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"

link to homepage of Mr. Lincoln, Route 66. . .

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

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

 Testimonials and More Memories of Lincoln, IL

Newspaper Feature Stories About this Web Site    

Lincoln Courier's Capturing Lincoln on the Web by Nancy Rollings Saul

Lincoln Daily News.com
's Websites: Gateway to the World by Jan Youngquist

Peoria Journal Star's "Lincoln online" by John O'Connell

Mailed and Emailed Complimentary Messages (scroll to near bottom for most recent)

"Dear Leigh, to paraphrase A.E. Housman a bit, 'Terence, this is splendid stuff.' You don't have to be a history buff -- which I am -- to enjoy the smooth flow and fascinating tidbits you've come up with . . . .  And just so you know I'm not stretching any truths, I am known as a cold-hearted S.O.B. when it comes to literary stuff. Which is why I loathe anything having to do with that sappy crap . . . ."

     -- Unsolicited testimonial for this Web site from William Childress, retired columnist of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, author of three books, 30+ stories, 200+ published poems, and freelance writer (from email correspondence, March, 2003). He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 and 1986 (dust jacket of Out of the Ozarks).

     "A marvelous job--well written, thoughtful, telling. I will be re-reading and re-reading it. Other towns should be so lucky. Very impressive!"

     -- Unsolicited testimonial from Curt Johnson, friend and colleague of Lincolnite Author Robert Wilson (LCHS Class of 1946), editor and publisher of December magazine and December Press since 1962, novelist (Song for Three Voices), nonfiction writer (Wicked City Chicago), and editor of milestone literary publications, including Green Isle in the Sea: An Informal History of the Alternative Press, 1960-85 (from letters to Leigh Henson, November and December, 2003).


Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 3:06 PM

Subject: Re: New Web site about Lincoln, IL

Dear Leigh,

You are absolutely correct to point out that your website supports the mission of the Chamber. Thank you for providing positive, informative stories and terrific historic photos about our great community! I have a modest collection of historic postcards myself, so it was fun to see others.

Stop in and see us when you're here on a visit! Again, thanks for sharing your e-scrapbook.


Bobbi Abbott


>===== Original Message From "Richard Sumrall"
<richards@alpha1.rpls.lib.il.us> =====

>Dr. Henson,
>My apologies for not contacting you sooner.
>I want to congratulate you on the outstanding web site, Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois.  This is going to give our library a tremendous advantage when working with out of town visitors and requests for information.  Our intent is to add a link to your web site on our web site, www.lincolnpubliclibrary.org , and spread the word about Lincoln, Illinois.  I had hoped to contact you with the news that this link has been completed but I'm still working with our web site host.  When this link is established I will contact you immediately.  In the meantime, congratulations again and thank you from all of us in Lincoln for your hard work on behalf of our community.
>Richard Sumrall, Library Director
>Lincoln Public Library District
>725 Pekin Street
>Lincoln, Illinois  62656
>217-732-6273 (fax)


Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 11:43 AM

Subject: Re: [route66] New IL Route 66 Web site


Now that is a major and exceptional undertaking. I'm going to print it out
and read every page.


David Knudson, Executive Director
National Historic Route 66 Federation
P.O. Box 1848 / Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
Phone 909-336-6131 / Fax 909-336-1039
E-Mail national66@national66.org
Web Site http://www.national66.org


Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 12:22 PM

Subject: Wow! What a site!


All I was doing was looking for a place to bring my tour groups to for lunch in Lincoln and found your site!  It is so perfect so now I want to know more because we are coming from OKC where we will be visiting some Route 66 sites.

Where can we stop for lunch for 47 people?  And is there anyway we can spend a little time to tour past some sites?


Lois Steliga, President
Travel America
8719 W. Greenfield Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53214
PH: 414-258-4886
EFAX: 262-364-2267
FAX: 414-258-2945
Website: www.travelamericatours.com


----- Original Message -----

From: "Taryn K. Loftness" <tloftnes@lstc.edu>

Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 4:12 PM

Subject: lincoln visit


This website was useful in the planning of our trip. We will take route 66 down to Springfield and this looks like a town I want to visit. I am originally from WA state (moved to Chicago) and know nothing about the midwest- this will help add to my midwest flavor for sure. Taryn


----- Original Message -----

From: Fikuarts

Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 6:38 PM

Subject: Email address

Dr. Henson,

I appreciate the time you've spent on this project.  I think it will be a great resource for all current and former Lincoln residents.  Please add my email address to your list.  Could it be ordered more or less by graduating class?

I haven't viewed the entire site as yet.  Is there an area where photos could be uploaded or shall we send them to you to upload?  I'm sure I have memorabilia at my parent's home in Lincoln that might be of interest.

Thanks again,

J Richard Fikuart

Brighton, Iowa


----- Original Message -----

From: Sheryl

Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2003 6:33 AM

Subject: Good Morning

Hope you've had a good week. Just wanted to let you know several at work brought in the article that was in the paper [Courier] to work last week. Someone put it on the board since there are so many that went to LCHS that work at MII. Some of the younger ones had a million questions. Seems we must have had many more good high school memories than some of them had. My kids were all involved in sports etc. and daughter in cheerleading so they did have some good times. Times sure have changed. In talking with the younger ones, they found it hard to believe that we had the open lunch hour at the old high school. Had a lot of fun in that hour.


-- Original Message -----

From: Joyce Gibson

Sent: Friday, July 04, 2003 2:07 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 7-4-03

Hi Leigh!

I'm so impressed with this web site.  It's like reading about my childhood.  And seeing Washington School again was such a treat.  I felt so sad then it was torn down and turned into a parking lot.  Just like that old song back in the 60's - 70's "Paved Paradise, Put Up A Parking Lot."  Although Washington School wasn't Paradise, it was 'home' for a lot of us.  I flew up from a Blue Bird to a Brownie on those old cracked steps.

Your picture is so very professorial!  I love it!  Thanks for all your work that you do for us (and I'm sure for yourself as well).



----- Original Message -----

From: Jim Knecht

Sent: Friday, July 04, 2003 3:00 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 7-4-03

A truly remarkable accomplishment--a rich trove of memory and history--thank you for the hours of pleasure I look forward to--a great web site.  JIM KNECHT



----- Original Message -----

From: sunglow

Sent: Friday, July 04, 2003 6:22 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 7-4-03

Leigh...thanks for posting the schools in Lincoln.  I think you are right about Monroe....I lived just a couple of blocks from Monroe and attended that school through 6th grade.  Funny... I don't remember it looking as big as the picture portrays it.  A nice look back....Nancy Bauer Ireland '58


----- Original Message -----

To: ""Leigh Henson"" <leighhenson@sprintmail.com>

Sent: Friday, July 04, 2003 8:57 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 7-4-03


----- Original Message -----

From: "Les Van Bibber" <ljvanbibber@hotmail.com>

Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 1:37 PM

Subject: Lincoln Courier

> Leigh,
> Congratulations regarding coverage and location of your web site , your  photo and some information regarding the contents of the web site. This article appeared on the front page of today's Lincoln Courier.
> I want to thank you again for your tireless effort in providing updates to the LCHS alumni that have signed on to your site. I never take such work or  action for granted, instead I feel honored to have access to the timely information.
> Please keep on, keeping on.
>Les Van Bibber

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 5:01 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 7-4-03

Dear Leigh:

I've been visiting your new website, and its great!!!  Thanks for the acknowledgement. 

Kindest regards,



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 7:39 PM

Subject: Lincoln postcards

Just received your email.  Enjoy your web site......Great Job!  I have been collecting Lincoln post cards

for about 30 years and have approximately 190.  Some date back to 1906.  Some are of street scenes, schools, buildings, parks, college, state school, and etc. Would you be interested in putting some of these on your web site? I will be in Lincoln the last weekend of August.

Ron Lessen 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, July 07, 2003 4:33 PM

Subject: Your new "site"

        Just got my first gander at your new labor of love.  I'm sure you're getting a lot of congratulatory mail so I'll keep this short and get back to you later.  You are to be congratulated for such a hearty effort!  I haven't had but a moment to look around, but I can see many tell-tale signs of the staggering amount of effort you have put into this site; so many things to "see and do".  I want to start at the beginning, but can't help but jump around.  Thanks, Leigh, for your talent, for our common interests, and for your Spartan work ethic.

Appreciatively, Bob  


----- Original Message -----

From: R Norton

Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 1:01 PM

Subject: Re: New Lincoln Web site

Hi Leigh.  Yes, I will be more than happy to add a link on my page at

(under Lincoln Links).

The site looks terrific!  Congratulations on a job well done.


Roger Norton


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 11:00 AM



Since you have included me in the periodic e-mailings of Lincolnian things, I have been enjoying the stories and pictures very much.  I do get back to Lincoln about twice a year as I still have relatives there.  But, alas it has changed, as we all have, and the new Web Site is a tremendous leap forward.

Congratulations on a job well done, and thanks so much for all the hard work and time you have invested to make it what is.

Again, my new address is  

Thanks again.

Hal Loomis, Class of '58


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 1:11 PM

Subject: better late than never


I looked at the web site the day it arrived and jotted down a message put it in the draft folder and did not send it.  I'm sorry I did not give you more immediate feed back.  I've been back to site several times and I not sure when I'll get through it all.  I seem to get stuck enjoying various sections.

I have just finished my first “glimpse” at your new web site.  I had to jot down some words which describe what I was feeling when I exited the site the first time.  I think blown away, consumed, proud, inspired, impressed, and just a little emotional would be good for starters.

I did not expect the breadth and depth of your research.  You mentioned there were many contributors, but only those of us who have “played” with the development of web pages can truly appreciate the personal involvement of this undertaking.

The City of Lincoln will soon celebrate a birthday.  I’m sure there will be a special effort by some of us to “come home" after the resurrection of so many memories..  I would like to propose that we find a time and a location for “Leigh’s Legion” of e-mailers to meet and greet sometime during the festivities.  Many of us have enjoyed the electronic interaction the past couple of years and I believe such a gathering would also be enjoyable.

 I want you to know that I very much appreciate the personal acknowledgments mentioned in the site.

Congratulations and  thanks again,

Dave Johnson


----- Original Message -----

From: tjb_66

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 1:12 PM

Subject: [route66] Re: New IL Route 66 Web site

This site is INCREDIBLE!!


----- Original Message -----

From: "1Cheryl Nowka" <cnowka@earthlink.net>

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 2:19 PM

Subject: your site..!

> Hi..
>     Thank you for the wonderful web tour.  What detail and how easy to navigate and find more info. I will link to this at my resource page if > you don't mind?
> <http://route66clicks.com/8states.html>
> hugs..
> Cheryl

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2003 12:01 PM

Subject: Re: Lincoln, IL


Thanks for the email--thanks for your efforts on Lincoln web page & adding me to your contacts--



----- Original Message -----

From: GMcKinney

Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2003 12:24 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 7-19-03


Once again, you have put out a winner... I have learned so much and so many memories have been awakened through your untiring and accurate writing about Lincoln and Lincolnites...... I am one, most likely of many, whom think that anything written by you, book or otherwise, would be a bestseller....

With much admiration,

G. McKinney (former Marine, Diplomat, hostage and kidnapped) (now retired in South Texas on the Mexican border) class of 59....



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 7:55 AM

Subject: RE: LCHS, 7-19-03

Leigh - Thanks for the update. Your project is awesome, and with the synergy it has created, can become truly phenomenal!

-Nancy Saul


Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 1:48 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 7-19-03


I've been meaning to write--Congrats the site is excellent.


----- Original Message -----

From: "blanford" <blanford@abelink.com>

Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 5:19 AM

Subject: site

> Have been watching the "counter" (in case it does what I think it does) and am pleased with the "increase."  I did take the time to forward  a link to a few dozen folks in my address book that I do not ordinarily correspond with--but ones I thought might be interested in the link.  Three took the  time to send what I considered to be sincere positive responses.  While it might be my imagination--it seems to have worked a little extra bump on the counter--and that may have even been disproportionate to the number contacted--except to the extent they may have forwarded it on to other Lincolnites in their address books.  No wish to "steal your thunder" as I am assuming many that you have already contacted have been forwarding > similarly.
> I believe interest will continue to grow.  Kudos on a job well > done.           fred


----- Original Message -----

From: "Vic Gibson" <v52i29c@mindspring.com>

To: "Leigh Henson" <leighhenson@sprintmail.com>

Sent: Monday, August 11, 2003 7:07 AM

Subject: opus

> Hi Leigh,
> First, I wanted to say congrats on your "magnum opus"  - I am impressed, it's quite a site to see.(excuse the bad language)
> Anyway, I promised my sister Mary I would scan this pic and send it... you may recognize the 'players' unposed and unassuming as they are.
> Also, I'm attaching something I saw in the paper the other day, small world....
> regards,
> Vic


Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 9:11 AM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 8-11-03: Fw: ...and our walls (and halls) came tumbling down!


You've done a fantastic job with this website.  I thoroughly enjoy reading the historical materials especially.  There is so much to be found on this site, that it will take some time to get through it all!  I have also shared the one email with a co-worker who graduated from Lincoln College.  He fell in love with Lincoln while attending there.

Keep the good "stuff" coming, Leigh.


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2003 9:09 PM

Subject: Re: [Illinois-Route66] New Web Site Covering Rte. 66 at Lincoln, IL


That is a great site! you could have provided the complete URL in the original message. I did go to this group's home page and saw that you put the URL in the Subject line.

