Homepage of "Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other
Highlights of Lincoln, IL"
A Long-Range Plan to Brand the First Lincoln
Namesake City as the Second City of Abraham Lincoln Statues
Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Lincoln, Illinois
Abraham Lincoln and the Historic Postville
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
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
Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial
(former Chautauqua site),
the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites
Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Salt Creek &
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 &
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
The Foley House: A
Monument to Civic Leadership
(on the National Register of
the Route 66 Era
Arts & Entertainment Heritage,
the Lincoln Theatre Roy Rogers' Riders Club of the
Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era
Churches, 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
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
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
Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era
The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of
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,
During the Late Route 66 Era (1950-1960)
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
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
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
Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life
in this section are about the writing, memorabilia, and Web sites of
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
including photos of many churches
Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois
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
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 Route 66
Association of Illinois
State Historical Society
the Lincoln Theater, est. 1923, Lincoln, Illinois
Sightseeing, Shopping, and Dining in the Logan County
Courthouse Square Historic District,
Including Locations of Historical Markers
Disclaimer: Since this webpage was last revised, some of the
businesses cited are gone; likewise, links may be dead. If you want to visit
a local business, check to be sure it's there (buyer beware). I'm keeping
this page online as a snapshot of Lincoln in the early 21st century. The entire Lincoln-Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District is on the
National Register of Historic Places. Access a summary of
description of the Lincoln-Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District
(PDF) (document, courtesy of Pat Freese). Below you will find:
An overview map of Lincoln, Illinois, showing the downtown
A map of downtown Lincoln with sites for shopping and dining
A map of downtown Lincoln, Illinois, with Route 66 Streets
marked and 51 sites of interest, including historical markers
Photos and descriptions of selected sites in the Courthouse
Square Historic District (many other photos of buildings in this District
are depicted on the page titled
Scenes of the Business &
Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District.
Overview Map of Lincoln, Illinois, Showing Location of Downtown
(Map by the Abraham Lincoln Tourism
Bureau of Logan County:
Logan County Genealogical & Historical
Society in Downtown Lincoln
One of the
most important sources of information of interest to visitors of downtown
Lincoln is the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society, located at
114 N. Chicago St. (across from the former railroad station, now the Depot
Restaurant). The Society provides access to collections of Logan County
family histories, local history books, maps, obituaries, cemetery records,
records of birth, marriage, surnames, and more. The Society's facilities
include the Abe Lincoln Room, which contains over 125 books about Mr.
Lincoln, memorabilia, as well as several busts and photos of him. Access the
Web site for more information.
14.2: Aerial View of the Logan
County Courthouse Square
with Illinois Central Freight Depot and
Logan County Highway Department in Foreground
(undated photo courtesy of Fred Blanford.
Click image for larger version.)
Fred Blanford emailed this photo
(3-17-04), noting: "This is the scan of a picture I came across that I liked
because of the 'long view' it gives of Kickapoo Street right on out to old
66. The time references have me a little confused. The new First National
Bank is there; Spurgeon's and Woolworth's are both present, but it looks
like the Miller Building has not yet burned--northwest of the library."
photo date to the early 1970s? Since it was taken, several businesses have
passed away, and several historic structures have been sacrificed to
"progress": for example, the ICC freight depot in the foreground and the
Stetson China Company (and water tower) in the background. The "bottle
factory" remains. How many sites can you identify, Lincolnites at Heart?
14.3: Present-Day Shops
Along Kickapoo Street on the Historic Logan County Courthouse Square
(photo from Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce
Community Profile & Membership Directory, p. 26. Photo courtesy of
VillageProfile.com, Elgin, IL.)
Map of Downtown Lincoln with Sites for
Shopping and Dining
Downtown Lincoln Shopping and Dining
Main Street Lincoln:
Main Street Lincoln
is a non-profit organization formed in 1994 by local business owners and
residents who are interested in the economic stability and revitalization of
Logan County Courthouse Square
Historic District. The national Main Street Program, established
in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, combats the threats
to the commercial architecture and to the economic well-being of small-city
downtowns. Email Main Street
letters of items below correspond to map locations above.
1. AMP Studio. 205 S. Sangamon St.
2. All About You. 408 Pulaski St.
3. Abe's Carmel Corn. 117 N. Kickapoo St.
4. Action Rentals & Home Furnishing Center.
101 S. Kickapoo St. 217-735-2333
5. Advanced Eye Care. 623 Pulaski St.
6. B & K Antiques & Collectibles. Arcade
Plaza, 513 Pulaski St. 217-732-4900
7. Beans & Such. 115 S. Kickapoo St.
8. Beecher's Jewelry. 520 Broadway Street.
9. Cape Landing Salon. 528 Broadway St.
217-732-8531 or 735-4247
10. Cherished Memories. 117 S. Kickapoo St.
11. Closet Classics. 129 S. Sangamon St.
12. Curiosity Shop. 206 S. Chicago St.
Elegant Creations. 121 S. Sheridan St.
