A Proposal to Brand the First Lincoln Namesake City
the Second City of Lincoln Statues
by D. Leigh Henson, Ph.D.
The future quality of life in Lincoln, Illinois, including its economy, will be
significantly influenced by how effectively it continues to expand,
preserve, and promote its stretch of the vast, national Lincoln heritage
landscape. -- D. Leigh Henson
we are proud of you.
Lincoln, Lincoln, we will e'er be true.
Following the bright Golden Rule,
We get things done without much ado.
We're happy, snappy, when we send our call.
Lend your shoulders one and all. . . .
--Lyrics by Paul Merry and Dave Hanger, March/Fight Song of Lincoln Community High School (1927)
Justification and Overview
MO–January 7, 2013 (and subsequently updated and expanded): An open
letter to current and former residents of Lincoln, Illinois (2010 pop.
14,504). Public statues combined with historical markers
invite and challenge citizens to discover the stories of local, state,
and national history. These stories include accounts of how sculptors
interpret and render their subjects. The sum of these stories,
encompassing social, political, and cultural history, creates a living
heritage that communicates core values and beliefs, helping to bond
diverse social groups and succeeding generations. For the good of the
nation, the American heritage must thrive locally, where it can enhance a community's civic pride and
function as a marketing brand to strengthen the local economy through tourist appeal.
New public statues
of exemplary Americans add to our heritage, and for communities whose history has
been blessed with the fabled touch of Abraham Lincoln, the answer to the
question of what subject would be appropriate for new statues is a
no-brainer. According to the Web site of the Abraham Lincoln Heritage
Coalition, "Abraham Lincoln couldn’t be any more connected to a city
than Lincoln, Illinois." This community has the distinction of having
been named for and christened by Abraham Lincoln with watermelon juice
in 1853, five years before the Lincoln-Douglas debates made him famous.
Mr. Lincoln was the lawyer for both the town's founders and the company
owning the railroad that led to the town's establishment. In addition,
Mr. Lincoln had various other legal, political, business, and social
experiences in this community, including Postville, which became part of
lamented historian Carl Volkmann reported that the United States has
about two hundred original, bronze-coated Lincoln statues (in
thirty-four states); and Illinois has fifty-six of them. Springfield,
Illinois, with nine has the most original, bronze Lincolns, plus various
replicas. Chicago has five original, bronze Lincolns, as does New Salem;
Decatur, four; Bloomington, three. Lincoln, Illinois, as of 2015 has three original,
outdoor bronze Lincolns. Additional Lincoln
statues in Lincoln are fabricated with such other materials as plaster
and fiberglass, and the city presently has a total of seven Lincoln statues.
following plan--obviously an ambitious, long-range plan--describes four more
original, bronze statues of Abraham Lincoln for future development in his first namesake city.
Thus, with seven original, bronze Lincolns, the first Lincoln namesake city would
be second only to Springfield. Most importantly, the eleven total
statues of Lincoln in Lincoln would depict him in more capacities than
statues in any other city of the world except Springfield,
Illinois--athlete, storyteller, student, circuit-riding
lawyer-politician, community founding lawyer, 1858 Republican Senate
candidate, man of God, citizen reading while striding down the street,
and bearded traveler reading a law book while perched on The World's
Largest Covered Wagon. These renderings range from the realistic to
the mythical and comical.
Unlike the proposed
Lincoln statue "as tall as the Statue of Liberty" discussed a few years
ago in Lincoln, Illinois, the statues proposed here do not involve
prohibitive costs. The Lincoln statue as tall as the Statue of Liberty
was estimated to cost forty million dollars, so that amount would have
had to come from outside corporate sources, but none was found. Rather,
the statues proposed here could be developed as affordable projects,
accomplished one at a time, with local fund raising and distant
solicitation through Web sites, direct email, and social media. These Internet
make it possible and economical to seek donations from the many former
residents who are proud to call Lincoln their hometown. The Internet facilitates collaboration, expanding and strengthening a sense of community.