As an educated person who has done lots of research and one who believes in properly footnoting sources with correct citations, I think you are doing a fantastic jobs.

I find Abraham Lincoln and his complete life story fascinating. I look at some of his life a little differently than the average person does; but, I won't say exactly why here. But, it has to do with his personality, his friendships, his relationships, and the psychological aspects of it and some things that I have read in various sources at the local public library.

Keep up the good work. Oh, I used to be an educator, too. But, that was in languages and in art.


Joe Allen Doty

Oh, I do have some Illinois roots. My grandfather, Lewis Doty, was born in Peoria. Never did get to go there, maybe someday before I get too old I will. He came to Indian Territory before Oklahoma was a state. He lived to be 88 and I am almost 61. Hope to live that long, too.


Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 11:49 AM


Hi Leigh,

Please add my email address to the list of LCHS graduates.  I attended the school from 1953 to 1957 and graduated, I believe, in the last class from the so-called "old building."  My father, George Kriviskey, was principal from 1953 through 1958 and was instrumental in the bringing the then "new" high school to fruition.

Your "web" book is delightfully done and a treat to read.  Any thoughts of publishing this, or something like it, in an old-fashioned, 20th century print format?

Bruce Kriviskey, LCHS Class of 1957

Falls Church, Virginia


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 11:50 PM

Subject: (no subject)

Leigh i want you to know i graduated in 1959  from lincoln community high school in
lincoln illinois  my name is robert hoffman my email address is biggn1@aol.com. the website is  awesome brings back memories  of  lincoln illinois  and  the city .i like the website  very much .    bob hoffman


Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2003 2:00 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 10-18-03 (Literary Lincoln, IL)


    You do a swell job with your website!!!

Rhoda Holland

Original Message From John Thudium <thudium@optonline.net> =====

Dear Dr. Henson,

My name is John Thudium and I am Jim Thudium's nephew, and Vic and Gerry's grandson; my father was Dave Thudium (Jim's older brother) who unfortunately passed away in 1988 from lung cancer. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed stumbling across your website ("Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois"), and how much I appreciated your thorough and -- obviously -- painstakingly compiled history of Lincoln. I never actually lived in Lincoln (I grew up in Connecticut, where I still live today), but we visited regularly throughout my childhood and that warm little midwestern community -- and all of the folks there who knew my dad's family -- have always had a special place in my family's hearts. It's obvious from your efforts and the memories you share that you too have a particular fondness for the town, and the years you spent growing up there.

I really enjoyed your mix of historical facts, past and present photos, and your own personal experiences growing up there. Living in the northeast, my dad always looked back on his memories of growing up in
Lincoln with great fondness, and truly missed living there; he always had stories similar to yours about what it was like there back then, with a similar cast of characters that included guys like Gene Leisman,
Brewster Parker, Paul Dooley, Jerry Alberts, etc. He was about six years older than my uncle Jim (and I assume you as well), so you may or may not recognize the names.

I especially appreciated your anecdotes that included memories of my uncle as a young -- let's say -- colorful character in Lincoln's history, and your own past. You definitely captured his spirit, and I
laughed out loud when I read those stories. He currently lives in Springfield with his (third) wife Marje, and has two daughters and a son in various parts of the country. . . .  He is the only living member of my dad's family, as my grandparents have been gone for many years (my grandmother died in 1975 and my grandfather died in 1985) as has my dad, and I think he would have really enjoyed being mentioned in your memoirs. I look forward to sharing them with his kids.

I also appreciated the several references to my grandparents and Lincoln Office. Unfortunately we were forced to sell the company immediately following my father's passing, but it continues to thrive under it's current ownership; unfortunately it's ties to Lincoln and the people from Lincoln who helped create and build the business are merely a nod in it's history. Regardless, it's nice that you remembered my grandparents and their place in Lincoln's past. You also mentioned some of my favorite spots in Lincoln that I too have fond memories of, like The Tropics, and The Court Yard (ex-Blu-Inn; I remember it as The Heritage Inn); incidentally my grandfather co-owned these properties with a business partner along with a few other places, most of which have since been sold off. But among the few remaining properties still co-owned under my grandfather's estate is the "Court Yard" property. . . .

Anyway, you did a wonderful job in creating an intimate look at Lincoln's history and how the town affected your life. Thanks again for including my uncle and grandparents and for sharing your experiences. Your site has allowed me the opportunity to share my own memories of Lincoln and my dad's family with my wife, and to be able to show her photos of some of the places that are significant in my own family history. I plan to capture some of the pages so I can share them with my 11 month old daughter when she gets older.

I'd love to hear any other memories of my uncle you might have, and of any other folks from Lincoln we may have in common if you ever have some time to share them. Feel free to drop me a line at this e-mail
address any time.

Best Regards,
John Thudium


Message -----

From: Jack Bingham

Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 4:04 PM

Subject: Re: Voice(s) from your past

Hi Leigh,      

 I have seen your web site and commend you for all your work, it is very well done and certainly brings back a lot of memories for all who see it.        

    Best Wishes to you and your family.   Jack

----- Original Message -----

From: "Tom Flasch" <tjflasch@att.net>

To: "LeighHensonSMSU" <dlh105f@smsu.edu>

Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 5:29 AM

Subject: Re: Route 66 at Lincoln, IL

Thank you very much for a FABULOUS resource. I and others will look forward to more of your work.
> Best Regards,
> Tom Flasch
> Naperville, Il
> Illinois Route 66 Association

Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 1:44 PM

Subject: Re: "About Lincoln, Illinois; This Web Site; and Me"

Dear Leigh:

Thanks so much for your reply.

Yes, the "first" Griesheim Building was purchased from the Gillett-Oglesby heirs by Meyer Griesheim.  At one time is was apparently known as "The Kresge Corner". A men's clothing store was operated on the premises until a fire destroyed the 64 year old structure in 1932. Two people also tragically died in that fire...occupants seemingly trapped in a third floor apartment. 

In 1932 the building was rebuilt by Meyer Griesheim's son-in-law, Henry Edelmuth of NYC. He did the job right! Extensive use of Italian marble... classic era iron work...and terra cotta above the second story windows, The building was built in the Art Deco style and remains in that classic tradition through the present day. The Griesheim Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I haven't been to Lincoln since I was 15 so it's been almost 40 years! Once our renovations are completed I intend to take my 85 year old father back to see it once again!

Thank you for all of your very interesting and most informative work on the history of Lincoln. 

Best regards,
Bill J. Livingston


Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 2:59 PM

Subject: Lincoln

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Please feel free to use my Martha Anderson offering any way you wish. 

Even though I have been away from Lincoln for more than fifty years, I still feel it is my home town and try to maintain contact with my high school friends.  Last week Bob Krotz and Jo (Pokorski) Pluth and Ed Pluth came over and the four of us had lunch together.  I see others whenever possible and look forward to every class reunion or birthday party our group has.

About Pekin,  I don't know if you could call me a public figure or not but I have been involved in politics for many years.  I served six years on the county board and six as Circuit Clerk but still count my time spent being a mother as the most gratifying of my life.

Your description of Tom is correct so you must have had him in one of your classes.  He spent many, many, years getting his PHD all the while being a husband and father. 

I have enjoyed reading your various web sites.  Keep up the good work.  
Dorothy Duncanson


Message -----

From: dick meadows

Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 7:16 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS 1-25 -04

Dear Leigh,

I don't know you personally, but I appreciate all the attention that you give to Lincoln's history.  When you send something to all of us, I think it makes the day more interesting and stirs our memories.  Thanks very much.  Marilyn Hale Meadows, LCHS 1953


----- Original Message -----

From: Jerry D Crum

Sent: Monday, February 16, 2004 2:59 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS 2-15-04

Leigh: I just wanted to let you know that I spent several hours with your website this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I have only been back to Lincoln once since I left in 1962 after college graduation, so my memory of streets and landmarks is fuzzy at best. Spending time with the maps and landmark call outs got me re-acclimated and then enjoying the site so much more.

My Mom and Dad moved to Lincoln in about 1932 with my dad going to work for Central Illinois and Gas after loosing his farm in the depression years. They initially lived in the apartments across the street from the light office and then on Hudson street, near the college. Our final home was on N. College street along with the Malerich's, Cadwalders, Kolf's and Werth's, with Mr. and Mrs. Leonards stable and farm right across the street. (They were LaVara Moores parents: a favorite teacher of mine).

Anyway, I used to often walk from Central School down to the light office to hang around until time for Dad to go home. As such, I enjoyed many of the establishments around that area such as the Ace Novelty (does anyone remember itching powder?), Brown's grocery, Fegle's barber shop, and of course, Henry Birche's. My pool days were not at Hickey's, but around the corner in Pulaski street. Jim's story was quite interesting and illustrative and fun to read.

And the County Fair writings almost make my mouth water! I do remember the lemon shakes, corn dogs, and of course the grilled onions and burgers that I think Fred talked about earlier. One year, the Boy Scouts has some display which I helped man, and got to spend many hours on the "midway". They had a ride called the "Rocko Plane" I think, and I loved it. In one evening, I rode it 28 times, never once loosing my "supper" but lots of other things fell out of my pockets. The ground under the "Rocko Plane" was a rich area for pocket change and other goodies.

Anyway, thank you for a wonderful web site, and the experience of exploring it! I can tell that it was a labor of love, but it is also an extremely valuable resource for those of us who were there, and those that will follow.

Thank You Leigh

Jerry Crum

PS: I have some old Rail Splitters from around 1956-1958. If interested, I will scan some of the more interesting articles to send to you. Just let me know.


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2004 4:10 PM

Subject: history & present

Afternoon Leigh - you will not remember me, since I am a contemporary of your Dad, whom I see nearly every morning @ Melo-Cream.  "Doodles" is one fine man and you can be proud of him.  Wish there were pics of him shooting his two-handed chest shot. You are doing a great job with your journey into our past. Best regards - bill gossett


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 10:20 AM

Subject: GREAT


I do not know you nor have I heard tell of you!  Your article to LDN is absolutely a breath of fresh air!  I visited your link that you made available at the end of your article.  It is absolutely amazing and ever so interesting.  I am not a Lincolnite as such, but have "settled" here for the past 29+ years....more than half my life!  I just skimmed through the site & can't wait to spend some leisure time to view the different sections in depth. 

It is so reassuring to view some positive things about this centrally located, blue collared, eager to prosper and grow community; called Lincoln Illinois!



----- Original Message -----

From: "Susan Janes" <sjanes@sbcglobal.net>

Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 11:27 AM

Subject: a stop in Lincoln

> We will passing through, spending the night, in Lincoln next Saturday. We are from Williamson County,  Texas(Austin is the big city).
> We are more Civil War buffs rather that Abe buffs, but we would enjoy any sites related to either.
> I am particularly interested in any copies of the Address on display. Having spent some time as a lay
> Gettysburg "historian", this would be of great interest.
> We also have a 12 year old daughter who could use some interesting time. We will probably have just a few hours before moving north to Green Bay.
> Thank you, Larry Janes

----- Original Message -----

From: "Mary H. Broughton" <mhb@highlandil.com>

Sent: Friday, March 12, 2004 7:47 PM

Subject: web site

> I just have to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading the web site.  Thanks to cyber space I received this information  from a classmate of 1946  of Lincoln HS.  Her son found this web sight and emailed it to his > Mother who lives in Florida.  That is Jeanette Weaver  Stevens .  Jeanette's father was part owner of  McGrath sand and gravel and Lincoln Lakes.  Janette went to Wesleyan and I went to  ISU , graduated from there in 1950, got married to Cal Broughton and went to northern Illinois to teach school.  Cal's brothers were Dale, who died 2 years ago with West Nile and lived near Effingham with his second wife.  Dale was Business Manager of the  Shellbyville school district.  Dean is in Petersburg and was superintendent in that school district.  I think Bob Wilson lived near the Broughtons and went to school with us.  My brother graduated in 1947 from HS and my sister Judy Anderson in 1956.  My folks  both taught at Lincoln College and my brother and sister went to school there.  My father N.H.Anderson was also a Farm Adviser in Logan County. Now you can see why I really enjoyed reading  this web sight and so appreciative of all the info.  We have printed it out so to read and enjoy .  I have printed an extra copy for my bother as he is a CPA in Belleville but doesn't do the computer.  Thank you again and I could tie in to so many names and places.  I went with my father when he went out to visit the farmers and knew the Mays and many others as well as the Logan Co fair when he was involved and I knew many of the 4-H kids.
> Mary H. Broughton

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 8:37 PM

Subject: 1962 graduate

What a treat to find your website.   It brings back LOTS of memories.  I loved reading about different class members.  Please add me to the other year directory.   Nancy Tague Adkisson - !962 - adkisson@4grc.com   I'm married to a Methodist pastor and live in Blackwell, OK.  Wish we could get set up for a 1962 site....

