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
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
achievement: serves as a model for the profession and reaches a greater
Marquee Lights of the Lincoln Theater, est. 1923, Lincoln, Illinois
& Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras
The Lincoln House Hotel, Abraham
Lincoln, and Stephen Douglas
26.1: The Second
Lincoln House Hotel on the
Southeast Corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets
provided by Fred Blanford. Source is the Logan
County Plat Book of 1910, published by the George A. Ogle & Co., 134 Van
Buren St., Chicago, Illinois)
car was that of the interurban, which began in the early 1900s. More
information about the interurban is presented at
& Streetcar Line at Lincoln, Illinois.
26.2: Undated Picture Postcard of
Broadway Street Looking East
26.3: Undated Picture Postcard Night Scene of Broadway Street
The Lincoln House appears at the right in both pictures above. Photo 26.2 clearly shows the streetcar tracks, which
are barely visible in 26.3. The images are not of the same
period because of the differences in streetlight styles and the presence of
utility poles in 26.2. I see many photos of Lincoln in the
1910s showing the five-globed streetlights seen in 26.3. The
scene of 26.2 most likely precedes that of 26.3.
The most thorough
of the Lincoln House is a substantial (24-paragraph) article by James T.
Hickey in the centennial edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier,
Wednesday, August 26, 1953, p. 8. Hickey's research for this article
included news stories published in the Lincoln Herald.
The original Lincoln House was built in 1854 by the town founders (Gillett, Hickox, and Latham), being destroyed by fire on April 10, 1870. The
pictures above show the second
Lincoln House, built in 1875 by John Gillett. Some time early in the
20th Century, the top three floors were removed, leaving the first level now
Hickey writes "It was in
this [first Lincoln] hotel that Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Judge
David Davis, Ward H. Lamon, Leonard Sweat, Richard Yates and many other
famous men of that day stayed while in Lincoln."
Hickey quotes a justice
of the peace contemporary of Lincoln in reporting a story of Lincoln in
which he was approached in the Lincoln Hotel by friends of a man indicted
for murder. Lincoln was "convinced their friend was justified in his
act, took the case, secured an acquittal and charged them $15 for a fee."
According to Hickey, on
July 16, 1858, when Lincoln and Douglas were running for the U.S. Senate,
"the Douglas campaign train stopped at noon in Lincoln. Abraham
Lincoln was on the train, and both men had dinner at the Lincoln House.
Leonard Volk, Chicago, was also on the train."
Hickey describes Volk's account published
in the Century magazine December 1881: "'we stopped at the town of
Lincoln where dinner was served at the [Lincoln House] hotel, after which,
as Mr. Lincoln came out on the plank walk in front, I was presented to him
for the first time: he saluted me with his natural cordiality:
grasping my hand in both of his large hands with a vice-like grip and
looking down into my face with his beaming dark dull eyes.'"
Hickey continues to quote
Volk, "at that time, I arranged with Mr. Lincoln to take his life mask at
some future time when it would be convenient to him and that subsequently,
in Chicago, the mask was taken.'
Lincoln House Plaque on Broadway Street
(Leigh Henson photo, 12-2002)
Describing Lincoln on that occasion, Volk says Lincoln was carrying 'an old
carpet-bag in hand and wore a weather-beaten silk hat, too large apparently
for his head, and a long loosely-fitting frock coat of black alpaca with
vest and trousers of the same material'" (Hickey, "Lincoln House Was First
Hotel in Community," Lincoln Evening Courier, p. 8).
Today the lobby of the
main facility of the State Bank of Lincoln (Sangamon Street) displays signed
copies of Abraham Lincoln life masks by Leonard Volk and original artwork by
See Sources Suggested
below for a the Web page of Abraham Lincoln Online showing photos of the
Volk life masks of Abraham Lincoln.
The (second) Lincoln House
where Missouri "Zura" Burns, a 21-year-old part-time maid and seamstress,
stayed before her murdered body was discovered in the early morning hours of
August 18, 1883 (Smith, "The Murder of Zura Burns," p. 222). The Zura
Burns murder and trial of businessman Orrin A. Carpenter attracted national
notoriety for Lincoln and Logan County Illinois: This tragedy
"destroyed the reputation of a prominent business man, consumed his
property, stirred up the community, entailed great expense on the county,
gave employment to an army of lawyers, detectives and newspaper reporters
and gave the readers a surfeit of unwholesome literature. . . ."
Ms. Burns's body
had been discovered "at the far end of a short lane in what is known as Sigg's
Survey, in the northwestern portion of the City of Lincoln and west of where
Woodlawn addition has since been laid out" (Stringer, vol. 1, p. 355).
Carpenter allegedly had impregnated Ms. Burns, then murdered her, but the
evidence was circumstantial; and the trial, transferred to Petersburg,
Illinois, resulted in acquittal. One of the prosecutors was Edward Dunallen Blinn (Smith, p. 229),
maternal grandfather of William Maxwell, and
this acquittal was probably the most public defeat suffered by Attorney Blinn, whose reputation was formidable.
It was another scandalous murder in Lincoln of the early 1920s that became
the subject of William Maxwell's acclaimed novel, So Long, See You
The Site of the Lincoln Hotel
(Broadway Street Side) in the Route 66 Era
26.5: Route 66 Era Lincoln House
Historical Marker (in Box) Between Spiegel's and the Malt Shop
(Photo provided by D.D. Welch, with captions by Norm Schroeder.