Lincoln community has a proven track record of statue development. After the
Logan County Civil War Soldier Statue Committee completed its work in
2011, some of its members decided to form a new committee for the
purpose of erecting a statue of Abraham Lincoln as a politician running
for the U.S. Senate in 1858. On October 16, 1858, Lincoln delivered a
campaign stump speech on the west side of the Logan County Courthouse in
This speech was the highlight of the "monster" Republican rally--the day
after the last Lincoln-Douglas debate (in Alton). According to some
authorities, Lincoln's Alton performance was one of his best throughout
the campaign. Lincoln's stump speech in his namesake city the day after
the Alton debate most likely was a rousing call to action, demonstrating
his remarkable oratorical power.
1858 rally-speech was one of Abraham Lincoln's most significant
experiences in his many years of appearing in Logan County, from 1839 to
1860, as a well-respected lawyer, celebrated storyteller, and venerable
politician who helped to found the Republican Party in Illinois and
develop that party at the national level. In 2007-- 2008 I proposed a Lincoln statue and historical marker to
commemorate the 1858 rally-speech as part of my contribution to the Abraham Lincoln
Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, Illinois. I also proposed
a re-enactment of this event, researched it, and wrote the play script
for the re-enactment that was performed on October 16, 2008, as the main
event of the city's Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration. A link to photos
of that re-enactment appears below in References and Related Sources.
statues of Lincoln at Lincoln: 1. Lincoln the Circuit-Riding Lawyer-Politician, erected at the Postville
Courthouse State Historic Site; 2. Lincoln the Storyteller,
erected across the street from the Postville Courthouse near the two
historical markers for the Deskins Tavern and Postville community well; 3. Lincoln the
Athlete, erected at the Postville Park near the existing historical
marker that refers to his playing "townball" at this location; 4. Lincoln the Man of
God, erected in the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Prayer Garden at
Lincoln Christian University. This statue was proposed in the 1970s, but
then the plan was forgotten. The first three statues listed above would be within two
blocks of one another on historic business Route 66 and would call to the
countless tourists who travel it. These statues would be only a few
blocks from the giant fiberglass Abe statue on The World’s Largest
Covered Wagon, also on historic Route 66. These proposed statues
would thus strengthen the connection between the two most-celebrated
aspects of this community's history-heritage: Abraham Lincoln and the Mother Road.
The first and fourth of
these proposed statues in Lincoln could be designed using artwork created by
the late Lloyd Ostendorf, a respected Lincoln historian-collector and
talented artist. Several recent historical markers throughout Lincoln
and Logan County feature Ostendorf colorized artwork. These markers are
part of the county-wide Looking for Lincoln program under the leadership of
professional historian Paul Beaver and Wanda Lee Rohlfs, former
executive director of Main Street Lincoln. The ongoing process of
developing Lincoln statues in Lincoln could inspire other Logan
County communities with historic ties to Abraham Lincoln to undertake
Lincoln statue projects. Those communities are Atlanta, Elkhart,
Middletown, and Mt. Pulaski.
The eleven statues cited here
would enable Lincoln, Illinois, to gain additional prestige as a
Lincoln-heritage community--increasing civic pride and adding tourist
appeal. Many tourists are curious about statues and historical markers.
Tourists park and walk to see them up close. These experiences sometimes
spark interest in such other related sites as museums, and this
community is home to the Abraham Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln
College--“One of the 10 best Lincoln-related sites in Illinois,”
according to Illinois NOW magazine. The more time spent at
historical attractions, the greater the likelihood that visitors will
patronize shops, eateries, and motels. (Note: See link to the
guestbook at the end of this page to leave comments, comments about
comments, and/or questions.)
Four Proposed Lincoln
Statues, Their Locations, and Background
1. Lincoln the Circuit-Riding Lawyer-Politician at the Postville Courthouse Site
Abraham Lincoln's legal work and political
activity at the Postville Courthouse, his storytelling there and at the
Deskins Tavern across the street from the courthouse, and his
participation in games at Postville Park are described in reliable
The above photo is black and white because the
faded text on the marker is very hard to read in a color photo. At
Postville Lincoln represented not only private citizens, but also Logan
County itself. When he returned from his one term in Congress in 1849,
he represented the county when it sought to retain ownership of the
former courthouse property after the county seat had been moved to Mt.
Pulaski and the original owners of the Postville Courthouse property
sued to get it back. Also at Postville it is often overlooked that
Lincoln participated in politics. Biographer Michael Burlingame writes,
for example, that at Postville Lincoln as the 1846 Whig congressional
candidate rejected the accusation of his
Democratic opponent, the
Reverend Peter Cartwright, that he was a religious skeptic.