----- Original Message -----

From: jay burger

Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2004 3:22 AM

Subject: Mr Lincoln., Route 66, and other highlights of Lincoln Illinois

Hello Mr. Henson. I just wanted to commend you on this Great site! I just stumbled upon it cruising the internet. I was born (1956) and raised in Lincoln till I moved to California in 1983. I have been reading and checking out pictures that bring back a LOT of memories of Lincoln for about 5 hours now. I will be visiting this site regularly , as there are a lot of items I have not had the chance to check out yet.  Thanks Again, your effort is greatly appreciated by this former linconite !...........Jay Burger


Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 12:20 PM

Subject: Lincoln State School

Hello - so glad we found this web site.  What is the current status of Lincoln School?  Where can one obtain information about residents, especially looking for information about children's ability to care for self, etc, etc.  Thank you.  Wendell R. Anderson


----- Original Message -----

From: "Lee Walker" <LeeW@RealtyTitleCompany.com>

Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 2:11 PM

Subject: Lincoln, IL

> Your website is absolutely amazing. I first found it perhaps a month ago. I was amazed! There's another human being on the planet who is as fascinated with Lincoln as I am! It's mazing, and a little eerie that you have photographs of some of the places that I think of as almost sacred ground. My now ex-wife and I spent the first year of our marriage in a little one bedroom apartment on the west side of Stringer Avenue, just about half a block south of the Old Mill Tavern. We met and courted while attending Lincoln Christian College. I will write some more later if you don't mind.
> Thanks again,

Lee Walker

----- Original Message -----

From: "John Mathews" <jmathews2002@hotmail.com>

Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 9:54 PM

Subject: Lincoln, IL

>    I would like to thank you for the many different articles on Lincoln that you have put together. My finacee goes to school (LCCS) and so I have made several trips up there to visit her. Soon I will be living there. I came across your website while searching for information on Lincoln Developmental
Center (LDC) that closed in 2001 or so. We drove by it, on the way to the YMCA, and it was just a beautiful campus a few years after it has been closed. Ideas have been racing in my mind about the campus, and some business ventures. Your site has been very informational on LDC. However, comments of reopening have been talked about, but from the research that I have done, nothing seems to be sticking to that situation. So, if it reopens or not, I wont know till I get to talk to some officials in Lincoln.
> Again thank you for a very informational site.
> John Mathews
> Belleville Illinois

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 8:44 AM

Subject: Lincoln IL Website

Thank you so much for creating this website!  I'm a Lincolnite in exile, have been an avid reader of Nancy Gehlbach's historical newsletter, and occasionally long for the home town. 

Helen Hartnell (great-granddaughter of Adeline Gillette Bates Hartnell)

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 9:26 PM

Subject: Congratulations


Congratulations on the recognition of all your hard work!  I see you are still earning A's after all these years.

Dan Gaydosh

----- Original Message -----

From: "Paul Ross" <cubbie98@webtv.net>

To: "LeighHensonSMSU" <dlh105f@smsu.edu>

Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 9:26 PM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 5-10-04

> Congrats on the award, and much deserved. Keep up the excellent work.  I am quite sure many former lincolnites, and a few of us who never managed to leave dear old Lincoln, look forward to your updates.  I particularly enjoyed the recent ramblings by and about Jim Knecht.  He and I continue to be close friends and converse and see each other often.  He certainly came a long way from the days we played together on Sangamon street and later shared a "friendly" game of 9-ball at Hickey's.
It was good to see you at Mello-Cream recently; even though it took a look or two to recall the beardless face.  Your dad and share a jab or two about every day, he about my Cubs, and me his Red  Sox.  It has been a long dry spell for both teams......maybe this year.
> Keep up the good work. Regards..Pete   


Original Message -----

From: Gwen Koda

Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 11:23 PM

Subject: RE: LCHS, 5-10-04


Congratulations!!!!!  I am so glad you got some recognition for all your

hard work.  I can't begin to tell you how much it has all meant to me.  Thanks again.



----- Original Message -----

From: "Steve Goebel" <sgoebel2001@yahoo.com>

Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 1:30 PM

Subject: Congratulations for the ISHS award

> Leigh,
>        Sometimes I am amazed at what the internet brings to me.  The chain:  Page D4 of the Decatur Herald and Review - June 1 - I see a name I don't recognize, but a Lincolnite.  I read on.  The website looks interesting and I check it out and find familiar names listed and you as a '60 graduate.  You wouldn't know me but for an older brother who is listed on your credits.  Interesting.  Congratulations for succeeding in the world of news and acclaim. 
> Steve Goebel, Class of '65 - currently a grade school
> principal at Cowden-Herrick Schools - south and west
> of Shelbyville, IL.

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 9:16 AM

Subject: Re: GM&O info and request


Your message about Lincoln, Illinois was most interesting, and the web site you have developed, especially the info about the crossing of the three railroads that shows I was wrong about it's being an overpass. I will modify the copy on my page and link to yours, if that's OK, so that viewers can go directly to your information. Also, I do not mind if you "borrow" my Lincoln scene, as long as you credit – ©2004 Richard Leonard.

From: Sue

Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2004 5:04 AM

Subject: Re: Robert Wilson Tribute Page Online

Hi, Leigh,

Wow, what an impressive piece of work that is! You've put a lot of labor of love into this project.

Sue Young Wilson

----- Original Message -----

From: "Skip Gatermann" <biker4@sbcglobal.net>

Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 12:45 PM

Subject: Lincoln Railroad Site

> I was just visiting your wonderful site, but there is a sentence in which is misleading.  You state that the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad became Amtrak in 1971.  This is not true. Amtrak merely took over the passenger train business of the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio in the 1971.  Amtrak did not absorb any railroad.
> Sincerely,
> Skip Gatermann
> St. Louis, MO

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 7:29 PM

Subject: The old telephone booth

Leigh. I never get tired of reading your great web site because it brings back many fond memories of the old home town. I was interested the article on the old telephone booth which appeared in the Courier. I remember as a rookie cop on the Lincoln Police Dept. in the early 60's I was often assigned to go watch for tornados in that booth during stormy weather. I remember the first time I went up there on that assignment (given to me mostly for the amusement of senior officers without much hope of spotting a twister in the dark of a stormy night). The wind was blowing so hard I almost didn't make it to the booth and once inside I wished I hadn't. The thing almost walked off the roof with me in it. I just hung on and hoped to live through the experience to be allowed to return to the life of fighting drunks and catching killers. The thing that interested me about being in the old booth was the items I found there. First there was a WW2 enemy aircraft identification book to be used by those valiant souls that went aloft to spot for all those German and Japanese bombers that were such a danger to Lincoln, Illinois. To help in this assignment was an old pair of binoculars with only one eyepiece.  Needless to say I never spotted a tornado or any enemy airplanes or much of anything else during those stormy nights assigned to that old shaking telephone booth. It would be a shame to get rid of that old landmark. One would think with all of modern engineering available a solution to leaking roofs could be found.

Bill Krueger


William A. Krueger
Author of "A Force for Evil: Assassination in a Small Town"
A true crime novel about the Fry Murder Case in Lincoln, Illinois as written by the investigating detective.

----- Original Message -----

From: "rleilich" <rleilich@cox.net>

Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 12:30 PM

Subject: ITC History

> I am helping to write a book on the life of Robert Lewis, former editor and publisher of Railway Age, along with Bob himself and Bill Vantuono, the present editor of Railway Age. Simmons-Boardman will be publishing the book. We hope to have the book draft completed in the next 60 days.
> Bob has one or more pictures on the ITC that will be included in the book, along with a brief write up of the railroad's history. Below is a copy of the edited and abstracted text, most of which I found on your web page at:
> http://www.geocities.com/findinglincolnillinois/railroadpage.html
> With your permission, we may want to use this edited text and give credit to you and the web site as a source of information. I would also welcome any editorial comments or notes on factual errors you may observe. I would particularly welcome any additional material you may have, as the thumbnail summary is very sketchy.
> Thanks for your review and consideration.
> Bob Leilich
> RLeilich@cox.net
> Incorporated in 1895, and opening in 1896, the Illinois Terminal Company was built to supply terminal facilities to the railroads entering the Alton, Illinois area and to develop local manufacturing interests. The railroad operated passenger services between 1907 and 1956 and ended freight services in 1962.

----- Original Message -----

From: Amy Zumwalt

Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2004 11:43 PM

Subject: lincoln website.......

 Professor Henson,

    Enjoyed reading the article that was in the Journal Star of your love for Lincoln. Illinois. My mother remembered that you were my English teacher at PCHS and had the article cut out for me to read.

    It was great to hear that you are a tenured professor in Missouri.

   I just spent the weekend helping my  retired in-laws move out of Lincoln to Bloomington. My father-in- law was the farm manager many years for the Scully estates  there in Logan County until the late 80's. Now the Scully estates are a fascinating family history that you could write on in regard to Logan County and the town.

   Congratulations with your website and much success!!!

     I married a Lincoln buff so have every book that was ever written on Lincoln and own interesting memorabilia................

Amy (Lower) Zumwalt.....Pekin High School Class of 73'

----- Original Message -----

From: laraem

Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 3:21 PM

Subject: Lincoln webpage

Hi Leigh,  LaRae Muselman here.  Nice article in the Peoria Journal prompted me to check out your site.  Very interesting!  You've done a lot of work.  I must come back to it and read in detail.  Good design.

I'm totally retired now, but always something to do or someplace to go.  I swear I'm busier than ever.  Take care.


Leigh's Note: LaRae is a former colleague from Pekin Community High School. She taught my former students--and me-- a thing or two about research!]

----- Original Message -----

From: rhea jones

Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 8:01 PM

Subject: just learning. sorry


My typing is rusty, too.  Have not typed since Mr. Smith's personal typing class.  Always had someone do my college typing.

Have really enjoyed  your writing, especially about Lincoln State School with the old pictures of the annex.  It was already torn down when I got back from Chicago.

The factory article was good especially about Stetsons.  My father Frank E. Tate was superintendent there.  I will try to send you some additional  things I remember if ever I get better at this e-mail thing

Rhea Tate Jones

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2004 10:55 PM

Subject: Lincoln streetcar

Leigh Henson-

I saw your write-up on the streetcar system in Lincoln, Illinois, including the photographs used to illustrate the story which were of great interest.

I have done extensive research on the smaller electric streetcar and interurban systems for 25 years, and I have obtained many photographs on those systems.  However, I have not seen the close-up postcard scene of the Lincoln streetcar that you had in your story.

Thus, I was wondering if it would be possible to obtain a copy print of that scene.  I hope to hear from you soon.


Stephen M. Scalzo

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2004 4:06 AM

Subject: Lincoln website


 I was born in Lincoln, Illinois in 1957 at the St. Clara Hospital. I have family still in Lincoln and will always think of it as home.  I think this is a wonderful tribute to Lincoln (the city and the man).

a displaced Lincolnian,

Dennis Follis


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2004 10:30 PM

Subject: The Mill

I was very happy to see your article on the mill, I now work for Brian Huffman we offer the Schnitzel and it is the original recipe and the original hot sauce .  Could you add to you sight that people can get the schnitzel at Hallies on the Square,  111 S. Kickapoo.  Thanks so much. 

John W. Fisher

From: Gabbard, Sara [mailto:SGabbard@LNC.com]
Sent: Thu 8/5/2004 9:56 AM
To: Henson, Leigh
Subject: Enjoy your website

I was born (1936) and raised in Lincoln.  Maiden name Sara ("Sash) Vaughn.  Younger sister Susan was born in 1939.  Dad and grandfather owned Lincoln Coca-Cola Bottling Company.  I graduated from LCHS in 1954 (this Oct we have 50th reunion) and U of I in 1958 (history).  We lived first on Park Place and then on Lincoln Ave in what is now home for president of Lincoln College.  Dad was president of the college Board of Trustees for many years.  William Maxwell and my Dad (James Vaughn) were friends and contemporaries when they were growing up.

Strangely enough, I work at The Lincoln Museum (founded 1928) in Ft. Wayne, IN.  It houses the largest private collection of Lincoln memorabilia.  (Springfield and DC have more, but they are public)  As is true in so many nonprofits, I have several jobs...VP, Director of Development and Editor of Lincoln Lore, our quarterly magazine which was first published in 1929.

Sara Gabbard

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2004 11:04 PM

Subject: Re: finding lincoln illinois

> What a great site. My maternal grandmother, Frances Peters, was born in Mason City, Illinois, on December 20, 1895. I have been to Lincoln and Mason City on one and only one occasion in my entire life. That was in early May, 1993, when I passed through on my way from Virginia to Oregon. I took a pic of the Alton Railroad station in Lincoln and headed to Mason City. I was in Lincoln for fifteen minutes and MC for a half hour.
> I forwarded the link to my uncle, my mother's brother and thus son of my maternal grandmother. He has been to MC back in the thirties, as has my mother. No doubt they got off the train at Lincoln.
> Thanks for everything.
> Blair Thompson
> Alexandria, Virginia

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 7:58 PM

Subject: Mr. Lincoln Site


I've been admiring the photographs in the website.  I'm am amateur photographer and would like to photograph the "Ghost Bridge" and other structures in the site.  Is there anyone that takes people on hiking tours?

