A Long-Range Plan to Brand the First Lincoln
Namesake City as the Second City of Abraham Lincoln Statues
Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Lincoln, Illinois
Abraham Lincoln and the Historic Postville
including a William Maxwell connection to the Postville Courthouse
About Henry Ford and the Postville Courthouse,
the Story of the Postville Courthouse Replica,
Tantivy, & the Postville Park
Neighborhood in the
Route 66 Era
The Rise of Abraham Lincoln and His History and
Heritage in His First Namesake Town,
also the founding of Lincoln College, the plot to steal Lincoln's
body, and memories of Lincoln College and the Rustic Tavern-Inn
Introduction to the Social & Economic History of
including poetry by William Childress & commentary by Federal Judge
Bob Goebel & Illinois Appellate Court Judge Jim Knecht
"Social Consciousness in William Maxwell's
Writings Based on Lincoln, Illinois" (an article published in the
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, winter 2005-06)
Peeking Behind the Wizard's Screen: William
Maxwell's Literary Art as Revealed by a Study of the Black Characters in
Billie Dyer and Other Stories
Introduction to the Railroad & Route 66 Heritage
of Lincoln, Illinois
The Living Railroad Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois:
on Track as a Symbol of the "Usable Past"
Route 66 Overview Map of Lincoln with 42 Sites,
Descriptions, & Photos
The Hensons of Business Route 66
The Wilsons of Business
Route 66, including the Wilson Grocery & Shell
Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial
(former Chautauqua site),
the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites
Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Salt Creek &
the highway bridges, GM&O bridge, Madigan State Park, the old dam (with
photos & Leigh's memoir of "shooting the rapids" over the old dam), &
the Ernie Edwards' Pig-Hip Restaurant Museum in Broadwell
The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past &
Route 66 Map with 51 Sites in the Business &
Courthouse Square Historic District,
including locations of historical markers
(on the National Register of Historic Places)
Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square
The Foley House: A
Monument to Civic Leadership
(on the National Register of
the Route 66 Era
Arts & Entertainment Heritage,
the Lincoln Theatre Roy Rogers' Riders Club of the
Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era
Churches, including the hometown
churches of Author William Maxwell & Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr
Factories, Past and Present
Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era
Hospitals, Past and Present
Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66
Lincoln Developmental Center
(Lincoln State School & Colony in
the Route 66 era), plus
debunking the myth of
Lincoln, Illinois, choosing the Asylum over the University of Illinois
Mining Coal, Limestone, & Sand & Gravel; Lincoln Lakes; & Utilities
Museums & Parks, including the Lincoln College
Museum and its Abraham Lincoln Collection, plus the Heritage-in-Flight
News Media in the Route 66 Era
The Odd Fellows' Children's Home
Memories of the 1900 Lincoln Community High School,
including Fred Blanford's dramatic account of the lost marble
fountain of youth
A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of
Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era
The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of
The Festive 2003 Sesqui-centennial Celebration of
Lincoln, Illinois, including photos of LCHS Class of 1960
dignitaries & the Blanfords
Why Did the State Police Raid Lincoln, Illinois,
on October 11, 1950?
The Gambling Raids in Lincoln and Logan County,
During the Late Route 66 Era (1950-1960)
in this section tell about Leigh Henson's Lincoln years, moving away,
revisits, and career:
About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me
A Tribute to Lincolnite Edward Darold
Henson: World War II U.S. Army Veteran of the Battles for Normandy and
the Hedgerows; Brittany and Brest; and the Ardennes (Battle of the
For Remembrance, Understanding, & Fun: Lincoln
Community High School Mid-20th-Century Alums' Internet Community
(a Web site and
email exchange devoted to collaborative memoir and the sharing of photos
related to Lincoln, Illinois)
Leigh Henson's Pilgrimage to Lincoln, Illinois, on
July 12, 2001
Review of Dr. Burkhardt's William Maxwell Biography
Leigh Henson's Review of Ernie Edwards' biography,
Pig-Hips on Route 66, by William Kaszynski
Leigh Henson's Review of Jan Schumacher's
Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois
Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of
Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life
in this section are about the writing, memorabilia, and Web sites of
A Tribute to Bill and Phyllis Stigall:
Exemplary Faculty of Lincoln College at Mid-Twentieth Century
A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois
A Tribute to Robert Wilson (LCHS '46): Author of
Young in Illinois, Movies Editor of December Magazine,
Friend and Colleague of December Press Publisher Curt Johnson, and
Correspondent with William Maxwell
Brad Dye (LCHS '60): His Lincoln, Illinois, Web
including photos of many churches
Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois
Fikuarts of Lincoln, Illinois, including their
connections to the William Maxwell family and three generations of
family fun at Lincoln Lakes
Jerry Gibson (LCHS '60): Lincoln, Illinois,
Memoirs & Other Stories
Dave Johnson (LCHS '56): His Web Site for the
Lincoln Community High School Class of 1956
Sportswriter David Kindred: Memoir of His
Grandmother Lena & Her West Side Tavern on Sangamon Street in the Route
Judge Jim Knecht
(LCHS '62): Memoir and Short Story, "Other People's Money," Set in
Hickey's Billiards on Chicago Street in the Route 66 Era
William A. "Bill" Krueger (LCHS '52): Information
for His Books About Murders in Lincoln
Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories
Stan Stringer Writes About His Family, Mark
Holland, and Lincoln, Illinois
Thomas Walsh: Anecdotes Relating to This Legendary
Attorney from Lincoln by Attorney Fred Blanford & Judge Jim Knecht
Leon Zeter (LCHS '53): His Web Site for the
Lincoln Community High School Class of 1953,
including announcements of LCHS class reunions
(Post yours there.)
Highway Sign of
The Route 66
Association of Illinois
State Historical Society
Internet Explorer is the
only browser that shows this page the way it was designed. Your
computer's settings may alter the display.
April 24, 2004: Awarded "Best Web Site of the Year" by the Illinois State Historical
achievement: serves as a model for the profession and reaches a greater
Lights of the Lincoln Theater, est. 1923, Lincoln, Illinois
30. Neighborhoods with Distinction
street was exceptional. You could not possibly mistake Fifth Street
for Eighth Street . . . or Broadway for Pulaski Street, and no two
houses were exactly alike, either. Some of them were so original that
they always seemed to have something they wanted to say as you walked past:
perhaps no more than this, that the people who lived in them did not wish
they lived in Paris or Rome or even Peoria. What would be the point of
living somewhere you did not know everybody?"