There are very few statues of Lincoln on horseback--Lincoln
equestrian statues--, and none like Ostendorf's
striking images seen here. The image above, with the Postville
Courthouse in the background, is undated, and it appeared on a laminated
placemat in the Rustic Inn restaurant owned by Lincoln buffs Mr. and
Mrs. Les Sheridan. I am grateful to my stepmother, Judy Henson, for
finding and giving me this placement and others depicting Lincoln.
I thank Professor Ron Keller of Lincoln College for giving me a series
of black-and-white drawings by Ostendorf that included the one above. It
was commissioned by the Sheridans and the Logan County Abraham Lincoln
Heritage, and it was signed by Ostendorf, who dated it 1970 and titled
it "Lincoln the Circuit Rider in Logan County."
For more information about Lincoln's
activities at Postville, see the Web page titled "Abraham
Lincoln and the Postville Courthouse, including a William Maxwell
Connection to the Postville Courthouse" (link below under References and
2. Lincoln the Storyteller at
the Deskins Tavern Postville Well Site
Lincoln often stayed at the Deskins Tavern across the street from the
Postville Courthouse. The well in front of the Deskins Tavern must have
been a place where people gathered several at a time, and whenever
Lincoln was among them, he had the opportunity to tell the stories and
jokes for which he became legendary. Today the site features two
historical markers and a restored well pump fixture (but not connected
to a water source).
Biographer David Herbert Donald describes the typical social life on the
Eighth Judicial Circuit: In "off hours" court participants and observers
sought entertainment. "Mostly the attorneys had to amuse themselves, and
according to Herndon [Abraham Lincoln's law partner], they engaged in
'fights--foot and horse races--knockdown--wrestling--gambling etc.'
Whiskey, he noted, 'was abundant and freely used.' After the
evening meal, a local 'circus or lecture' might provide entertainment,
but time for fireplace conversation was abundant. "When that happened,
Lincoln, of course, was a center of attention, and as Herndon
remembered, 'Judges--Jurors--Witnesses--Lawyers-merchants, etc etc have
laughed at these jokes. . . till every muscle--nerve and cell of the
body in the morning was sore at the whooping and hurrahing exercise.'"
Lincoln liked to retell stories he heard from others, but historian
Lawrence B. Stringer describes the following incident that suggests some
of the stories Lincoln told originated from his Postville experience: "At one time Lincoln came to
Postville from Springfield, in company with Judge Treat, the two riding
in Judge Treat's buggy. The occasion was a special term for the trial of
a criminal. Treat and Lincoln stopped at the Deskins Tavern. After they
had gone to bed and everybody about the hostelry was asleep, there came
a terrific pounding at the door. The landlord got up to let in the
energetic assailer of the portal, who seemed to be assiduously in search
of a drink of whisky and was in the parched condition of the traveler in
the Sahara desert, to whom delay is intolerable. The landlord explained
that he had no whisky in the house, whereupon his visitor wanted to know
if he couldn't get it at some tavern or store. Wasn't there any place in
the village where a drink of whisky could be had? To all these questions
the landlord returned a negative and as the full horrors of his whiskyless situation burst upon him, the fellow said with emotion,
'Great Heavens! Give me an ear of corn and a tin cup and I'll make it
myself.'" Lincoln and Judge Treat listened to this colloquy with great
amusement, and the next morning Lincoln asked the landlord what had
become of his guest. 'Oh,' he replied, 'the fellow left before
daylight.' In after years, Lincoln frequently told this story to amused
auditors and he always laid the scene of the anecdote at Postville."
A statue could be designed to show Lincoln telling a story to a listener at the
Postville well in front of the
Deskins Tavern. The listener could be sitting on a bench looking up at Lincoln,
who would be gesturing with one hand and
holding a drinking cup in the other (thanks to wife Pat Hartman for the
idea of the listener sitting on a bench).
3. Lincoln the
Athlete at Postville Park
Lincoln the Athlete would be erected near the 1964
historical marker in Postville Park jointly sponsored by the Illinois
State Historical Society and the local Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary service
clubs. Those organizations may also be interested in helping to raise
money for the statue
project. The marker cites Lincoln playing an early form of baseball.