Respond to Norm at
The Commercial Hotel:
Lincoln's Leading Hotel When the Railroad and
Route 66 Eras Overlapped
26.6: Early Photo of
the Commercial Hotel
(Photo provided by Fred Blanford. Source: Logan County Plat
Book of 1910, published by the George A. Ogle Company, 134 Van Buren
Street, Chicago, Illinois)
Chicago Street in 1916
(Photo in Fish, Illustrated
26.8: Profile of
Henry Ford in Front of Commercial Hotel (1929) When He Bought the Postville Courthouse
(Photo from Dooley, The Namesake Town, p. 17)
Paul Beaver describes
the Commercial Hotel: "Constructed in 1874 and opened in 1875, the
hotel was located on Chicago Street between Pulaski and Clinton Streets.
The hotel served the city for many years but deteriorated over the years.
On December 17, 1979, fire virtually destroyed the structure, which was
subsequently demolished" (p. 53).
caption for 26.7 in Fish, Illustrated Lincoln, says "Lincoln's
Leading Hotel-- NEW COMMERCIAL. A. Clark & Co., proprietors.
Rates $2.00 to $3.00 per day A.P. Meals 50 cents."
The centennial edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier notes that this
hotel was known as the Howard Hotel in 1953. Then, "the hotel
contained the Commercial Coffee Shop, operated by Aubrey Cole. . . .
The lease of the 62 room structure is from the Hickory Hotel Co., Inc., of
Chicago." In 1953 the Howard was owned by Reginald Clark and Bessie
Clark and operated by Nicholas H. Schoof" (Courier, section one,
August 26, 1953, p. 11).
Fred Blanford remembers,
"On the north end of the Commercial Hotel was the Commercial Restaurant (?)
or whatever -- that had a side entrance in common with the Hotel Lobby. The
eating establishment was operated by Slim Cole for many years (daughters
Linda & Anita were classes about '61 and '64 respectively). Just to the
of the entrance for the eating establishment -- was a small cubby hole sort of
storefront that was operated as the dispatching office for one of Lincoln's
two cab companies. Next store north was for a time the site of my Uncle &
Aunt's appliance store. A door or two north of that--John Pelc's Schwinn
Early-20th-Century Scene on
Chicago St. with Two Kinds of Cabs in Front of the Commercial Hotel
26.9: Vehicles of the
Madigan Family Cab Business (undated)
The above photo appears, undated, in both Paul Beaver's Logan County
History 1982 and Paul Gleason's Lincoln, Illinois: A Pictorial
History (1998). The caption for the photo in Beaver's book reads,
"Last horsedrawn cab with Bill Madigan. First motorized cab with
Thomas (Sas) Madigan" (p. 30).
Gleason's book quotes a 1922 article in the Lincoln Evening Courier:
"The Yellows are here. T.H.
Madigan, of the Madigan Taxi line, has just been granted the Yellow Taxicab
agency for Lincoln, and the first of the famous Yellow cabs was in operation
drove the first of the new cars down from Chicago Saturday night. It
is a 1922 model, of the familiar Yellow Taxi Co. design equipped with Red
Seal Continental motor.
The Madigan line now has seven taxis and the old cars will be replaced from
time to time with new Yellows. No. 1. will be replaced by additional
cars of the same type as rapidly as the old Madigan cars are discarded, so
that eventually Lincoln will have a fleet of Yellows.
The Yellow Taxi service is known thruout [sic] the county.
Agencies are granted only to old established lines, for the Yellow Taxi Co.
has a name for service to uphold wherever established. The local
Yellows will not have taximeters, as hauls in Lincoln are made on a flat
rate basis, as heretofore."
Mid-20th-Century Scene with
Cabs in Front of the Howard Hotel (Formerly Commercial Hotel)
26.10: Interurban Tracks,
Brick Pavement, Cabs, and Lincoln Businesses in the 1950s
(Photo by Mike Hamilton and scanned from negative and emailed by Fred Blanford)
Respond to Mike at
the 1950s, the Commercial Hotel had been renamed the Howard Hotel. The
above photo shows (left to right) the Yellow Cab Company and the Lincoln Cab
Company, "Slim" Cole's Coffee Shop, Hale's Barber Shop, the Howard Hotel,
and the old interurban depot. Note the brick pavement and the way the
interurban tracks lie flush or somewhat recessed.
Brief Memoir of the
Interurban Tracks on Chicago Street
In the winter of 1958 or 1959, I was with Dave Lovelace when he was driving
north near the GM&O Depot on Chicago Street in his dad's station wagon. The pavement
had several inches of snow, and Dave thought it was fun to drive placing the
wheels in the snow ruts formed by the interurban tracks (most certainly he did not
learn this sport from his driver-ed teacher-father, Royce). In that
way, Dave could go straight
down the tracks like a train car while
taking both hands off the steering wheel. Soon, several blocks ahead,
we spotted the approaching interurban's light beginning to glare at us like
the glowing, menacing eye of an iron Cyclops. Dave urgently had to fight the
wheel to break out of the ruts. As Dave's dad would say, "Where you
'posed to be, boy?"
Lincoln Site: A Monument to Lost Opportunities for the Usable Past
The Hotel Lincoln, now demolished, was located less than half a block from
the intersection of Pulaski and Logan Streets (Business Route 66). The Hotel
Lincoln was the premier hotel of Lincoln, Illinois, and destination
restaurant during the Route 66 Era (1930s--1960s). The exterior and interior
pictures on this page show the charming character of its Tudor-style design.
