that run through the center of this county-seat town. You could get pie-eyed at Grandma Lena's place. She used that word all the time. Pie-eyed. What you couldn't do at Grandma's is get mean. Other places in town, maybe. Not at Lena's.

     She was hell on wheels behind that bar. Anybody who got pie-eyed and wanted another beer might as well move on. Grandma's voice could ruin your ears. She wasn't very big. Maybe 5 feet tall with legs that got more bowed every year. But you could hear her everywhere.

     One guy didn't listen. She said leave. He wouldn't. He was going to play the slot machine. Grandma's nose came about half-way up his chest. She raised up her foot and stomped her heel into the guy's toes. He left then.

     I mopped the tavern floor every night. For fun I'd go next door and read the comic books at Hap's restaurant. I listened to ball games. Tommy was Grandma's second husband, and he was a Cubs fan. I rooted for the Cardinals so we'd have something to argue about.

     What Tommy and Grandma did for me the most was make sure I played Little League every summer.

     They spoiled me. I climbed up the candy counters in the tavern. They'd give me some little chore to do. Take these potato chips to Joe and you can have that Milky Way. Every night I would go to sleep in a tavern booth. I'd lie down in the seat, and I wondered if I would ever be so big I wouldn't fit.

     Grandma always said she didn't have anything to do with it. But a customer gave me a baseball. Said he'd caught it at a Cardinal game. A real major-league ball. I kept it until I lost it. The only time I felt worse than after losing Grandma's baseball was the time I lost my father's catcher's mitt. I was at Grandma's house then. She hugged me and said it would be OK.

     Grandma was smart and loud and strong and sweet and she gave me everything a kid could ask for and a whole lot that kids don't even know they're getting until they get to be old themselves. She gave me love and time and attention. She showed me a woman can do anything. She showed me anybody can do anything if they really really want to.

     She said she'd give me a quarter for every "A" on my report card. I came home with 13 "A's" because in first grade they gave you a grade for everything including how you comb your hair. This was 1947, and 13 quarters could buy a case of beer. She made it a dime the next time, and we kept it up until I got out of college.

     Last Christmas my mother gave me a box full of my old stuff. Inside a high-school graduation card from '59 was a $20 bill still there. She said it is worth $50 now.

     I loved to see her laugh. My sister took a picture at Grandma's 86th birthday party last June. My sister made a cake with writing on it especially for Grandma. In the picture Grandma is laughing like a little kid. You should have seen her when she was young. There's a picture of her when she was 16. She wore a big hat and a dress with puffy shoulders, and she was so beautiful.

     She was born in 1896. She was 19 when her husband took her to Canada. He was trying to stay out of the Army. She had a baby. They lived in a one-room shack in the middle of nowhere. They called nowhere Saskatchewan. They burned cow chips for heat in the winter. She was going to have another baby, and so they moved back to Lincoln and had a girl who would be  my mother.

     Grandma was diabetic and old and she had a little stroke in May of 1981. She fell that day. She never walked again. She had a wheelchair and Tommy took wonderful care of her. One day she saw a bug. She hated bugs. She told Tommy in her loud voice to get the bug. Tommy has had two cataract operations. He couldn't see the bug.

     Tommy told this story. He said Grandma shouted, "There!" And he said, "Where?"

     Tommy sat on the bed. He looked down at the floor. Grandma sat in her wheelchair 8 feet away.

     "Next thing you know," Tommy said, telling this story, "Grandma is sitting on the bed next to me, pointing her finger down at that bug. "There," she said.

     Turns out Grandma could walk if she really really had to.

     She died Jan. 9 [1982]. Just from being old. Tommy was there getting her something to eat.

     Thanks, Jim Knecht, for sending me this touching, informative memoir; and thanks especially to you, Dave, for writing it and for allowing me to use it here.    

     Respond to David Kindred at

*  *  *  *  *

     Note: Last summer while I attended the Sesquicentennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois, I bought a short video tape of scenes from the 1953 Centennial Celebration. That tape was made by the Barricks of Barrick Trucking, holders of the Budweiser franchise, and the tape very briefly showed the fronts of several taverns, including the West Side Tavern.  The tape showed a bartender coming to the door in a long white apron: Tommy Forehand.

  Email comments, corrections, questions, or suggestions. 
Also please email me if this Web site helps you decide to visit Lincoln, Illinois:

"The Past Is But the Prelude"


The founding fathers of this town asked their attorney, Abraham Lincoln, for permission to name this new community after him, and he agreed.  On the first day lots were publicly sold--August 27, 1853--, Abraham Lincoln, near the site of the train depot, used watermelon juice to christen the town as Lincoln, Illinois.  It thus became the first town named for Abraham Lincoln before he became famous.