Homepage of "Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other Highlights of Lincoln, IL"

Site Map


A Long-Range Plan to Brand the First Lincoln Namesake City as the Second City of Abraham Lincoln Statues

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Lincoln, Illinois

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

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


The Rise of Abraham Lincoln and His History and Heritage in His First Namesake Town,
also the founding of Lincoln College, the plot to steal Lincoln's body, and memories of Lincoln College and the Rustic Tavern-Inn

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

"Social Consciousness in William Maxwell's Writings Based on Lincoln, Illinois" (an article published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, winter 2005-06

Peeking Behind the Wizard's Screen: William Maxwell's Literary Art as Revealed by a Study of the Black Characters in Billie Dyer and Other Stories

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

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


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

The Hensons of Business Route 66

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

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

Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Salt Creek & Cemetery Hill,
the highway bridges, GM&O bridge, Madigan State Park, the old dam (with photos & Leigh's memoir of "shooting the rapids" over the old dam), & the Ernie Edwards' Pig-Hip Restaurant Museum in Broadwell

The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past & Present

Route 66 Map with 51 Sites in the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District,
including locations of historical markers
(on the National Register of Historic Places)

Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District

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

Agriculture in
the Route 66 Era

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

Business Heritage

Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era

including the hometown churches of Author William Maxwell & Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

Factories, Past and Present

Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era


Hospitals, Past and Present

Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras

Lincoln Developmental Center
(Lincoln State School & Colony in the Route 66 era), plus
debunking the myth of Lincoln, Illinois, choosing the Asylum over the University of Illinois

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


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

with Distinction

News Media in the Route 66 Era

The Odd Fellows' Children's Home


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

A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois

Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era

The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

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


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

About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of Lincoln, Illinois

Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life


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

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

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

J. Richard
(JR) Fikuart
(LCHS '65):
he Fikuarts of Lincoln, Illinois, including their connections to the William Maxwell family and three generations of family fun at Lincoln Lakes

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

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

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

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

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

Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories

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

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

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

(Post yours there.)


Highway Sign of
the Times:

The Route 66
Association of Illinois

The Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois Tourism Site:
Enjoy Illinois



   Email a link to this page to someone who might be interested.  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

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

by Darold Leigh Henson, Ph.D.

     "What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory -- meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subject to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion -- is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling."

                                                         William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980), p. 27.


     Maxwell's above cautionary quote about the creative nature of memoir applies to both personal and community history.  As on many "pages" of this Web site, this page presents both kinds of memoir:

 Sale of the Postville Courthouse in 1929,
 Repurchase of the Postville Courthouse block in 1946,
 Memoir of the 1953 construction and dedication of the Postville Courthouse replica,
  Tantivy: a noble dream of historic restoration on the Postville Courthouse block, and
  Memoir of the Postville Park neighborhood in the Route 66 era.

Sale of the Postville Courthouse in 1929

      According to Professor Paul Beaver in History of Logan County 1982, Mrs. T. T. Beach sold the original Postville Courthouse to Henry Ford in 1929 without understanding it would be removed from the community. Some time before that, her late husband, Judge Timothy T. Beach, had offered the property to the county, city, and civic organizations; but these entities were not willing or not able to accept the expense. According to a Courier article, however, Beach's offer to the local governing bodies was not made public ("Postville Court House Being Restored Following Years of Patient, Hopeful Waiting," Courier, 8-26-53, p. 2).   

     In thinking the courthouse would remain in Lincoln, had Mrs. Beach been misled, or did she simply misunderstand?  When she discovered that Mr. Ford intended to remove the courthouse, she had seller's remorse:  she "offered to refund the money which she had received" (Beaver, p. 13).

     Historian Raymond Dooley, former president of Lincoln College, explains that "because of the then (1929) current agricultural depression, only a very few citizens were interested in restoring the dilapidated structure" ("Lincoln and His Namesake Town," p. 143). 

     "Henry Ford, with a chauffeur, drove into Lincoln [unannounced] on Labor Day, Sept. 1 [1929], and met with Mayor David Clark, Judge Stringer, Mr. Nickols, Mrs. Allyne V. Nugent, publisher of the Lincoln Courier, and Larry Shroyer, a freelance newsman, in the Commercial Hotel.  Ford's argument was that the old courthouse, if taken to Dearborn, would have a lasting setting and one in which millions of people would be able to visit. 

     During the meeting with Ford, Judge Stringer reportedly noted, "Why, Mr. Ford, Route 66 passes right by this site and a million people a year will pass here and see it and many of them will stop and enjoy this historic shrine!" (Dooley, "Lincoln and His Namesake Town," p. 143). 

     "No definite response was made by Ford and he left for home" (Beaver, p. 13).  Later, "Mr. Nickols said he did not know at the time Mr. Ford had the deed in his pocket. . . ."  Mr. Ford allegedly paid $8,000 for this property (Dooley, "Lincoln and His Namesake Town," pp. 144-145).

     According to "Postville Courthouse Being Restored. . . ," Henry Ford bought the Postville property prior to his Labor Day visit -- on August 18, 1929.  At the time of purchase, Mr. Ford kept the transaction secret.  D.F. Nickols and associates were not the only ones who were unaware of the date of the sale.  On August 19, -- the day after the sale --, "an appointment had been made with Mrs. Beach by an American Legion committee and Mrs. Nugent for the express purpose of buying this same property."  George Zeter and Charles Pomrenke were officers of the Legion.  Their plan was to gain an option on the property and then conduct a campaign for general public contributions. 

2.1: Left to right: Lincoln Mayor David W. Clark, D. F. Nickols, Henry Ford, and Judge Lawrence Stringer in Front of the Commercial Hotel, Labor Day, 1929

     The photo is from Raymond Dooley, "Lincoln and His Namesake Town," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, spring, 1959, p. 144. Photo was most likely taken by Larry Shroyer. He is known to have been among this group, according to Paul Beaver, History of Logan County Illinois 1982, p. 13.

