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

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

Site Map
Testimonials

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, IL

1.
Abraham Lincoln and the Historic Postville Courthouse,
including a William Maxwell connection to the Postville Courthouse

2.
About Henry Ford and the Postville Courthouse, the Story of the Postville Courthouse Replica,
Tantivy, & the Postville Park Neighborhood in the
Route 66 Era


3.

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

4. 
Introduction to the Social & Economic History of Lincoln, Illinois,
including poetry by William Childress & commentary by Federal Judge Bob Goebel & Illinois Appellate Court Judge Jim Knecht

5.
"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
)

5.a.
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

6.
Introduction to the Railroad & Route 66 Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois

7.
The Living Railroad Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois: on Track as a Symbol of the "Usable Past"


8.

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

9.
The Hensons of Business Route 66

10.
The Wilsons of Business
Route 66
,
including the Wilson Grocery & Shell Station

11.
Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial Park
(former Chautauqua site),
the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites

12.
Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Salt Creek & Cemetery Hill,
including
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

13.
The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past & Present


14.
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)

15.
Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District

16.
The Foley House:  A Monument to Civic Leadership
(on the National Register of Historic Places)

17.
Agriculture in
the Route 66 Era


18.
Arts & Entertainment Heritage,
including the Lincoln Theatre Roy Rogers' Riders Club of the 1950s

19.
Business Heritage

20.
Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era

21.
Churches,
including the hometown churches of Author William Maxwell & Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

22.
Factories, Past and Present

23.
Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era


24.
Government

25.
Hospitals, Past and Present

26.
Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras


27.
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

28
.
Mining Coal, Limestone, & Sand & Gravel; Lincoln Lakes; & Utilities


29.

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

30.
Neighborhoods
with Distinction

31.
News Media in the Route 66 Era

32.
The Odd Fellows' Children's Home

33.
Schools

34.
Memories of the 1900 Lincoln Community High School,
including Fred Blanford's dramatic account of the lost marble fountain of youth

35.
A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois

36.
Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era

37.
The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois

38.
The Festive 2003 Sesqui-centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois,
including photos of LCHS Class of 1960 dignitaries & the Blanfords

39.
Why Did the State Police Raid Lincoln, Illinois, on October 11, 1950?

40.
The Gambling Raids in Lincoln and Logan County, Illinois,
During the Late Route 66 Era (1950-1960)

_______

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

About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of Lincoln, Illinois

Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life

__________

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

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

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

J. Richard
(JR) Fikuart
(LCHS '65):
T
he Fikuarts of Lincoln, Illinois, including their connections to the William Maxwell family and three generations of family fun at Lincoln Lakes

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

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

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

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

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

Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories

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

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

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

(Post yours there.)
__________

 


Highway Sign of
the Times:
1926-1960

The Route 66
Association of Illinois

The Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois Tourism Site:
Enjoy Illinois

 

 

   Internet Explorer is the only browser that shows this page the way it was designed.  Your computer's settings may alter the display.

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

 

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


 You can go home again. Email Leigh Henson at dlhenson@missouristate.edu.

 

31. The News Media in the Route 66 Era
 

      "Small-town people manage to endure the inexorable proximity of their lives only by deceiving themselves into thinking that nobody knows what they couldn't not know.  I am in favor of this."

                                                                                William Maxwell, Ancestors (1971), p. 182.

_____________________

      My theory is that Maxwell's statement reflects the unwritten policy of the Courier during the Route 66 era, and I explain that later on this page.  First, I offer a bit of background on local news media.

     Local news media can help or hinder how well neighbors understand one another.  From 1856, just three years after its founding, to the present, Lincoln, Illinois, has had several newspapers; and during part of the Route 66 era, there was also a local radio station.  Additionally, both Lincoln College and Lincoln Christian College have had their own radio stations. News media can help citizens understand one another and their community by providing news, editorials, "letters to the editor," and advertising.  News media can hinder understanding by censoring and failing to provide a public forum for various ideas.  Generally, local news media in Lincoln have contributed greatly to its economic and civic development. 
 