Lawrence B. Stringer's authoritative History of Logan County,
Illinois 1911 documents this activity: "Lincoln was always a leader
in athletics and played ball and various games with the boys. Scores of
old residents can remember seeing him out in the Postville Park, after
court adjourned, indulging in a game of 'townball.'"
Thus a statue of Lincoln as a townball batter would be appropriate to
depict him as an athlete.
According to the online Baseball Almanac, "Town Ball is a direct
descendant of the British game of rounders. It was played in the United
States as far back as the early 1800's and is considered a stepping
stone towards modern baseball. 1.
The Ball must weigh not less than two, nor more than
two and three-quarters ounces, avoirdupois. It must measure not less
than six and a half, nor more than eight and a half inches in
circumference, and must be covered with leather. 2.
The Bat must be round, and must not exceed two and a
half inches in diameter in the thickest part. It must be made of wood,
and may be of any length to suit the Striker." An image at the
Baseball Almanac depicts a townball batter much like a baseball
Thus, it is not too difficult to imagine a statue of Lincoln as a young
man poised with a stick-like bat ready to knock one out of Postville
Another option for Lincoln the Athlete would depict him in his
even more legendary youthful distinction as a champion wrestler, as seen
in the 1949 drawing below by Harold Von Schmidt. To the best of my
knowledge no statue of Lincoln as a wrestler exists.
4. Lincoln the Man of God
in the Prayer Garden at Lincoln Christian University
This photo showing Ostendorf with his drawing titled Lincoln in Prayer
appeared in the Lincoln Courier, February 13, 1973. Ostendorf
dated this drawing December 25, 1972, and on the back wrote this
inscription: "Lincoln was known to go to his knees for help from the
almighty when he did not know where else to turn; especially for
guidance and help before important battles and decisions."
The image above is from the Philip H. Wagner collection
and was purchased for the
book The Town Abraham Lincoln Warned. The bottom caption of the drawing reads "President Abraham Lincoln
Praying for Victory at Gettysburg, 1863." A stunning giclee (digitally
produced inkjet color print) of a praying Lincoln titled To Save a
Nation by Larry Winborg is available at
photo above shows the Abraham Lincoln National Prayer Garden at
Lincoln Christian University, just west of the Earl C. Hargrove Chapel.
This Garden was dedicated on Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1973.
Lincoln College co-sponsored this event. Dignitaries attending included
the late Lincolnite Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Edward R.
Madigan, Lincoln biographer and historian Dr. Wayne C. Temple, Lloyd
Ostendorf, and Dr. Elton Trueblood. The late John Morris Webb,
professor and dean of the-then Lincoln Christian College, was one of the
planners of this event. At the time of dedication, there was a plan to
erect a statue based on Lincoln in Prayer. The plan was
somehow forgotten. Lincoln Christian University is a private
institution, so any revival of the forgotten plan would require some
"town and gown" cooperation.
The Statue of Lincoln as the 1858
U.S. Senate Republican Candidate
The research I did in 2007-2008 to write the
proposal and the play script for the
re-enactment of Abraham Lincoln’s October 16, 1858, first namesake city
“monster” rally and stump speech led to my 2008 proposal for the
Lincoln statue project commemorating that event. The re-enactment took
place on October 16, 2008, and thanks to the good work of a local
committee, a bronze statue of Lincoln as the
U.S. Senate Republican candidate was dedicated on May 16, 2015. It commemorates Mr. Lincoln's two-hour campaign
"stump" speech in
front of the Logan County Courthouse the day after the last
Lincoln-Douglas debate (October 16, 1858). According to
LincolnCourier.com (May 14, 2012), the statue depicts Lincoln
"on his soapbox, speech in one hand, stovepipe hat in the other."
Mr. Lincoln's 1858 namesake city Republican rally and speech provided
his most significant political experience in Lincoln and Logan County.
Lincoln always learned from experience, and scholars note that he got
better and better during the debates. He became more effective in
refuting his opponent's ill-founded accusations, and he increasingly
emphasized the moral argument against slavery and its extension into
territories. Lincoln would thus have been at the height of his
oratorical powers to date when he spoke in Lincoln the day after the
last debate. Although undoubtedly tired, he was well known for his
stamina and penetrating voice.