Ancestors (1971), p. 189.
Street had the air of having been there since the beginning of time."
William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980), p. 22.
present-day Lincoln, it is fashionable to live clear out in the country,
surrounded by cornfields."
So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980), p. 25.
Lincoln, Illinois, offers the widest range of housing options in its history -- whether
apartments close to the "downtown" historic district, traditional neighborhoods, or new
developments in outlying areas.
Lincoln is especially
distinguished by the vintage residences of its traditional neighborhoods.
The rare picture postcards and other images on this page show the glory of 19th- and early-20th-Century houses
in Lincoln. Many of them remain today. For information about
active historic preservation in Lincoln, Illinois, use the link for lincolndailynews.com in Sources Cited below. On that page, scroll to
several articles with photos.
of the Vintage Houses That Distinguish Lincoln,
The images below show examples of various
architectural designs found in Lincoln's vintage houses. These images
do not include all of the architectural styles found in this city, and not
all of the structures shown below have survived.
Yet, many historic homes of various styles may be observed today -- Craftsman, Greek Revival,
Italianate, Second Empire, Spanish, Tudor, and Victorian (specifically, "stick" and
30.1: Colorized Picture
Postcard Showing Rider on White Horse, 1907,
Among Vintage Houses on Tremont Street
Red Brick Home on Picture Postcard, 1910
Ordinarily I have no clue about the ownership of houses seen in vintage
postcards of Lincoln. When I saw the picture postcard above, however, the corner house
looked familiar. I looked at the photos of several older houses
pictured in The Namesake Town: A Centennial History of Lincoln,
Illinois. There on page 39 is a cluster of six photos of houses,
and the one in the lower right corner is clearly the same as the red-brick
house above. The caption of the photo in The Namesake Town says this house had been owned by
James L. Goodnight and Wilbur Gullett.
In response to the above paragraph,
Stu Wyneken writes
"Thought I would let you know that Picture # 30.2: Red Brick Home of
Wilbur Gullett on Picture Postcard, 1910, in the neighborhoods section,
is not a picture of my grandfathers house, but rather a picture of the
Hartnell home which was located directly across the street from my
grandfather's. It was torn down in the late 1920's or early 1930's Three
homes stand on the lot now." Note: Mr. Wyneken passed away in
In March 2016 Ron J. Keller, associate professor
of history and political science at Lincoln College and former, long-time
director of its Lincoln Heritage Museum, kindly emailed me to say his family
now lives in a house that was built at the corner of Tremont and Kankakee
Streets, the site depicted above at 30.2 and described by Mr. Wyneken. At
Professor Keller's suggestion, I am adding his photo below, with his
description beneath the photo.
30.3: Home of the Ron J.
Keller's description: "Last fall my family and I moved into a new house
closer to downtown. We desired something with some historic character and
charm and something larger than we had. We found the house on 525 Tremont
Street known by the older locals as the 'Homer Harris house.' Built in 1937
by Art Gimbel, it is in my opinion one of the most beautiful homes in town,
and represents one of the most unusual forms of architecture in the city.
The architectural style is distinctively Tudor Style, though it is extremely
rare for a Tudor Style of that era to exhibit symmetry (as symmetry is more
reflective of the colonial revival style). It also is
unique in that it incorporates other architectural style elements in the
interior including Art Deco and Prairie Style. I think this house would be a
nice inclusion on your website, for reasons not only of the uniqueness of
the house itself, but also because it is on the exact spot which the
postcard on your site (which I attached) now resides." Professor Keller
can be reached at
He is also a published authority on Abraham Lincoln, and his new book
about Lincoln's time in the Illinois legislature is forthcoming in 2017. He
is a member
of the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association: http://www.abrahamlincolnassociation.org/.
30.4: Colorized Picture
Postcard Showing Union Street in 1910
Postcard of the Former Fogerty House in 1908
house was typical of the grand old houses of the early 20th Century. I
am unsure whether this house has survived into the 21st Century, but many
vintage residences have.
September 14, 1908, this picture postcard was mailed from Lincoln to Miss
Josephine Kelly of Peoria with the following message: "A little
remembrance from some Lincoln friends. Don't forget, Jo,
the interurban comes here now, making a delightful trip. Come over
sometime. Love from all." Signed L.C. Fogerty.
The Former John A. Lutz Residence
Fish, Illustrated Lincoln, 1916, no pages used. Fish's book
also has exterior and interior photos of the department store that Mr. Lutz
owned and operated in downtown Lincoln for fifty years. The store had
14,500 square feet of floor space. This house has survived.)
The Lutz house is featured in The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of
Illinois, 1987, which presents this description: "Built in 1898 by
John C. and Caroline C. Lutz. . . . the home was completed in time for
the wedding of their daughter Marian to Frank B. Gordon. . . it was built at
a cost of $5,000 on land once owned by Lincoln College. . . Lutz
owned a dry goods, carpet & millinery store at 517-519 Broadway.
Originally of the Shingle style -- 1880 to 1910. . . . identifying
features. . . hipped roof with cross-gambrel roof. . . polygonal tower, wall
extension. . . rearward recessed porch. . . . classical columns support the
front, partial porch. . . . ."
30.7: The Former Residence of F.W.
Becker, First National Bank Cashier
(Photo from Fish, Illustrated Lincoln, 1916. This residence has
The Former William Anderson Home
(Photo provided by the late Fred Blanford)
has demolished the Anderson house and replaced it with a Subway sandwich
Badger presents an artistic drawing of the Anderson house in his book titled
The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois (no pages used).
Badger offers the following history and description of the architecture:
1890. . . owned by William & Caroline Anderson. . . he came from Glasgow,
Scotland. . . . in 1849, he married Caroline C. Martin from Virginia.
. . . they moved to Logan County in 1864. . . ."
Folk style--1850 to 1890. . . . identifying features. . . gable-front &
wing. . . rusticated quoins. . . paired, segmental arched window. . . ."
Houses of Lincoln in the Childhood World of William Maxwell
In twelve short stories and five books, William Maxwell refers to various
houses that he knew as a child in Lincoln, mostly in the traditional neighborhoods. (Maxwell was born in 1908 and lived in Lincoln until about 1922.) Below I cite
many of these references, beginning with his parents' and grandparents'
houses and extending to the houses of family acquaintances and others.
Here, my intention in discussing Maxwell's house descriptions is to help
you understand the settings of his works situated in Lincoln, Illinois.