This building was the only one in Lincoln with this architecture. This
building is also significant for its connection to the writing of William
Maxwell, as explained later on this page. If this building could have been
saved from demolition, it would have added greatly to the architectural
diversity of the Lincoln-Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District.
The distinct appeal of the Hotel's design and the Hotel's association with
Route 66 and William Maxwell would have given it a powerful role in today's
push for heritage tourism in this community.
New (old) Lincoln Hotel (@1912)
Hotel Lincoln (@1940)
The photos above are from Paul Gleason's Lincoln: A Pictorial History,
One of the
first businesses on this site (308-310 Pulaski Street) was a saloon called
the Forum (Gleason, p. 55). It is unclear when the building seen above left
was constructed, but it was the Hotel Hoyle in 1903, and it may also have
housed a gambling casino (Beaver, "Hotel Lincoln," History of Logan County, 1982,
p.53). Then, for a while after 1912, this building was known as the New
Lincoln Hotel (Gleason, p. 55).
"Mrs. Ella M. Edgell,
mother of Percie E. Edgell, leased the New Lincoln Hotel from Erastus Bates
in 1921 and then bought the Hotel from his daughter, Mrs. Adeline Hartnell, in
September 1921. Percie E. Edgell bought the cafeteria from Mr. and Mrs.
George West, December 24, 1922. Upon the death of Mrs. Ella Edgell,
September 6, 1932, her son, Percie, took over the Hotel and remodeled and
completely refurnished it. The exterior was entirely new work
and was done in the spring of 1933. New tile baths were added to many
rooms without baths. The Tap Room was opened in July 1936 and the Old
English Dining Room in June of 1937. Listed in Duncan Hines with AAA.
The most popular Hotel and eating place in central Illinois" (ad in Dooley,
p. 72). Clearly, the history of this building shows a constructive re-use
of the past.
"A number of antiques
displayed throughout the lobby, dining room and tap room of the Hotel from
the private collection of Mrs. P.E. Edgell. . . . The hotel maintain[ed]
a guest house at 114-116 Logan Street which was opened in 1948. It has
11 handsomely furnished rooms. The Hotel proper maintain[ed] 40 rooms for
guests" ("Lincoln Hotel Popular Spot," Lincoln Evening Courier,
section six, Wednesday, August 26, 1953, p. 6).
"The Edgells and Mrs.
Edgell's brother, John McGowan, operated the cafeteria and bar until it
closed in 1972. The Hotel was then sold for later renovation and
operation" (Beaver, p. 53). Several years ago, the building was
Colorized Picture Postcard of Hotel Lincoln (undated)
(picture postcard image provided by Fred Blanford)
Access an amusing post-WW II photo of the
Hotel Lincoln's Tap
Room on another page in this site.
A Double Lost Opportunity for
the Usable Past
26.14: Gravesite of Former
Hotel Lincoln (2003)
The site of the former Hotel Lincoln on Pulaski Street now bears a double
sadness for "Lincolnites at heart." Not only is the Hotel Lincoln gone, but
also the site is the graveyard for the classical-column ruins of the 1925
Lincoln Community High School building, demolished in 2002. The owner of
this property has boldly and nobly established this monument as a history
lesson in lost opportunities for the usable past of two of the first
Lincoln namesake town's historic landmarks.
And now, gentle reader, another curious little lesson in local history:
An Abuse of Historic Artifact
in Downtown Lincoln
26.15: Hotel Lincoln Sign in 2001
Revision Sign History in 2004
Photos courtesy of Leigh Henson.
purpose of the above sign left was to instruct patrons of the Hotel Lincoln
where they could find additional parking. This sign was located on a back
wall of a building on the alley behind the Hotel Lincoln between Sangamon
and Logan Streets. The building with this sign is behind the present
Blue Dog Inn, formerly the Illinois Hotel (a great example of the usable
past). The sign reads, "Hotel Lincoln
Parking --Gay 90s Room." According to Fred Blanford, the Gay 90s
Room was the idea of
owners who came after the Edgells.
2004, a group of "wall dogs" visited Lincoln, donating a great deal of time
and effort to refurbish some downtown historic ad signs on buildings (for
more on this activity, see
Contemporary Renderings of Historic Wall Ad Signs).
The sign above right was painted over the sign above left. The new sign is
misleading--since the Hotel Lincoln has been demolished, the sign could
easily be misinterpreted as marking the site of the former Hotel by people who had
never seen it (and that's a lot of folks).
that's not the only problem. It's highly unlikely that the "wall dogs" alone
would have decided to revise history, so someone in the town's "powers that
be" must have made the "executive decision." Perhaps the reason has to do
with the language in the phrase "Gay 90s Room." Was someone afraid that a
reader might think the Hotel Lincoln's Tap Room was a gay bar for
nonagenarians? (And even it it were, so what?) Is the sign
makeover a curious example of reverse political correctness? And who said
that revisionist history is un-American? Certainly the dates make it clear that the Hotel no
longer exists, but they could have been added beneath a restoration of the
old sign with "Gay 90s Room," along with the street address so readers would
not think the sign marks the site of the former Hotel.
A William Maxwell Memoir of
the Hotel Lincoln
The following scene from William Maxwell's memoir titled "The Value of
Money" is set in the Hotel Lincoln:
"From the Franklins', they drove downtown again, to join Helen's family in
the cafeteria of the New Draperville Hotel. With several drinks under
his belt, Edward [literary counterpart of the author] looked around the noisy dining room.