I look forward to your reply,

Crystal Alley

Lifetime Lincoln Resident

----- Original Message -----

From: "Christine Payne" <christineangel@hotmail.com>

Sent: Monday, September 06, 2004 10:19 AM

Subject: Inquiry

> Sir,
> I am considering relocating to Lincoln Ill to attend Lincoln Christian College. Can you give me any insights about the town? Is it good for a teenage son? Good schools?
> Thanks

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 3:35 PM

Subject: Thanks


Leigh, I just wanted to thank you for taking time to gather all the info you send and pictures for our classmates.  My brother, Robert "Willie" Wilmert  (54) wants to thank you also because a friend of his from 50 years ago came across your website and sent me an e-mail asking if Bob was my brother.  They had lost touch over the years and he was trying to find my brother.  Needless to say, my brother, is thrilled to get reacquainted with his old friend.  One never knows how much joy we add to another's day.....so Leigh, thanks.  We appreciate it.  take care, norma

Norma Adams-Johnson


Original Message -----

From: leenor

Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 3:57 PM

Subject: Fw: Charlotte Observer 09-23-2003 AM radio's WAIZ revives old ways.htm


Dear Leigh:  I hope you remember me....you were so kind to help me in my search for my friend of many years, and you said to let you know if I found her.  Well, I did!  (see below)...I was just searching in the wrong city and state!  Rather than explain, I am forwarding an article about her  ("Sister" Atlass) ....I didn't know her married name when I wrote you.   I discovered that she was married to Stan Kaplan, and they had a very colorful life, as you will see. ( I'm sending the article , as I thought you might be interested in it inasmuch as you are active in Lincoln County History and their descendants.)  He must have been quite a character.  I haven't gotten in touch with her yet, but I hope to next week.  This is an interesting age we're living in!  Thanks again for your interest and help.   


Mary Lee Northrop 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, October 11, 2004 12:02 PM

Subject: Sites to visit?

What sites are available to visit this time of year relating to Lincoln?  Thanks


----- Original Message -----

From: Laura Loehr

Sent: Monday, October 25, 2004 8:32 PM

Subject: website

Dear Leigh Henson,

Thank you so much for the amazing work you've done on your Lincoln, Illinois historic website.  When my Mother & Step-Father were looking for a home near Springfield about ten years ago, they moved to Lincoln due to his love of both the town and Route 66.  He is a history fanatic and is especially interested in Illinois history.

Since they moved, I make the trip to Lincoln once or twice each month.  My Mother and I have spent many hours in Madigan State Park & Kickapoo Creek Park exploring the trails and letting our dogs run.  We have enjoyed beautiful afternoons wandering through  Old Union and Holy Cross Cemeteries.  Yesterday, we took the walk down Cemetery Hill and Mom said she thought we were walking on old 66.  When we arrived at the 'Ghost Bridge' I had no idea that these were the remnants of the 66 bridge over Salt Creek.  After we arrived home, I teased my Step-Dad that we walked down Route 66 and he missed it.  He then informed me of your website and told me that there were pictures of the old bridge pillars along with pictures of many Lincoln sites that I would recognize.  He was right.  (I can't begin to imagine how many hours he has spent on your enormous site.)

The house they purchased is on 5th Street, just down from the Postville Court House.  They have spent years now renovating it and returning it to its former glory.  The rooms they've finished thus far are a tribute of the love they have for the grandeur their home once possessed.  They drop their cars off at Logan's to have repair work done.  The guy that used to cut their grass cashed the checks they wrote to him at Old Joe's tavern.  We eat at The Depot and we shop on the square.  All these things have so much more meaning when you understand their place in history.  Seeing all of these familiar places in your photos is wonderful.

Should you ever find yourself heading to Lincoln without dinner plans, please feel free to contact me.  My Step-Dad mentioned that he would like to know any information you may have about their home or if you know anyone who would remember some of its history so I'm sure he wouldn't mind my extending an invitation on his behalf.  Although my Mother and I will feel totally ignored, my Step-Father would enjoy nothing more than chatting over dinner with someone who feels as passionate about Lincoln and its rich history as he does.  Maybe we could all re-visit the Depot together.  His wealth of historical knowledge seems a bit savant-like (a.k.a. way over the top) to us but the two of you would hit it off splendidly!

Thanks again for sharing your passion with us.

Laura J. Loehr

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 1:24 PM

Subject: IOOF Orphans Home in Lincoln

> Mr Henson,
> Thanks for the kind letter after I published a story on Scotty & Lulubelle at the state fair in the Illinois Times.
> I'm thinking about doing an article on Odd Fellows Orphans Home, Lincoln, IL, from about 100 yrs ago.
> Any thoughts, suggestions, etc, as to where I might turn for source material, including interviews, for this?
> Thanks, and all the best,
> Bob Cavanagh


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2004 11:15 PM

Subject: 117-119 N. Kickapoo in Lincoln

Dear Mr. Henson,

I am a volunteer at the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society, and am helping a friend track down his grandfather's printing business.  Here is what he knows from "information passed down" from his father.

Ralph Arthur trained as a printer with the Lincoln Herald/Courier until the late 1930's.  He then had a print shop across Kickapoo Street from the old Courier Office, and it burned down.  He then bought 117 N. Kickapoo from whoever owned it at that time.  This is now Abe's Carmelcorn.  The Kickapoo Press was printed at 119 N. Kickapoo in the early fifties.

In the early forties, Mr. Arthur took in his son-in-law as a partner, Edgar Morgan.  Edgar's son is who I am helping, and he has a photo of that building with the Arthur and Morgan Printers sign on the wall by the door. 

Would you happen to have any information, or could you direct me to someone who would have information on the history of this building?  I find it interesting that 117 and 119 would both house print shops.  I can get title records, etc, but thought maybe you would be aware of some general information that might be available. 

I attached the photo Mr. Morgan has, showing the shop with the name sign. The holes where that sign hung are still in the wall of the building. 

I really enjoy your site, and compliment you on putting together one of the better sites on the Internet.

Bill Detmers

LCGHS Genealogist


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 1:01 PM

Subject: Lincoln Website


I stumbled upon on your Lincoln website by accident and really enjoyed reading it.  What was more remarkable, was that I share some of the relation that you mentioned in the narrative.  Loren Wood is the brother of my grandmother Marion Wood Knott.   I assume you are related to him through Mariann’s side of the family.  We used to visit Lincoln about every other week it seemed when I was younger to visit my Great-Grandparents John and Ella Wood, Loren’s parents.  They lived on Jefferson Street on the east side of the fairgrounds.  Great-Grandpa was a fur dealer and I still remember his garage being lined up with all kinds of “dead things”, which were the pelts that he was selling.  My mom was always scared to eat at their house, because you never knew what he was going to be cooking. 

Loren and Mariann stop by St. Joseph, where I live almost every year on their way back through from Texas to Minnesota.  Loren grew up in St. Joseph during his early years and later went to Lincoln when his mother got a job at the Lincoln Development School.  My grandmother Marion stayed in St. Joseph and of course that is how I came about being there.

You mentioned Lake Vermilion.  I remember visiting there a couple of times.  The Great-Grandparents had purchased a cabin there that we visited it was down the road a little away from Loren’s house.  It wasn’t very big from what I recall.  When they died I think that Allan Wood bought it and used it for a few years.  My grandmother Marion and my grandfather Junior Knott, I know visited up there many summers to visit Loren and stayed in the cabin.  I believe that it is gone now.  When I last spoke to Loren that past spring, he said the area around Lake Vermilion was really developed now and not nearly as rural as it was years ago.

I agree with your assessment that Lincoln is really a remarkable town.  It seemed there were a lot of things to do back in the old days.   The coolest thing I can remember was going to the old A&W Root Beer stand that was down the street from my Great-Grandparents.  I always liked the thought that we got service in the car!

How I found your website, was that in today State-Journal Register news paper from Springfield, IL there was a picture of Emil Ramlow at a veterans day service.  Emil was married to Lois, Loren’s twin sister.   Lois died about 20 years ago and I hadn’t seen Emil in about that long.  I did a google search on his name and found he was mentioned on your website.

Long story short…the world is an increasingly smaller place.

Thanks for letting me visit Lincoln via your website.

Greg Knott

Greg Knott, MBA

Assistant to the Head for the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
258 Bevier Hall, 905 S Goodwin Ave
IL 61801


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 12:34 PM

Subject: Ghost Bridge

I was just rereading your website about the Salt Creek Bridge on Cemetery Hill in Lincoln.  I feel your website is far and away the best site on the web for obtaining information on the Salt Creek Bridge.

I had a question regarding the bridge and I was wondering if you would be able to help me?  I notice that in several articles and websites, the bridge is referred to as the "Ghost Bridge over Salt Creek."  I was just curious were did this phrase originate and who is credited with coining that phrase?

If you have any information regarding this, could you please E-mail me at Lahtiair@yahoo.com.  Thank you so much for your help.


John B. Lahti

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, November 26, 2004 1:14 PM

Subject: Robert Wilson tribute

Someone had given me your website with your tribute to Robert Wilson.  I finally was able to read it today.  It was well done and I enjoyed it very much.  Robert's brother James Wilson was my father (obviously making Sue Young my cousin).  I too, grew up in Lincoln and remember Uncle Bob during those final ten years when I was young.  Since Bob died, we also lost my grandparents and more recently my parents, so there is not much connection to the Wilson's left.  That's why I enjoyed reading your article.  I was lucky and was left with most of Bob's old home videos which is the only visual history I have of my family. 

Thank you very much for adding this tribute to the website.


Richard A. Wilson

----- Original Message -----

From: "Hoffmann, George LCX" <George.Hoffmann@hospira.com>

Sent: Friday, December 24, 2004 12:32 PM

Subject: Great web site

> I really enjoyed visiting the Lincoln web site.  I just happened across it while searching the web today.  For some unknown reason I was thinking about the great french roquefort salad dressing that they used to serve at the Tropics when I was a kid and decided to see if I could find some pictures of the place as I remembered it back in the 50's before the fire.  We used to go there or the Blu-Inn regularly.  My parents knew the owners (Lou and Bev Johnson I believe were their names).  I always liked the bar-room because of the large lighted picture of the beach/ocean and all the bamboo. Another interesting feature was the restaurant on the south side.  Sometimes we would eat there (Tropic burgers....what a treat on the sesame bun and charcoal grilled).  As you may recall, the grill was also over on that side of the building so you got to smell all of the sizzling steaks as they were carried to the dining room. 
> The holidays always remind me of another one of my favorite childhood places, the Hotel Lincoln.  They always had a beautiful christmas tree in the lobby and I loved to eat there as a youngster because they had great desserts.  I especially remember the cake with banana pudding between the layers.  I believe the manager was named Percy Edgel (not sure of the spelling) at that time.  Of course as a kid, who could forget Ace Novelty....the toy store on Chicago street and there was also another toy
> store around the corner on Broadway near Bliss Photography studio.  I want to say it was called Thonton's and I believe the owner was Jerry Thornton.
> Lincoln really changed from the time I was a boy.  My fondest memories were of my earlier years, probably because Lincoln had such a small town flavor and today it seems like something out of a movie.  Towns like Lincoln seem so lifeless today with the advent of large shopping malls but it certainly
> wasn't that way in Lincoln on a Friday night in the 50's when the stores stayed open til 9:00pm and the courthouse square was a hub of activity. Like Abe Lincoln we were circuit riders, but our circuit consisted of a well worn route around the courthouse and out to 17th street where we cruised the
> Dog and Suds and then by the four corners along the service lane back to 5th street so we could start all over again. 

We lived just east of the square a couple of blocks on Pulaski street and my grandparents lived just north of the square on Latham place and McLean Streets across the street from the park and bandstand.  When I was a young boy the only thing on our block was McAfee electric on the corner.  Our neighbor was an older lady named Mrs.Fields.  I don't ever remember her having a husband, maybe he had passed on.  I remember she had a large fish tank (or at least it seemed large to me as a child) and a fish pond in her back yard with pussy willows and lilac bushes.  Everyone always had lots of greenery in their yards at that time. She had a son named Tommy who was in the military and remember that my father and I went over to seem him once when he was home visiting and he showed us a practice hand grenade that he had.  During my grade school years, those houses were torn down and the Jewel food store went up and the parking lot ran right up to our house at 725 Pulaski.  The house has since been moved down the street and I don't even know what is there now.  My mother worked at the First National Bank in those years and my father worked for the Federal Housing Admin. in Springfield.  His favorite spot was Dehner Bros. Liquor store and it seems like we knew everyone in town at that time. Today I hardly would know anyone.  Dehners at that time was on Sangamon Avenue back when the Spellman lumber company was still open across the tracks.  The walk down Sangamon avenue from there passed by a candy store and a barber shop and a house with a huge tree which donated to my buckeye collection. 

Next I would pass the sign painter (I believe Shoup or something like that was his name).  I remember his sign that invited one to stop in for a "chalk talk". After that was the tall old brick school building, my alma mater,  St. Patrick's.  I was hard on schools.  I spent one year at the old Washington school (kindergarten) and then they tore it down. When I graduated from St. Pats that one went down also and Carrol Catholic was built.  St. Pats was fun.  It had one of those big metal tubes for a fire escape from the second floor.  We used to take wax paper and 'slicken' it up.  There was also a big sliding board in the playground across the street and we used to polish that to perfection as well.  There used to be a furniture company on third street right across from the school and I remember hearing the planers and saws when the windows were open. 

My grandfather owned the Armour plant around the corner and we would sometimes sneak over there at lunch time and steal (I mean rescue) chickens which got loose from their cages and sell them to an old man down the street. 