     Contrast the "cat that ate the canary" grin on Mr. Ford's face with the body English of frustration shown by the Mayor and the Judge on this fateful day. Twentieth-century "robber baron" or philanthopist?

     If Mr. Ford had already bought the property, had he used "secret agents?"  If so, did any Lincolnites "aid and abet" these outsiders?  Did Ford visit Lincoln on Labor Day weekend mainly to inspect his trophy?  Why did he agree to meet with the local officials?  Was he just trying to appear reasonable and avoid bad press and public reaction?  In any case, he had succeeded in fooling all of the people some of the time, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, with apologies.

     See the link in Sources Cited below to "Anecdote on the Dismantling of the Original Postville Courthouse."  This is a rare eye-witness account provided by Lincolnite Stan Stringer, whose father photographed the original Postville Courthouse for Mr. Ford's moving crew to help them reassemble the structure carefully and accurately in Dearborn, Michigan.

Repurchase of the Postville Courthouse Block in 1946

     Before the 1953 construction of the Postville Courthouse replica, a drama played out concerning the repurchase of the courthouse block.  On December 31, 1932, Lincolnites Jesse E. Ranney and his wife, Helen J. Ranney, purchased the Postville Courthouse block from Henry Ford.  Mr. Ranney's intention was to hold this property "until he [Mr. Ranney] was assured it would not be used for commercial purposes" ("Postville Court House Being Restored Following Years of Patient, Hopeful Waiting," The Lincoln Evening Courier, p. 2).  While living in Lincoln, Mr. Ranney had been "an engineer at the power plant of the Central Illinois Electric and Gas Company."  He later moved to Taylorville, Illinois, and then to Detroit.

     Note: Late in 2005 I read the description of the Postville Courthouse on the Web site of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA). That account said Henry Ford donated the block where the original Postville Courthouse stood back to the community, but that account contradicted the above information, so I wrote to the IHPA to say its Web site had questionable information. I received a reply that said the IHPA would investigate, and later I received the following report:

From: Paula_Cross@ihpa.state.il.us [mailto:Paula_Cross@ihpa.state.il.us]
Sent: Mon 3/20/2006 8:53 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Postville Courthouse

Dear Mr. Henson,

Our historian has researched the story on the Ford-related transfer of the Postville Courthouse property.  He checked with the Henry Ford Museum archives and was informed that they had no papers relating to this transaction.  Nothing was found at the Lincoln public library and the county historical society does not have any information.  The deed records at the county recorder's office in Lincoln did not have any additional information other than what appears in the abstract.

This leaves the unsubstantiated (but also uncontradicted) statement in a 1929 newspaper putting Ford's purchase price at about $8,000 as the only sign that Ford did not pay the $1.00 mentioned in the deed.  This also leaves open the question of what Ford sold the property for in 1932 (the abstract says $10.00).

If you have any other additional information we would certainly appreciate hearing about it.  Since the question seems to be unresolved, we are editing our web site information to only refer to the transfer of the property with no suggestion of donation or sale.  

Paula Cross
Historic Sites Division
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency  

     It is unclear exactly who initiated negotiations between Mr. Ranney and Lincoln citizens and when.  Judge Stringer seemed to be the leader when Ford had visited in 1929.  Judge Stringer died in 1942.  In February of 1943, Mr. D.F. Nickols became engaged in a lengthy, challenging process of communicating with Mr. Ranney in efforts to buy the historic property.  Mr. Nickols wrote Mr. Ranney that interested Lincoln citizens lacked enough money to meet Mr. Ranney's asking price, which the Courier article does not specify.  Mr. Nickols had also lined up "another interested party" and urged Mr. Ranney to sell to that source.  Mr. Ranney, however, wrote to say this other interested party had disappointed him. The identity of the other interested party is unidentified.

    D.F. Nickols continued his efforts in Lincoln to find the right people and the necessary money.  With the help of Attorney Dean Gillett Hill, a financial plan was devised.  "Franklin Nickols, son of D.F. Nickols, who was in Detroit, the then home of Mr. Ranney, opened the final negotiations, assuring Mr. Ranney that the site would be dedicated to the memory of Abraham Lincoln." 

2.2: D.F. Nickols

(Photo from Dooley, The Namesake Town, p. 80)

     In May of 1946, D.F. Nickols, as a trustee, received the abstract and title to the Postville Courthouse block after enough money had been contributed by Hill, David Harts, Jr., Miller and Miller, and Allyne V. Nugent, Courier publisher.  There was also a mortgage.  Again, the Courier article does not indicate the purchase price.  Surely Mrs. Nugent knew the price and probably wrote the 1953 article describing the transaction.  By all appearances, the humility that accompanies much public service prevented her from announcing the price.

     The Logan County Historical Society generated additional local interest in constructing a Postville Courthouse replica.  After D.F. Nickols' death in 1951, E.H. Lukenbill and other citizens, including James Hickey and John Gehlbach, convinced Governor William G. Stratton and other state officials to support the construction.  In April of 1953, the deed was transferred to the State of Illinois ("Postville Courthouse Being Restored. . . ").

2.3: D.F. Nickols Bringing History to Life

   (Photo from Dooley, ed., The Namesake Town:  A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois, p. 27)

     D.F. Nickols, Sr. (1880-1951), was another one of those "larger than life" Lincolnites: "He began his teaching career in the rural schools of Logan County; from 1905 to 1916 he was county superintendent of schools; and he ended his teaching career as superintendent of Lincoln city schools, from 1919 to 1942.  From 1918 until the time of his death he served as manager of the Illinois Pupils Reading Circle.  He was for many years a student of the life of Abraham Lincoln and he did a great deal of research along that line.  He was co-author of the book, Mentor Graham, the Man Who Taught Abraham Lincoln.  His interest in the history of Lincoln and Logan County led to the formation of Logan County Historical Society and at the time of his death he was its president and also one of the vice-presidents of the Illinois State Historical Society" (Dooley, ed., The Namesake Town, p. 80).