The statue was installed on the lawn of the Logan County Courthouse,
providing both a majestic source of civic
pride and one of the most powerful tourist attractions in the downtown
historic district. All who see it will have an opportunity to learn more
about Lincoln the principled speaker and Lincoln the city. The
statue committee's choice of sculptor is
David Seagraves, who fabricated the replacement for the fallen Civil War
Union soldier statue and who repaired the marble Indian Mother statue,
both also on the Logan County Courthouse lawn. The estimated cost of the Lincoln statue is $48,000.
Local historian Paul E. Gleason and Roger Matson are co-chairmen of this
project, and JoAnne Marlin is the secretary. Other accomplished,
leaders on this statue committee are Professor Emeritus of history at Lincoln College Paul
J. Beaver, Chuck Conzo, historian
Bill Donath, Mary Ellen Martin, Joseph Mintjal, Wanda Lee Rohlfs, and John Sutton.
Several on this committee gained experience in this kind of project when they served on the
committee to replace the fallen Civil War Union soldier statue (see
links below under References and Related Sources).
The statue concept is reflected in the painting titled
Lincoln in Lincoln, which was commissioned by Main Street Lincoln for the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration (2009).
Lincoln in Lincoln, created by Jennifer Boeke of Morning Glory
Art, shows the scene of Mr. Lincoln's 1858 Senate
campaign speech at the Logan County Courthouse. The painting project was
developed by Main Street Lincoln's executive director Ms. Wanda Lee
Rohlfs, Professor Emeritus Paul Beaver, and Professor Ron Keller of
Lincoln in Lincoln was unveiled January 2009 and will be exhibited
in the new Lincoln Heritage Museum of Lincoln College. Below is the
portion of the painting that shows Mr. Lincoln holding his stovepipe hat
in one hand, speech in the other:
The Lincoln Statue Committee is affiliated with the Logan County
Genealogical & Historical Society, 114 N.
Chicago Street, Lincoln, IL 62656.
After my original research in
2007--2008 on Mr. Lincoln's 1858 stump speech in his first namesake
town, I did further
research on Lincoln statues, including Max Bachman’s Lincoln statue in
the rotunda of the Logan County Courthouse. In my article titled
“Max Bachman’s Lincolns” (link below under References and Related
Sources), I explain that his Lincoln statue is actually a hybrid: the
body is modeled from Saint-Gaudens' famous 1887 Standing Lincoln
in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, while the head and shoulders were Bachman's
The Research-based, Creative Process of
Head of Lincoln Rallies the
In planning the model for the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln to
commemorate his 1858 namesake town stump speech, the local Lincoln
Statue Committee instructed the sculptor they hired for the project,
David Seagraves, to
use the image of Lincoln in the above painting titled Lincoln in Lincoln by Jennifer Boeke. Her
portrayal, as seen in the above image, credibly shows Lincoln holding a rolled-up copy of his speech
in his right hand, arm extended above his head, with his left hand
holding his trademark hat, left arm somewhat extended at his side. Yet
the problem with the Statue Committee's assignment is that the depiction
of Lincoln in the painting is much too small to reveal details of his
head, especially the face.
a Lincoln buff, I am interested in artistic depictions of him,
especially in sculpture, and I favor realist portrayals.
I have found only two
photos of Abraham Lincoln taken during the 1858 US Senate campaign,
including Lincoln-Douglas debates: one
by Calvin Jackson on October 1, 1858, just before the fifth debate (Galesburg) and one by William J. Thompson on October 11, 1858, just two
days before the sixth debate (Quincy). The Quincy photo, then, was
taken just five days before Lincoln’s rally and two-hour speech in
opinion of Mr. Seagraves’s model announced in January 2013 was that it
did not very accurately depict Lincoln’s hair and face. Mr. Seagraves's
Lincoln head model is shown at the lower left of the graphic below. I created
this composite graphic to compare the two known photos of Lincoln during
the 1858 Senate race with the head and shoulders of the clay model
of the Lincoln statue by David Seagraves and the head
and shoulders of the Bachman Lincoln statue in the rotunda of the Logan
County Courthouse. You will notice several striking similarities
between the Oct. 1 photo by Jackson and Bachman's Lincoln. The black-and-white photos immediately below
are from The Lincoln-Douglas
Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text, ed. Harold Holzer
(Fordham University Press, 2004). The lower-left, color photo, showing
the head and shoulders of David Seagraves's clay model of the current
Lincoln statue project, is from LincolnDailyNews.com, 2-27-13.