We had a priest at one time named Father Clinch who had about a '53 chevy, cream with a green top.  We used to jump on the back bumper and one day he just took off with us and dumped us near the radio station clear out by The Mill. It took us quite a while to walk back and I remember the nun rather upset with us when we returned.
> Other places........Do you remember?
> Tibbs Ice Cream Parlor - great hamburgers/milk shakes This was more of a high school spot in the 50's since it was in the Dehner block on Broadway near the old  high school.
> The Quacker Box - Open late breakfast anytime. The smell of the shale pile smoldering away out on route 21 towards Mt. Pulaski

> The Drive-in theater near the Holiday Inn.....of course, everyone remembers that one but what about the one on route 21 near the end of Broadway.

> The old country club - we used to go sledding on the golf course The Chautauqua grounds before the park was there.

> There were several small grocery stores I remember but often get the names confused like Cantrell's market.  There was one at Pulaski and Chicago, another on McLean and Decatur.

> The bait shop and beach out at Lincoln Lakes.
> Man this gets my memory going. I should probably see if I have anything of interest for your web site.  Thanks for the memories.  Have a Merry Christmas.

----- Original Message -----

From: Olson

Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 5:40 PM

Subject: Tantivy Lodge

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

----- Original Message -----

From: jimndi

Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 2:43 PM


I want to give you credit for your web site (http://www.geocities.com/findinglincolnillinois/socialhistory.html).

I used it for research for a book I’m just finishing. I did get the web site name in the references today, but don’t have your name to go with it.

If you’d like I would be happy to include your name.

Thanks for your great site!


Take care,

jim goulding

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 4:16 PM

Subject: Lincoln Illinois...Former Resident of "Postville"

Mr. Henson:

I just discovered this site about Lincoln !!! 

My name is Dave Buesking.  (46 yrs old ..Class of 76)  You may recall my sister, Jean. (Class of 64)  I do remember your family from the 60's and  early 70's.   I believe your mom and my mom (Lucille) were active in Girl Scouts together...I maybe wrong on this one.  But I do remember your dad the most !!  Your home was across the street from Fred and Elizabeth Schaub and next door to Jack and Donna Holton ...prior to Jack's death in 1963. I grew up across the street from Jefferson School.  (713 Fifth St) 

I just wanted to say thanks for putting the time into this site and looking forward to visiting in the future!!

David Buesking

5077 Parkside Dr

Mason Ohio   45040

Public Works Director

Forest Park, Ohio    513-595-5257

----- Original Message -----

From: "emmary roemer" <eroemer7@hotmail.com>

Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 3:02 PM

Subject: Pictures from website

> Dear Mr. Henson,
> My name is Emmary Roemer.  I am a teacher at Lincoln Jr. High School in need of your expertise.  My co-worker and I are sponsors for our Photo Club here at LJHS.  We are putting together a PowerPoint Slide Show presentation for the dedication ceremony for our new building.  I am in charge of creating the historical portion of Lincoln schools.  I have several pictures from individuals in our district, but very few pictures from the past.  I looked at your website and just loved the pictures you had on District 27.  I would like to know if I could use those pictures for my slideshow.  I could easily download them onto my program and create the slideshow.  I really want to bring the history of the education in this town to light.  If you are willing to allow me to do that, please e-mail me at eroemer7@hotmail.com or call LJHS at 732-3535.  I appreciate your time.
> Sincerely,
> Emmary Roemer

----- Original Message -----

From: Fuzz Werth


Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2005 3:42 PM

Leigh: I wasn't aware of this site until my sister in Ohio sent me the Stan Stringer link. EXTREMELY good! I, too, graduated from LCHS .(1961) I then attended Lincoln College, Southern IL. Univ. then Sangamon State.

I relate to so many of the topics and feel like I'm taking a vacation back in time to enjoy dormant memories. 

My father, Norman Werth, ran a gas station from 1934 to 1961.  It remained a station until 1992 and was then sold. t was at the "Four Corners" by the Blue Inn, Tropics and Wallace's station. 

Jay, Terry, and Judd  Werth are my cousins. 

If I get a chance, I'll send you some old photos that you might be interested in.

Better close for now.  I just wanted to thank you, and others that provided information, for developing this site and the links.

Fuzz (Laurel) Werth

p.s. My mother, who is 91, active, drives, lives alone,etc., etc., (same house on Adams St.) also enjoyed it.

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 12:36 AM

Subject: From Lincolnite Christian Culleton re: Lincoln, Illinois WebSite

Mr. Henson,

My name is Christian Culleton, but people in Lincoln know me as Chris.  I haven't lived there since 1981 but I still consider it to be my hometown. 

Your web site on Lincoln is utterly spellbinding!  I'm happy to know that your efforts were recognized for their excellence.  I discovered your work today while doing a Google search to produce a provenance for a pair of antiques that I purchased.  Central School at Eighth and Union is scheduled for demolition later this month.  Today a sale was held for the contents of the building.  I purchased two large oak pieces that a friend then transported to Chicago for me.  They came from the office area off of the kitchen.  On the unfinished side of the upper, glass-doored cabinet is written in charcoal "W.M. Allen Company, Lincoln."  Does this name ring a bell with you from any of the research you have done on Lincoln?  As of yet I have not been able to find any information on-line, odds are I will have to ask some seniors when I visit Lincoln next month.

I am very much looking forward to your reply!  In the meantime I know I will enjoy reading and studying your fantastic web site.  Thank you!  Please don't hesitate to give me a phone call if it would be easier to communicate that way.  My work information is below, and my home phone is 773.583.3421.

Chris Culleton

(Would have been LCHS Class of 1983)

Please note my new e-mail address below.


Christian M. Culleton
AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions
at Navy Pier

600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL  60611
Tel: (312) 595-5402
Fax: (312) 595-5403
E-Mail: christian.culleton@avwtelav..com
Internet: www.avwtelav.com

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 11:20 AM

Subject: 9th Street Lincoln

Good morning,

I had to email you; I just read through your web site, Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, and other highlights of Lincoln, Illinois. 

I was born and raised in Lincoln and have lived there these past 44 years.  I don't anticipate that changing any time in the near future either. 

My husband and I have lived in the 9th Street home of William Maxwell's boyhood home for the past 14 years.  I can honestly say my feelings for the home are very similar to what Mr. Maxwell must have felt.  As soon as I walked through the front door 14 years ago, I knew this was to be my home, where I would raise my children.

Our children are grown and gone now, but they come home often.  The home seems even bigger with just my husband and I, but we don't have any intentions of selling; this is our home and will be until we are no more. 

I had heard that a prior owner's wife had tired of dusting and maintaining all of the woodwork in the house and painted everything white - now I know who to blame.  An older home can be a challenge; there is always something that needs fixed or worked on, but it keeps us busy and we love the old house.

Tami Kennett

----- Original Message -----

From: "Jo Williams" <jnjwilliams@insightbb.com>

To: "Leigh Henson" <dlh105f@smsu.edu>

Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 11:18 AM

Subject: Re: LCHS, 3-12-05

Thank you, Leigh, for all the information you share with us displaced  Lincolnites.  I often share it with my mom--Frances Shull (formerly Frances Anderson, wife of Roy Anderson).  I know she will particularly  appreciate seeing the Royce Lovelace notice.

Jo Anderson Williams
Champaign, IL

From: Bill Miller [mailto:BillM@axioresearch.com]
Sent: Mon 3/14/2005 12:12 PM
To: Henson, Leigh
Cc: Bill Miller - Earthlink (E-mail)
Subject: William Maxwell

Dear Mr. Henson:

I did a Google search on Lincoln, Illinois and found your website. My name is William Maxwell Miller, and William Maxwell the Lincoln author was a first cousin of my grandfather, William Maxwell Fuller.  There are several pages devoted to my grandfather in the book Ancestors.

I have not been to Lincoln since 1956, when I was six years old.  I am currently planning a trip to Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in April and was considering stopping in Lincoln.  I am wondering if there is anything left of the Lincoln depicted by William Maxwell in his books and stories.  More specifically, is his childhood home still standing?  Also, I am wondering if it is possible to find the home of my great-grandmother, Bertha Maxwell Fuller.

Any advice or suggestions you may have would be gratefully appreciated.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time.


Bill Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Henson, Leigh [mailto:dlh105f@smsu.edu]
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 11:44 AM
To: Bill Miller
Subject: RE: William Maxwell

Dear Bill,

 Thanks for writing and expressing your interest in your ancestors' houses in Lincoln. Indeed I hope you found the page with the information and photo about William Maxwell's Ninth Street childhood home (with the historical marker in the front yard).

 Park Place in Lincoln also has the house that William Maxwell's father and stepmother built in the early 1920s and that is described in So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980) (the address, I believe, is 226 Park Place--on the corner). I don't have a photo of it.

 I do not know where the home of your great-grandmother Fuller is located or even if it is still standing. I'm sure that with some research you could find the answer to that question. Unfortunately I live in Springfield, MO, and that's too far from Lincoln to allow me to spend as much time there as I would like to. I certainly would like to know the answer to your question, too. I have thought that maybe in retirement I could locate and photograph all of the houses that had been owned by members of Maxwell's family.

 I suggest that when you visit Lincoln you go to the Public Library to ask for some research assistance in answering your good question. That Library has some city directories which might have information to answer your question.
 I do recall some references to the Fullers in Ancestors, so I'll go back and do some re-reading in the weeks ahead.
 Again, many thanks for writing. Feel free to follow up if you wish.
Best regards,
Leigh Henson

----- Original Message -----

From: "Bill Miller" <BillM@axioresearch.com>

To: "Henson, Leigh" <dlh105f@smsu.edu>

Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 5:23 PM

Subject: RE: William Maxwell

Dear Leigh,

How delightful to hear from you so quickly!  Thank you for your response.  It sounds like the library would be a good starting point.  I am also wondering if there would be anything in the county courthouse.

My great-grandmother was known to William Maxwell as "Aunt Bert."  Her husband, Louis Fuller (my grandfather) abandoned her, so perhaps she changed her name back to Maxwell.  I do not recall.  It was quite the scandal at the time.

My mother and I stayed with Aunt Bert in 1956.  I have some family photographs of her, and she was quite pretty.  Of course I have no memory of her since the trip was over 50 years ago.  It would be fun to find the same place I visited so long ago.

As an aside, Bill Maxwell was just about the kindest and gentlest man I ever met.  He was most considerate of others and always knew the right thing to say to make one feel special.

Best regards,


Original message:

Dear Mr. Henson,

I'm writing to you after visiting your excellent, and historically important, website. Thank you so much for putting so much work and honest feeling into its creation.

I don't know if you'll be able to answer this question, but I'm a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Much of my research focuses upon the history of eugenics, and it's impact on disabled people living in institutions in the early 1900s. I'm actually hoping to find family letters to and from patients in the Lincoln Training School from 1900-1930, if these documents exist, so I'm wondering if you have any idea about who I could contact for more information. Your website was incredibly informative and sensitive about the history of Lincoln's institution. I especially enjoyed the anecdotal letters from people who worked or visited there. I am really interested in helping to unearth the more silent history of the people who actually lived in the institutions themselves.

I know there are confidentiality concerns and legal issues, which I would certainly follow. I'm just hoping to find the best person to contact for further information.

Thank you in advance for any guidance you might offer.

Michelle Jarman

Michelle Jarman
Urban Allied Health Academy
1919 W. Taylor, Room 810

travis [mailto:t.fletcher@insightbb.com]
Sent: Wed 6/15/2005 11:14 AM
To: Henson, Leigh
Subject: about your web site

Thank you so much for putting so much time and effort into sharing our town with the world wide web. I never knew after 30 years of living in Lincoln how interesting it was. the pictures of where building signs and streets use to be amazed my kids. Thank you again for giving our town the respect it deserves.

Michelle Fletcher (Pinkley)

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Spaugh [mailto:rogspaugh@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thu 7/14/2005 10:51 PM
To: Henson, Leigh
Subject: Finding Lincoln Website

Mr. Henson,

What a fascinating web site!  I grew up in Lincoln in the 60's & 70's, graduating LCHS in 80.  My father (Charles Spaugh) did much to change the landscape of Lincoln in that time period.  He developed several subdivisions (Maple Grove, Westville, Northville, Flamingo Heights to name a few).  In the 70's he brought fast food to Lincoln with "Geri's" on Woodlawn, "Little Pete's" on North Kickapoo, and eventually, Pizza hut, Shortstop, and Hardee's.  He also brought convenience stores like "Hucks".  He was a founding member of the Logan County Board of Realtors, and The Lincoln Land Philatelic Society.

I currently live in St. Louis, but try to get "home" every month or two.  Do I want to go back?  Not really, but I am thankful for my past and the values I learned there.  Thanks for your efforts on this website.  I will visit often to watch it progress.

Roger Spaugh

From: JOSEPH WEBB [mailto:JOSEPH_WEBB@pba.edu]
Sent: Wed 8/10/2005 8:39 AM
To: Henson, Leigh
Subject: RE: From Joe Webb

Dear Leigh,

Despite the fact that I have a hard book deadline this week, I have not been able to pull myself away from your magnificent "story" of all things Lincoln.  When I browsed a bit the other day, I could not have
imagined all of the work you have put on this, and how utterly informative it is.  I can't wait to get back to Lincoln next month just to take an extra day with printouts from some of your pages.  You have
created a Lincoln treasure--and I am so pleased that what you have done was honored not long ago by the historical people in Springfield. 