In turn, as you read these works, I hope you will better appreciate the
artistic role of setting in the author's portrayal of the people and culture
of Midwestern towns.
The Four Homes of William K.
Author William Maxwell's father owned
four houses in Lincoln at different times as well as at least two farms in Logan County.
After living in the home of his in-laws, the Edward Blinns, during the first year
of marriage, the author's parents, the William Keepers Maxwells, "bought a modest two-story frame house.
. . , a block from my Grandfather Blinn's. [Aunt] Annette
says that it had eight rooms, but that they were small. My father
wasn't going to make the mistake his father had of living in a house that
was grander than he could afford" (Ancestors, p. 179).
William Maxwell writes that many years later "walking past it I used to worry that it would not be there when the
time came to put up the plaque. I think I expected to be President of
the United States" (p. 180).
The second house owned by
William K. Maxwell, Sr., was the celebrated house depicted at right. It is the setting of
his son's novels titled They Came Like
Swallows (1937) and Time Will Darken It (1948), and the house is
referred to in several of his other works, including Ancestors
(1971), a family history.
The Maxwells were living
here when the mother, Eva Blossom "Blos" Blinn Maxwell (b. 1889)
succumbed to the Spanish flu on January 3, 1918, two days after giving
birth (in either Decatur or Bloomington, Illinois -- I'm not sure which at
present) to a third son,
Robert Blinn (So Long, See You Tomorrow, p. 7). Mr.
Maxwell soon afterward moved from this house that sadly reminded him of his dead wife,
completely disrupting his sons' lives. Yet, this house held fond memories for William Maxwell.
Contemporary View of the
Boyhood Home of
house continues as a private residence, and the owners graciously consented to
locating a historical plaque in their yard. Photo is from lincolndailnews.com,
August 17, 2002. Dedication of the commemorative plaque was August 24,
The Thomas Donalds had
moved next door to the senior William Maxwells (Ancestors, p. 185). William Maxwell wrote that Mrs.
Donald and his mother were best friends for many years ("A Final Report," p.
provides a three-page description of his boyhood home in Ancestors (pp.
185-188). The house had been owned by a prominent Judge Hoblit, who
"went bankrupt." This house was "almost directly across the street
from" the Blinns' house, where Maxwell's mother had grown up, so she was
very familiar with this house before it became her home. She
redecorated the house: "She couldn't
bear dark varnished woodwork, and had it painted white upstairs and down.
In the dining room the walls were dark green and the molding was black,
requiring coat after coat after coat of white enamel. It was the only
resistance the house put up. After that it was hers" (p. 186).
Maxwell writes, "I didn't distinguish between the house and her, any more
than I would have distinguished between her and her clothes or the sound of
her voice or the way she did her hair" (p. 187).
In Ancestors, Maxwell uses a long paragraph to describe the exterior
features of the property: the big yard, the "full-grown trees," "the wide comfortable
porch," the bay window with the bed of lilies of the valley under it, the
dining room window and the "huge white lilac bush" outside of it, the
trumpet vine by the back steps, and the grape arbor (p. 187).
The emotional attachment
Maxwell felt to this home and neighborhood was profound:
"when I was separated from it permanently, the sense of deprivation was of
the kind that exiles know" (p. 187). "During the whole of my childhood
I never thought it or said it or heard it without my heart responding, and
fifty years later it still does -- so much so that it is hard for me to
realize that for other people what the name suggests is probably something
quite ordinary. A quiet, tree-lined street in a small town shortly
before the outbreak of the First World War, is, in any event what it was" (Ancestors,
adulthood, Maxwell's infrequent homecomings to Lincoln were not complete without
a walk through his boyhood neighborhood: "When I go home, usually because of a
funeral, I always end up walking down Ninth Street. I give way to it
as if it was a sexual temptation" (So Long, See You Tomorrow, p.
The third house of
William Maxwell, Sr., was located in a subdivision that was new
in the 1920s. William Maxwell, Sr., and his second wife, Grace McGrath
Maxwell, built this house soon after their marriage and before the insurance
company he worked for promoted him and transferred him
to Chicago in approximately 1922. This house is part of the setting in So Long, See You
father and my stepmother had seen a stucco house in Bloomington that they
liked, and they got an architect to copy the exterior and then the three of
them fiddled with the interior plans until they were satisfactory. I
was shown on the blueprints where my room was going to be. In a short
time the cement foundation was poured and the framing was up and you could
see the actual size and shape of the rooms. I used to go there after
school and watch the carpenters hammering: pung, pung, pung, kapung,
kapung, kapung, kapung. . . " (So Long, See You Tomorrow, p.
25). As the house was being constructed, Maxwell and classmate Cletus
Smith played in it together and became friends. Cletus's
father's murder of Lloyd Wilson is the basis of the "creative memoir" titled
So Long, See You Tomorrow.
30.11: Home of William and
Grace McGrath Maxwell in 1922
(photo in Burkhardt, William Maxwell: A Literary Life, after p. 170.
See Works Cited for link to more information about this impressive biography.)
William Maxwell, Sr., had worked in Chicago for twenty years, "a detached retina brought his career to a
premature end. They moved back to Lincoln, to the same street. . . , but a different house" ("The Front and Back Parts of the House", p.
282). This house was the fourth in Lincoln owned by William Maxwell,
The Close Proximity of the
W.K. Maxwells' Home and the Edward Blinns' Home: Maternal Grandparents of
Homes of William K. and Blossom Blinn Maxwell, Sr. (far left), and
the Edward Blinns (right)
Home of the Robert Creighton Maxwells:
Paternal Grandparents of William Maxwell
From Mr. Robert Creighton Maxwell's law practice, he earned a respectable
income, and the family lived in a large house. There, they had challenging expenses. Mr. Maxwell argued
with his wife over her household expenditures when the annual bill came in
January from the A. C. Boyd Dry Goods Store.
Maxwell describes the house of his paternal grandparents: "All Middle
Western houses of that period were dark and gloomy, and I have no reason to
think that the house my grandparents built on Kickapoo Street was an
exception. I used to ride past it sometimes on my bicycle, but I was
never in it. It was large, for that time and that place, with a round
tower on one corner and spiderwebs of carpenter's lace all around and even
under the various porches.
From an old photograph, it appears that the
carpenter's lace and the lace curtains in the bay window were almost
identical. Driving past the house when he was an old man, my father
shook his head and remarked sadly, 'That fretwork cost eighty acres of the
finest land in Logan County'" (Ancestors, p. 144).