The faces he saw
were full of character, as small-town faces tend to be, he thought, and lined
with humor, and time had dealt gently with them. By virtue of having
been born in this totally unremarkable place and of having lived out their
lives here, they had something people elsewhere did not have. . . This
opinion every person in the room agreed with, he knew, and no doubt it had
been put into his mind when he was a child. For it was something that
he never failed to be struck by -- those sweeping statement in praise of Draperville [Lincoln] that were almost an article of religious faith" (p.
Value of Money" is just one of twelve stories set in Lincoln, Illinois, in
his collected stories titled All the Days and Nights, 1995 (Vintage
Books, a division of Random House). William Maxwell's readers
discover and enjoy complex and believable characters, moving scenes, and
perceptive insights into human nature and American life. Maxwell's
works are readily available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
The next two photos
were taken in the Hotel Lincoln during the time Maxwell returned to visit
his family in Lincoln, Illinois (1940s and 1950s) and show the kinds of
people Maxwell describes.
Illinois Electric and Gas Dinner in the Hotel Lincoln Banquet Room
(Photo provided by Fred Blanford)
attaching a pic that shows a bit of a place that I got to know well as a
young adult. This is shot in the banquet room of the Hotel Lincoln (I would
recognize the paneling anywhere) which was behind the bar area (that's where
I got to know the paneling so well) -- the right side of the building as you
entered -- cafeteria was the left half.
The occasion is a company dinner for
employees of CIE&G -- later Commonwealth Edison then CILCO. My dad and mom
are in the pic as are Marilyn Yeates Weingarz's
mom and dad. The couple facing the camera are Mr. & Mrs. Finlay Cameron if I
am not mistaken -- should have had a daughter that was about [LCHS] Class of
thereabouts -- I think.
Picture Postcard of the Hotel Lincoln Banquet Room (undated)
(Image provided by Fred Blanford)
Going to go an alternate route for some of the next few
pics -- if I can figure out how to tweak them in the scanning. They are slicksheet prints -- not photos and contain too much 'tiling' to be
pleasant -- but
should be worthwhile IF I can get them scanned appropriately."
Memoir of the Hotel Lincoln by
John Swingle, LCHS Class of 1957
Ah, yes, the Hotel Lincoln and Tap Room. As you [Fred] say, not only prime
destination for locals, but from many miles around. The establishment
enjoyed a loyal clientele, many of whom came back week after week. And your
thoughts on "waiting in line" were a fact in the glory years of the hotel,
before motels and fast food came into play. A lovely couple, Mr. and Mrs.
Percy Edgell were the owners, and I had the pleasure of working for
them from about June 55 to January 56, I believe. (My "data bank" may not be
as accurate as yours, Fred.) By that time, Percy Edgell's health was not
good, although he did make occasional visits from their on-site residence to
the business. Mrs. Edgell by that time was operating the business herself.
As a part-time bus boy and desk clerk, I had varied hours during the school
year, but during the summer I worked a split shift 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4
p.m. to 8 p.m. Prime time for the cafeteria. I think I started out earning
65 cents an hour and later received an increase to 75 cents.
Christmas that year turned into an unusual experience for me, because I was
scheduled to work that day. There was very little going on, of course, and
there were only a couple of us scheduled to work. But the one who worked the
hardest that day was Mrs. Edgell, who cooked Christmas dinner for those of
us on duty and insisted we be part of the "family". In those days, I
believe the Tap Room was operated by John McGowan and his wife, relatives of
the Edgells. If you wish to do something with this, I have no
Respond to John at
Chicago Street in the 1950s
(Photo provided by
D.D. Welch and Norm Schroeder)
Counter and Crew
(Gleason, Lincoln: A Pictorial History, p.
Information about Molloy's legendary restaurant appears in the centennial
edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier and in Paul Gleason's
Lincoln: A Pictorial History. By all indications, Molloy's was one
of the key downtown restaurants serving train crews and train travelers in
the first half of the 20th Century. The Courier says Molloy's
was opened in 1903 by Eugene Molloy and was first called the Farmers'
Restaurant. At the time of the Courier article (1953), Molloy's
restaurant employed 10 (Courier, section four, August 26, 1953, p.
The information from Mr.
Gleason's book is the caption of 25.16 above: "Molloy's Cafe first
opened at 406 Pulaski Street in 1902. Eugene Molloy later operated a second
cafe at 126 South Chicago Street in 1918.
26.21: Token from Molloy's Cafe
single kitchen served both cafes, which were open 24 hours a day and became
famous for their coffee. Train crews stopping in Lincoln got fresh
coffee from Molloy's for the next leg of the trip. Molloy's also
served many banquets in its day" (Gleason, p. 61).
writes, "Molloy's -- a cafe where my grandmomma liked to partake
of the "blue plate specials" and where the owners were especial friends of
my father-in-law -- Dr. Jimmy Coogan.
Were the Molloys two Irish Catholic brothers (Paulie &
Jimmy??) maybe never married (lots of IC males never did -- although Jim &
Stan Eckert did) who may have come along (via their ancestors) by reason of
the railroad construction (as related previously about my wife's IC
ancestors) and for that reason catered to the railroad/traction workers and
passengers. I know where Molloy's was (about) and I know my father-in-law
liked to eat there AND liked the Molloys -- and liked to tell the Chili
story --whenever the pot got low they just added more ingredients--so that at
any given time in any given bowl --you might get
a "bean" that had come from the "original pot" that had been prepared years
before--possibly by their ancestors -- who may have established the eatery in
the first place. One should never let facts get in the way of a good
story -- but do you want a good story or facts?