13. Fabulous Hair Styles & Tanning. 108 S.
Chicago St. 217-732-4329
14. FranzExpress Copy & Parcel Depot. 201
S. Sangamon St. 217-732-3399
15. Forget Me Not Florals. 117 S. Kickapoo
16. Forte Hair Salon. 110 S. Chicago St.
17. Kathleen's Hallmark. 610 Broadway St.
18. Lincoln Antique & Furniture Center. 112
S. McLean St. 217-732-2000
19. MKS Jewelers, LTD. 614 Broadway St.
20. Marti's Family Hair Center. 617 Pulaski
Mirror Image. 118 S. Hamilton St.
21. Mission Mart of Lincoln. 616 Broadway St. 217-732-8806
Mustard Moon. 1314 5th St. 217-735-1093.
22. Now & Then Books. 107 S. Kickapoo St.
23. Prairie Years. 121 N. Kickapoo St.
Pete's Hardware. 203 S. Logan St.
24. Prairie Eye Center. 518 Broadway St.
25. Red Barn Antiques. 114 S. Chicago St.
26. Serendipity Stitches & Custom Framing.
129 S. Kickapoo St. 217-732-8811
27. Sew Many Friends. 127 S. Kickapoo St.
28. Sherwin Williams Co. 523 Pulaski St.
29. Sports Plus. 511 Pulaski St.
30. Sugar Creek Essentials. 116 N. McLean
31. That Place, Inc./Merle Norman. 600
Broadway St. 217-732-6406
32. The Award Shop. 501 Broadway St.
33. The Treasure Chest. 109 S. Kickapoo St.
34. The Pink Shutter Thrift Shop. 114 N.
McLean St. 217-732-2944
35. Three Roses Floral. 123 S. Kickapoo St.
36. Wibben Computers. 113 S. Kickapoo St.
Whit's Lawn Center. 325 S. Chicago St.
37. Glenn Brunk Stationers. 511 S. Broadway
Bright Idea Screen Printing. 225 Clinton
Saloon. 415 Pulaski St. 217-732-3630
B. Blue Dog
Inn. 111 S. Sangamon St. 217-735-1743.
http://www.bluedoginn.com. Highly recommended by Leigh Henson from personal
dining experience 10-05. Excellent food, service, and atmosphere.
Arcade Cafe. 513 Pulaski St. 217-735-1443
(New owners as of 10-05).121 S. Sangamon St. Phone for Capone's,
Elizabeth's, and Wodunit Productions of Mystery Ink Dinner Theater:
217-732-6102. Capone's has a menu of
appetizers, also entertainment.
Elizabeth's Tea-Lunch Room and Receptions. 123
S. Sangamon St. Same owners as Capone's. Wide array of tea room fare as well
as hearty lunches for men. Open Tues.--Sat. 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. and other
times for full-service catering, private events, children's parties,
specialty teas and receptions.
Elizabeth's is the home of the Interactive
Wodunit Productions of Mystery Ink Dinner Theater:
Bakery. 604 Broadway St. 732-735-9955
Louisiana Coffee House. 201 S. Sangamon St. 217-735-5282
http://www.einsteinscoffeehouse.com. Highly recommended by Leigh Henson
from personal experience 10-05.
Italian Villa. 509 Pulaski St. 217-732-6370. Highly recommended by Leigh
Henson from personal experience 8-03.
Lunch Box. 111 S. Kickapoo St. 217-732-6923. Schnitzel highly
recommended by Leigh Henson from personal experience 10-05. Tastes like the
original, served in the old Mill beginning in 1945.
Idle Hour Inn. 404 Broadway St. 217-732-9925
I. Internet Cafe. 201 S. Sangamon St.
J. J & C Pour House. 122 S. Chicago
K. Joe's Pizzeria. 409 Pulaski St.
L. Mary's Place. 413 Pulaski St.
M. McCarty's at the Depot. 101 N.
Chicago St. 217-735-3314
N. Sam Sorrento's Ristorante. 521
Broadway St. 217-735-1442
O. Vintage Fair. 414 Pulaski St.
Lincoln's Downtown Route 66 Streets and 51 Sites, Including Historical
State of Illinois Seal on
State Historical Markers
This map identifies 51 sites of interest, including
locations of historical markers. On the map, the locations with
historical markers are in red:
14, 24, 34, 37, and 44 and a, b, c, d, and e. Most of the
historic places identified on this page are featured on other pages of this
Web site with more descriptions and photos.