Newspapers

     Stringer identifies dozens of weekly and daily newspapers in Lincoln and Logan County in the second half of the 19th Century ("The Press," History of Logan County 1911, pp. 482-488).  The granddaddy of the present Courier was the Lincoln Herald, first published in 1856 (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," p. 1).  "By 1915, various newspapers had come together to form The Lincoln Courier-Herald," which emerged as the Lincoln Evening Courier from 1921 until 1956.   It was called the Lincoln Daily Courier from 1956 to 1968 and then the Courier since 1992 (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," pp. 1-3).  From 1968 to 1987, the Lincoln Shopper printed "free wants ads for individuals.  People also loved the detailed articles about weddings and reunions" (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," p. 8).

     Throughout the Route 66 era, the Lincoln Evening Courier had continuous ownership:  "In 1918, the Courier-Herald Publishing Company, which also published weekly and semi-weekly newspapers, was purchased by Carpenter and Company, a national advertising firm.  Following the death of Willard E. Carpenter, his widow Allyne V. Carpenter became publisher and continued until the 1968 sale.  When she and John L. Nugent were married [early 1930s],  the couple became co-publishers of the paper and leaders in the Lincoln-Logan County community" (advertisement in Beaver, History of Logan County 1982, p. 614).

     The Lincoln Evening Courier was first published at 117 North Kickapoo Street, the present site of Abe's Carmelcorn (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," p. 1).  North Kickapoo was the location of this publication when William Maxwell was a paper boy.  He describes his paper boy experience in Ancestors (p. 136) and in "What Every Boy Should Know."  I discuss that experience at 15. Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District, which includes a link to a contemporary photo of this structure provided by mainstreetlincoln.com.

     From 1923 to 1939 the Lincoln Evening Courier was published in the IOOF Building at 112 South McLean Street, just south of the post office.  A period photo of the IOOF building appears on 15. Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District, which includes a link to a contemporary photo published by mainstreetlincoln.com. 

      "In the fall of 1939, the publishing company moved into newly remodeled headquarters at the corner of McLean and Pulaski Sts.  Mrs. Nugent was instrumental in the design and layout of the building.  Some of the fixtures and wood were from the Lincoln National Bank, which had been closed.  Over the building's main entrance was inscribed the paper's slogan -- "Decrevimus" -- a Latin verb meaning 'we have declared'" (Beaver, p. 614).
 

31.1:  Home of the Lincoln Evening Courier,
Corner of Pulaski and McLean Streets

(Photo from 1953 Centennial Edition of the Courier, August 26, 1953, Section Seven, p. 13)

     "Mrs. Nugent had designed every corner of the news newspaper plant, including her elegant office with its chandeliers and its mock fireplace given her by some of her employees" (Gehlbach, "Read All About It, p. 2).

31.2:  Office of Lincoln Evening Courier Publisher Allyne V. Nugent

(Lincoln Evening Courier, Logan County Centennial Edition, Wednesday, October 1939, p. 5)

     The Courier had a mission statement before mission statements were cool: 

      "It is our mission to bring the world to your doorstep -- for either a hurried glance, a leisurely perusal, or a concentrated study.  We shall chronicle who was born, who died and who was married.  We will predict the weather, provide results of sports contests and in various other ways offer a varied reading menu for your information and entertainment.

     Nor will we relent in assisting the development of Logan County in civic, economic, educational, religious, social and cultural progress in the day before us.  In this way, we shall do our part to promote better life and better living for the people of this great community" (Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Seven, August 26, 1953, p. 13).

     Of course, companies also have unwritten policies. The Courier's unwritten policy may have been not to print selected local bad news.  I cite an example seen in Our Times, summer, 2002: 

     "Jack Getchel was circulation manager at the Courier and took sports photographs.  One time, Mrs. Nugent sent him out to take pictures of a scandalous incident at a small public facility.

     'I brought the photos and laid them out on her desk,' he says.' They never made the paper, but before the day was over, there was a new [supervisor at the facility]'" (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," p. 3).

     Not publish bad news?  Does this kind of approach to the news business reflect Maxwell's notion that small-town people deceive themselves by thinking others will not know the obvious?  Now where was that policy when I got arrested for traffic violations?

     Today's Courier policy is somewhat different, according to Editor Jeff Nelson:  "The editor's function, he says, is 'to bring the news to the people as fairly as possible -- news that may be good or bad, that we feel is important to the community -- no matter how it's received'" (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," back page).

     Editorial policy aside, the Nugents were among the "larger than life" Lincolnites.  "A tiny woman, she always wore a hat and suit and very high heels, and she and her husband both used cigarette holders.  She was 'very dependable,' remembers Billie (Baldwin) Cheek.