The Robert C. Maxwell Home at
503 N. Kickapoo St.
(Photo from Gleason, p. 187.
This house survives.)
"The house on Kickapoo
Street passed out of the family before I was born , but my Aunt
Annette spent a night there when she was a young woman and was outraged by
an electric bell that rang loudly all through the upstairs when it was time
to get up, and again when it was time to come hurrying to the table, where,
to her surprise, they had steak for breakfast. . . . It has occurred to me
that the electric bell may have served a purpose my Aunt Annette was not
aware of -- that it was a piece of ritual magic, intended to keep disaster
away from the house" (pp. 144-145).
The Robert Creighton
Maxwell house survives and is represented in The Badger Collection
Featuring Lincoln of Illinois with the following account:
"The home of Robert C. &
Margaret Maxwell. . . . Robert was an attorney. . . . their [grand]son,
William, was a writer for [the] New Yorker magazine. . . . his
first novel, They Came Like Swallows, was published in 1934. . . .
other residents include: Samuel M. & Flora Plaut. . . seller of
dry goods, cloaks, carpets & millinery at 530 Broadway (Plaut & Gerard). . .
also, [?] & Lena Bernstine. . . . he was the proprietor of the Lyric & Star,
also known as the Lyric Theatre at 119 S. Kickapoo (now the Lincoln
Theatre). . . . by the 1920s it was the home of George H. & Mary
Hubbard. . . . he was president of the Mt. Pulaski Grain Company. . .
. he was also associated with Hubbard Bros. Grain Co. . . . ."
"Queen Anne, 1880 to
1910 -- spindlework -- identifying features. . . . hipped roof with lower cross
gables. . . . recessed arch gable with ornate wood work. . . eave braces. .
. frieze panels. . . horizontal band of wood shingles between floors. . .
cutaway bay windows with corner brackets. . . round tower. . . gable dormer
which projects through the conical tower roof's cornice. . . round corner
turret with a bulbous roof. . . highly decorative Eastlake spindlework on
the porch supports. . . ."
The Maxwell Home on Union Street
(William Maxwell's paternal grandmother and aunt)
Following the death of
Robert C. Maxwell, his widow moved from the large
house on North Kickapoo Street to live with her son-in-law and daughter,
William Maxwell's Aunt Mabel, who lived on Union Street. Just as
Maxwell portrays his boyhood home as a personification of his
mother, he depicts the house on Union Street as a personification of its
Maxwell inhabitants. They are highly individualistic and religious,
and William Maxwell describes his beloved Grandmother Maxwell's
peculiarities in Chapter 12 of Ancestors, for example: her literal
mindedness and absence of humor (p. 198); her collection of "family heads in
black oval frames" (p. 196); and her "mishmash" of a scrapbook containing
news clippings about 19th-Century historical events, including Civil War
In Chapter 10 of Ancestors, Maxwell describes the peculiarity of the
Maxwell house on Union Street: "It is abundantly clear that the
carpenter who built the house was quite positive he didn't need any help
from an architect. Pigheadedly proceeding, he solved his problems as
he went, making the foundation too high, cutting off a corner here and
skimping there, and scratching his head when he found that he hadn't allowed
enough room for the stairs. Not being old enough to understand the
part money plays in human affairs, I assumed it was entirely from choice
that my aunt and uncle lived where they did, and, actually, I never heard
them express any discontent with their house, which was very like them.
But probably if they had been given a choice they would have preferred to go
on living in the house on Kickapoo Street, if only because from the front
windows you could see the Christian church" (pp. 169-170).
The house on Union Street personifies the religious views of this side of
William Maxwell's family. The "box-like" shape of the house (p. 168)
suggests the confining religious views of its occupants: "The house on
Union Street knew the Bible backwards and forwards, and could quote chapter
and verse to prove that dancing was wrong, in itself and because of what it
led to. So was playing cards for money. And swearing. And
drinking anything stronger than grape juice or lemonade. And spending
Sunday in any other way than going to church and coming home and eating a
big dinner afterward" (p.169).
Sometimes the religious discussions pulled other family members into this
house: William Maxwell writes that his father "remained on the outside
but was called in when things got out of hand. I myself was once
called upon to adjudicate an argument between my Aunt Maybel and my Aunt
Bert -- about whether the Oberammergau Passion Play was in Switzerland or the
Holy Land -- and so I have an idea of what heat they brought to bear on
matters of real emotional substance" (p. 175).
The Three Homes of the Thomas Donalds
In the Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln Illinois, David Alan
Badger identifies the house in 30.11 as the home of Thomas C. and Pearl
Donald, who were married in 1892. Badger says that by 1910 this house
was owned by Dr. F.L. & Lura (Colley) Hamil (he was a dentist).
The Donalds' second home was
apparently on Eighth Street. They were living there in approximately
1905-1909 when Author Maxwell's parents lived in their first home on that
street: "My father and mother had become intimate friends with a
somewhat older couple who lived next door to them on Eight Street" (Ancestors,
Maxwell writes that "soon after
[his parents moved to Ninth Street], Dr. Donald bought the Kings' house,
next door: Eighth Street was too far away. I was two years old
 when all this happened, my brother six or seven" (Ancestors,
The First Thomas Donald Home
The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois, 1987)
The first Donald
house survives and is represented in The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois,
1987, (30.11) with the following description:
1880-1910 -- spindle work. . . identifying features. . . hipped roof with
lower cross gables. . . wraparound porch. . . turned porch supports. . .
decorative wood shingles in the gables. . . horizontal band of wood shingles
between floors. . . second story porch. . . cutaway bay windows with
brackets. . . clapboard siding with corner boards. . . ."
Maxwell describes the Latham house at right: "facing the Christian
Church in Lincoln, across that little park with a bandstand in the center of
it, was the white clapboard mansion of the Honorable Robert B. Latham.
I remember it was
a very beautiful old house with slender posts supporting the upstairs
porches, shutters at all the windows, wooden balustrades here and there, and
a cupola. . . .
The second generation of
his descendants went through their inheritance so fast that gossip could
hardly keep up with them, and in the early 1920s his house was sold to a
real estate developer, a golfing companion of my father's, who tore it down
and put up a row of semi-identical bungalows" (Ancestors, pp.