The streets of Business Route 66 seen on the map below are Fifth Street,
Logan Street, Keokuk Street, and Kickapoo Street. They are marked in
red, as they are on other maps in this Web site.
14.5: Route 66 Streets and
Special Sites in Downtown Lincoln
(map by Leigh Henson)
Listed below are the
downtown Lincoln locations with historical markers.
Note: During the Route 66 era, number 28 on the map above, the
Indian mother statue with drinking fountain, was located on the northwest
side of the courthouse about midway between the curb and the entrance (near
the Civil War statue).
14. Site of Robert Latham home, 400 N. Kickapoo
"On this site stood the home of Robert B. Latham who, joined John D. Gillett
and Virgil Hickox to found the town of Lincoln in 1853. Abraham
Lincoln, judges, and lawyers of the Eighth Judicial Circuit were frequent
guests at his home."
County Courthouse, 1905 structure. The
present courthouse replaced an 1858 structure, which had replaced an 1856
building, destroyed by fire April 15, 1857.
Rustic Inn, 412 Pulaski St. Site of 1876 alleged
plot to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln from the first tomb in Oak Ridge
Cemetery at Springfield, Illinois.
Lincoln Train Depot and Town Christening Site, Broadway and
Central School, Eighth and Union Streets. Attended by
African-American Poet Langston Hughes, who allegedly wrote his first poem
here. Large plaque about Hughes at northeast corner of this site.
Also attended by William Maxwell, 40-year editor of the
New Yorker magazine and author of novels and short stories set in
St. John United Church of Christ, 204 7th Street.
Church associated with the Niebuhrs, who were leading pastors, theologians,
authors, and professors in higher education. Plaque about the Niebuhrs
located on the east side of the church.
The State Bank of Lincoln,111 N. Sangamon Street.
Bank lobby displays signed copies of Abraham Lincoln life masks by Leonard
Volk and original artwork by Lloyd Ostendorf.
Site of former Lincoln House Hotel, 501 Broadway Street.
Hotel visited by Abraham Lincoln.
d. Site of
Stephen A. Douglas 1858 Senate campaign speech,
corner of Decatur and Sangamon Streets. Abraham Lincoln was in the
Site of lot owned by Abraham Lincoln, 523 Pulaski
Sites Identified on the Above Map of the Historic Business District
Most of the rest of the numbered items from the map above are
depicted and described elsewhere in this Web site, including the Lincoln
Public Library (17 on map above), but below I present another image of this
magnificent structure. Many of the buildings on Route 66 streets are
residences, and many of the businesses of the Route 66 era are gone.
8. Blanford-Coogan Law
time of the celebration of the centennial of Lincoln, Illinois, the
Lincoln Evening Courier featured photos and brief accounts of several
historic houses in Lincoln. I obtained information about the Coogan House from a microfilm copy of the Courier dated September 3, 1953.
Re-publishing a photo from a printout of a microfilm copy would not yield a
high-quality photo, so at my request Fred Blanford emailed the good quality
photo seen below. It shows the same photo that appeared in the
Here is the
caption for the Coogan House that accompanies its photo in the Courier:
James Coogan Family Home, 131 N. Logan Street, was built
in 1853 [the year of Lincoln's founding] on the lot purchased at the public sale
of town lots August 29, 1853. The original foundation came from Rocky
Ford and the lumber was hauled from Springfield. This house has been
continuously owned and occupied by the members of the Coogan family for 100
years. Mrs. Coogan died in 1890 and Mr. Coogan in 1918 at the age of 88.
They were the parents of nine children, most of whom spent their entire
lives in Lincoln. A daughter, Mrs. Wm. Edwards, who before her
marriage in 1896 was the principal of Washington School, now occupies the
old home. Prior to the erection of the first Catholic Church in
Lincoln in 1857, Mass was read in this home by visiting priests from
Chicago, Springfield and Peoria" (p. 2).
The Coogan House in the 1950s
(photo provided by Fred and Marge Blanford from family
request Fred Blanford has provided some information about the Coogan House
(later the Blanford-Coogan Law Offices). Here is Fred's information
sent on October 14, 2002:
"Family lore is that Thomas Townsend (1st husband of the
woman to become the matriarch of the Coogans) used the original building as
a hunting lodge -- predating Lincoln as a town.
