1860 photo taken 4 days after Mr. Lincoln visited Lincoln, Illinois, for the last time. Info at 3 below.

This President grew;
His town does too.
Link to Lincoln:
Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership

Site Map

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, IL

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



 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 dlhenson@missouristate.edu

23. Food Stores in the Route 66 Era   

     In early to mid-20th Century, during the prime of Route 66, Lincoln had numerous neighborhood grocery stores.  My maternal grandfather, Harrison F. Wilson, owned and operated a grocery store on Fifth Street from 1921 to his death in 1959.  My Grandmother Blanch operated the store for about another year.  At this store, Grandfather Wilson sold the first gasoline on Fifth Street in Lincoln, which became Business Route 66 in 1926.  For more information about the Wilson Grocery and gas station, see 10. The Wilsons of Business Route 66, including the Wilson Grocery and Shell station.

     Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach's issue of Our Times titled "To Market, To Market. . ." (vol. 6, issue 3, fall, 2001) says that Lincoln had 44 grocery stores 1931.  I have prepared the following list of Lincoln's food stores by using this article; by talking with my father, Darold Henson, and by getting suggestions through email from several LCHS alums.

     Route 66-era food stores in Lincoln, Illinois, included Albert and Sons, Alexander's, Apel and Mote  (A&M), Armbrust, Cantrall, Coogan, Cramer, DeHass, Denger, Dumser, Elmer Brown's Basket Grocery, Engle, Fortman, Glick, Halford, Hampe, Heaton, Helm, Heinzel, Heitmann, Kenning, Kerpan, Klemm, Krotz, Landers, Lucas and Farmer, Lyons, Mayer, McAllister, Moos, Musgrove, Musser, Ritchhart, Sablotny, Schmidt, Scott (and Fred Rice), Simon, Smith, Steve Bellack, Sablotny, Turner, Verban, Vlahovich, Weitkamper, Werth, White, Williamson, and Wilson and Son.

          Kerpan's grocery was one of the oldest in Lincoln, originating long before the Route 66 era, dating to 1919.

23.1:  Kerpan's Grocery in the 1960s

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch with caption by Norm Schroeder)

   Janet Kerpan emailed this note on July 4, 2003:

     Kerpan's Grocery opened in 1919.  Prior to that, my grandfather worked in the mines.  The doctor told him to get out of the mines because of his lungs, and he did collect the black lung pension later on.  He did live a long life -- to age 92!

     With the permission of "Lincolnite at Heart" Janet Kerpan, LCHS Class of 1960, the story of the Kerpan Grocery is available on the Web by clicking on this thumbnail image:

23.2:  Article About the Kerpan Grocery and Photo of Joe Kerpan

     Respond to Janet at Lincolnite42@aol.com.

23.3:  Ritchhart Grocery at Eighth and College Streets

(Photo in Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 76)

Two Route 66 Grocery Stores

23.4: Heinzel Super Market Ad
Lincoln Evening Courier, April, 2, 1953, p. 5.


23.5: Krotz & Son Grocery
Lincoln Evening Courier, October 30, 1953, p. 5.

23.6: Ey's Bakery

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch with captions by Norm Schroeder)

23.7:  Basket Grocery Ad from
Lincoln Evening Courier, April 2, 1953, p. 5.

23.8:  Basket Grocery on Chicago Street

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)

23.9:  Eckert's Market and Apartments on Sangamon Street

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch with caption by Norm Schroeder)

23.10:  Ad on Side of Former W.E. Russell and Son Grocery

     (Photo by Leigh Henson, 12-01)

     Fred Blanford had also taken a photo of this landmark and emailed it to more than 150 LCHS mid-20th-century alums who participate in For Remembrance, Understanding, & Fun.  My research on the location of the Bunny Bread sign reveals it to be the former W.E. Russell and Son Grocery at 527 Fourth St.  This information is found in an issue titled "To Market, To Market. . . ."  The article with reference to the sign is titled "Neighborhood Grocery Stores."  The sign is on the west wall. 

     The Parlee and Ruth Henson home was in the same block as the Heaton Grocery, later Knockel's, at Fifth and College Street.  The Henson home was three blocks from the Russell Grocery on Fourth Street and one block from the Moos Grocery, also on Fourth Street.  Darold tells me that as a kid he was often sent by his Uncle Ruel to get Clown cigarettes at the neighborhood groceries. 

    At about the age of 16, I recall hiring one of my younger playmates from the playground of Jefferson School -- Mick Johnson -- to visit Engle's Grocery Store a block away on State Street to buy a pack of (unfiltered) Camels for me to try.  When I inhaled, I gasped and nearly choked.  Lucky Strikes had the same effect.  Eventually, I went with Kent.  Fortunately, unlike my Uncle Ruel, who smoked three packs a day and who died from lung cancer in1951, I stopped the habit after seeing a film in a health class at Illinois State (Normal) University that showed what a cancerous lung looks like.

23.11:  Concrete Block Building That Housed the Engle Grocery Store in the Route 66 Era

(Photo by Leigh Henson, 8-03)

Suggested Sources

Beaver, Paul J. History of Logan County Illinois 1982.  Published by the Logan County Heritage
     Foundation.  Dallas, TX:  Taylor Publishing Company, 1982:

   "Armour Creameries," p. 52. [Armour was a middleman processor of poultry and eggs.]  

Gehlbach, Nancy Lawrence.  "Here Comes the Milkman!" Our Times. vol. 5, no. 2, summer, 2000, p. 5.

Gehlbach, Nancy Lawrence.  "To Market, To Market. . . ." Our Times. vol. 6, no. 3., fall, 2001:

   This issue includes "Fish and Meat Markets," "Neighborhood Grocery Stores," "Some Personal Stories," "A Day in the Life of a Grocer," and "Of Bakeries and Bakers," Fruits and Vegetables."

Gleason, Paul E. Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History.  St. Louis, MO:  G. Bradley Publishing, 1998:

   Photo of Lucas and Farmer Grocery Store, p. 77.

   Photo of Rigg's Dairy truck, p. 84.

          Material from Mr. Gleason's books is copyrighted with all rights reserved.  Mr. Gleason's material used in this Web site is with permission from the G. Bradley Publishing Company, 461 Des Peres Road, St. Louis, MO 63131. Call 1-800-966-5120 to inquire about purchasing Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History (1998) (200 pages of rare photos and text) or Logan County Pictorial History (2000) (also 200 pages of rare photos and text).  Please visit

Lincoln Evening Courier, centennial edition, Wednesday, August 26, 1953:

   Full-page ad for Armour's, Section 5, p. 5.

     Email comments, corrections, questions, or suggestions. 
Also please email me if this Web site helps you decide to visit Lincoln, Illinois:  dlh105f@smsu.edu.

"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.