The lower-right photo of Max Bachman's Lincoln in the rotunda of
the Logan County Courthouse was taken in 2003 by Leigh Henson.
Bachman's research-based Lincoln above at right well captures the
principled tenacity that led to his presidency and his justified legend
as our nation's greatest president. As indicated by the above images, the Jackson photo is apparently a source Bachman used in creating his Lincoln head.
sculptors who depict Lincoln as John McClarey have also used photos of
Lincoln to help them craft the details of their art.
understanding of the creative process told me that the head of Mr.
Seagraves's model could be revised to make it more historically realistic before being cast in bronze. My writing
experience has taught me the importance of revising--the original
content, form, and style can be improved if the writer applies his or
her own informed, critical thinking. Further, some writing projects are best
accomplished when the writer seeks feedback during the creative process.
People who work successfully in any art form know the value of continual
revising to reach for satisfaction--if not perfection. (Note:
Scholars have testified that Abraham Lincoln sometimes asked for
feedback as he composed his speeches and that he was in the habit of
carefully revising them. Sometimes he used others' suggestions,
sometimes not--most famously rejecting friends' advice to "tone down" the 1858
House Divided speech--, and it turned out to be the most controversial
speech he ever delivered--and some say his most important
prepresidential speech. Yet he never expressed regret for it.)
February 27, 2013, I emailed various people, including members of the
Lincoln Statue Committee, to tell them of my discovery of the close
resemblance between the Jackson photo of Lincoln and Bachman’s Lincoln
sculpture in the rotunda of the Logan County Courthouse. My email
included a link to the preceding graphic comparing Mr. Seagraves's model
to the head of Bachman's statue and the photo it was based on. Included
in the group receiving this email was Carl Volkmann of Springfield,
Illinois. Mr. Volkmann was a leading authority on Lincoln statues and
the author of a book titled Lincoln in Sculpture.
I separately emailed Mr. Seagraves to provide him with the same
information. My message was intended to make an indirect,
tactful suggestion that Mr. Seagraves’s model needed revision to make it
not ask for a reply to those emails, and the only reply I got was from
Mr. Volkmann, who said he agreed with my concern. (Mr. Volkmann passed
away in October 2013, and a link to his obituary appears below under
References and Related Sources.)
During the rest of 2013 and all through 2014, I read occasional
online reports about fundraising progress for the statue, including the
sale of the 30 bronze miniatures at $2,000 apiece. I wondered how the
design and production of the statue were going, but did
not see any news relating to those matters. See links to reports
about fundraising near the bottom of this webpage.
late April 2015, when Mr. Seagraves’s statue Lincoln Rallies the
People was installed on the southwest lawn of the Logan County Courthouse
block, I saw photos of
it published in the online local news media, and those photos revealed
that revisions had indeed been made to the original Lincoln head model
in an attempt to make the head more realistic. In my view, those
revisions are an improvement and contribute to a truly commendable
finished product. I then emailed Mr. Seagraves to request information
about the process of designing the head of Lincoln Rallies the People,
and on May 4, 2015, he kindly emailed the following account:
Thanks for your
interest. I began with a sketch model, which was the one you commented
on back in 2013. That model established the pose, with refinements
coming later, once the committee approved the basic concept. I then
improved the model to the point that it was suitable for casting
(Casting the edition wasn't part of the original plan). I agreed that
Bachmann's Lincoln was superb, and luckily owned a plaster copy of that
Bachmann bust, which I put to good use. I also used many Lincoln photos.
Once I began the full-size clay statue, I constantly revised and
hopefully improved the original image. I kept the committee up to date
with progress photos, and they were happy with the refinements/revisions
that I made, with few suggestions after the initial conceptual stage
(the model). Again, thank you for your comments of 2013. We were in
agreement; much work had yet to be done.
The photos I saw of the installation of Lincoln Rallies the People did not
very well show details of the statue’s head and shoulders, so I
emailed my friend and fellow history buff, David Doolin, in Lincoln to
request close-up photos, and he graciously sent the following, with
permission for them to appear on this webpage. He holds exclusive rights
to these images.