I put in some info because it is a microcosm of
Jane was widowed shortly after Lincoln became Lincoln
(1853). She was from County Limerick (Irish) originally -- and to support
herself and infant son (born after husband passed) she ran 131 as a bed and
board (upstairs was a dorm for the beds -- she fed them downstairs) for Irish
railroad workers. Married James Coogan o/a 1858. He was a railroad worker (I
think) and later (if not him at least his son) started a cartage (hauling
stuff from the train to local recipients) business that was then conducted
for many years.
Family lore has it that Abe did stop and share
imbibables on the porch of the "boarding house" and in the early years
before Lincoln had its own Catholic Church -- had services in the house.
When the original family book was produced -- two of the
children of Jane & James -- were still alive and provided some of the lore
that made it into the book. Aunts Min & Moll were very familiar to my wife
although they were in fact Great Aunts.
I haven't found the original photo but have copied the
attached from the 1950's book. If it is too grainy to use -- let me know and I
will hunt around to see if I have a better one without the Blanford & Coogan
sign. I scanned it in various sizes to see what I could get and this is the
one that turned out the best -- without knowing quite how you wish to use it."
Contemporary View of the Coogan House
(photo by Leigh Henson, winter, 2001)
Blanford and David Coogan used the Coogan House for their law offices in the
late Route 66 era. The photo above shows a law office sign. Fred
summarizes the law-office history of the Coogan House: "from 1970 to
1985 it was the Blanford & Coogan Law Office while since 1985 it has been me
alone -- as Dave 'retired' to the bench."
In the above photo at the
right is Pekin Street, one of Lincoln's many remaining red-brick pavements.
Other historic structures identified on the above map are on this section of
Pekin Street seen in 14.5: 2. The First Presbyterian Church
(associated with figures mentioned in this Web site: the Brainerds,
John T. Burns, William Maxwell, Professor Chris Oglevee, Illinois Governor
Richard Oglesby, and the Wilson family), 5. The Holland & Barry Funeral
Home, and 7. the Episcopal Church (associated with William Foley)
14.8: 1911 Picture
Postcard Showing the Lincoln Public Library (left),
the Christian Church (red brick), and Corner of the Miller Building
Cafe and Tap Room (gone) was
located approximately in the 500 block of Keokuk.
Later, the Colonial Restaurant was located on this site, and Gordon's
Tap was located across the alley in the building seen at the right (behind
the cafe sign--now all gone). The buildings of Lee's and Gordon's featured a Spanish
design and stucco
exterior, an unusual material for central Illinois buildings, but seen on
several other Lincoln buildings and houses, for example, the GM & O Train
Depot, the Christian Science Church, and the houses named Irendean and Suma
Ray. These are cited elsewhere in this Web site.
14.9: Lee's Cafe and Tap Room on
Keokuk Street (Business Route 66)
Contemporary Renderings of Historic
Wall Ad Signs in the Historic District
The following photo and text are from The Courier in Lincoln,
Illinois. They were passed on to me by someone who wishes to remain
anonymous. If any reader knows the names of the photographer or reporter,
please let me know so I can credit those sources more specifically here.
14.10: Lincoln Bottling
Co./Coca-Cola Reproduction on
the South Wall of Simonson Flooring Center, 221 S. Kickapoo St.
(photo from The
Courier of Lincoln, Illinois)
This sign appears on a building next to Main Street Lincoln, formerly the
Sandels' gas station, which is depicted and described later on this page.
Anonymous source writes, quoting The Courier:
the Letterheads were in town last month [8-04], and did a fantastic job of
brightening up our fair city. They were here about a week, were housed at
Lincoln College, were fed good meals by several cooperative efforts, and
left us with ten wonderful reminders of the good old days -- plus a
creation of their own, combining the best features of Lincoln, Ill. (to
them) on the back of the Lincoln Theatre wall.
When you come to visit, here is what you
1. A reproduced railroad
sign on the Pekin Street wall of Fitness Balance, 125 N. Sangamon.
2. A reproduction of the original Cities Service sign on the wall of 403
Broadway, which we knew as Madigan's bowling alley.
3. A reproduction of the original Griesedick Bros. sign on the alley wall
at 515 Broadway.
4. The alley wall of Lincoln Printers, 711 Broadway (just east of the
5. The alley wall of Lauer Bros. Hardware, 205 S. Sangamon, which is now a
wonderful eatery called Einstein's Louisiana Coffee House. Be sure to
check this place out! Marvelous Chicago hot dogs!
6. A shoe sign on the alley wall of Mary's Place, 413 Pulaski (the old KarmelKorne Shop).
7. A Falstaff sign on the alley wall of the Alley-Bi saloon, 415 Pulaski.
8. A reproduction of the original
Sign on the west wall of the Courier Building, 601 Pulaski.