The Robert B. Latham Home
North Kickapoo and Delavan
Streets across from Latham Park (19th-Century, demolished, site of
(Photo in Gleason, Lincoln:
A Pictorial History, p. 16)
The D.H. Harts, Sr., Home
Home of D.H. Harts, Sr., on Eighth Street, Where William Maxwell as a Child
(Photo provided by Dave Johnson, LCHS Class
several publications on the history of Lincoln, Illinois, but had never
seen a photo of the residence of D.H. Harts, Sr., and was unaware that one
even existed until Dave Johnson emailed me to say he had found an old
publication in his basement that contained numerous photos of buildings and
houses in Lincoln. I was pleasantly surprised to find the book
contains the above photo, which Dave was kind enough to email me.
The book with this photo was published in 1903 by the Lincoln Woman's Club
and is titled simply Views. A close look at the full-sized
photo shows streetcar tracks, and several sources verify that the streetcar
did indeed run on Eighth Street from Union to College Street.
30.17: William Maxwell's
References to the
Home of D.H. Harts, Sr., in Ancestors and So Long, See You
(Photo of Ozark violets in Leigh
Henson's backyard in Springfield, MO, 4-03)
David H. Harts, Jr., did eventually marry later in life (his 50s, I
believe). He married Florence Johnson, who taught music at Lincoln
College. Mr. and Mrs. Harts are seen in a photo at
34. A Tribute to the Historians
and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois. D.H. Harts, Jr.,
lived in a grand old house on Tenth Street, and as far as I know that house
remains. More information about D.H. Harts, Sr., and D.H. Harts, Jr., is
The Foley House: A
to Civic Leadership (on the National Register of
The Brainerd Home
The Brainerd home is cited in William Maxwell's "With Reference to an
Incident at a Bridge." In that story, Maxwell
describes Lincoln College biology Professor Chris Oglevee as his Boy Scout troop leader and
mentions that Oglevee lived in the Brainerd mansion and was like a son to Mrs.
Brainerd (All the Days and Nights,
p. 266). This picturesque house "was often used for social
gatherings of the Lincoln community and college" (Lindstrom and Carruthers,
Lincoln: The Namesake College, p. 75).
Artistic Drawing of the Former Brainerd Home by David Alan Badger
(From The Badger Collection Featuring
Lincoln of Illinois, 1987)
house survives. Artist-Author David Alan Badger describes the Brainerd
mansion (elliptical periods his): "Construction began in 1874. . . the
house was originally a square, hipped roof Italianate style home. . .
additions & remodelings were made during the 1880s & 1890s. . . the pillars
came from the old Springfield Marine Bank. . . this was the home of Benj. H.
& Ella (Williams) [sic] Brainerd. . . he was a large real estate owner in
Logan & Sangamon Counties. . . also, he was involved in banking under the
name Brainerd & Duston. . . he aided in organizing the Lincoln National
Identifying features. . . front gable that crosses into a
low-pitched hipped roof. . . fluted, classical columns with Corinthian
capitals. . . broken, pedimented entry with a fanlight & sidelights. . . (The
Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois, no page numbers used).
Dean Gillett Hill Family
Gillett Hill (1884--1962) was one of the best friends of William
Maxwell's father. Mr. Hill is favorably described in Maxwell's short
nonfiction narrative titled "My Father's Friends" (1984). Maxwell admits he
had known Mr. Hill "since I was a young boy, and never had a conversation
with him" until the day after Maxwell's father's funeral in
1958. Maxwell wrote, "Two of my father's friends were not well enough to
come to the funeral. . . . Dean Hill was a man my father went fishing with.
He was also a cousin of my stepmother. He had inherited a great many acres
of Illinois farmland, and he had a beautiful wife. Apart from a trip to
Biloxi in the dead of winter, they lived very much as other Lincoln people
of moderate means did."
surprised when his visit with Mr. Hill revealed he was an intelligent and appreciative
reader of books. Mr. Hill remarked that what interested him was "what he [the
writer] is carefully not saying, or saying and doesn't know that he is.
What his real position is, as distinct from the stated one. It keeps me
amused. All forms of deception are entertaining to contemplate, don't you
find? Particularly self-deception, which is what life is largely made up
of." Maxwell adds, "While living all his life in a very small Middle Western
town and keeping his eye on his farms, he [Mr. Hill] had managed to be aware
of the world outside in a way no one else there was. Or at least no one I
knew" (All the Days and Nights: The Collected Stories, NY: Vintage,
p. 272). Maxwell does not mention that the astute Mr. Hill had earned a law
degree from Harvard University.
Ancestors: A Family History (1971), William Maxwell describes the
fishing expeditions of his father, Mr. Hill, and another friend during their
retirement years. My guess is that the setting was Lincoln Lakes. "Dean Hill had a bad heart and wasn't allowed to row the boat, my father was
more than half blind, and the third man was deaf as a post. They took
a humorous pleasure in compensating for one another's physical deficiencies. When my father had a bite but couldn't see that his cork was bobbing wildly,
the other two would cry, 'Bill, you've got something on your line!' And when this crisis was passed, out would come the pint of whiskey. Sooner or later, the conversation always got around to a subject that both
Dean Hill and my father loved to talk about--the Gillett family lawsuit" (Ancestors,
p. 158). (For an account and photos of a Lincolnite gentleman in a business
suit fishing at Lincoln Lakes at mid-twentieth century, see images #6 and #7
and related text at
concerned the Gillett family's dispute over the inheritance of millions of
dollars from the vast agricultural empire that had been built by John D.
Gillett, one of the founding fathers of Lincoln, Illinois. Mr. Gillett was
known as "the Cattle King." This
dispute is an interesting story within the story of Maxwell's own family,
and I suggest you would enjoy reading this material and other accounts in Ancestors.
As an attorney and
businessman, Mr. Hill "was associated with the Logan County Title Company,
the Lincoln Savings & Loan, the Decatur Gravel Company. . . " (Badger,
The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois, no page).
(For information about the Logan County Title Company, see 19.
Mr. Hill was instrumental in helping with the repurchase of the Postville Courthouse site that prepared the way for the construction of its
replica in 1953. For an account this public service activity, see
The Story of
the Postville Courthouse Replica,
Tantivy, & Memoir of the Postville Park
Neighborhood in the Route 66 Era.
Mr. and Mrs.
John Dean Gillett Hill lived in a distinctive house on Lincoln Avenue--in
one of Lincoln's historic neighborhoods. (According to Badger, their house allegedly
was the first in Lincoln to have a basement dug by a "bulldozer.") The
Hills' house was one of two that his mother, Mrs. Katherine Gillett Hill
and he built. Her father, John D. Gillett, was one of Lincoln's founding fathers. Mr.