     Daniel F. Nickols, Jr., summarized his family's history in Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982, p. 444, observing that "the Nickols family has always been interested in music, the arts, and education; hanging in their library is a quotation from Henry Ward Beecher, 'A library is not a luxury but a necessity of life.'" See Sources Cited below for a link to an online biography of D.F. Nickols.

Memoir of the 1953 Construction & Dedication of the Postville Courthouse Replica

     The Postville Courthouse site was just a block south of my parents' newly constructed home at Seventh and Monroe Streets, to which we moved in 1948 from a rental house on Third Street.  In 1948 I was six years old and often played on the vacant lot at the Postville Courthouse site before, during, and after construction of the courthouse replica.  Before the replica was built, while playing with friends Walter Shawgo and Larry Van Bibber on the Postville Courthouse site, I argued with them over the ownership of this property. One of these guys claimed that some of his relatives had owned the Postville Courthouse. I could not believe that claim, and more than once we had words and wrestled on the grass exactly where the courthouse was reconstructed. Walter was bigger than I, but I do not remember he ever hurt me. 

     In looking back after 50 years, I could not remember exactly which one of these two playmates claimed that his relatives had owned this property. Then, in 2003 I received an email message from Larry's older brother, Lester, who said the Postville site had been owned by his maternal grandparents, John and Ruby Kirk, and Lester provided copies of warranty deeds to verify this ownership.

2.4: Stonemasons Erect the Fireplace Chimney During Postville Courthouse Reconstruction  

     (Photo from Beaver, History of Logan County, 1982, p. 84).

     Lester wrote, "The three warranty deeds cover all the years from August 11, 1910, when my grandfather purchased it from David and Rachel Andrew for $1,350 to January 21, 1913, when my grandparents, John H. Kirk and Ruby C. Kirk, sold it to Timothy T. Beach, a former judge, and Grace A. Beach for $2,000. Mr. and Mrs. Beach owned the old courthouse until they sold it to Henry Ford and Clara J. Ford, founders of the Ford Motor Company, for $8,500 on September 6, 1929. I believe it is proper to mention that my grandparents used the old Postville Courthouse as a residence and that their two oldest children, William and Travis Kirk, were born at home in the upstairs room now used to represent the courtroom."

    Leigh continues: I well remember the reconstruction that occurred in 1953, when I was nearly eleven. Toward the completion, the construction crew had left scrap wood piled at the side and back, with a sign that said scraps were free for the taking.  I got my red wagon from home, went to the courthouse, filled the wagon from first one pile then another next to it, and returned home.

     Later that day during the dinner hour, a construction foreman knocked on my parents' door to say the wood which I had piled in our front yard was not scrap and had to be returned.  I had erroneously helped myself to more than the scrap, and no one doubted it was an honest mistake.  Growing up with the legend of honest Abe had stamped my values.  If I had wanted to steal the wood, I would have hidden it in the back yard (or behind the Kirks' house or the Van Bibbers' house or the Newtons', etc.).

     I remember the dedication of the Postville Courthouse replica.  Classes at Jefferson School went to the ceremony, walking just one block west from the school.  I was in Principal Miss Bernadine Jones's sixth grade class in the 1953-54 school year.  I remember that after we had been there a while, Governor Stratton's limo pulled up on the west side (Madison Street), and the Governor walked through the crowd to the podium located near the southwest corner of the building.  I do not remember anything he said.  It seems I recall that after the ceremony we had to return to class.  In these recollections, I was uncertain whether the dedication was in 1953 or 1954.

     Then, while researching the 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois, in the Lincoln Evening Courier, I discovered that the dedication of the Postville Courthouse replica occurred during the Centennial Celebration on Thursday, September 3, 1953 ("Last of Memorial Links Dedicated in Postville Thursday," Lincoln Evening Courier, September, 3, 1953, p. 1).  The dedication occurred during the first week of school after summer vacation.

     The Courier article says that the ceremonies began at 11:00 a.m. after a concert by the Lincoln State School Band, directed by George Treatch.  The Governor had not arrived when the program began.  Msgr. Leo P. Henkel of St. Mary's delivered the invocation, and N.L. Gordon presided.  Mayor Alois Feldman spoke, followed by Raymond Dooley, President of Lincoln College and President of the Centennial Corporation.  Mr. Dooley attributed his own interest in Abraham Lincoln to the late D.F. Nickols [d. 1951].  E.H. Lukenbill spoke next, introducing the guests and telling the audience "he would talk until the arrival of the Illinois chief executive."

     Local dignitaries in attendance were Allyne Nugent, Courier publisher; James Hickey, Lincoln historian; D.H. Harts, philanthropist and benefactor of Lincoln College; and John Gehlbach, civic leader and philanthropist.

     Governor Stratton arrived at approximately 11:45 a.m.  The Governor said that the courthouse represented the "second phase" of Lincoln's life, in which he "got inside the processes of government."  The Governor also remarked on how the city of Lincoln is "still full of energy" and ought not to be described as "100 years old, but 100 years young."

      Governor Stratton said that his father several times had taken him as a kid to see the original Postville Courthouse. 

2.5: Dapper Governor William G. Stratton Lights a Fire in the Fireplace of the Postville Courthouse Replica (paper fuel, no logs in September)

(Courier photo, 9-3-1953, p. 1)

     The quality of the photo is reduced because it was obtained first as a laser printer printout from microfilm copy of the newspaper; that printout was then scanned for use in the Web page.

     Mr. Stratton noted that he was ten minutes late because as he arrived by car from Springfield, he had taken the time to "travel over completed portions of the additional two lanes on Route 66 south of Lincoln: 'I just couldn't resist that,' he said, adding he hopes 'the construction men find no additional cracks because of the venture.' 

     The benediction was given by the Reverend Paul Brockhaus, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church" (Courier, 9-3-53, p. 1).