     She was generous, too, holding baby showers for employees and buying an entire layette--complete with hand-sewn slips from he Philippines -- at Marshall Field's for Billie's first baby. (It turned out to be a boy.)"

     John Nugent was a snappy dresser with an English accent.  He wore French cuffs and later had a black lens in his glasses after losing the sight in one eye.  The walls of his office were covered with photographs of the couple and the celebrities they had met on their trips to London on the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth" (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," pp. 2-3).

     "In 1945 the Lincoln Evening Courier was named 'America's Foremost Small Town Daily Newspaper' by the New York Museum of Science and Industry, the first time one of its annual business awards had gone to a newspaper.  The honor brought with it a display in the museum at Rockefeller Center in New York, a radio program dramatizing the lives of publishers Allyne and John Nugent, and a write-up in Time magazine" (Gehlbach, "Read All About It," p. 1).
 

31.3:  Nugents Receive Award for America's Foremost Small Town Daily Newspaper

     (Photo from Our Times, vol. 7, issue 2, p. 1;
originally published in Lincoln Evening Courier, January 4, 1946)

     Robert Shaw of the New York Museum of Science and Industry presents the award.
 

31.4:  John Nugent Holds the Centennial Edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier, August 26, 1953

     (Photo from Beaver, History of Logan County 1982, p. 21).

     Left to right:  Mr. Larry Shroyer, Mayor Alois Feldman, and Mr. Nugent.  The setting is the rotunda of the Logan County Courthouse, home of the "white Lincoln" statue.

The 1953 Centennial Edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier

     The Courier published special editions for the 1939 Centennial Celebration of the founding of Logan County, Illinois, and for the 1953 Centennial Celebration of the founding and christening of Lincoln, Illinois.  The 1953 Centennial Edition of the Courier consists of a regular daily section plus eight sections devoted to articles and photos about the city's history.  This edition, also with many advertisements -- some a full page --, contains 144 pages and includes no fewer than 12 pictures of Abraham Lincoln.  It is a major source of local history.  Several places in this Web site use information from this source and other editions of the Courier.

     Here are the headlines of each section of the centennial edition:

  Regular daily section:  "Poised for Lincoln Centennial"
  "Logan County and Abraham Lincoln Are Synonymous"
  "Kickapoo Indians Were Once Masters of this Region"
  "Community Showed Progress Just Two Years Following its Humble Beginning"
  "City's Public Schools Show Effort of It's [sic] Citizens"
  "White Man's 'Medicine' in Logan County Since 1836"
  "Postville Rich in Tradition"
  "Lawrence B. Stringer Was Endeared to All in Logan County During His Lifetime" and a second
    headline reading "Early Records and Stories Indicate Spirited Sale of Lots Prior to Naming Town"
  "City of Lincoln 100 Years Old"

     The paper printed congratulatory letters from President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Governor William G. Stratton.  Even comic-strip heroes expressed their excitement:
 

31.5:  Dagwood and Blondie Respond to their
Invitation to the Lincoln, Illinois, Centennial Celebration

(Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Two, August 26, 1953, p. 8)
 

     The 1953 Centennial Edition of the Courier includes a couple of short articles on the history of local newspapers: 

     "German-Language Newspaper Stirs Old Memories," section 7, p. 8.  This articles describes the operation of the Volksblatt-Rundschau Print Shop.  The press was run by a steam engine in a back room.  Otherwise, the article notes that this operation was essentially the same as Gutenberg's invention of printing. In his early career, Centennial Mayor Alois Feldman had worked here.

     "F.B. Mills Was Herald Publisher," section 7, p. 10.  This six-paragraph article says that Mills' family was from Ohio, that he was a Civil War veteran, and the he had worked for the Atlanta, Illinois, paper knows as the Argus before moving to Lincoln and publishing the Herald.