Hill and his wife, Irene (Harris), named their home Irendean--a compound of his name and
hers (Badger, no
page numbers used). Katherine Gillett Hill's adjacent home, also of
Spanish design, was named Suma Ray, meaning "perfect peace" in Spanish. Later, Suma Ray was the home of
Mr. Hill's sister, the faded socialite, eccentric Lemira Hunt (1891--1972).
30.19: Artistic Drawing
of Irendean by David Alan Badger
Irendean survives. In his book of artistic drawings, David Alan Badger depicts and describes Irendean and Suma Ray. He identifies the architectural style of both
"Spanish eclectic," a popular style from 1915 to 1940 (The
Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois, no page numbers used).
Originally, "both houses were pink stucco with blue tile roofs."
An article titled "Twenty Homes Featured on Local Tour" in
lincolndailnews.com (May 8, 200) dates the construction of Irendean and Suma
Ray to about 1927. "The balustrades and entrance door pillars were
carved on-site and designed to match the interior fireplaces."
Badger summarizes Irendean's "identifying
features [as]. . . low-pitched tiled roof. . . double-sash door which opens onto
balconies. . . ornamental iron window grilles. . . broken, pedimented door
surround. . . spiral columns. . . ."
The entrance and fireplace of Irendean were the
work of master stone carver Joseph Petarde of Peoria, Illinois.
Petarde was a vigorous craftsman whose work survives in Peoria (e.g., St.
Peter's Church, G.A.R. Building, and numerous monuments in Springdale
Cemetery) and such other central Illinois cities as Bloomington (Illinois
Wesleyan School of Music, harp and violin designs), Champaign (Huff
Gymnasium), Normal (old gym at Illinois State University), and Springfield (entrance building at
the Illinois State Fairgrounds). See complete list below on this page
following the images. "He might have disappeared from
memory except that his house attracted newspaper writers and photographers
when it was first completed in 1922. At that time the neighbors were
shocked and angry about the semi-nude figures at the porch corners, but
gradually they became accustomed to it." In Lincoln, one other
work by Petarde is a seated cat at a house once owned by Jack Harrison --
wherever that was/is. (Adelaide N. Cooley, "Joseph Petarde, Immigrant
Stonecarver," Outdoor Illinois, May, 1977, p. 39).
Home of John Dean Gillett Hill's Mother, Katherine Gillett Hill,
and Her Daughter, Lemira Hunt
30.20: David Badger's
Artistic Drawing of Suma Ray
Badger summarizes Suma Ray's "identifying features. . . parapeted walls with
coping. . . casement windows with round arches. . . walls clad with stucco.
. . the doors and windows are emphasized by spiral columns. . . decorative
window grilles of iron. . . broken, pedimented entry. . . this
style is rarely found outside of Florida & Southwestern United States. . .
." The drawing shows the east side of the house, which faces Irendean.
Irendean and Suma Ray are just two 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.
In her 1912 book titled The Part Taken by Women in American History
(The Perry-Nalle Publishing Co., Wilmington, Delaware), Mrs. John A. Logan
included a biographical sketch of Mrs. Gillett Hill, noting that Katharine
Gillett had been educated in a convent at Springfield, Illinois. Mrs. Logan
wrote: "At the death of her father, Mrs. Gillett Hill took entire charge of
her farming lands, not even requiring the assistance of an overseer. She has
for twenty years managed as capably and as systematically as any business
man her five thousand acres of farm land in and about Lincoln, Illinois,
having about fifty tenants under her supervision. She is a woman of varied
qualifications and interests, being artistic and musical, a splendid mother
and likewise is greatly interested in the woman suffrage movement. Farming
with her is not amateurish, and not the fad of a rich woman, but with Mrs.
Gillett Hill it is at once an art and a science, and a very remunerative
business, which has made her one of the best-known farmers in America. She
is none the less womanly for her business capabilities. From her childhood
she has been a fine horsewoman, and having been gifted with a beautiful
voice, she has done much charitable work with her musical voice. With her
fine intellect, she has become a writer of some note and is withal a
splendid entertainer, possessing great natural wit and repartee. She has
been much sought after in the social world. Mrs. Gillett Hill in the year
1910 purchased a charmingly artistic home in Washington, D.C., and this
home, once a studio, has proved to be one of the most unique and picturesque
residences in the city" (p. 895). I find no information explaining the exact
circumstances of Mrs.
Hill's move from Washington, D.C., to Lincoln, Illinois, where she managed
her farms and built Suma Ray on Lincoln Avenue in the late 1920s.
According to The
Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record (Vol. 7, No. 1, January 1929),
Lemira Gillett Hill (1891--1972) married US Army Lieutenant James Nichols Wynn McClure
of Kentucky in December 1917 at Washington, D.C. in her distinctive home at
2133 R. Street. The wedding announcement in the Washington Herald
(12-16-1917) describes the setting and bride: "a very large, artistic living
room . . . adorned with Christmas trees across the far end of the studio. .
. . The bride is a gifted musician: her voice is a fine one, and she is an
excellent pianist. Long before the craze of the ukulele she learned to play
that instrument in Hawaii, where she and her mother usually spend a portion
of each year. They have large fruit interests there." Lemira and James
McClure had a son
named John Dean Gillett McClure. In 1941, after spending summers in Lincoln,
he married during his senior year at Harvard University. I do not know about the fate of
Lemira's marriage to James McClure, and I have not researched the life of
her son or the story of Lemira's later marriage to a Mr. Hunt. Sometime
after Lemira's mother, Katherine Gillett Hill, passed in 1935, Lemira made
Suma Ray her home, after having lived in Washington, D.C.
The photo below shows a contemporary view of Suma Ray, Lemira's home. This
photo was taken by
fellow Linconite John Smock. His family lived on Lincoln Avenue, and he
kindly gave permission for use of the photo here.
30.21: Suma Ray on Lincoln
Avenue in Lincoln, Illinois
I am neither a professional historian--never taught history or earned
a living by publishing historical research--nor a genealogical researcher,
so my information about Lemira Hunt is limited. She was a "larger than life"
Lincolnite. I became aware of her when I was a teenager hanging out at the
Dial and Jones Texaco gas station at Fifth and Union Streets in Lincoln.
driven by a black chauffeur, on Union Street headed to and from the
neighborhood of the Catholic churches, just a block south of that
intersection. The rumor was that she rode in the back seat sometimes naked. From my
view on the gas station driveway, I tried
but could never see well enough into the vehicle to know. Another rumor I
heard was that the physical intimacy between Mrs. Hunt and her chauffeur was
more advanced than that of the main characters in Driving Miss Daisy.