I was a good friend of Jimmy Coogan many years before I
ever dated his daughter. Believe it or not -- he and Mrs. Coogan hired me to
tutor Marge in math when we were in HS -- we never dated until we were over in
Champaign. He was a wonderful raconteur -- the sort I have long enjoyed for
friends. He also enjoyed history and was a man known for truth and
veracity--but would have been one of the first to distinguish between "the
interesting tale" and "fact," a not absolutely necessary part of an
Inside Leonard's Cafe in the Route 66 Era
(Photo in Gleason, Lincoln: A Pictorial History, p. 60)
Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach describes the restaurant careers of Howard and Marge
Leonard in Lincoln: first operating the Cottage Drive-In, then
Leonard's Cafe in the remodeled locker plant at 111. S. Hamilton. They
bought the Hi-Ho at 122 N. McLean from Clyde and Helen Boyd, remodeling the
coffee shop and adding on a kitchen and dining room" ("Mom & Pop -- and Their
Cafe," Our Times, 6.1, spring, 2001, p. 8). Leonard's was the
place where many LCHS student went after school for cokes and conversation,
and the Leonards were patient with this noisy pre-dinner crowd.
Ms. Gehlbach's article describes or mentions other restaurants of the Route
66 era (no particular order): Broadway Cafe, the Commercial Coffee
Shop, Coonhound Johnny's Roadhouse, the Colonial, Guzzardo's, the Blu-Inn
(later the Heritage Inn), the Gem, the Hotel Lincoln, the Latham Tea Room,
Lee's Tavern, Lincoln Candy Kitchen, Lincoln Bertoni's, Leonard's,
Marcucci's, the Mill, the Lincoln Depot Restaurant, the Lincoln Inn,
Molloy's, the Pig Hip, Tibbs', Tiz-Rite, the Tropics, Sorrento's, Tull's Ice
Cream Shop, Vintage Fare, the White House. Route 66 era folks also
remember the DQ, the Chuck Wagon, the Dog 'n Suds, and the A&W.
26.23: Gem Lunch on Pulaski Street
(Photo provided by D.D. Welch with
Lunch Room Counter
(Photo in Our Times,
spring, 2001, p. 5)
With regard to the above
photo left, Norm Schroeder
notes that in front of the window at the right the vehicle appears to be
The photo above rigth appears in
both Gleason's Lincoln: A Pictorial History and Our Times
(6.1, spring, 2001, p. 5). In the photo above right, Tony Rufogales appears at the
left. Pete Andrews is at the right, his backed turned as he works at
the grill (Our Times, spring, 2001, p. 5).
In Our Times, Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach
tells the story of the Gem Coney Island Lunchroom, owned and operated first
by Tony Rufogales and then by
Pete and Jo Andrews. In 1930 Pete Andrews and his brother Tom (Tommy) were brought to
American from Greece by their Uncle Tony Rufogales and his wife, Katherine
Tony Rufogales had immigrated to America in about 1905. After WW I,
Tony "stuck a pencil in a map at random and in landed on Lincoln." In
Lincoln he co-owned a lunchroom with Tony Lapinski on Pulaski Street.
Later, Tony Rufogales bought out his partner, Tony Lapinski, and moved across the alley to 414 Pulaski Street.
During the Depression,
Pete and Tommy worked in their Uncle Tony Rufogales's restaurant. "If Tony went
to a show, he would tell the boys, 'If anyone comes in and wants something
to eat, I want you to give them a hot dog and a piece of pie and a cup of
coffee.' In later years, Pete and his wife, Jo, carried on the
tradition, serving meals to people sent over by the Salvation Army and
Ministerial Association" (Gehlbach, p. 5).
"After Pete graduated from high school at 16, he went to work at the Gem
full time, until he volunteered for the Army in June of 1941. After WW
II, Pete met Josephine "Jo" Danosky, who was working at the Gem. Pete
and Tommy Andrews bought the Gem from Tony Rufogales in 1945. [In the
paragraphs below, Stan Stringer describes Tony's business activities after
he sold the Gem.] Pete and Jo were married in 1946. Later, Tommy
sold his interest to Pete and Jo and moved to Mattoon. Pete and Jo
operated the Gem until 1984, when they sold it to
Mel and Joyce Kinzie ("From Greece to America, Our Times, 6.1, spring
2001, p. 5).
Paul Gleason notes that "Pete and Josephine Andrews
became well known for the hearty meals they served at moderate cost" (Lincoln,
A Pictorial History, p. 59). Favorite plate-lunch dishes included
chop suey, ham and beans, roast pork loin with dressing, and meat loaf.
Also, chili was a standard. Typically, more than 20 dishes were served
each week (Gehlbach, p. 5).
In September of 2003,
Stan Stringer emailed me to say my summary of Nancy Gehlbach's article
contained a couple of errors. These errors were my fault, not Nancy's,
and I have attempted to correct them in the summary above.
Stan also provides the following exchange of emails that he had with Mary
Baldin Moore. This exchange adds a great deal of information about the
wonderful Lincolnites who owned and operated the businesses cited above in
the Route 66 era, and I reprint their correspondence below with Stan's and
following includes an exchange of e-mails between Mary Moore and myself.