At the far left in the background of the above
photo is the Logan County Civil War Monument with a bronze statue of a
Union soldier. That bronze statue is a replacement of the original white
marble statue that toppled and shattered below on the sidewalk after
deteriorating from exposure to the
weather for 139 years. The civic leaders who completed the project of
replacing the Union soldier statue then formed the Lincoln Statue
Committee. That committee has installed a historical
marker near the Lincoln statue, and the marker features 1858 newspaper accounts
of the Republican rally at Lincoln, Illinois, that included Mr.
Lincoln's two-hour stump speech the day after the last Lincoln-Douglas
debate (Alton). At the center of the marker is an image of the painting
Lincoln in Lincoln by Jennifer Boeke. Click on the image below to
access a larger, readable version:
David Doolin is the developer and
publisher of a fine website titled ExploreLoganCounty.com with
abundant information about and stunning photos of sites in Logan County,
Illinois, that its citizens and tourists will find interesting. Link to
to Mr. Seagraves's professional website:
http://www.davidseagraves.com/.The Lincoln Statue Committee is affiliated with the Logan County
Genealogical & Historical Society, 114 N. Chicago Street, Lincoln, IL,
62656; link to its website:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~illcghs/. Members of the Lincoln
Statue Committee include Chuck Conzo, William "Bill" Donath, Paul E. Gleason, JoAnne
Marlin, Mary Ellen Martin, Roger Matson, Joseph Mintjal, Wanda Lee Rohlfs,
and John Sutton.
D. Leigh Henson with the Lincoln
Statue He Proposed in 2008
Photo Taken by Leigh's
Wife, Pat Hartman, August 24, 2015 (scroll up for full story)
Lincoln Draws the Line on Slavery Extension at Peoria in 1854 (photos by DLHenson)
of John McClarey's
Lincoln Draws the Line, Commemorating his 1854 Peoria Address
Below: John McClarey's The
(bonded bronze on walnut base, 8")
Lincoln Bust at the Logan
County Genealogical & Historical Society
This slightly larger-than-life rendition of President Lincoln was
donated to the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society by Sandra
Sue and Earl Dale Williams of Lincoln and is displayed in the Society's
Lincoln Room in downtown Lincoln on Chicago Street. This work was
originally displayed at the Lincoln Carriage Museum at Petersburg,
Illinois, near New Salem, and was purchased somewhere in the East. The Williamses
estimate the date of creation from between 1890 and 1910. The name of
the sculptor is unknown, but this piece strongly suggests the work of
The Six Other Existing Lincoln
Statues in Lincoln, Illinois
More information about all the statues below can be found in
my book The Town Abraham Lincoln Warned: The Living
Namesake Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois (link below under References
and Related Sources).
The photos below are by Leigh Henson and his wife, Pat Hartman.
1. Eda Goodenough's The Christening
Lincoln at the State Bank of Lincoln
statue commemorates the christening of the
city by its namesake founding lawyer on August 27, 1853 (photo taken
during the city's 2003 Sesquicentennial Celebration). The statue was
commissioned in the early 1970s by the Lincoln Savings and Loan
Association of Lincoln, Illinois, and was fabricated with an
unidentified alloy. The State Bank of Lincoln acquired this work, which
is exhibited at the bank's main facility (corner of Broadway and
Sangamon Streets). Around the feet of this statue, on a raised wooden
platform and created from the same material as the statue, are quaint
representations of the halves of a watermelon, watermelon seeds, and
Lincoln's palms. On the floor to the right of the platform are metallic
representations of the soles of Lincoln's size fourteen boots. This bank
also exhibits numerous Lincoln busts as well as life
Bachman's Lincoln in the Rotunda of the Logan County Courthouse
The above seven-foot+ statue was dedicated in
1939. Kendra Henson, the author's daughter, reads the guestbook.
Lincoln statues were a hybrid design: he created the head, while the
body was a replica of Augustus St.-Gaudens' famous Standing Lincoln.
Unveiled in Chicago's Lincoln Park in 1887, that statue is world renowned for its
realism. According to historian Carl Volkmann, Saint-Gaudens [1848–1907]
"was the first sculptor to use the life mask of Lincoln and the casts of
his hands made by Leonard Volk before Lincoln became president."
Incidentally, Volk first met Abraham Lincoln in July 1858 in front of
the Lincoln House hotel at Lincoln, Illinois, as Mr.
Lincoln was traveling to monitor Douglas's Senate campaign speeches.