As a teenager,
I always had the impression that Mrs. Hunt was going (then clothed, I would
expect) to church as a good Catholic. More than a half
century later, I read posts on Facebook that said she went to this part of
town to harass students attending St. Pat's and St. Mary's Catholic grade schools.
On Facebook Nancy Kleinman wrote that when she was a kid on the playground,
Lemira would "yell stuff like 'to hell with the pope' or 'down
with the Pope'." The reason for Lemira's religious outrage is unclear,
perhaps related to her family's membership in the Episcopal Church. As an infant, Lemira Katharine Gillett was baptized at the
Chapel of Saint John Baptist in Elkhart Cemetery, Elkhart, Illinois (Journals
of the Special Synod and the Synod of the Holy Catholic Church in the
Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, 1892, page 36). Her baptismal site is
now known as John the Baptist Chapel and is affiliated with the Episcopal
Lemira Gillett Hill
graduated from Miss Chamberlain's School in Boston. The image below, showing
Miss Hill as a thoughtful reader, appears at Find a Grave:
That entry credits the Washington, D.C. Evening Star, 9-2-1916, as
the source, which only says: "Mrs. Katharine Gillett
Hill and Miss Lemura [sic] Gillett Hill, who are in Washington for a
few days, stopping at the Lafayette, spent the past summer at Narragansett
Pier and Newport. They are now en route to the Lindens, Mrs. Gillett Hill's
farm in Lincoln, Ill., where they will spend the early autumn, returning
here for the winter."
30.22: Miss Hill as a Young
Lemira Gillett Hill Hunt was proud of her grandfather as one of the three
founders of the First Lincoln Namesake Town. She wrote an account of the
town's founding in which she credits her Grandmother
Lemira Louise Parke Gillett as the one who originated the idea of
naming the town for Mr. Lincoln. Mrs. Hunt's credibility as a
historian, however, is undercut by the inaccurate statement that implies the town
was founded on land owned exclusively by her grandfather [one of three who
had invested in that real estate], and her account of
the town's layout is goofy, whether she was being serious or whimsical:
"My Grandfather John Dean
Gillett hired the then unknown Abe Lincoln (a 'new young man' from Kentucky)
to plat (in 1853) and incorporate (in 1857) a town on land he owned so that
the freight trains would stop to load his shorthorn cattle. Lincoln, who was
a lawyer, and my grandfather rode horseback 20 miles north from Springfield
to spend the night in grandfather's farm home. My grandmother was enchanted
with the courteous and witty guest and said, "John, why not name the town
for that nice young man?" The next morning they rode out about 10 miles.
Grandfather and Mr. Lincoln stepped off the blocks for the proposed town--so
many paces to a block. Lincoln was tall and grandfather was short--that's
why there is a disparity in street block lengths here today. Farmers
gathered around on the day of the christening. Lincoln chose a ripe
watermelon from a wagon, smashed it over the wheel of a spring wagon, and
christened the town. This was the first town ever named for Lincoln--by his
consent, and long before he became famous."
Source: Illinois. Illinois Towns, from the files of the Lincoln Financial
Foundation. (For information about the Gillett family home near Elkhart, Tantivy,
see 2.8 and related text--including the chainsaw massacre of its logs--at
Mrs. Hunt had inherited land in and near Lincoln,
including some of the acreage obtained by the Logan County Board to build
its airport and the thirty acres obtained by the District 303 Board of
Education used to build its 1959 Lincoln Community High School at the east
end of Wyatt Avenue. She received $45,500 for these thirty acres. She also
owned a "cottage" on Cottonwood Lane at Lincoln Lakes. According to a report
in the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph (2-24-1954), city and rural fire
departments were called to Mrs. Hunt's cottage to extinguish a roof fire,
which caused little damage.
Mrs. Hunt apparently kept close track of her various properties. According
to a report in the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph (10-18-1949) tilted
"Woman Asks Court to Order Line Removed," she filed a "suit for ejectment
and $10,000 damages . . . in circuit court Saturday . . . against the
Central Illinois Illinois Electric and Gas Company. The plaintiff alleges
the utility company has been using right of way for a power line on her farm
at Amarilla, northeast of Lincoln, unlawfully since 1940 and asks that the
line be withdrawn."
The next section
consists of anecdotes about Mrs. Hunt's peculiarities. Local eccentrics are
sometimes the target of pranksters. The following is a news report from the
Bloomington Daily Pantagraph (12-25-1954) titled "42 Windows in
Lincoln Broken": "Police Chief Earl Minder today was investigating the
smashing of 42 windows in the home of Mrs. Lemira Hunt, 119 Lincoln Ave., by
two 7-year-old boys Wednesday night. The youngsters admitted the vandalism
but would give no reason for stoning the house. They said they tossed rocks
through the windows of one side of the house about 5 p.m. and returned about
7:00 p.m. to break windows on the other side. Neighbors heard the noise
during the second attack and notified police. The boys said they had not
entered the house and used rocks found in the yard. Mrs. Hunt was away from
home, spending the summer at Mackinac Island, Michigan. Chief Minder
estimated the damage at more than $400, and the parents have agreed to pay
Anecdotes About Lemira Hunt Posted by Lincolnites on Facebook Testify to Her
John Smock, son of the
popular LCHS band director Bill Smock (Lincoln's own "Leader of the Band"),
posted the above color photo of Suma Ray (30.21) on Facebook early in
October 2016, noting that "every town has an eccentric person or two living
in it. We just happened to live on the same street as one of them." John's
post sparked a series of comments. I chose the nuggets below, with minimal
editing, from those posts. Most likely,
Mrs. Hunt's peculiarities are related to the difference between her
youthful, privileged life as socialite and her later, less-glamorous life in
a Midwestern, small, conservative community.
"One Christmas, she
gave us a record album of dogs barking Christmas carols." --Mark Hanger
"We moved to Lincoln
Avenue in 1963. When the mail arrived, we received a letter from Mrs. Hunt.
Word for word, this was the conclusion to her letter: "I am 150 years old.
Please keep your children in your yard and I will keep my dogs in mine." By
the way, we never received any Christmas gifts from her. I loved reading her
rambling, alcohol-influenced letters to the editor in the Courier.