I contacted Mary and she agreed that I could share these with you. I
trust you will find this helpful and perhaps amusing.
[Rufogales] bought the liquor store across the street from the
restaurant. My Dad jokingly asked Tony when he was going to add a few
tables and start serving sandwiches. The reply (perhaps jokingly) was the
contract on the sale of the restaurant prohibited him from opening another
restaurant in the immediate area.
In a general e-mail [to many
LCHS alums] dated 10-23-2002, Mary Moore reported locating Harry
Gianakoupoulos. After making the connection between Mary and Pete and
Josie Andrews, she and I corresponded. On 10-24-02 I wrote:
don't know Harry, but I when I lived in Lincoln I'm sure I knew Pete and
Jo. When I lived there, the Gem Lunch was owned by Tony and Kate
Rufogales. As I recall, Tony had brought his nephews, Tommy and Pete, to
the Lincoln. I was told that my parents (Charles & Virginia Stringer),
and Tony and Kate had occasionally double dated when they were young
marrieds, but that was before I was born. Tony & my dad were WWI
Pete and Tommy went into
the army during WWII. Sometime in the late 40's Pete and Tommy bought
to Pete and Josephine's wedding party . It was held at the Women's
club at the corner of Delavan and McLean streets. It was a fantastic
event. I was about 12 then. Hey, I knew Greek weddings were great long
before anyone thought to do a movie.
vaguely remembered that Pete, and maybe Tommy too, went back to Greece
when the communists where trying to take over Greece. It must have been
after Pete and Jo married, as I recall Pete didn't let Jo come because of
the risks. I had the impression he/they went to help the anticommunists
resist a take over of Greece.
After Tony sold out to the
boys, he bought the liquor store across the street.
Kate's home on McLean street was beautiful, but I see it disappeared when
the Christian Church built its new building in that block.
sounds from your note that Pete and Jo are still living. I don't expect
they would remember me, but tell them I wish them good health and
to hear from you. Yes, Pete and Jo are still going. Jo had a stroke
about 10 years ago, and is now in a wheelchair, but is still as sassy as
ever! Tony Rufogales died in 1975 and Katie in 1991. When Tony gave up
the liquor store, Jo's father, Julius Danosky, bought it, then his son
John had it for quite some time.
really a small world, isn't it.... I was at Pete and Jo's wedding
reception at the Women's Club also. I was about 5 1/2 at the time, and
remember running with one of the balloons on a string when someone reached
out and popped with a cigarette. I was devastated!! Later, I had two
kittens that I named "Pete" and "Tommy".
says that he really thinks he remembers you, and wishes you well. Was
Stringer Avenue named for anyone in your family, and are you related to
you heard that Lincoln Developmental Center is closed?
November 19, 2002 Mary replied to another note I sent her with more
information about the Tony & Kate and Tommy and Pete & Jo Andrews.
Included with this is an incident relating to my e-mail about Mattie
Anderson, and as I said Mattie was a legend (of sorts).
says that Tom (I will always think of him as "Tommy", died a couple of
years ago. He married and had two children. His wife and one son are
mentioned about Tony & Katie's house being gone. Jo told me this morning
that it was moved to the corner of Pekin and Sherman (I sure didn't know
anything about that!). Jo wanted to know where you were now, and I had to
tell her I really didn't know, but would find out. OK, where are you???
Enjoyed your ruminations on
"Mattie". I didn't have her, but was terrified of her anyway. That
woman's reputation was awesome!
husband and I were in Springfield Sunday evening with Ray Turner ('58) and
his wife. We stopped for a sandwich, and I was reading Ray an excerpt
about Mattie from your e-mail. He had her for math. He commented that
she had an awful body odor, but could still smell gum from anywhere in the
classroom and tell what kind it was! There were two older couples in the
booth next to ours, and when they got up to leave, the wife of one of them
came over and asked if we were from Lincoln, because they had overheard us
talking about Mattie Anderson!!!! She called her husband back... Bob
McAfee from the old McAfee Electric (don't know if that's spelled right).
He also had recollections of Mattie, her reign of terror, and her body
odor! I bet Mattie could never have imagined what a place she made for
herself in history!!
Enjoyed the picture of the 3rd Grade at Monroe School. Bill Coombs is a
first cousin on my Mom's side. (The Danosky's are on my Dad's side).
Rose Marie Turner is the aforementioned Ray Turner's oldest sister.
then, Pete Andrews died this past March. I trust you saw Pete’s obituary
in the Courier. If not, I find my copy and send a copy to you.
Pete was a remarkable man, and they were a delightful pair that shared
their good fortune with their church and community. Josie is now a
resident of the Christian Village.
Respond to Mary at
Respond to Stan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inside Tibbs' Hi Spot at 418 Broadway Street
(Photo from Paul Gleason, Lincoln: A Pictorial
History, p. 56)
for the photo above reads, "Glenn and Mary Tibbs purchased Bechelli's in 1942 and
operated it as Tibbs' Hi Spot until 1962. Until the new high school
was constructed on Primm Road in the mid-1950s, no lunch was served at the
high school, so students ran down Broadway to Tibbs' for lunch. At
times, the line was a quarter of a block long, but it didn't take long to
consume a hamburger and chug down a cherry coke" (p. 56).