9. A Coca-Cola reproduction on the south wall of Simonson Flooring Center,
221 S. Kickapoo.
10. A sign above Main Street Lincoln to replace the Hazel Alberts Realtor
sign, 229 S. Kickapoo.
These gentlemen -- of all ages -- were a definite
addition to our town during the time they were here. Joe Pelc volunteered
to help paint, as he was in the business for many years.
The publicity generated by these 31 artists was
fantastic. Since they left, Larry Steffens has undertaken to paint the
entire side of his building with a "Capone's" sign -- this was the old
Gehlbach Hardware building, directly across Pulaski St. from Lauer's
Hardware. Capone's is Larry's establishment, offering up food, drinks and
For information about the artists
and photos of other wall ad signs in Lincoln, go to
On that page also, don't miss this
Architectural Diversity in
the Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District
Many of the buildings in the downtown Lincoln--Lincoln-Logan County
Courthouse Square Historic District are 19th-century structures of classic,
traditional design, but others are of distinctive 20th-century design, as
In May of 2007, in conjunction with National Historic Preservation Month,
Main Street Lincoln, sponsored a walking tour of downtown Lincoln that
"featured two structures erected by Lincoln businessman James McCarthy in
the 1930s, and a significant parking lot behind one of the buildings"
("Strolling Through Lincoln's Past" by Nancy Rollings Saul,
LincolnCourier.com, May 10, 2007). Mr. McCarthy's daughter, Frances
McCormick and her son, Tim, provided information to Pat Freese and Deborah
Short, who developed window displays for the tour and narrated it. Besides
the Arcade, the tour focused on the building at the corner of Clinton and Kickapoo Streets. This building, previously owned by the McCarthys, was the
site of the former Sandels' gas station in the 1940s and 1950s and is now
the home of Main Street Lincoln. Carol Radespiel developed
a brochure about the sites of
Arcade Building occupies the former Pulaski Street site of the Horse and
Mule Market owned and operated by the popular horse veterinarian Dr. Thomas
details about Dr. Donald and his Horse and Mule Market). Mrs. Frances
McCormick, a daughter of James McCarthy, who built the Arcade Building,
notes that on this site in the early 1900s Dr. Donald had also had an
outdoor movie theater called the Airdome.
(nomination form) submitted to the US Department of the Interior for the
Logan County Courthouse Square to be placed on the National Register of
Historic Places Inventory provides background: "Following World War I, there
was a loss of a number of the earlier Italianate Commercial structures,
which were replaced or remodeled to make the business district appear to be
more progressive. Several notable buildings were constructed during the
period 1920--1932. These include the Italian Villa Style Lincoln Theater
Building (207 S. Kickapoo), the Mission Style Arcade Building on the south
side of the square, the Art Deco Marcucci Building on the northwest corner
of the square, and the Art Deco Griesheim Building across the street north
of the Marcucci Building" [Leigh's correction: the Griesheim Building is
south of the Marcucci Building, not north].
individual who probably influenced the character and quality of the District
more than any other person was architect John M. Deal. His firm, known as
Deal & Ginzel (1890--1910) and John M. Deal, architect (1910--1948), was
responsible for the original design or alteration of at least 20 buildings
in the Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District prior to 1932."
[Leigh's note: J.M. Deal's associate, Roland Ginzel, was probably the father
of the Roland Ginzel who was born in Lincoln in 1921, who is an
internationally known painter (Chicago Imagist School), and who was awarded
an honorary doctorate from Lincoln College in 2000.]
"John M. Deal was born in Sweetwater, Illinois, in 1867 and was a cabinet
maker by trade in his early years. He began designing and constructing
buildings and was one of the early architects to be grandfathered in under
the Illinois Architectural Registration Act of 1897. In 1890 he teamed up
with a professionally trained architect named Ginzel, who specialized in
design as a complement to Deal's construction expertise. As was customary
during this era, the firm's working drawings were drawn on linen in ink.
Many of these working drawings are still on file with a Springfield
most significant building in the District for which the firm was responsible
is the Logan County Courthouse, which was completed in 1903. In addition to
a number of remodelings, the firm also designed: the neo-classical First
National Bank Building (1914) (now Kathleen's Hallmark Shop), the five-story
I.O.O.F. Lodge just south of the post office (1915), the Arcade Building on
the south side of the square (1929). The firm also designed over 50
residences in Lincoln, several schools and a hospital."