As I sent off my reunion papers this week to Pete, I realized that what I want to do more than anything else at this reunion is to sit down with various of the class members willing to do so--and share stories of how our most important life decisions were made.  As you put it so well in a different context--how did growing up in and around Lincoln shape the decisions we made--to stay in Lincoln or not, to settle or be
vagabondish (as I was), etc.  It is probably because, like you and others I suppose, I find myself post-60 trying to fathom why I ended up living things out as I did.  It is not about regrets or wish-I-dunnas
but about trying to make sense of who and what we became.  There are only a few in our class, as far as I can tell--you primarily--who ended up in what also became my career, in higher education; and I have real curiosities about that. 

Unlike you, I did not grow up in Lincoln but in Emden and Mt. Pulaski, one 15 miles north and the other 15 miles south of Lincoln, but Lincoln was the "big town" we went to when we needed something. When my dad was burned so badly in 1951, I was 9, we lived in Emden, and one of my most distinct memories ever was my mother throwing a sheet around him and driving in the early morning darkness as fast as the car would go to get him to the old Deaconess Hospital (old St. Clara's, as I remember)--and that hospital pulled him through when the doctors gave up on him.  We did not actually move into Lincoln until 1956 from Mt. Pulaski, the year between my eighth grade and the start of high school.  So I started high school with all of you.  Remarkably, I played basketball in grade school in Mt. Pulaski, and the only team we could never beat in the county tournaments was Lincoln Central, with its stars, Jim Brackney, Bob Goebel, J. D. Aeilts and the others.  I knew those guys before I arrived at Lincoln High, but in an odd "opponent" type of way.  They always had our number, and we weren't bad.  So in a sense, I was an outsider those first couple of high school years.  That is one reason I tried to get involved in so many things, as a way of meeting people and being "accepted."  It was not until we all moved out to the new high school that things were different, and I felt we were all on the same "footing." 

Unlike many of you, too, I stayed in Lincoln another four years after high school, going to college at the Christian College, where my dad was the Dean.  That's when Lincoln really became "home" to me, even though I knew then that I would not stay.  But I married there, and my son Joe was born at Abe Lincoln Memorial Hospital--delivered by Dr. Barringer, Linda Barringer's dad.  When I left in 1968 it was to Decatur and the newspaper there, and from there to graduate school at Urbana.  Anyway, your wonderful web site gets one thinking like this....but you know that already.  I am really looking forward to seeing you; I hope there is time for a lunch or breakfast together while we are "home."

Joe Webb

From: Lee Walker [mailto:daviszz1@yahoo.com]
Sent: Fri 7/7/2006 1:39 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Lincoln, always Lincoln

July 4, 2006

Dear Mr. Henson:

Thanks again for your website. (You're probably getting sick of hearing that.)

You are now a professor emeritus? - viz- retired? If so, I wish you the best as the rest of us poor "schmucks" labor on. Hope your health is good. We are of course strangers, yet because of Lincoln, I feel some affinity. I believe that the town's allure to my psyche is based on illusion. I would love to live there if I didn't still have to earn a living. Things have probably changed for the better since my (now ex) wife and I lived there in the early seventies. You may remember that we lived in Stringer Apartments, or they  may have been called Bartman Apartments back then. They were (and are) a set of four buildings located about half a block South of The Old Mill Tavern on the West side of the street. Washington Street runs South down the East side of Postville Park from Fifth Street. When it gets to First Street, it angles Southwesterly a bit and become Stringer Avenue. I've read on the website, and we've corresponded about, your experiences at the Old Mill. (The proprietor's wife waving around a handgun wasn't it?)

Unpleasant work experiences in Lincoln cloud my otherwise pleasant nostalgic memories of the kind of life we lived in Lincoln. We were poor as church mice. I worked in one of the factories. It was a terribly miserable experience. Bad pay, bad treatment. I'm no socialist, but that place was enough to make the proletariat rise up and take up arms! Yet I should have liked to have continued to live in Lincoln. We spent one year as students at Lincoln Christian College, and one more year as a poor struggling working class young married couple. In '73 we moved to the KC area. I've lived in the big ugly city ever since. The irony of course, I suppose, is that if the economic opportunities were better in Lincoln, it would not be the same Lincoln. With a lot of economic development would come a lot of change. Not all of it would enhance Lincoln's alluring small town beauty. The State School still operated in the seventies. That's gone now. Stetson was already gone by my time in Lincoln. Is PGP plate glass still there? Myers Industries, the cardboard box factory, the pop bottle factory? The population in the early seventies, I think, was in the neighborhood of 17,500, it's now down under 15,000, I believe. In six to nine years, I hope to retire. Perhaps in Lincoln. Who knows?

You by contrast, grew up in Lincoln. I grew up in Rock Island (the Quad-Cities). You are certainly by my measure, a vocational success. A Ph.D. I can't imagine. I never finished my bachelors. I think I needed a little more testosterone in those days. I'm a real estate examiner and certainly not ashamed to have been doing this for twenty some years. So things could have turned out a lot worse.     

You had some new "stuff" on the Lincoln Rustic. If I get my butt in gear, I'll send you some old stuff on it. When my wife and I were LCC students, one of the places we frequented, during our courtship, was the Lincoln Rustic. You could buy soft drinks, ice cream, hot dogs, etc. No longer a tavern by this time. The owner or proprietor was a real Abraham Lincoln trivia nut. I think he offered for sale a few books about Abraham Lincoln and a few Abraham Lincoln nicknacks. He had glass case with an "exact" replica of the rocker that Lincoln sat in at the Ford theater when assassinated. Perhaps a little morbid. Of course The Rustic building was the site of the conspirator's meetings to steal poor Abe's corpse. One door toward the square from the Rustic was the Gem Restaurant, another place we frequented. Good food. Also on Pulaski Street opposite the Courthouse, was the Arcade and the Arcade Restaurant. On a visit two years ago the Arcade Restaurant seems to have changed little, although the smoked glass tables have all been replaced.

I'm reminded of Rod Serling's "Walking Distance": going back home and going back in time. All the little landmarks, the places of memory, make me want to come home. 

Enough for now - I'll try to write more later.

With all good wishes, yours sincerely,

Lee Walker

From: PetieL8613@aol.com [mailto:PetieL8613@aol.com]
Sent: Sat 7/29/2006 11:16 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Re: William Livingston's e-mail address

Thanks, Leigh.  I've been really enjoying reading about Lincoln, Illinois and William Maxwell. What a marvelous website you have!  I am 85 and am treated like a precious piece of antique china, instead of broad-beamed, sturdy Irishman I really am.

My daughter says, "Relax, Mom, and enjoy it.  You've earned it."  Leave it to a librarian.

I remember Dr. Young quite well.  He was the anesthetist when I had my tonsils out, an appendectomy, and a resection of the apppy's incision..

 Feels like we are in for some more muggy Illinois humidity.  Grandad always said it was good for the corn.  Gotta be good for something!

                                                       Pat Littlefield


From: Phillip Hash [mailto:pmh3@calvin.edu]
Sent: Sat 8/12/2006 1:19 PM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: RE: Lincoln Web Site


Thank you so much. This is just what I needed. PHIL

Phillip Hash
Assistant Professor of Music
Coordinator of Music Education
Music Department
Calvin College
1795 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan  49546-4404
(616) 526-6022, office
>>> "Henson, D Leigh" <DLHenson@MissouriState.edu> 08/12/06 1:58 PM >>>

Hi, Phil Hash,

I appreciate your compliment on my community history Web site of Lincoln, Illinois, and I am glad to hear about your dissertation research. I am soon to head out of town, so your message reached me just in time to avoid a delay in my response. I have scanned the newsletter issue that you cite and attached it as a PDF. The quality is not the best, but it is legible, and I hope it meets your need.




From: Phillip Hash [mailto:pmh3@calvin.edu]
Sent: Sat 8/12/2006 10:37 AM
To: dlh105f@smsu.edu
Subject: Lincoln Web Site

Mr. Henson,

Thank you for you web site on Lincoln Illinois. I am currently finishing a dissertation on the Development of School Bands in Illinois from 1863-1930 and have included bands from The Asylum for Feeble Minded Children and The Odd Fellows Orphans Home in the document. Could you tell me where I could get a copy of the following article:

Gehlbach, Nancy Lawrence. "Home, Sweet Home."  Our Times volume 6, number 4, winter, 200l. Sam Redding, Publisher.  Prairie Years Press. 121 N. Kickapoo Street. Lincoln, IL 62656

Also, what page numbers does this article begin and end on? Thank you very much.


Phillip Hash
Assistant Professor of Music
Coordinator of Music Education
Music Department
Calvin College
1795 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan  49546-4404
(616) 526-6022, office

From: Patricia England [mailto:pattiengland@msn.com]
Sent: Thu 8/24/2006 4:01 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Lincoln Website, a gift

Dr. Henson,

    It is the middle of the night and I cannot rest until I thank you for your efforts on this personal and intimate look into Lincoln, Illinois. I have such a longing in my heart to learn about the 'every day' life of Lincoln. My mother, Barbara Hoelscher, grew up there and her family roots dig deep into Lincoln for the four generations previous to her. My mother died when I was a young child, and the only thing of hers that I have is a scrapbook that she had during her school years. (She graduated from Lincoln High in 1956, then moved to New York City)  My father had severed contact with my mother's family after her death, and I found them only about 10 years ago. However, all of my mother's siblings also died young, before I had the chance to get to know them or their stories. As an only child, without extended family interaction, there has always been a void in my otherwise wonderful life.

    I am now a grandmother, and I live in Utah, where family history is a common hobby. I would like to take a trip to Lincoln soon and absorb all that I can. I came across your website for the first time earlier this evening, and have had to read every word and study every picture. I have found names of people in my family tree, and names of friends and places mentioned in my mother's scrapbook. The tears flowed freely when I saw my mothers name mentioned in Memorium on Mr. Johnson's Class of '56 site. I cannot thank you enough.

    Family history is a huge part of who we are and what we leave for the next generations, and yet I have not been able to put those pieces together. I have so many questions, the information and stories on your site and the links have been so interesting and personal to me. Thank you again, I'm going to try to sleep now, but I know I will be using the resources you have provided, and getting to know my mother and her family, MY FAMILY.


Patricia England   

From: Jeff Green [mailto:jeffgreen@ftml.net]
Sent: Wed 8/23/2006 5:14 PM
To: dlh105f@smsu.edu

     Hey, I'm a new resident in Lincoln, IL... moved here to go to school. and I'm writing to THANK YOU for your amazingly helpful map of downtown.  I know you resources are more for visitors, but I found it to be valuable as I try to get adjusted to the town (especially since I come from a big city enviornment!).


From: Joe Anderson [mailto:jjanders@net-magic.net]
Sent: Tue 8/15/2006 5:04 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Your web site

     I just learned of your web site and love it.

     Are you still  adding Lincoln stories?

     I may have some that would interest you....especially on WPRC (we lived on Wyatt Avenue next to Raymond Knochel, who owned WPRC, and I worked there as a dejay for several summers).

     Is your sister Linda?

     My Father, Paul Anderson (who died 4 years ago at age 90), worked for a number of years at LHS with your Dad. They were good friends.

     I now live on Amelia Island in Florida....far north Florida on Atlantic side.

Bonnie Keys Thompson (daughter of Ray Keys) lives an hour away on St. Simon's Island, Georgia.

Each year she  and several high school girl friends (Georgia Becker, Judy Berg, Patty Sterling, Barb Needham, Jan Sunderland, Connie Hudspeth, Becky Tesch, etc.) get together.  They will be doing this in October this year.  My wife and I will be having all of them down here for lunch and an afternoon at the beach.  I will make sure they all know about your wonderful web site.

     Again, thanks for your good work.

Joe Anderson    LHS '63


Bonnie Thompson [bonniethomps@bellsouth.net]


 Wed 10/18/2006 3:43 PM






 Lincoln, IL



Hi, Leigh.  I don't know that we have met, but I'm the former Bonnie Keys of Lincoln, class of '63, and my dad was Raymond Keys (Lincoln Savings and Loan).

I have stumbled on to your website many times and have actually contacted some people where you have listed e-mails for various things.  I have been trying for a few years to discover the whereabouts and well-being of David Shroyer, Larry Shroyer's son.  I was good friends with David's children and visited them in Broomfield, CO years ago, but have lost touch since Larry and Halcyone died.  Just wondered if you know if David and Jean are still alive and where they might be.

Your website is terrific.  There is so much there that I'm just astounded and am looking forward to popping into it every now and then to read up on everything.

I live on St. Simons Island on the southern coast of Georgia.

Thanks for a fabulous read!