     The Governor claimed he was only ten minutes late.  The Courier article says the dedication ceremony began at 11:00, but that the governor did not arrive until 11:45.  Apparently the lure of the Mother Road was so powerful that the Governor thought it was more important to get his kicks on Route 66 than show up on time to dedicate a shrine in memory of our county's greatest President.  And then when he got there, he did the timeless political thing of minimizing the indiscretion by saying he was ten minutes late instead of the actual 45 minutes tardiness.  The next day's Courier offers no hint of criticism of the governor -- the paper's owners were devout Republicans [one source I read said they were "belligerent" Republicans].

     In fact, the next day's Courier presented "A Little Editorial" written by Mrs. Nugent, who was very complimentary of the Governor:  "For the entire community we are taking this opportunity to express gratitude that Governor Stratton's father implanted in his son 'Bill' an appreciation of and for all things and events pertaining to Abraham Lincoln."

     "For the community we also feel it is befitting that we should go on record to express the widespread appreciation for Governor Stratton's astute foresight to hold and hold dearly for Lincoln, the State of Illinois, and the nation, the Postville courthouse where Abraham Lincoln as a young unknown attorney practiced law, thereby establishing another "Lincoln Shrine' that other fathers and other sons may visit and be inspired" (Lincoln Evening Courier, 9-4-53, p. 1).

     At the dedication ceremony, E.H. Lukenbill, who had the task of speaking till the Governor arrived, was probably the least inconvenienced by the governor's delinquent arrival, given Lukenbill's fondness for telling stories about Abraham Lincoln.  For 42 years, from 1916 to 1959, Lukenbill served as the beloved superintendent of schools for Logan County (Beaver, p. 631).  He was locally famous for his knowledge of the life of Lincoln and the history of Logan County.  He often visited schools unannounced, but teachers did not mind:  they were happy when he accepted their invitations to talk to classes about Abraham Lincoln.

     I assume Mr. Stratton was at the fireplace after the ceremony.  If so, by then, my Jefferson School classmates and I were on our way back to school, walking on the sidewalk next to Business Route 66.  I confess I had not listened closely enough to understand that the lure of the great road had delayed the Governor's arrival, prolonged the ceremony, and thus happily delayed our return to the classroom.

     Photos of various group scenes in the city's Centennial Celebration show that E.H. Lukenbill had grown facial hair for the occasion, like other loyal members of the Brothers of the Brush. Yet, Lukenbill was playfully disrespected by this very group whose cause he championed.  A photo in the Courier of August 17, 1953, p. 1, shows Lukenbill in full beard being tried before the Brothers in the infamous, dreaded Kangaroo Court. 

     The caption of the photo reads, "The prisoner is none other than E.H. Lukenbill, president of the Logan County Historical Society, county school superintendent, Lincoln authority, and Centennial enthusiast extraordinary [sic].  He's up before the Kangaroo Court for, of all things, violation of the rules of the Brothers of the Brush [specific violation not given -- trumped up charges, no doubt].

2.6: E.H. Lukenbill:  Dedicated
Member of the Brothers of the Brush

     (Portrait cropped from photo of Centennial dignitaries in Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 174).

       The session was held Saturday on Broadway in front of the courthouse where the Brothers have a permanent jail erected [bold mine]. Making certain Lukenbill doesn't get away are, left to right, Centennial cop Bob Lunt, Chief John Bauman, between whom Lukenbill stands, and Patrolman 'Red' Emmons.  Judges are Chief Justice Don Shay, left, and Houser Crain." 

     This account does not say if Lukenbill received the typical sentence of being dunked in the horse trough.  I speculate that he was spared that indignity, but those were wild and wooly times, so who knows.  Somewhere in the Centennial Edition of the Courier, I read that E.H. was so proud of his role in the Centennial Celebration that he planned to have postcards printed with a photo showing him in his old-fashioned style clothes and beard.

2.7: E.H. Lukenbill's Retirement

     (Photo in Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 96.  In 1959, Daris Knauer presents him with school bell  memento.)

Summary of E.H. Lukenbill's Career

·  Graduate, Valparaiso University of Indiana

·  Graduate of Lincoln College, where he became interested in the life and lore of Abraham Lincoln

·  Taught at Emden:  grades seven, eight, and nine; became principal at Emden and continued teaching there

·  1914:  appointed assist to D.F. Nickols, Logan County Superintendent of Schools

·  1918-19:  elected to ten consecutive terms as Logan County Superintendent of Schools  (Paul Beaver, Logan County History 1982, p. 631)

·  Post-retirement career with the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. 

Note:  E.H. Lukenbill rests in Old Union Cemetery, Lincoln, Illinois.

Stan Stringer Remembers E.H. Lukenbill (email message sent March 23, 2002)

Dear Leigh:

     Fred Blanford's mention of E. H. Lukenbill brought to mind two incidents related to Mr. Lukenbill (I think he was on the board for the school system).  I don't know if they are on in the same or different people.

     The first incident was in the fifth grade at Monroe elementary during the 1944-45 school year.  Our teacher was Dorothy Peifer, and Mr. Lukenbill visited our class.  American history was introduced in the fifth grade, and I can still visualize some of the text and pictures.  After observing our class, Mr. Lukenbill was asked by Miss Peifer if he had anything he wished to say. He told us about his trip to Boston.  He described his visit to the Granary Burying Ground, in which the parents of Benjamin Franklin and James Otis with other revolution patriots are buried. On the blackboard Mr. Lukenbill drew the layout of the cemetery, and we, of course, were thrilled with his narration to the point of copying his drawing.  Several years ago I visited the Granary Burying Ground. I tried to recall the sketch and follow it, but time melted my recollection, except for the original thrill of hearing the story of his visit.