     "Read All About It," an issue of Our Times, is the most complete history of newspapers in Lincoln.  This issue describes the activities of the key Lincoln-area newspaper professionals, with interviews from some, and other contributors, including

Hazel Alberts, Paul Ayars, Bob Ball, Bob Borowiak, Doug Brickey, Billie Baldwin Cheek, Bill Coombs, Bill Danley, Dick Eimer, James Fetgatter, Clem Garton, Delbert Geskey, Jack Getchel, Ken Goodrich, Charlie Hamilton, Grant Heatherwick (Middletown Ledger), Dick Huston, William Joy, Pat Kirby, Bertha Koller, Jean Martin, Bill Martinie, Matt Mason, Jean McCue, Frances Eisele Montgomery, Mabel Musick, the Nugents, Jeff Nelson, Harry Salmons, Betty Reiners Schmidt, Larry Shroyer, Dan Tackett, Ken Theobald, Orville Werth, Lena Wertheim, Lisa Carlin Whitson, Harry and Margaret Wible (Mt. Pulaski Times-News), and Bob Wilson
 

Radio Stations

  Update on the Radio Station of Lincoln College

     The following information appears below with the permission of John Malone:

From: John Malone [mailto:john.malone1@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wed 2/8/2006 9:24 PM
To: dlh105f@smsu.edu
Subject: your website

Hello:

I found your website on Lincoln, Illinois, a couple of years ago when I began working there. I joined the staff of Lincoln College in August 2004 to take over their struggling broadcasting program.

I thoroughly enjoyed your site, and it made me further appreciate the rich history of this community.

Noticing that you place the end of WLNX Radio at 1998, I wanted to write to correct you on a couple of points. From 1998 until 2004, the station did operate, but in a sporadic fashion. They were absent a broadcast program but did operate the station when they felt like doing so.

I was hired in August 2004 to rebuild the very antiquated facilities and to recruit a bona fide program. Since then, we did go back to being on the air 24/7, playing syndicated non commercial classical music via satellite. We will launch a student operated full time station next week, playing mainstream rock and classic rock music targeted towards 18-25 year olds.

We have many students now who have decided to come to Lincoln College because of the radio program, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished.

There are plans to launch a website, and when it is completed, I will let you know.

My background is in commercial radio, and this is my first position as an instructor. For the previous 6 years before joining Lincoln College, I was Program Director of WMBD Radio in Peoria, Illinois. Overall, I have 18 years commercial radio experience.

Hope this helps you current on the latest developments, and if you have any questions, feel free to get a hold of me at the school. 217-732-3155 ex. 288, or jmalone@lincolncollege.edu.

John Malone

Lincoln College

Radio History

     The centennial Courier offers a lot of history of nearly every aspect of business, industry, education, and culture in Lincoln, but does not present its own history. Nor does it say anything about WPRC, the longest-running commercial radio station of this city. 

     Below is a chronology of radio history of Lincoln as condensed from "What's on the Radio," the fall, 2000, edition of Our Times as written by Sam Redding and Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach:

  1924:  WBBM broadcasts from Les Atlass's home on Park Place before he moved to the Chicago area and broadcast there on February 24, 1925, from the Broadmoor Hotel on the north side.  While in Lincoln, Atlass's broadcasts featured local musicians, including the Harry Ryan Orchestra, and a stage play from the Lincoln Theater (Gehlbach, "We Broadcast Better Music," pp. 3 and 9).

     Harry Leslie "Les" Atlass's father, Frank, had immigrated to the US from Europe in 1971 and had entered the family poultry business in Indiana, later establishing his own poultry businesses first in Decatur and then in Lincoln.  "By 1900, he claimed to operate the 'largest produce house in central Illinois'" (Tubbs, p. 162).  This business success enabled the father to provide a good education for his son older son, Les, who had attended the Lake Forest Academy in suburban Chicago.  By 1911, Les and his younger brother, Ralph, "began experimenting with a crystal radio set in the basement of their parents' home. . . .  At that time radio was nothing more than the transmission and reception of coded messages" (Tubbs, p. 162).
 

35.6:  Undated Photo of Les Atlass

(Photo in Tubbs, p. 164)

35.7:  Frank Atlass Home at 325 Logan Street (Business Route 66)

(Photo in Tubbs, p. 165.
Click photo for larger image.)
 

     Notes on the Atlass Home on Logan Street:   This structure was drawn by Artist David Alan Badger, and his description reads, "Colonial Revival -- 1880 to 1955. . . identifying features. . . a front facing gambrel roof with cross gambrel. . . Palladian window & an enclosed oval in the front gable. . . pedimented at the entry, wraparound porch . . . paired, classic columns that rest upon stone piers. . .  " (no page numbers used in The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois).