Bonnie Keys Thompson       

 Provin, Loni Renea (UMC-Student) [lrpmq7@mizzou.edu]


 Fri 10/20/2006 11:08 PM


 Henson, D Leigh




 Knott history



My name is Loni Provin, I am 21 years old. My Grandma is Suzanne (Knott) Provin. My grandma is wanting to find out more about her family history. She is 81 Years old and I think she feels like she is running out of time. She wants to travel to IL and go to cemeteries and any where else she thinks she might find info. I thought using the internet might help or at least narrow our search. I have searched websites and haven't found too much information. We know that her side of the family moved to missouri from IL possibly around LeRoy. I have found some names I know from websites for cemeteries but i would like to find info on marriages, land, births and anything else. We have a few pictures and names. I have found a small amount of info on John Knott. He was a confederate soldier and my grandma's great great ect grandpa, I belive. Other names include Ernest Knott, Della May Knott, Nettie Knott, Merlin Knott Clarence Knott. I am sure you recieve emails all the time like this but I would really be thankful for any suggestions or information.

cliff-margtrowbridge [cliff-margtrowbridge@insightbb.com]


 Sat 10/28/2006 10:35 PM






 1925 obituary Lincoln Star Newspaper




I find your web page most interesting.  I have been searching for an obituary of an ancestor:  Bertha (  ) Trowbridge, who died June 11, 1925 in Logan Co., and was buried on June 12, 1925 in Olney, IL.  Sheets Undertaking Co. handled the burial.  Her husband was Harvey Ernest Trowbridge (sometimes mispelled as Harry/Henry on records).   Her Illinois death record states she died at Deaconess Hospital of General Peritonitis, in Lincoln.  Their address at the time was 501 N. Hamilton.  Her parents are listed as William Woods and  Martha Puttoff.

I am hoping you can guide me to a source where the newspaper obituary might be preserved on record.  My e-mail is:  cliff-margtrowbridge@insightbb.com   Thank you so much.

NANCMCLN0214@aol.com [NANCMCLN0214@aol.com]


 Thu 11/9/2006 8:49 PM


 Henson, D Leigh







My name is Nancy Thomson. I'm trying to find out about the about the 2ID  38th INF Regt. My father was at Ardennes 45and Rhineland 45. He earned the Bronze Star Medal 15 May 45. He was a litter bearer. His name is Leslie B. (Berl) Bronson. I have his enlisted record and report of separation Honorable Discharge. I don't even know where to start to look for info. I just recently came across the records and wanted to find out about the Bronze Star he was awarded. My father died in the 1970's . Since my husband is active duty Army and deployed right now, I thought I might take the time to research this. Your web site is the only one I've come across that mentioned things listed on the papers I found put away. f you could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it. I would love to have this information for my daughter who never knew her grandfather.

Thank you for any help,

Nancy Thomson

5335-2 Northup St.

Ft. Hood, TX. 76544

Charlane Starks [starks4um2@comcast.net]


 Fri 11/24/2006 5:34 AM


 Henson, D Leigh







Leigh Hanson,

I've really enjoyed your Website (as evident of my being up to 3a.m.)!

My name is Sam Starks III, and I'm related to, or aware of, a number of the African American families you site in your review of Blacks in Lincoln.  I'm a family researcher by hobby, but my kin are early Lincolnites! 

My grandfather, Sam Starks Sr.  was from Bowling Green, Ky. My father, Sam Starks Jr.(Junior) as we was affectionately called graduated in the 1947 class.  His mother was Anna Mae Fort...her father was born a slave (he was referenced in the 1939 article in Lincoln regarding the former slaves...Dock Fort.

Sam Starks Sr. grandfather was Walter Orendorff...Mary, however, was not his grandmother.  A.B. Orendorff was Walter grandson.

I can tell you a few things about the remembrance of my father who passed in 2002.  I spent time with a woman you mentioned, Mary Foster.  My father's best friends were Richard "Dickie" Moore Brummell (yes, related to Dr. Billy...Alfred, Aaron and the rest of the Dyer and Brummell families.

I'll be more than glad to share what I know about African Americans in Lincoln.

Sam Starks!

gymh73@peoplepc.com [gymh73@peoplepc.com]


 Fri 12/8/2006 11:17 AM









Thank You for the information on the IOOF Home in Lincoln Illinois.

My Mother Wilma Irene Slagle, 2 of her brothers Wilson and Ivan and possibly 2 of her sisters, Letha and Reba were raised at the Home.

Could you provide me with information about when they arrived and when they left the Home? My Mother was born in 1911 and if the policy was that they had to leave at age 17 then she would have left around 1928.

Any assistance or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you James Horne Denver, CO.


 Mark Starr [markstarr@sbcglobal.net]


 Tue 12/12/2006 1:18 AM


 Henson, D Leigh




 The Zora Burns Murder in Lincoln, Illinois in 1883



Hello Prof. Henson,

I have been browsing your webpage about Lincoln, Illinois.  I am currently researching in depth the murder of Zora Burns in Lincoln, Illinois in 1883, and the subsequent trial of Orrin A. Carpenter in Peterburg, Illinois.  Although the Lincoln, Illinois website appears not to mention this murder, I would like to enquire whether you may have seen any original materials regarding this historic murder in the course of your own research.  Most of all, I am searching for photographs of Zora Burns (which I know existed in 1883 but do not appear to have published); and also of Orrin Carpenter.  If you know of any such material, or any other historians or officials who might have such material, I would be most grateful for the information.

Many thanks,

Mark Starr

PERRY HARRIS [n801yz@insightbb.com]


 Sat 12/16/2006 10:09 AM


 Henson, D Leigh




 William (Bill) 'Chili' Childress



Hi Leigh,

First time caller...

Great, and I DO' mean GREAT- website.

Say brother, can you forward Chili's e-mail address to me, providing you have it, as I was unsuccessful in reaching him, using the link at your site. Here's the reason...

The following message to <mightychil@comcast.net> was undeliverable.
The reason for the problem:
5.1.0 - Unknown address error 551-'not our customer'

FWIW I was in the 6th grade, when I met Chili. He lived next door to us (our address; 225 N.Union St., Lincoln.) At that time, Chili was a LC teacher/professor. He had such a colorful personality... one that left an indelible mark on me, and likely on everyone else that had the distinct pleasure of knowing him.



PS Had I stayed in Lincoln, I would have been part of the graduating class of LCHS, (1975.) 

PSS You probably know some of my family; 'the Kirks.' Mary (Kay,) John, Evie, Howard, Joanie, Frank & Jim. Mary (Kay) was my mom. She died last Dec., (1937-2005.) My grandparents (both deceased) were Henry and Evelyn Kirk. They lived at 436 8th St., in Lincoln.

J42Gibson@aol.com [J42Gibson@aol.com]


 Tue 12/19/2006 2:23 PM


 Henson, D Leigh








I could not contain myself. I must tell you that with this new equipment, I was able to fully view your Wilson website!!!! All pictures came up clear with and soooo many memories.

I have a lot of catching up to do but I wanted to let you know that I will, finally, get to see all that you have so lovingly and laboriously accomplished.

My proverbial hat is truly off to you. What a significant historical feat.

This family member is more than proud to exchange thoughts and ideas with you.

The citizens of Lincoln and Logan County should be grateful that however their destiny was shaped that you have preserved much of it.

And, you can add this to the Lincoln comments website.

One of these days I will know how to do it myself.


Your cousin,


-----Original Message-----
From: Ralenover43@aol.com [mailto:Ralenover43@aol.com]
Sent: Wed 2/14/2007 5:41 PM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Lincoln internet site

I just wanted to write a note to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lincoln, IL on the web site. William K. Maxwell was my gr. grandfathers brother. I am a descendant of Charles Maxwell who died young of typhoid.  I sent the web site to all of my cousins, two of which attended college in Lincoln. I already received an email back from one cousin asking when we can take a weekend trip to Lincoln, which I am sure we will do in the spring. Reading about the people, homes and history of Lincoln was the best way to spend a snowy, cold day in Chicago. Thanks so much. Ruth Lenover

-----Original Message-----
From: tjohn [mailto:tjohn@prodigy.net.mx]
Sent: Thu 4/26/2007 3:59 PM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Lincoln, IL web site

Dear Mr. Henson,

I would like to extend my thanks to you for presenting your community history site on Lincoln, Illinois, which I have enjoyed very much in recent months (and continue to enjoy, as it is quite extensive!). I found your site one day while searching for information on Lincoln as I was wandering down memory lane -- I was taken to Lincoln numerous times as a young child in the 1960s to visit relatives, as my father grew up in Lincoln in the 1920s and '30s. I have lived in Mexico City for many years and rarely visit the United States, however your site has sparked a renewed interest in me to visit Lincoln once again some day.

I have one question regarding your site: Does it have a bulletin board-type forum where far flung folks can post questions or make contacts to fill in the blanks in their Lincoln memories? I have reviewed the site but have not found this forum if it is there.

Thank you once again and I wish you success in your continued development of the site.

Best regards,
Tom Johnston

-----Original Message-----
From: peter smith [mailto:smithpbs03@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sat 5/5/2007 11:25 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh

by means of introduction..

I am an architect/professor of architecture at washu in st.louis and SIU in carbondale...and my parents both are from LINCOLN, ILLINOIS..so lincoln was and is a big part of our family's history..

I currently live in ST.LOUIS but am back and forth to IOWA, where the folks live...taking me right by LINCOLN on I55...I stop in quite a bit to just check out things....because I also have a great interest in RTE 66 and associated motels, autos..signs..etc.

I wanted to send you my folks e-mail...my dad had originally sent me your website link and yet I think he might be hesitant to send a note your way...(he turns 80 at the end of MAY of this year...)  I am not sure of his graduation date from LINCOLN HIGH...but pre WWII..as he was in the military... 1944 possibly...mothers' graduation was 2 years later...but I know he would love to talk LINCOLN..... she actually is on a committee for their high school class reunion this upcoming summer....again...maybe class of 1947 for her?? (I am not sure..her 60th reunion???? possibly)

NORMAN B. SMITH living in MUSCATINE, IOWA (dad has several degrees from the University of ILLINOIS..chemistry and chemical engineering..he is now retired)  mother:
MARILYN J. SMITH (Augspurger was her maiden name...harry f. augspurger was her dad..he was superintendent of schools in lincoln for some time) she has a degree also from the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS...in Home economics..she is also retired. My masters degree is also from UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS..fancy that...!

there still is some family around LINCOLN...ALAN PEGRAM...a cousin..of my mother's...farms some land just east and south of the town....

so...as you can see by means of this intro..lincoln is a place that we are all aquainted with...I also have three sisters who living in various parts of the country..but all of them hold tight to memories of LINCOLN as we all grew up...

I thought maybe if you were not too busy, you might be able to ROUST the father into chatting LINCOLN..via an e-mail from you....I know he would enjoy that...

so..I'll include just a couple of images I took on a recent trip through LINCOLN...(architecty stuff..I have many, however...) I have sign photos of THE TROPICS SIGN..also of BOBS ROAST BEEF..(I was crushed when they closed..and still wonder where the large cow wearing the chef's hat went following the closing...)

peter b. smith, NCARB, architect


thanks so much for all your good work on that site...good thing summer is coming..so following the completion of my university work for the year, I'll check out all those MANY links you have in place..

and if you haven't seen it....well....you will be amazed at something one of my students sent me...about
the creation of a VERY LARGE LINCOLN STATUE just outside of town...here is it's link..a very crazy and strange thought...


-----Original Message-----
From: peter smith [mailto:smithpbs03@yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 5/7/2007 9:55 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh

thank you so much for your quick response....and I know in hearing from you..dad will most likely respond...I'm glad you cc'd him.....on this....he and my mother both have many friends that are connected to
the town...and they keep in touch with as many as possible...

I'll dig through photos of the downtown...once school wraps up...I have not taken that many, but I do enjoy
the town square......I do love the phone booth on top of the city hall.... and here is another fact that tied me to the city..

I was working for an architect in CHAMPAIGN..while I was in school there....who was designing the new
police/jail facility for LINCOLN..and I was the lead designer on it....with my grandfather on the board...so that was fun...(and hopefully for him a proud moment). I would travel over to LINCOLN on weekends to view the construction, so that was a lot of fun...

again, thanks for all your hard work..


----- Original Message ----- [Published here with Ryan's permission]

Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:26 PM

Subject: [Bulk] RE: Inquiry re: James T. McCarthy

Dear Leigh:

 When I saw the name James McCarthy [in your message to Bob McCarthy], I didn’t delete your e-mail as spam.  My name is Ryan Baker (age 40 – Bob McCarthy hired me right out of law school in 1992).  I am Robert McCarthy’s law partner (since 1995) – at the office at this late hour working on files and responding to e-mail messages.

 I have to relate this to you, so bear with me……

 It sometimes is an ironic world…just 3 hours ago I ran into YOUR WEBSITE!!  Why?  Because my wife was going to take my young daughters (ages 2 and 4) and her mother and great aunt to Lincoln tomorrow for a treat (planned Mother’s Day gift to her mom and aunt) to visit a few shops on the square.  Since I had grown up in Lincoln, (like Bob McCarthy did) I told her about the Mill and the schnitzel (I told her it was as big as a Frisbee – I hope that wasn’t just through my young eyes that I remember it being that big!!) and that I had seen on WAND news several months back reporter Scott England talking about the Mill/schnitzel and that although the Mill was out of business that the sandwich was still available through her grandsons.  She asked me to call my parents and see if they new where.  I said, “I’ll ‘Google’ it.”  Well, your website popped up and I clicked on it and I started to scroll down, being in a hurry to get to the info. I was after.  But then I couldn’t help  but start to read about what I used to call dead man’s curve, and the gravel pits, author Maxwell (I grew up on Ninth Street) and on and on (I got goose bumps reading about my home town). I found the story about the Mill and wrote down for her the address on Kickapoo and that it was called ? Lunch box (or something like that – I’m at the office now –what I wrote down for her is at home).  