[Leigh's note: John (J.M.) Deal was also the architect who designed the
yellow-brick Lincoln High School of 1900 (where William Maxwell spent his
freshman year) (Stringer, p. 428) and the two-story, red-brick
Administration Building of Lincoln College in 1902, which burned January,
1969 (Beaver, History of Logan County 1982, p. 86)].
the 112 structures in the Lincoln-Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District,
only 23 have been constructed or extensively remodeled since 1940. This has
resulted in a District that appears much as it did in the early 1930s when
the automobile and housing patterns began to pull some of the commercial
growth away from downtown areas. The Courthouse Square Historic District,
then, maintains the character of a central commercial area that was largely
shaped during the era 1880--1932."
14:11: Original Architectural
Drawing of the Arcade Building
the McCormicks and Pat Freese)
This photo is hanging in Brandt's Cafe and is on loan from local attorney
Warren Peters, who is very appreciative of Lincoln's history and culture.
James McCarthy's daughter, Frances McCormick, told Pat Freese that in the
late 1920 James McCarthy had made one of his rare trips away from Lincoln to
visit St. Louis to see a newly designed building. The Arcade Building was
constructed in 1929 as a one-story Mission Style structure with terracotta
and tile trim. According to an undated letter from
Frances McCormick and her son, Tim, "The design of the building was
different, imaginative, and would have features distinct from those of other
properties. It would be an arcade, with a lobby with a terrazo floor. It
would have large glass double doors at either end so the lobby could be closed. Shops would
open off the lobby." This letter also notes that the Arcade had a large
glass sky light in the center of the ceiling and a large scale on the lobby
floor so that people could weigh themselves. In the 1940s, James McCarthy's
son, Father Thomas McCarthy, designed the terrace area that became the
garden near the entrance to the restaurant founded by the Guzzardos in 1960.
(In 2007, the Guzzardos own the Arcade Building.)
The McCormicks' letter continues: "Citizens were truly excited about the
construction. Its progress was watched with interest and pride. A year or so
later the construction was finished, and the Depression was being felt. It
was difficult to find business people who could afford to start a new shop.
Mr. McCarthy went to some of his friends in the business world of Lincoln
and made an offer: 'Come start a store in the Arcade. Pay no rent at first;
when you start making money, pay rent.'
Gus Marcucci, who owned a confectionary on Broadway, started a store; its
successor, Brandt's Arcade Cafe is still in business. Albert Feldman owned a
gift, paint, and wallpaper store on Kickapoo Street. He opened a gift store,
which became Taylor's Store, owned by Leona and Bay Taylor. They were there
many years also. Dr. Tilley, osteopath, evolved into Dr. James Coogan's
office [dentistry] and after a lengthy time it became the office of Dr.
"That first year was 'catch as catch can' and Christmas was coming. Mr.
McCarthy went into the retail business in his own building and opened a toy
store. The McCarthy children were quite familiar with toys they received
from Santa that Christmas. Marge and Gene Doty established Doty's Jewelry
Store in that location and were lifetime tenants."
"The Arcade Coffee Shop owned by Art and Mandy Bree followed Marcucci's and
has been occupied ever since. Eileen McNally owned and operated Arcade
Beauty Shop for sixty years. Edna Dumser was an operator with her for
several years. Another beauty shop owned by Herta Gleason opened across the
"Dr. John Shute dentist, Robert W. McCarthy attorney, Arcade Loan Co.
[Richard "Dick" Hayes], and James McCarthy Realty occupied space for many
years. John McCullough was practicing law also in the McCarthy office. Roger
Thompson, attorney, was a later tenant."
14.12: Representing the 47th
District in the 71st General Assembly with His
Lincoln Law Office in the Arcade Building
(photo in the
Illinois Blue Book, 1959--1960, p. 296)
photos of Robert W. "Bob" McCarthy in the role of
founding father Robert Latham during the 1953 historic
centennial celebration re-enactment of the christening of Lincoln, Illinois
(#37.22 and 23). Now, do you think Bob McCarthy was assigned to play the
role of Robert Latham, or do you think there could have been a good reason
for his wanting to choose to impersonate this particular founding father of
the first Lincoln namesake town? Gentle reader (apologies to Nathaniel
Hawthorne for using this mode of direct address), if you continue down this
page far enough, you will have the answer.
"Heights Finance and Crown Loan Co. spent time in the Arcade. Robert Prunty
had a barber shop in the rear of the building and Merle Norman Cosmetics
spent years in the rear rooms."