     Mr. Badger says that Les and Ralph Atlass experimented with amateur broadcasting from the attic; Mr. Tubbs says the broadcasting was from the basement (Tubbs, p. 165). Access Badger's drawing of the Atlass house at 325 Logan St.

     The Frank Atlass home is just one of many remaining historic houses that people enjoy seeing when they drive through Lincoln's traditional neighborhoods.  Historic houses of various styles may be observed -- Craftsman, Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Spanish, Tudor, and Victorian.

* * * * *

     After serving in the Navy as a Signal Corps officer in World War I, Les Atlass returned to Lincoln, married Harriet Marks on June 26, 1917, and in the early 1920s had begun to run his father's poultry operations.  "He [Les] and his wife moved into their new home at . . . Park Place in Lincoln" (Tubbs, p. 162).  Mr. William B. Tubbs, the author of "'We Broadcast Better Music':  WBBM Goes on the Air in Lincoln, Illinois," lived for more than eleven years in the house that was formerly the Les Atlass home on Park Place.

     From that location in the early 1920s, Les Atlass with license 9DFC used amateur radio equipment in place of the telephone for personal and business communication with his father, who had moved to Chicago (Tubbs, p. 163).  Like the more powerful licensed broadcasters, Atlass also began to announce election results to locals.  The increased power of Atlass's new equipment, however, resulted in reception far beyond Lincoln and Logan County, and listeners to commercial stations sometimes complained of interference from amateur stations.  Atlass, Byron Mowry, Richard Purinton, and other local amateur radio buffs formed the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club "in order to keep better informed about the various regulations that they must follow" (Tubbs, p. 166).
 

35.8:  Adaptation of Mr. Tubbs' Drawing of
the Les and Harriet Atlass Home on Park Place

(Drawing in Tubbs, p. 167)
 

35.9:  Ryan Orchestra

(Photo in Tubbs, p. 169)

     Members of the Harry Ryan Orchestra were, from left to right:  Paul R. Moore, Vernon Brown, N. Rice, Jerry J. Ryan, and Harry J. Ryan (Tubbs, p. 169).

     The Les Atlass home is just one of many remaining historic houses that people enjoy seeing when they drive through Lincoln's traditional neighborhoods.  Historic houses of various styles may be observed -- Craftsman, Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Spanish, Tudor, and Victorian.

     "On Wednesday, February 6, 1924, one day short of the one-year anniversary of Purinton's first voice transmission from 9CXT, WBBM (call letters that were assigned by the Radio Service Division of the Bureau of Navigation, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce) went on the air from the Atlasses' home on Park Place, with Purinton as the announcer.  Broadcasting on a wavelength of 226  meters, he announced several times on the 200-watt station during the first broadcast, 'We Broadcast Better Music.'  The station was licensed to the Frank Atlass Produce Company:  'The Home of the Egg.'  Between the musical selections presented by Ryan's Orchestra, among others, the announcer offered three dozen eggs to the first person from each state to respond that they had heard the broadcast. 

     In the first batch of telegrams, the most distant response was from New Orleans.  By morning, replies had been received from fifteen states.  Atlass spent much of the next day sending out eggs. Newspapers in Lincoln, Springfield, Bloomington, Decatur, and Middletown all reported the event" (Tubbs, p. 167).
 

     WBBM broadcasts from Lincoln featured local talent, and Atlass experimented with broadcasting from remote locations.  For an account of the broadcasting schedules of the early days, remote broadcasting locations, names of the local talent, and listeners' responses, click on 31.10 to access the page of Mr. Tubbs' article with that information.

     In February of 1924, Atlass sold the Frank Atlass Produce Company to Armour & Company but continued to broadcast from Lincoln until May, when Atlass dismantled the station and moved to Chicago to be near his parents. 
 

35.10:  Page 170 of the Tubbs' Article Describing the Earliest Days of Broadcasting WBBM from Lincoln, Illinois

      The Atlass home on Park Place was sold to William E. Hodnett on May 22, 1924.  "From the remainder of 1924 and early 1925, Atlass broadcast from the basement of his parents' home at 7421 Sheridan Road in Chicago" (Tubbs, pp. 171 and 172).

     For additional information about WBBM's history in Chicago, see the rest of Mr. Tubbs' article (bibliographical information below in Sources Cited).
 