 My father, Dean Baker, was in school administration in Logan County (and continues to reside at Ninth Street).  I graduated LCHS in 1984, then Lincoln College in 1986, then the U of I and then law school. I remember Paul Gleason – I was the student leader (under his guidance) for the mural painted on the second floor in the Jr. High School in 1979-80 –which I noticed was torn down.  I remember Paul Beaver from college – as teacher and as some one well versed in history.  Bob McCarthy and I followed some of the same paths (hometown and schooling and profession) – but at very different times in the country’s history.  Bob still practices law here, on a reduced schedule, he just turned 83.  He lives in Naples in the winter and his son Doug McCarthy occupies the office down the hallway from me. A painting by his brother hangs over Bob’s desk in his law office down the hall. Bob McCarthy is an exceptional man and he is the reason I accepted his job offer at this firm in 1992, as a fresh whipper- snapper out of law school - in spite of several other offers, some in the “big cities.”

 I thought your website was exceptional.  I kept thinking “what’s in this for the creator of the site (ads etc.), could it be a labor of love?”  Wow, wow and wow.  I intend to copy it to my brother and sisters and parents.

 I have always thought fondly of Lincoln (although I wanted to get out and “see the world.” )– my upbringing in the town of Lincoln has proven to be quite an anchor for my character, I believe.

 Well, I hope I have not imposed on you with the above recounting.  I also hope that my wife and her travel companions get to taste an authentic Lincoln, Illinois schnitzel tomorrow – I’m only sorry that it is a business day and therefore I can’t go with them and relive some memories tomorrow.  Home is in your mind, so you can always go home.

 I will see that Robert (Bob) McCarthy and his wife Mary get this e-mail when he is next in the office, probably tomorrow. It might take him some time to respond.

 Best Regards,

 Ryan L. Baker


 Thank you for your website.

----- Original Message ----- [Published here with Fred's permission]

From: "FRED CUTLIP" <cutlipf@elltel.net>

To: "Leigh Henson" <dlh105f@sbcglobal.net>

Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 1:45 PM

Subject: Thanks!

Hello, Leigh -
> I've been meaning (the road to Hell is paved . . .) to email you for some time, to express my genuine appreciation for the Lincolniana you send my way, and also to ask that, if possible, you greet your dad for me.  He drove the LCHS bus that picked me up out at Chestervale for a long ride out through the southeast part of the county each morning. What a sweet-tempered man he was! In those gentler days, he could quiet a busload with a long, slow look in the mirror.
> My dad, Roy Cutlip, worked with Darold for a few years before his death in 1955. I was so proud of my dad, as you must be of yours. They, and Sam Zimmerman, were well-known and well-liked by so many of my peers.
> Today, finally, I write to thank you specifically for the link you provided to Joe Webb. This came at a fortuitous time, as you will see when you read my email exchange with Joe, being forwarded to you in minutes.  You are free to share this story.
> Best wishes,
> Fred Cutlip
> LCHS 1953


----- Original Message -----

From: "Fred Cutlip" <cutlipf@elltel.net>

Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:57 PM

Subject: Lynn Cutlip


> Dear Dr. Webb,
> I think you were in a quartet with my brother Lynn in the mid-fifties. If that is the case, I need to tell you that he and I spoke within the last several weeks of those days, and of you.
> If you are moved to do so, I know a call from you would be a joy and blessing to my brother.  He is in good spirits, unafraid, and he is dying in a hospice in Skokie.  I just spoke with his wife Cheryl, and the room sounded rather lively. One just calls the hospice center, 847 933 3888, and asks for Room 337, shooting for a time when he might be awake- say before 8:30 Chicago time. Talking with Lynn is not a downer!
> You have built and enjoyed a fine career. Congratulations! I was as fortunate - became a math professor, retired in 2000. We are blessed - all of us - Lynn included.
> Sincerely,
> Fred Cutlip


----- Original Message -----

From: "Joseph Webb" <jwebb1@gardner-webb.edu>

To: "Fred Cutlip" <cutlipf@elltel.net>

Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:57 PM

Subject: Re: Lynn Cutlip


> Dear Fred,
> What a lovely note to get!  Thank you for sending it.  And while the news about Lynn is sad to have, it brings back some of the warmest  memories of our youth--both me and my brother John, to whom I am  forwarding this note, in case you didn't find him.  The quartet was Richard Hargrove, Lynn, John, and I--and did we ever have some good times.  They didn't last more than a year or so, but they were great. 
> We won an award of some sort in the high school competition, as I recall.  And we sang together a lot of places.  Lynn was a terrific singer, and it was fun.  I sure will call him--I am in a meeting tonight, but will do with about 8:30 tomorrow night.  Blessings on you all--thanks for finding me!
> Joe Webb

Leigh's note: here is Joe Webb's professional Web site address: http://gardner-webb.edu/academics/areas-of-study/communication-studies/faculty-and-staff/joseph-webb/index,


Email from Diana Charter, August 2012:

Dear Leigh,

I am a Johnny-come-lately to your Lincoln website.  In fact, so many years have passed since its creation that my congratulations are somewhat anti-climactic.  Nevertheless, I want to thank you for this history of our little midwestern town.  It's absolutely wonderful -- informative, interesting and a springboard to a sea of memories!

During my childhood in Lincoln, my elders' reverence for "dear old Abe" was transferred to me.  When I was very young, I thought Jesus, Santa Claus and Abe Lincoln were interchangeable!  To me, each one was all-knowing, honest, caring, good.  Of course, I soon realized that Mr. Lincoln, although a superstar, was "just a man," but I've continued to believe he was an amazing man -- the right man at the right time.  When my parents left Lincoln in 1965, the Chamber of Commerce gave them a bust of Lincoln as a remembrance.  It was proudly displayed in all their various residences for 4 1/2 decades thereafter, and I have it  in my home today.  My children have assimilated this former Lincolnite's reverence for our 16th president even though they didn't have the experience (and the pleasure) of growing up in his namesake town.

In addition to learning interesting facts about Lincoln's relationship to the town, I've also been delighted to find on your website old pictures and great commentary regarding the many layers of the community -- from businesses to taverns to restaurants (I LOVED those Pighip sandwiches) to hotels to factories to pool halls to swimming holes.  The postcards and photos of Lincoln Lakes evoked the remembered joy of fun in the summer sun, the Red Cross Learn to Swim program, the concession stand where yummy popsicles and ice cream bars were just steps away.  My brother remembers running barefoot across the burning hot sand to the relief of the somewhat cooler (though splintery) wooden stairs of the concession stand and gratefully opening the rickety screen door before claiming his frozen treat (which usually melted before being fully consumed).  It seems as if I was always covered with stuck-on sand and sticky rivulets of orange, red or purple popsicle drippings.  Those were the "badges" of a day at the lakes!  I remember the sounds of splashing and laughter and shouting and the lifeguard's constant whistle and admonition,  "Walk -- don't run!"  Who could forget the sense of accomplishment we all felt when we summoned up the courage to jump or dive off the third level of the tower?  Being able to swim all the way to the second rope was another real achievement.  Every year when spring rolled around and the world was mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful ( a la e.e. cummings), I felt that eager and exciting anticipation of the school year ending soon and then the first day at Lincoln Lakes and the long stretch of lazy summer days ahead .  We were lucky to have that ole swimmin' hole!!

The collection of group pictures and memoirs regarding the Roy Rogers Riders' Club is a real treasure!  I recall fondly those 12-cent Saturday matinees with Superman serials and films starring Tarzan, Gene Autry, Hop-along Cassidy,The Cisco Kid and a handsome cowboy named Red Ryder.  They all added a little vicarious adventure and romance to our pre-adolescent exxperience.  Since my father's jewelry store was right next door to the Lincoln Theatre (before relocating to Broadway St.), my parents felt it was safe to allow my brother and I to go to the Saturday shows every week, and the RRRC made it so much more exciting.  Participation was encouraged through the games and contests and there were even calls for club volunteers to perform on stage the following week.  One Saturday, I actually sang (not memorably) "If I Knew You Were Coming, I'd Have Baked a Cake!"  (I still remember all the corny lyrics)!  Fearing the very real possibility of embarrassing myself or my family, I had kept my upcoming performance a secret.  However, on the big day, Paul Million scurried next door and clued Dad in. In later years when I was "mature" enough (about 5 years ago!!), Dad finally admitted the performance was not exactly "stellar!"  There were, however, some true stars among our contemporaries and the RRRC provided a venue and an opportunity for them to showcase their talents -- singing or playing various instruments (guitars, harmonicas, ukeleles, accordions).  I was impressed by the talent of those "amateur hour" performers, but most of all, I loved the singing cowboys on the big screen of the Lincoln Theatre, expecially Gene Autry and his twangy theme song, "Back in the Saddle Again."  I think both Roy Rogers and Gene Autry sang my childhood favorite, "Don't Fence Me In," a song to which I still relate!  I wonder how many Country/Western music lovers were born at the Saturday matinees at the Lincoln Theatre.

It was quite a surprise when I recognized myself in picture #14 of the RRRC collection.  I was able to identify a few others as well.  The girl in the middle front with the striped shirt is Laura Lee Davis (LCHS '59).  To the left of Laura is my younger brother, John Charter ('63). and the girl (right front) with the cardigan sweater is me, Diana Charter ('58).  The girl in the back row with the light colored blouse and the neckscarf is Linda Layman ('58).  I believe the boy to the far left in the back row is Jim Heinzel ('56) and the girl next to him is Sandra Dehner ('57).  I had never seen this picture before, and it was a thrill to find it.

When I visited Lincoln in 2003 for the first time in 35 years, one of my overwhelming feelings was, "Why did I never appreciate (or even notice) all those wonderful old homes of every conceivable architectural style?"  I was blown away by the grace and dignity of so many stately old homes, many of which have been beautifully restored.  I've appreciated photos on your website of old Lincoln homes, some still standing.  I visited the house my parents built in 1954 where I lived during my high school years.  (The Edward Madigan family lived in that house when he was Secretary of Agriculture.)  The house is a great example of mid-century modern architecture.  The interesting thing about the house is that it has a huge attached garage which housed my parents' airplane and two cars (one under each wing).  They leased the land behind the house for their own private runway, so all they had to do when they embarked on a trip was pull the plane out of the garage and take off!!  I had a boyfriend who was a pilot and he sometimes landed on our runway in a rented plane to take me on a "flying date" to Springfield or St. Louis -- for lunch!!  Our neighbors who had a farm across the road eventually got used to the roaring of  planes only about 100 feet or so above their house coming in for landings on our runway -- or my boyfriend's occasional mischievous "buzzing" of our house.  Old airmaps show two landing strips in Lincoln -- the Logan County Airport and the Charter's back yard!  At the time, I just took the "airplane house" for granted as I think others in Lincoln did, but in retrospect, I realize what an unusual thing it was to have a runway in your yard and a plane in your garage.  In the almost 60 years since, I haven't come across any other ORDINARY people who did that -- only some very wealthy celebrities like John Travolta. 

I've only scratched the surface of this extensive historical website, and I'm looking forward to more hours of reverie.  I left that small town 50 years ago, and although I've been a Floridian for 46 years,  I think I'll always be a Lincolnite at heart.  There is such a connection to the places and people of our youth.  It transcends time and distance, and the memories uplift the spirit! 

This is a remarkable research project, and you deserve all the accolades you've received.  Thanks to you and to all who have contributed their memories, memoirs, and memorabilia.

Best wishes,

Diana Charter diana.charter@gmail.com


From: Mary Beth Frampton <bcmama@sbcglobal.net>
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 1:29 PM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Thank you for your Lincoln, Illinois website


Dear Leigh,

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for the fabulous Lincoln, Illinois website you have produced.  I am descended from Logan county born grandparents and pioneer great-grandparents on my mother's side and have returned to your website time and again to fill in blanks and reminiscences of my grandparents and my Illinois family history.  I just returned to Oklahoma from a short visit to Lincoln where I visited the former homes, workplaces and gravesites of my Lincoln relatives.  Additionally, I visited the magical site of the Lincoln Chautauqua (a Cathedral of Trees to me) where my grandparents had met and took in the other "tourist" sites in and around Lincoln that have been wonderfully restored and maintained.  (I particularly loved the restored Tropics sign as one of my best lifetime memories occurred there when my uncles and the Perry brothers (Dr. Bob and Tom) sang an impromptu barbershop quartet concert for family and unsuspecting guests of the restaurant after the funeral of one of my great aunts!)


I have always had a romanticized view of Lincoln due to listening again and again to my grandmother's tales of her childhood there.  Her mother, father and sisters remained in Lincoln until their deaths and as a child I got to visit "the aunts" at their homes in Park Place.  My grandmother's best friend was Grace McGrath, sister-in-law to my grandmother's sister, Blanche Hodnett McGrath who was married to Ted McGrath.  When I got old enough, the stories of William Maxwell intertwined with my grandmother's stories to create a visible fantasy world for me.

My grandfather was from a farming family in East Lincoln.  Judge Lawrence "Uncle Larry" Stringer was his uncle by marriage.  So I had a wonderful mix of the "citified Lincolnites" and as-well-as large farming families in my background -- a well-rounded Logan County family history to be certain!

The same romantic spirit that grew in me concerning Lincoln fills your website.  Thank you for sharing so much work with the rest of us.  I look forward to returning to your website often.


Mary Beth Frampton

Tulsa, Oklahoma



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


"The Past Is But the Prelude"


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