"In the Pulaski Street rooms the tenants were Mr. and Mrs. Walter Sablotney
in 1938. They purchased the shoeshine and shoe shop from Cecil Coffey in
1938. They ran the Arcade Shoe Shop for many years and then moved to the
present location, which their son Terry operates. Deckers Shoe Store,
established by Jim and Dorie Decker later had a long occupancy. Another
early tenant on the right side of the street was the Morrow Sisters Dress
Shop, owned by Ann and Nell Morrow. A shop called Fashion Flair, owned by
Mr. Smith, followed. Leola Dowling had her art studio there for a time."
"Next to Dotys' on the front of the Arcade, Dr. Jeffrey Fults started his
optometry office and was there a lifetime. Dale Meier Accounting and Tax
Service has been in the former Fults location for many years. Dr. Rogers,
podiatrist, was there many years."
"The annex to the Arcade was built in the 40s and became the location of
Lincoln Sand and Gravel. Burchetts Photography Studio was on the first floor
of the annex and the Guzzardos, Rose and Dominic, started their Italian
restaurant upstairs in 1960. Before the Guzzardos occupied this site, James
McCarthy used it for his art studio, and he designed the terrace in front of
it. Guzzardos are still there and are the present
owners of the Arcade complex."
"Walter Spatz and Philip Reese followed Lincoln Sand and Gravel, and Dan Bock
opened his first office in the annex."
[Leigh's note: many of the early and long-time occupants were friends of Mr.
McCarthy, and they were fellow Roman Catholics. Clothing stores owned by
Jewish families were located on the west side of the square: the Griesheims
on Kickapoo Street and the Landauers and Jacobses on the north side of the
square on Broadway Street.]
14:13: James McCarthy
(photo in Beaver, History of Logan County 1982, p. 643)
Paul Beaver's History of Logan County 1982 includes the following
entry submitted by Frances McCormick: "James McCarthy was born in Lincoln,
Illinois, in 1883, the son of John and Katherine (Hartnett) McCarthy. He
attended parochial school and resided in Lincoln his entire life until his
death in 1951. He was active in numerous civic ventures and served as a
board member and president of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. He built and
acquired commercial property in Lincoln. In the Depression year of 1929 he
broke ground for the Arcade Building on the square on Pulaski Street."
"In 1918 he married Anna Hayes, a well known school teacher. She had taught
county schools from 1905--1918, her last position being that of principal of
Central School in Lincoln. She remained active until her death at age 93 in
1979" (p. 410).
The following excerpts are from an unattributed memorial to James McCarthy
in Beaver's 1982 history: "James McCarthy believed that Logan County was the
cereal bowl of the garden of Eden. He was convinced that Lincoln, Illinois,
was as great a city as the man after whom it was named."
"At the beginning of the Depression in 1931, James was president of the
Chamber of Commerce, and for the following eighteen years served as director
of his favorite community organization."
"March 15, 1933, will be remembered as the bank holiday ordered by President
Roosevelt. James along with Steve Bennis, James Hoblit, William E. Hodnett,
and Fred Longdon were named to a banking committee of the Chamber of
Commerce because business was at a standstill. They undertook the issuance
of one hundred fifty thousand dollars of script in the amounts of fifty
cents, one dollar, and five dollars to allow people to purchase the
necessities of life. After the moratorium on the banks was lifted, the
script was redeemed by the person who issued it through the Chamber of
"James claimed that he hadn't missed a day of work in over forty years and
his business remained his hobby until his death. . . . For the following
twenty years, his wife, Anna, took his place in the business community. . .
." (p. 643).
14.14: The Arcade Building in
(photo courtesy of Pat Freese
and her husband, Gary)
The site of the property on the square
once owned by Abraham Lincoln is just to the left of the photo. At Bob Johnson's
request, the following description of the Arcade Building is provided by Anthony Rubano of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency:
central pediment over the green sign is vaguely reminiscent of Spanish
Colonial architecture. The semicircle on top of a raised plinth is
a very abstracted version of a baroque element frequently used in more
elaborate Spanish Colonial Revival buildings."
14.15: Frances McCormick (l) and
Pat Freese in Front of the Arcade Building, May of 2007
(photo courtesy of Pat Freese)
James (Jim) (Father) Thomas McCarthy
older son, James Thomas McCarthy, combined work as an
artist-designer, teacher, priest, and manager of the family's real estate business. He was a
graduate of Lincoln College. As noted
above, Father Thomas McCarthy designed the terrace area at the back of the Arcade
a photo of Mr. James T. McCarthy from 1954
showing him with one of his award-wining paintings. Access
a 1965 photo of the McCarthy family,
showing (left to right) Tim McCormick; his Aunt Ann McCarthy; James Thomas
McCarthy; and Tim's mother, Frances McCormick. Access the
1966 Courier article about the
ordination of Father Thomas McCarthy and his life in Lincoln. Access "McCarthy
Story 'Romantic,'" an article about James Thomas
McCarthy and his father by Sue Cause published in the Lincoln
Courier in 1983. [Leigh's note: with a little bit of Google
searching, I was happy to find some wonderful
examples of Father Thomas McCarthy's religious art on the Web site
of the abbey where he worked, the Saint Leo Abbey in Florida.]