     In 1963 I was transferred to Washington, D.C.  My office at that time was near the Mall and on occasion I would go to the cafeteria at the Department of Education building for lunch.  On several occasions I saw a man that looked like Mr. Lukenbill in the cafeteria.  His hair was still dark, and to my eye, he looked almost as I remembered him, but my gut reaction was this was impossible.  He had to be dead.  A few months later, my brother, Charles Stringer and sister-in-law Ann nee Waddell visited us.  We took our tour of the museums, and for lunch we went to the Education Building cafeteria.  The same man was having lunch while we were there.  Ann and Chuck both agreed that the man looked like Mr. Lukenbill.  Finally, Ann, who has never met a stranger, said, "I going over and ask him." 

     She went over to his table, introduced herself and asked him if he was Mr. Lukenbill, and indeed it was.  Briefly, he told her that after he concluded his education career in Lincoln he thought it would be nice to top off his career at the federal level. 

     Soon after that my office was moved to Virginia, and I never again had occasion to lunch at the Education building cafeteria. Perhaps others from Lincoln remember a classroom visit by Mr. Lukenbill.


Stan     Respond to Stan at sstringer@cox.net.


Tantivy: A Noble Dream of Historic Restoration on the Postville Courthouse Block

     This chapter in the story of the Postville Courthouse block concerns property owned by John Dean Gillett Hill.  As indicated above, he was a key player in the repurchase of the Postville Courthouse block.  John Dean Gillett Hill was a grandson of John D. Gillett, one of the three founders of the city of Lincoln, Illinois.

     Raymond Dooley's The Namesake Town:  A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois, says that during the city of Lincoln's Centennial, "announcement is hereby made of the gift of Tan-Tivy by Mr. John Dean Gillett-Hill to Logan County to be removed from its present location and placed in the memorial group at Postville" (p. 73). 

      According to legend, John D. Gillett had proposed to his wife, Lemira, when both were guests of the Godfrey Wright family, who then owned this structure.  Later Mr. Gillett bought this property as a gift for his wife.

      Tantivy's name traces to a romantic origin:  "John D. Gillett and Lemira Parke were ardent equestrians and one day a turned saddle on Lemira's horse caused her to be thrown only to be lifted unhurt by Mr. Gillett.  In appreciation of this romantic incident experience by her parents Mrs. Hill [mother of John Dean Gillett Hill], herself an excellent horsewoman, named the romantic log cabin 'Tantivy,' which means (a hunting call to signal 'Full Chase').

2.8: Tantivy, South of Lincoln, One of the Oldest Structures in Logan County

(Photo from Lincoln Evening Courier,
Section Eight, August 26, 1953, p. 7)

     Also in memory to her Father and Mother Mrs. Hill had the musical notes of a famous hunting song inscribed on one wall of the cabin while the words 'A goodly record for time to show of a syllable spoken so long ago' grace the wall over the fireplace.  Many famous guests have enjoyed Tantivy and it is now destined to become part of a famous group for the enjoyment of all" ("Famous Logan County Names Connected with Tantivy," Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Eight, August 26, 1953, p. 7).

     Why Tantivy was not relocated to the Postville Courthouse block and has apparently been lost is a mystery to me.  Perhaps a knowledgeable reader of this Web site will write me with an explanation, but I suspect few know "the rest of the story."

     Civic benefactor John Dean Gillett Hill was one of the two best friends of William Maxwell's father and is favorably described in Maxwell's short nonfiction narrative titled "My Father's Friends' (1984).  Mr. Hill, an officer in the Logan County Title Company, lived in a distinctive house in one of Lincoln's traditional neighborhoods.  For a description and artistic drawing of this house, see 30. Neighborhoods with Distinction.

The Fate of Tantivy Lodge Is Discovered

     The above call for more information about Tantivy Lodge prompted Mr. Bob Olson to send the following message. Demonstrating the remarkable power of the Internet to make connections between people and between the past and the present, his message tells the fate of one of Logan County's most historic structures:

Dear Sir,

     I have been reading and enjoying your Lincoln, IL website and feel that I can shed a little light on what happened to Tantivy Lodge, near Broadwell.

     Tantivy Lodge was dismantled in an organized fashion in the early 1950s.  It is likely that this work was done by Jim Hickey and he may have been assisted by Donald Stanfield (Mr. Stanfield is still living near Lincoln).  Mr. Stanfield lived just one hundred yards away from Tantivy in the 1950s and 1960s.  The logs were numbered according to a plan & stacked and covered on a farm owned by Mr. John Dean Gillett Hill just east of Broadwell.  However, then the plan to remove it to Lincoln petered out, probably because of lack of funds.

     The tenants on this farm (named Leathers) obtained a new chain saw about 1960, something that was much a novelty in those days.  In their early sawing enthusiasm, they sawed most of the Tantivy logs to bits.  This was apparently one of a series of events that greatly upset Mr. Hill and led to their loss of tenancy about 1961. 

     My father, Robert F. Olson, was the next tenant on this farm and later the farm manager for Mr. Hill's widow and her sister-in-law Lemira Hunt.  My brother still farms this ground today, and my dad has owned the Tantivy site since 1969 (actually, Tantivy probably was moved at least once during the time it stood as nearly as we can surmise).

     My dad has an oil painting of Tantivy and a few other relics.  He could probably tell you much more than I can if you would like to talk with him.

     Again, your site is very interesting and you should be commended for it!

Bob Olson (oly2059@aol.com) LCHS Class of 1977, Springfield, IL

Remembering the Postville Park Neighborhood in the Rte. 66 Era

     My father, Darold Henson, was born at home on Fifth Street (becoming part of Business Route 66 in 1926) and grew up there just six blocks from Postville Park. My Uncle Gilbert (Gib) Wilson was born at home on Washington Street near Fifth Street in 1928.  Both grew up playing on and near Route 66 and in Postville Park.  They both recall that in late summer months trucks loaded with watermelons came into town on Stringer Avenue/Washington Street adjacent to Postville Park. Boys, lurking in the park, waited for trucks to stop at Washington Street and Fifth, and the older fellas would sneak up behind a truck and retrieve a prize or two, sometimes just tossing them into the park. Younger guys, of whom my father claimed to belong, could then also enjoy the spoils (without guilt?).