Mary and Glen Tibbs (May, 1949)
(Photo from Paul Beaver, Logan County History 1982,
following are excerpts from a brief article that accompanies the photo above: "Glenn and Mary Tibbs came to Lincoln in 1941 from Gary,
Indiana to work at the defense plant in Illiopolis.
In 1942 they
purchased Bechelli's Confectionery from Charly Bechelli. The business
they purchased was located at 418 Broadway and had been operating for 18
years when they purchased it.
Mr. and Mrs.
Tibbs, with their four children, Shirley McKearnan (deceased), Martha Crost,
Mary Ellen Copeland and Thomas Tibbs, operated the business until 1962.
Saturday nights on
ballgame nights were standing room only.
20 years Glenn and Mary Tibbs were the close friends and supporters of
scores of Lincoln teens as they struggled toward maturity" (p. 56).
Lincoln's Maid Rite and Greyhound Bus Depot
The Maid Rite Grill on Broadway Street,
One Block West of the Railroad Tracks and One Half Block East of Business
(Photo from Lincoln Evening Courier, centennial edition, section six, 8-26-53, p.
A Parade That Stopped Traffic on Business Route 66 and Passed the Maid Rite
1950s Parade Passing the Maid Rite on Broadway Street (Looking West)
provided by Dottie and Bud Huffaker and emailed by Fred Blanford;
photographer and date unknown. Respond to the Huffakers at
Fred Blanford emailed this photo to 160+
LCHS alums on February 5, 2003, saying "Clues from the pictures and a little
research have led me to conclude the picture is from the fall of 1954 -- hence
representing the class of 1955. The scan with this email has the
following 'historical' items of note--unfortunately none are the 'stars.'
of Broadway was still brick. The facade of the Grand Theater is
visible as is the signage for the Ten Pen Recreation and the sign and a bit
of the front of the Maid Rite Grill. I am guessing Carol Turner is the
twirler (teen sized) and the name of the twirler (mascot-sized) was unknown
to me even though I think the same little girl continued in that capacity
into my years in HS."
Gwen Lisk Koda emailed her response to
Fred's message on February 5, 2003: "Freddie, you have managed to
penetrate my Alzheimer's haze here. Got my brain in gear and I'm
trying to make some sense of my memories. I seem to have a clear
memory of the Maid Rite being closer to the Methodist Church. I
remember my brother and I skipped Sunday School one day and went there for
cokes. My dad caught us, however, and we were taken back to Sunday
School in disgrace. Wasn't there another restaurant owned by that same
Lincoln entrepreneur (Jack Bingham's dad), I believe) called the Tiz-Rite?
If so, is this it? If not, where 'tiz? The Maid Rite was the bus
station, too, wasn't it?
recall being shocked, as a little girl, to learn that African-Americans were
not allowed to eat inside the restaurant. However, since we Yankees
were a little more enlightened than our Southern brethren, they were allowed
to come inside to pick up food in a brown paper bag and then take it back
outside to the bench (rain, snow, sleet, and hail) to wait for their bus.
I also remember that Maid Rite burger's special seasoning was mostly
ketchup. I sure loved them, though."
Respond to Gwen at
Leigh Henson adds that the
parade's occasion may have been the Homecoming parade, and obviously the
band is that of Lincoln Community High School. In the 1950s, parades
often began in front of the high school, located at Broadway and Kankakee
Streets, in the background beyond the trees to the right. Parades then
proceeded east on Broadway Street across Logan Street (temporarily halting
traffic on Business Route 66) through the business district and around the
Logan County Courthouse square.
The Tin Pin
had seven "duck pin alleys" and was owned by Harold and Paul Madigan. The Illico
Service Station at the corner of Logan and Broadway Streets housed some school buses
and was originally owned by the Beach family. Also visible is the sign
of Wayne Perry's Standard Service Station on the southwest corner of Logan
and Broadway Streets.
A photo of
the buildings on the opposite side of the street from the Tin Pen Recreation is found at 22. Food Stores
of the Route 66 Era. Scroll to 22.5 to see this
photo, which shows Ey's Bakery.
don't think the Maid Rite sandwich meat was/is made with ketchup. You
must have added that "Reagan vegetable." Also, here 'tis some other
Lincoln, Illinois: The
Land of Tiz-Mania
26.29: Tiz Ads from the 1947 Lincolnite
(Images reflect the water damage to Lincolnite
stored in frequently flooded basement at 912 7th Street)
The Tiz-Rite Service Station and Grill were relocated to the Four
Corners -- intersection of Routes 66, 10, and 121 -- at some time in the late
1940s, early 1950s.
Tulls' was another ice
cream parlor of the Route 66 era, located on Chicago Street across from the
train depot. The front of Tulls' is noticeable in the background of the
photo of the christening monument presented at
3. The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln and the Founding of Lincoln, Illinois,
also the Founding of Lincoln College, the Plot to Steal Lincoln's Body, and
Memories of Lincoln College and the Rustic Tavern-Inn.
Blanford wrote that "They [Tulls] had the yellowest vanilla ice cream I think I have
ever seen. The dipper was square -- pushed into the container then dip was
ejected like with a caulking gun squeeze. A dime chocolate frostie got you
dips in a large coke glass with lots of chocolate while the fifteen cent
large frostie was five dips of ice cream in a tall 'soda' glass with even
more chocolate. Talk about location, location, location --when the paper
boys came out of Feldman's flush with a week's earnings--they could go one
door one way to Ace Novelty or a few more the other for tons of ice cream.