  1951:  WPRC (Prairie Radio Corporation) begins. Owned by Ray F. Knochel, Lee N. Hamm, M.D. [who delivered this writer], John H. Deal, begins from its location on the Route 66 beltline just west of the Lincoln State School & Colony.

  1967--1975:  WLCC (Lincoln Christian College)

  1974--present:  WLNX (Lincoln College)

  1996:  WPRC changed to WVAX

  1998:  WVAX changed to WLLM

     "What's on the Radio," an issue of Our Times, is the most complete history of radio in Lincoln.  This edition describes the activities of the key Lincoln radio professionals, with interviews from some, and other contributors, including

Walt Abel, Jim Ash, H. Leslie Atlass, Ralph Atlass, Jeff Benjamin, Steve Berger, Bill Brady, Carol Hoffmann Brainard, Judy Busby, Tom Campbell, Pastor Mark Carnahan, Dave Copeland, Jim Crowell,  Brayton Danner, Vaughn De Leath, Jerry Dellinger, Saunders Devine, Dee Ebel, Roy Frankenhoff, Rev. Daryl Gehlbach, Vernon Gehlbach, Art Gimbel, Ron Jarrett, Larry Jones, Lloyd Kirby, Alan Kline, Dennis Knauer, Earl "Whoople" Layman, Mickey Lee, Jan Hoepfner Loeffelholz, Beck Logeman, Mary Lotta, Sam Madonia, Keith Mason, Marian "Mimi" Gordon McCann, Robert Miller, Ruth Hill Neal, Pastor Arthur Neitzel, John O'Donnell, Richard Purinton, Paul Rankin, Alton Rich, Jerry Schnacke, Larry Shroyer, Don "Chuckles" Thompson, Bill Tubbs, Bob Verderber, Gene Warfel, Ken Watson, Randy Whitehead, Betty Loeffler Williams, and Patty Wilson.
 

31.11:  WPRC Covers Adlai Stevenson
Arriving in Lincoln by Train

     Left to Right:  Mayor Alois Feldman, Mr. Stevenson, and Earl "Whoople" Layman

     (Photo in Our Times, fall, 2000; source, Larry Shroyer photographic collection in the Lincoln Public Library)

31.12:  Judy Busby and Earl Layman
on WPRC's Viewpoint

     (Photo from Our Times, fall, 2000 as provided by Judy Busby)




 

31.13:  WPRC Building as WLLM in December, 2002
 

Sources Cited

     Badger, David Alan. The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois.  Privately published, 1987.  Mr. Badger's material is copyrighted with all rights reserved.  Use of his material in this Web site is with his permission.  Please visit his Web site at www.davidalanbadger.com.

     Beaver, Paul. History of Logan County 1982.  Dallas, TX:  Taylor Publishing Co., 1982.

     Dick's Five and Dime, Main Street, Branson, Missouri:  "Truly the last great "dime store" where nothing much is a dime, but with 50,000  items on hand you will find lots you need or can't resist. This store packed up my childhood and put it on display - little glass figurines, paper dolls, soaps and lotions of a bygone day, embroidery, horehound candy; if it is in your memory, it's at Dick's. "  Information located through  http://www.igougo.com/.

     Gehlbach, Nancy Lawrence. "Read All About It." Our Times, vol. 7, issue 2, summer, 2000.  Sam Redding, publisher. Prairie Years Press, 121 N. Kickapoo Street, Lincoln, Illinois 621656

     ___________ .  "What's on the Radio?" Our Times, vol. 5, issue 3, fall, 200. Sam Redding, publisher. Prairie Years Press, 121 N. Kickapoo Street, Lincoln, Illinois 621656

     Lincoln Evening Courier, [Lincoln, Illinois] Centennial Edition, August 26, 1953.

     Lincoln Evening Courier, Logan County Centennial Edition, Wednesday, October, 1939.

     Maxwell, William.  Ancestors:  A Family History. NY:  Vintage Books, 1971.  William Maxwell's works are available at http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

     Stringer, Lawrence B. History of Logan County Illinois 1911.  Reprinted UNIGRAPHIC, INC., Evansville, IN:  1978.

     Tubbs, William B. "'We Broadcast Better Music':  WBBM Goes on the Air in Lincoln, Illinois."  Illinois Historical Journal vol. 89, no. 3 (autumn, 1996), pp. 161-174.
 

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

"The Past Is But the Prelude"

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