     Had "Dear Old Abe" been around in Postville Park during the Route 66 era, what would he have done when the "older boys" pilfered watermelons from passing trucks?   Mr. Lincoln apparently enjoyed watermelon on August 27, 1853, when he christened the city in his name.  Surely if the Revered One [Fred Blanford's nickname for him] had been there, he would not have stolen even one melon himself.  But would he have partaken of the spoils as Darold says he did?  Or would the young athletic "Honest Abe" have tried to stop the thieves by wrestling them to the ground?  Would he have gone to get Sheriff Deskins?  Or scolded the rascals?  Or just sat quietly under the shade of a walnut tree as a passive, amused witness to the foibles of human nature?

     Many Lincolnites had fun in Postville Park, and some folks worked in nearby businesses. My grandparents, Harrison Franklin Wilson and Blanch Hoblit Wilson, built their grocery store at the northeast corner of Fifth and Washington Streets in 1922, diagonally across from Postville Park. They also built their home behind this corner on Washington Street.  In 1935 they moved the store one lot east on Fifth Street and built a gas station where the store had stood.  More information about these Route 66-era businesses, including photos, appears at 10. The Wilsons of Business Route 66.

     In the following image, I have labeled many of the key places of historic significance on Fifth Street (Business Route 66) in Lincoln as well as places of personal significance mentioned in this memoir.  The image is an enlarged and cropped section of an aerial photo taken of the west side of Lincoln.

2.9: Postville Courthouse Historic Site:  at the Center of the World of the
Henson and Wilson Families in the Route 66 Era

     (Photo adapted from Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, opposite title page. The photo is undated, but most likely is from the early 1960s.)

     All of the locations on the above photo with identifications in white print are cited in other places in this Web site except for the Sixth Street water tower.  This water tower was a prominent historic landmark throughout much of the 20th Century in Lincoln.  

     The Sixth Street water tower dates to the 19th Century.  According to Stringer, "a parcel of land, 40 by 153 feet, on Sixth Street was purchased, it being the highest point of land in the city, and work on the erection of a tower on that location began Mary 14, 1886. . . .  The tower is 100 feet high, 16 feet in diameter, is made of 25 rings of wrought iron, and has a capacity of 150,000 gallons of water" (p. 580). For all of its venerable antiquity, I find no photo of the great water tower.

     The Wilson children and grandchildren often played in Postville Park, where many family picnics were also held during the 1920s through early 1960s, spanning the Route 66 era. In her 1979 autobiographical sketch, my maternal Grandmother Blanch Hoblit Wilson describes Postville Park:  "Postville Park was near [diagonally across from their grocery store, gas station, and home], so neighborhood children played there.  It was shady and pleasant but [had] no play equipment.  In 1924 many beautiful old trees were felled by the December ice storm and were replaced.  One year the Jefferson PTA placed swings, slides, etc., which were greatly appreciated.  Also there were picnic tables placed by the city so many travelers stopped to eat the lunch they brought or bought buns, meat, cookies, etc., at our store."

     All photos below were taken in or near Postville Park.  Several of these photos the show businesses along Business Route 66.

2.10: Jane Wilson, age 3, and Lois Wilson, age 1, in Postville Park (1924)

     In the background is the house of the Wilsons' neighbors, the Minkes.  Fifth Street ran between the Park and the Minkes' house.  Jane and Lois are holding dolls, and third sits in front of them.

2.11: Left to right:  Mariann, Jane, Gilbert, and Lois Wilson about 1938 with the Sanders Gas Station and Midway Grill on Business Route 66 in the Background

     This photo was taken from the Minkes' front yard.

     The Minkes' house was just to the right of the house shown in 2.10. Their house was on the northwest corner of the intersection of Washington and Fifth Streets. This structure is visible in 2.22 and 2.23 below. Mr. Minke, a harness maker, owned and operated cabins across the street from Postville Park, and gypsies sometimes stayed in them or in tents set up nearby. For the story of the gypsies and the Wilsons, see 10. The Wilsons of Business Route 66.

      Photo 2.11 shows the intersection of Washington and Fifth Streets in the background.  In the photo, Fifth Street, at the left, was also Business Route 66, which extended east toward the business district, where it continued on Logan Street.  In photo 2.11, the arrow at the left shows the Midway Grill across the street from V. Goodman's Trucking Company and the Wilson Grocery.  Willie Aughton says the Midway Grill had an open barbecue pit.  In photo 2.11, the back of an old unidentified truck can be seen on Fifth Street.

     Photo 2.11 shows the Fifth Street Illico Service Station.  According to Lois Wilson Leesman, this station was constructed in 1925 by Herb Beach.  A car, unidentified make, is at the pumps.  My Uncle Gib Wilson says Bob Sanders operated this station for the Illico Company during the late1920s and early 1930s. 

     In 2.12, Bob Sanders stands in front of the Fifth Street Illico Service Station.  Gib Wilson says the Illico Company required its gas station attendants to step forward on the driveway and wait there to greet approaching customers.

     The caption of this photo, published in Gleason and Beaver's Logan County History, in part reads "Bob Sanders is outside the filling station which is now owned by Dick Logan.  The date of the photo is 1929.  To the left of Sanders one can observe the oil pit [also a neighborhood dog].  An addition and other changes have been made to the building.

     "Today no gas pumps exist.  During 1999, the gas pumps were removed along with ten underground storage tanks" (Gleason and Beaver, Logan County Pictorial History, p. 191). 

2.12: Bob Sanders and Illico
Gas Station on Business Route 66 in 1929

     (Photo in Gleason and Beaver's Logan County Pictorial History, p. 191)

2.13: View of the Building in 2.12

(Leigh Henson photo, Christmas Eve, 2002)

     Today this building houses the Dick Logan AutoCare Center, which provides tune-ups, battery replacement, and repair for tires, exhaust systems, cooling systems, and brakes.