Today's Aladdin's Castles should die for such a placement."
Sparks Barrick wrote, "when I was 13 my Dad bought me a horse
from Larry Atteberry. Susie Mills Fults and I would go riding (yes, both of
us on the same horse) and we would usually stop at Tulls' to eat. We would
"park" Red out in back and could count on her to do her "job". As we were
leaving, Mrs. Tull would hand me a shovel to take care of her droppings. I
believe the Revere House was located next to Tulls' on the North Side.
and I had a lot of fun riding around town --I remember the time I let her
ride alone, we were out at Handlin Field and Red took off at full speed with
Suz hanging on for dear life. I believe that was the last time she rode her
alone -- Thanks for jogging the memories Fred, keep up the good work." Linda
Respond to Linda at
Cited and Suggested
Abraham Lincoln Online Web page showing photos of the
life masks of Abraham Lincoln, including Sculptor Leonard Volk's account of the
Beaver, Paul J. History of Logan County Illinois
1982. Published by the Logan County Heritage Foundation. Dallas,
TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1982:
· 1932 Photo of the Lincoln House
building showing Alvey's drug store, Chicago and Broadway
Streets, p. 15.
· Descriptions of the Hotel Lincoln, four-story Lincoln
House at Broadway and Chicago Streets (with photo), Commercial Hotel on Chicago
Street (with photo), and the Spitly House at Sangamon and Broadway Streets (with
photo), p. 53:
· "Marcucci Confectionery, Gus Marcucci," p. 55
· "Molloy's Cafe," p. 55
· Tibbs' Hi Spot," p. 56
Dooley, Raymond, ed. The Namesake Town: A
Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois. Lincoln, IL: Feldman's Print Shop,
· Photo of the Deskins Tavern in Postville, p. 6.
· Photos of the Spitly House and the Lincoln House, p.
· Half-page ad of the Hotel Lincoln and Cafeteria, p.
Gleason, Paul E. Lincoln, Illinois: A Pictorial History.
St. Louis, MO: G. Bradley Publishing, 1998:
· "Hangouts," with photos of Charlie Bechelli's, Tibbs'
Hi Spot, Marcucci's Confectionery, the Gem Lunch Room (full, two-page photo),
Leonard's, Bee's Ice Cream Store, Molloy's, the Maple Club, the Lincoln Rustic,
the Heritage Inn, the Tropics, the Country School, the Illinois Tavern, Riggs'
Dairy and Drive-in, the Colonel's Kentucky Fried Chicken, pp. 56-64:
· Photos of the Deskins Tavern and the Lincoln House, p.
· Photo of the Lincoln House and the Spitly House
(looking west on Broadway) with streetcar tracks visible on Broadway, p. 21.
· Section titled "Hotels," with photos of the Lincoln
House and Elm Park, the Spitly House, the Inman House, the Hotel Lincoln, and
the same building as the Forum (saloon), pp. 54-55.
· Photo of the Commercial Hotel (formerly the Howard
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
Road, St. Louis, MO 63131. Call 1-800-966-5120 to inquire about purchasing Lincoln,
A Pictorial History (1998) (200 pages of rare photos and text) or Logan County Pictorial
(2000) (also 200 pages of rare photos and text). Please visit
Gehlbach, Nancy Lawrence. "Let's Eat Out." Our
Times. vol. 6, no. 1, spring, 2001. Prairie Years Press. 121 N. Kickapoo
Street, Lincoln, IL 62656:
· References to the Arcade, Bee's Ice Cream Store,
Bennis's Lincoln Candy Kitchen, Bertoni's, the Blu-Inn, Busy B Bakery, the
Colonial, the Commercial Street Coffee Shop, Coonhound Johnny's, Cottage Cafe,
Cottage Drive-In, the Country-Aire in Atlanta, Eimer's Sandwich and Ice Cream
Shop, the Gem, Guzzardo's, the Heritage Inn, Hi-Ho, Latham Tea Room, Lee's
Tavern and Cafe, Leonard's, the Lincoln Inn, Marcucci's, the Mill, Molloy's,
Parkside Cafe (Mary's Place), Pig Hip, Tiz-Rite, Tull's Ice Cream Shop, the
Tropics, and the White House (Segg's).
Lincoln Evening Courier,
Centennial Edition, Wednesday, August 26, 1953:
· Ads for the Blu-Inn, Chuck Wagon Cafe, Lee's Cafe, the Lincoln Inn,
Molloy's Cafe, Slick's Inn, Tibbs' Fountain-Grill, Tiz-Rite and Maid-Rite
Grills, the Tropics
· Hickey, James. "Lincoln House Was First Hotel in
Community," p. 8
· "Howard Hotel Was Formerly Commercial," (with photo),
section 1, p. 11.
· Photo of Spitly House, section 3, p. 14.
· "Lincoln Hotel Popular Spot," section 6, p. 6.
· Photo of the Lincoln House, section 7, p. 6.
Smith, Beverly A., Ph.D. "The Murder of Zura Burns,
1883: A Case Study of a Homicide in Lincoln." Illinois Historical Journal. Winter, 1991: 218-234.
Stringer, Lawrence B. History of Logan County
Illinois 1911. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Co., reproduced by Unigraphic, Inc., 1978.
Email comments, corrections, questions, or
Also please email me if this Web site helps you decide to visit Lincoln,
"The Past Is But the