H. Herndon, Lincoln's long-time law partner, provided a detailed
description of Lincoln's oratorical posture and gestures, praising
Saint-Gaudens' Standing Lincoln for its accuracy in depicting
Lincoln the political speaker: "the designer of the monument recently
erected in Chicago has happily caught him [Lincoln] in just this
[speaking] attitude." For my article titled "Bachman's
Lincolns," including photos of his various Lincoln statues and busts,
see the PDF link below under References and Related Sources. The
following page 176 from The Town
Abraham Lincoln Warned: The Living Namesake Heritage of Lincoln,
Illinois, presents the city's most historic event related to
Bachman's Lincoln statue. The photo shows the statue's original,
ghost-like, white-plaster appearance. The exact date the statue was painted is
unknown, but was probably in the 1970s according to historian Paul Beaver.
Replica of Lorado Taft's Lincoln the Lawyer at Lincoln College
Lorado Taft's Lincoln the Lawyer was
dedicated in 1927 at Carle Park, Urbana, Illinois. This replica is
housed at Lincoln College in the Meyer-Evans Student Center, and I am
grateful to Professor Ron Keller for calling my attention to it. Dr.
Thomas Schwartz, the former Illinois State Historian, told me this
replica was acquired by the late historian James T. Hickey, who was a
mentor of Dr. Schwartz at the former Illinois State Historical Library,
now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. I took Mr. Hickey's course
in Abraham Lincoln at Lincoln College in 1960-61. Photo taken in 2010.
4. Robert Merrell Gage's Lincoln the Student
at Lincoln College
Gage's bronze Lincoln the Student was dedicated in 1961 at Lincoln College near
the northwest corner of Keokuk and Ottawa Streets. The inscription on the base is
attributed to Lincoln: "I Shall Prepare Myself--Someday My Chance Will
Come." Photo taken in 2010. For more information about Lincoln
the Student, including photos of the 1961 dedication, dedicatory
remarks by Raymond N. Dooley (legendary president of Lincoln College),
and biographical information about him and his talented wife (partner in
the administration of Lincoln College), access
1956 Gage's documentary film about creating Lincoln the Student
won an academy award. A link to more information appears below under
References and Related Sources.
5. Andrew Jumonville's
at Lincoln College
bronze Lincoln was dedicated at Lincoln College in April
David Bentley's Big Abe on The
World's Largest Covered Wagon
This photo on the front cover of my
Lincoln heritage book depicts Lincoln on The World's Largest Covered
Wagon, as recognized in The Guinness Book of World Records. This
work of folk art is sometimes referred to as The Railsplitter Covered
Wagon. David Bentley, a former Illinois State Police officer from
Pawnee, Illinois, required six months to complete this work in 2001 as
he recovered from illness. In 2007 this work was disassembled and moved
to Lincoln after native Lincolnite Larry J. Van Bibber donated $10,000
for its purchase. Photo taken in 2010.
News Reports About the Statue of
Lincoln the 1858 U.S. Senate Candidate
"New Abraham Lincoln statue fundraising launches," Feb. 7, 2013,
of Lincoln'" sponsorships would be noted as the Hickox level for
donations up to $100, as Judge Davis up to $500, as Oglesby up to
$1,000, as Parks up to $2,500, as Latham up to $5,000 and as Gillett up
to $10,000. Main Street Lincoln is assisting the effort by supplying
limited-edition prints of a painting it had commissioned of the Oct. 16,
1858, Lincoln rally at the Logan County Courthouse steps. Individuals
may donate $100 for a print. It is available to corporations for $500
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, Illinois,
http://findinglincolnillinois.com/abes200th-lincolnil.html. I was an
honorary and contributing member of this Commission. One of its goals
was to find ways to expand the local Lincoln heritage and advance it
into the future, and this statue plan has been created in that
Volkmann, Carl, "Lincoln Home Speech," the unpublished keynote address
at the dedication of Prairie Lawyer at the Lincoln Home National
Historic Site in Springfield (2011). I am grateful to Mr. Volkmann for
sharing this information, including the statue numbers used in
developing this proposal.
Link to the obituary of Carl Volkmann:
Volkmann, Carl and Roberta, Springfield's Sculptures, Monuments, and
Plaques (Chicago, IL: Arcadia Publishing, 2008).