     Just before World War II, Gib's father, my Grandfather Harrison Wilson, offered Sanders the opportunity to operate the Wilson Shell Service Station directly across the street from the Illico Service Station.  Mr. Sanders did run the Wilson Service Station until at about the age of 38 he was one of the older draftees into the Army.  The Wilson Shell Station was closed during the war.  In about 1946, the Wilson Station property was the site of Morrow's Used Car lot before once again being used as a service station. 

     Gib and his brother-in-law, Loren Wood, ran the Wilson Station in the early 1950s. [Loren Wood made history when he participated in the great fire-hose battle at the conclusion of the Lincoln centennial celebration, but that's another story.]  Information and photos of the Wilson gas station and grocery store are located at 10. The Wilsons of Business Route 66.
     Bob Sanders lived next door to the Harrison Wilsons on Washington Street. I recall the many hunting dogs in Mr. Sanders' backyard kennels, just on the other side of the Wilsons' driveway. 

2.14: Harrison Franklin Wilson and
Grandson Leigh Relax in Postville Park (@ 1945)

2.15: Leigh in First Car
Provided by Granddad

     In photo 2.14 my haircut looks as if a bowl had placed on my head.  I recall getting haircuts in those days from Barber Charles Leckrone, whose shop was on the south side of Business Route 66 on Fifth Street in the block between the Postville Courthouse and Jefferson School.  I recall Mr. Leckrone's hair-pulling clippers and generous application of Wildroot Cream Oil Charley, but I do not recall he used a bowl.  His great skill only created that effect.

     Photo 2.15 left background shows the Wilson Gas Station and Grocery Store.  Right background shows the Sanders Station (now Logan's).  Make and model of my first car are unknown.

2.16: Leigh Admiring Uncle Gib's Bicycle
with Sanders Gas Station in Background at Right

2.17: The Sanders Gas Station (now Logan's) and Goodman's (arrow) in Background (@ 1945)

     The business that preceded Goodman's Trucking (arrow in 2.17 pointing to Goodman's) on the same location was the Johnson brothers' Postville Garage, shown below, in a photo sent by Dave Johnson, LCHS Class of 1956.  Red Crown gasoline was produced by the Standard Oil Company.

2.18: Postville Garage at the Corner of
Fifth (Business Route 66) and Jefferson Streets

(Priceless vintage photo provided by Dave Johnson, LCHS Class of 1956)

     In an email message of 12-14-2002, Dave Johnson wrote, "The picture enclosed is of the Postville Garage taken in 1924.  The garage was owned by my father and his brother.  They operated the garage from 1922-1929.  The advent of the depression caused them to sell the business which eventually became the Goodman Garage.  During our years in Lincoln you may recognize the business as Goodman Transfer which was located on Fifth Street just west of the restored Postville Courthouse.  The individuals in the picture (l-r) are my dad, Nels Johnson; Uncle Ed Johnson; and an unidentified employee."

2.19: Custom-Built 1919 Hudson Wrecker on Fifth Street in Front of Postville Park

(Photo provided by Dave Johnson, LCHS Class of 1956)

     From Pekin, Illinois, Dave Johnson writes, "The wrecker in the picture was 'built' by my dad from a 1919 Hudson touring car (notice the soft top).  The background of the picture is probably of the park on Fifth Street.  I think it might still be called Postville Park.  Just think, we could have been born in Postville, Illinois, if it hadn't been for that guy who sprinkled watermelon juice all around."

     Respond to Dave at dbjohnso@dpc.net.

     Note that Fifth Street appears to be paved with brick, the same pavement remaining today on Cobblestone Avenue just above Cemetery Hill, as seen in 11. Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial Park (Former Chautauqua Site), the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites.

Hoblit-Wilson Clan Picnics in Postville Park During the Route 66 Era

     The Route 66 era was a time with a slower pace.  It was also a time when the extended family flourished.  These conditions allowed for larger, more frequent family gatherings, including reunions and picnics.  For the Hoblits and Wilsons, Postville Park was the preferred gathering place.

2.20: Members of the Hoblit and Wilson Clans Gather in Postville Park in the 1940s

     Front row, l. to r.: Judy Hoblit, Blanch Hoblit Wilson, Mariann Wilson, and Harrison Wilson

     Middle row, l. to r.: Eleanor Hoblit Gibson, Ted Gibson, unidentified girlfriend of Ron Hoblit, Ida Yenter Hoblit, Jane Wilson Henson

     Back, l. to r.: George Hoblit, Helen Hoblit, and Ron Hoblit

2.21: Postville Park Picnic in the 1940s

     Left to right: Mariann Wilson Wood, Loren Wood, Jane Wilson Henson, Harrison Wilson, Ted Gibson, Joyce Morrow, Jerry Gibson, Lois Wilson Leesman, and Marvin Leesman. The picnic was a semi-formal ritual. Notice Uncle Marvin's classy apparel:  white shirt, tie, and black-and-white oxfords -- shoes as neat as the governor's in photo 2.5 above.

     Lemonade was the strongest beverage served. 

     The next two photos are part of the Hoblit-Wilson family albums. These particular copies were provided by Jerry Gibson.