14.16: Arcade Terrace
Designed by James Thomas McCarthy
(photo courtesy of Pat Hartman)
James McCarthy's younger son, Robert W. McCarthy, is the founding partner of
McCarthy, Rowden & Baker, a major law firm in Decatur, Illinois. The following
"attorney profile" is quoted from that site: "A native of Lincoln, Illinois,
[Robert W. McCarthy] served 22 years in the Illinois Legislature, being elected in 1954 to the
Illinois House of Representatives. He served there until 1960 when he was
elected to the Illinois Senate. Since his legislative career ended in 1976,
he has practiced law in Decatur, Illinois full time."
"Robert W. McCarthy was a graduate of the University of Illinois Law School
in 1946, following service in the U.S. Army in World War II. His practice
limited to worker's compensation and personal injury claims for the injured
party. Mr. McCarthy has been, both in the legislature and in his practice,
an advocate for the injured worker." Source:
[Leigh's note: in a phone conversation with me on 5-26-07, Robert McCarthy
could neither confirm nor deny that his artist brother, Jim, had ever worked
a mural in the Rustic Tavern that was done before the
one created by the famous Lincoln scholar Lloyd Ostendorf.]
The Sandels' Gas Station
The present building, pictured below, was constructed by James McCarthy
sometime in the 1930s. Pat Freese writes that the Sandels' gas station,
originally a wooden structure, then later located in the building pictured
below, was "a true old-time meeting
place for the farmers when they came to town. The Martins who provided the
original oil cans, etc. [see memorabilia in the photo of the window display,
link below], remember that well from being a kid. It also had two street
address at one time: an entry from Clinton Street as well as Kickapoo
14.17: Main Street Lincoln (site of
the former Sandels' gas station)
(photo of site and her yellow bug courtesy of Pat Freese)
The following description is courtesy of
Anthony Rubano of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency:
"The [Sandels'] gas station is so simplified, though, that books today
would likely refer to it as using the “Twentieth Century Commercial”
style, a moniker that I really dislike. I prefer to see these buildings
as using a severely simplified Classical vocabulary. I tend to like the
term “Reductive Classicist” because it refers to the buildings’
Classical nature (proportion, spacing, scale), but acknowledging the
highly simplified detailing. All we are left with in the gas station are
soldier courses of black brick as vestiges of the moldings and cornices
that more elaborate Classical buildings had. So I think, if pressed, I
would consider this a Reductive Classicist building."
Tim McCormick, a grandson of James McCarthy, researched the ownership
history of the present-day Main Street Lincoln site, previously the Sandels'
gas station in the 1940s and 1950s. Mr. McCormick found that "the property
was first owned by Lincoln, Illinois, co- founder Robert Latham in February,
1853--, the year Lincoln, Illinois, was founded. Maybe Latham owned it a few
months before the town was actually founded. In 1886 John D. Gillett and his
wife Lemira Park Gillett along with the Lathams, Robert B. (1818--1894) and his wife,
Sevillah (1833--1915), owned the property. . . .
"Interesting--in 1903--after various owners of the property, it was bought
by Teutonia Maennerchor, a German organization whose members stressed the
cultivation of German music and social entertainment. Their charter is in
the abstract, as well as their mission. Many Lincoln Germans were in the
organization. The Maennerchor (meaning men's choir--Maennerchor must have
been like the Hibernians for us Irish) had the property until 1920, when my
grandfather James McCarthy bought the property." [Leigh's note: this
organization probably had no trouble financing its operation and the
purchase of this property because the German-American Bank was just down the
block at the corner of Pulaski and Kickapoo Streets. Also, see
[Leigh's note: All right, gentle reader, now you can see why Bob
McCarthy wanted to play the role of Robert Latham in the 1953 Lincoln
centennial christening re-enactment: the proud, civic-minded McCarthys had
come into possession of property previously owned by Founding Father Robert
Pat Freese also provides
a photo of the window display about the Sandels' gas station
(click the open image for full size) at Main Street
Lincoln during the 2007 walking tour. For information about the Tydol,
Veedol trademarks, see
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Also please email me if this Web site helps you decide to visit Lincoln,
"The Past Is But the