Charles Bukowski had nothing on her when it came to 'spirited.' The UPS
truck would make regular deliveries of whiskey directly to her home every
Thursday at 4:00 p.m. sharp." --John Smock [Ref:
"I delivered the
Courier on Lincoln Ave. 1946-48 and Lemira was one of my customers.
When I collected on Sat. morning, she would come to the door in her
negligee. They were the 1920's style, with fur like collars. She would also
walk her dog on Lincoln Ave, wearing only her negligee. The dog leash in one
hand and a martini in the other. Sometimes the butler/chauffeur would answer
the door, but Lemira always paid me, one week at a time." Walter Bud Miller
"It was like living
across the street from Cruella Deville [Cruella de Vil]
--remember when we dared each other to right on the sidewalk right in front
of her house so we could see in-I did see in once and it scared the crap out
of me. And remember those bats everywhere--they were only fruit bats and I
love them now but OMG!" -- Lou Awe [Ref:
"When Connie Dehner
and I were young Girl Scouts and selling cookies door to door, we got up
enough nerve to knock on her door. When she came to the door (all kinds of
scary noises including her boxer dogs), we just turned and ran! I still
remember that like it was yesterday." --Becky Tesh Werth
"I grew up 1 block
away on Lincoln Ave. We used to harass Mrs. Hunt from across the street. She
had a huge spotlight she kept in the upstairs center window. She would hear
us chanting her name outside and she would point that spotlight out at us
across the street hiding behind trees etc." --Eric Taylor
"Mrs. Hunt had a polar
bear rug in the entry room ,that thing was huge." Troy Hanger
"Lemira and Mrs.
[John Dean Gillett] HILL
[sisters-in-law who lived in adjacent houses] had a fight, and Mrs. Hill got
so mad she took the walk way out between their 2 houses and planted bushes
so Lemira could not walk straight through to Mrs. Hill's house anymore."
"My dad was a mailman
and once told me of a substitute mailman accidentally delivered some of Mrs.
Hillís mail to Lemira. The next day, the regular mailman got chewed out by
Lemira for delivering that B_TCHES mail to her!" --Nancy Kleinman
here are correct; I lived one block down Lincoln Ave. When she walked her
Corgies, she took Kleenex, wiped their little butts & dropped the Kleenex on
the spot. ONE MORE BIGGIE!! She was a good customer of ours [Gossett Cleaners
& Furriers, then located at 114 S. Chicago St.]; had several furs, in the day when they were not out of floor. We
had an insured & climate controlled vault built to store furs, etc. Early
May one year I called her to make sure we did not run out of room before
getting her FURS. 'Lemira, I just wanted to make sure we had your furs,
because the vault is getting full.' Lemira -'Oh don't worry . . . this year,
I put them in my deep freeze chests.' AND SHE DID JUST THAT." --Bill
nonagenarian "larger than life" "true Lincolnite at heart," who could write
a book on the eccentric Lincolnites he has known.]
Robert "Bob" Olson wants to set the record
straight to offset the negative impression of Lemira Hunt reflected in the
above Facebook comments. On Facebook he posted:
"Mrs. Lemira Hunt was a nice person who had to be somewhat guarded because
of her wealth. Overall, she gave my Dad his first big business opportunity
(he was her farm manager 1964-1972). I have read enough correspondence
between Mr. J.D.G. Hill and his sister to assure you that Mrs. Hunt was
almost entirely guided and taught about being a landlord by her brother (who
was, of course, a leading attorney himself).
I do not know if Mrs. Hunt had anything to do with the farm business before
her mother's death in 1935, but I have seen a series of letters dated 1940
between Mr. Hill and Mrs. Hunt, and you can clearly see that he is trying to
teach his sister the fine details of managing a large farm estate. Mr. Hill
did a lot of work for his mother, Katherine Gillett Hill, from 1910 until
her death and he was expert in such matters." Bob also reports: "Mr. J.D.G.
Hill must have had one of the finest educations of any person, in any era,
who hailed from Logan County, Illinois. His secondary education included The
Coulter School in Chicago, Williams College (BA 1907) at Williamstown,
Massachusetts, and the Law School at Harvard University (Bachelor of Laws,
1910). Harvard Law is impressive, but Williams College is perhaps America's
finest private college, then and now. Mr. Paul Gleason has called Mr. Hill
"one of the most important Logan County persons whom you've probably never
heard of." Indeed one of Mr. Hill's civic-minded projects was helping to
acquire the Postville Courthouse block so that the courthouse replica could
be built. As I reposted on another page in this website: "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
Joseph Petarde's Art That Eventually Played in Peoria (but would it ever
in Lincoln, Illinois?)
The work of stone carver Joseph Petarde on Irendean and Suma Ray helps
to make them two of the most architecturally distinct structures in Lincoln.
My curiosity about Petarde led me to search for the home he built for his
family in Peoria, Illinois. It took me a while to find the house in a
working class neighborhood, but I was happy when I did, and in 2003 I took these
photos with permission of the owner (a Petarde descendant). The owner told
me that various scholars of architecture, art, and photography have made
similar requests over the years.
Atlas's Hands Hold Up His Loin Cloth While His Shoulders Support the Porch
Front Porch Detail
Semi-Nude Female on the Side of the Front Porch
Note: Mr. Petarde was attempting to be discreet because
his semi-nude ladies are not conspicuous from the street.
For information about Mr. Petarde's statue of Abraham Lincoln named The
President, which was beheaded and buried in an unmarked grave in Lincoln
Park in Springfield, Illinois, access
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.
William Maxwell: A Literary Life. Urbana, IL: The University of Illinois
Press, 2005. For information about this well-researched biography, including
how to order it, see
Cooley, Adelaide N. "Joseph Petarde, Immigrant Stonecarver," Outdoor
Illinois, May, 1977.
Gleason, Paul. Lincoln,
Pictorial History. St. Louis, MO: G. Bradley Publishing, 1998. Material from Mr. Gleason's books is copyrighted with all rights
Gleason's material used in this Web site 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,
Illinois: 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
Historic preservation in Lincoln, Illinois:
Maxwell, William. Ancestors: A Family History. NY:
Vintage Books, 1971.
__________ . "My Father's Friends." All the Days and Nights:
the Collected Stories. NY: Vintage Books, 1995.
William Maxwell's works are available at
Email comments, corrections, questions, or suggestions.
Also please email me if this Web site helps you decide to visit Lincoln,
"The Past Is But the