2.22--23: 1950 Hoblit-Wilson Postville Park Picnic

     Every picture tells a story, but first the cast, which spans four generations. From left, front to back: Harrison Franklin Wilson, Lois Wilson Leesman, Marvin Leesman, Ted Gibson, Ida Yenter Hoblit, Jerry Gibson, Eleanor Hoblit Gibson, Parlee Webb Henson, Ruth Webb Henson. From right, front to back: Joyce Morrow, Mariann Wilson Wood, Loren Wood, unidentified, Judy Hoblit Newberry, Leigh Henson, Jane Henson, Linda Henson, Edward Darold Henson. Most likely the person taking this photo and the one below was Blanch Hoblit Wilson. Too bad she did not have someone else take one of these photos so that she could be included in the scene. Now the story: first, note the flowers on the table--an example of a semi-formal atmosphere. But some of the cast tempered that formality, for example, Darold has a sporty cap, leaving his more formal fedora at home. Yet the greatest informality was typically instigated by Ted Gibson and intended to involve Marvin Leesman. The photo shows Ted holding out part of a sandwich toward Marvin. Ted is smiling because he is up to mischief, and his sidekick, Marvin, knows it. But Marvin is looking down because he realizes this is not really a good time and place for joking around (his mother-in-law is taking the picture and is watching him). Directly across the table, Loren Wood is observing the disruption. In the foreground at left, Harrison Wilson turns away from the camera and takes in the action. Most of the women, however, are looking at the camera, appearing to ignore these antics. But Lois has a knowing smile, as does Judy Hoblit, who seems to be looking at Ted, not the camera. Is Jerry looking at the camera, or is he watching his dad? Below-- finishing the meal: the chocolate cake in left foreground has been mostly consumed. New cast members not seen in preceding photo: fifth from left in dark glasses, Patriarch John James Hoblit; at the right, in front is Gilbert "Gib" Wilson, and fourth at right is Helen "Peggy" Hoblit. Jerry Gibson, seventh at left, appears to lift his glass as a toast.

2.24: Three Generations of the Wilson Family
Play Croquet in Postville Park, Mid 1950s

      Croquet, a most genteel pastime, was the favorite participant sport of Harrison Wilson, and he taught all interested family members how to play. (He also enjoyed table tennis in his basement.)  Above left to right are Kevin Leesman, Harrison Wilson, Lois (Wilson) Leesman, Loren Wood, Mariann (Wilson) Wood, Dean Wood, Keith Leesman, and Jane (Wilson) Henson.

     The view in photo 2.24 looks south. Gib Wilson reports that the house in the background at the left (corner of Fourth and Washington) was the site of the Spanish Gables Restaurant, owned by Ernie Edwards, who later owned the world-famous Pig-Hip Restaurant on Route 66 in Broadwell, Illinois, seven miles south of Lincoln. Before the Pig-Hip, Mr. Edwards also operated the Tiz-It Restaurant at the intersection of the Route 66 beltline and Fifth Street Road soon after the beltline was constructed in approximately 1940. Later the Coady Shell Gas Station was located at that site.  The Pig-Hip Restaurant in Broadwell is closed, but the building remains and continues to attract many Route 66 enthusiasts. As of the summer of 2003, the Pig-Hip in Broadwell, Illinois, is a Route 66 museum.

     In December of 2002, I was riding on Washington Street with my dad and stepmother as we passed  the house that had been the Spanish Gables Restaurant.  This house is plain, but I noticed the small porch roof is composed of red tile -- apparently a remnant of the Spanish Gables.

     Photo 2.24 shows a brick fireplace in the left background.  The park had numerous picnic tables, the drinking fountain shown above, and swings.  The Lincoln State School & Colony was just a few blocks south of Postville Park, so relatives often took patients to this park for a pleasant afternoon away from the institution. Houses in the background of photo 2.24 are on Fourth Street.  Some of the houses on this street and others on this old Postville square have original interior log framework dating to the 1830s.

2.25: Snowing at Postville Park on Christmas Eve of 2002

(Photo by Leigh Henson)

     Like 2.24, photo 2.25 looks south toward houses on Fourth Street in the background. In 2.25, Fifth Street is in the foreground with Washington Street at the left. 

2.26: Leigh Henson's 80th Birthday Celebratory Tree

     I am deeply grateful to my beloved children, Kendra and Janae Henson, Brandon Henson and Rachel Rustin, and grandchildren, Connor Henson-Stroud, Ruby Henson-Stoud, and Matthew Henson, for this wonderful present--a white oak, the state tree of Illinois: https://exhibits.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/symbols/tree.html.

     The Google Earth screen capture below shows the Postville Park neigborhood. The Gilbert Wilson memorial tree was planted by his devoted wife, Mary, and their children, Sharon and Marla.


Sources Cited

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

     Dooley, Raymond. "Lincoln and His Namesake Town," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, spring, 1959, p. 144.

     ___________, ed. The Namesake Town:  A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois.  Lincoln, IL:  Feldman's Print Shop, 1953.

     "Famous Logan County Names Connected with Tantivy."  Lincoln Evening Courier. Centennial Edition, Section Eight, August 26, 1953, p. 7.

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

     "Last of Memorial Links Dedicated in Postville Thursday."  Lincoln Evening Courier. September 3, 1953, p. 1.  Note:  My interpretation of this title is that the Postville Courthouse was the last historic site associated with Abraham Lincoln in central Illinois to be dedicated, following the shrines of New Salem, the Mt. Pulaski Courthouse, and the city of Springfield.

     Maxwell, William. "My Father's Friends."  All the Days and Nights:  The Collected Stories.  NY: Vintage Books, Inc., 1995.  Maxwell's works are available at www.amazon.com and

     Nickols, D.F. online biography:  http://www.rootsweb.com/~illogan/bios/nickolsdaniel.htm  Note:  this page attributes the biographical information to Lawrence B. Skinner, but the last name is Stringer.

     "Postville Courthouse Being Restored Following Years of Patient, Hopeful Waiting."  The Lincoln Evening Courier. Centennial Edition, Section Eight, Wednesday, August 26, 1953, p. 2.

     Stringer, Stan.  Anecdote on the Dismantling of the Original Postville Courthouse, February 12, 2002: http://www.lincolndailynews.com/Features_new/community.shtml#Reminiscence 

     "Twenty Homes Featured on Local Tour."  www.lincolndailynews.com, May 8, 2000.

     Wilson, Gilbert (Gib).  Autobiography.  Composed, 2002.


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"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.