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

Site Map


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

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Lincoln, Illinois

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Hensons of Business Route 66

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

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

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

The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past & Present

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

Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District

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

Agriculture in
the Route 66 Era

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

Business Heritage

Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era

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

Factories, Past and Present

Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era


Hospitals, Past and Present

Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras

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

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


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

with Distinction

News Media in the Route 66 Era

The Odd Fellows' Children's Home


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

A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois

Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era

The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

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


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

About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of Lincoln, Illinois

Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life


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

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

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories

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

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

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

(Post yours there.)


Highway Sign of
the Times:

The Route 66
Association of Illinois

The Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois Tourism Site:
Enjoy Illinois



   Email a link to this page to someone who might be interested.  Internet Explorer is the only browser that shows this page the way it was designed. Your computer's settings may alter the display.

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

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

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

  3. The Rise of Abraham Lincoln and
His History/Lore in His First Namesake Town

D. Leigh Henson, PhD

     Abraham Lincoln gained significant legal, business, and political experience in the city he named in 1853. This page chronicles Mr. Lincoln's activities in Lincoln, Illinois, and describes other related topics. This discussion emphasizes Mr. Lincoln's role in the founding of Lincoln, Illinois, as well as his political and business activities there. Of particular present-day interest is the case for developing an Illinois State Historical Society-endorsed historical marker at the site of Mr. Lincoln's major political speech of October 16, 1858, in Lincoln, Illinois.


     In 2007 I proposed both a marker and a statue of Lincoln the 1858 Senate Republican candidate in conjunction with the 2009 Bicentennial Celebration of Mr. Lincoln's birthday. I submitted this proposal to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, Illinois, of which I was an honorary member. (Directly access the justification for this marker on this Web page below.) The Bicentennial Commission liked the idea but did not fund the project. In 2010 I submitted an enhanced proposal for the historical marker to the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, Illinois (access the proposal in PDF). The Tourism Bureau also liked the idea but not enough to undertake a fund-raising effort. As of this writing in the fall of 2013, a local committee in Lincoln is raising funds for the statue, which will be accompanied by a historical marker. In May 2015 a statue named Lincoln Rallies the People and corresponding historical marker were installed on the southwest corner of the Logan County Courthouse Block to commemorate Mr. Lincoln's political rally and speech of October 16, 1858.

Mock-up of Proposed 1858 Lincoln Speech Historical Marker


The Rise of Abraham Lincoln, Including His Decision to Re-enter Politics in 1854
Mr. Lincoln's Role in the Founding of Lincoln, Illinois, and the Watermelon Christening Monument
Chronology for the Founding of Lincoln, Illinois
The Merging of Postville and Lincoln
The Centennial Park Monument and the Christening Monuments
• Mr. Lincoln's Other Business, Legal, and Political Activities in Lincoln, Illinois:
    -- Abraham Lincoln's lot  (1858) on the Courthouse square
    -- Abraham Lincoln's First-Known Speech in His First Namesake Town
    -- Abraham Lincoln's Second-Known Speech in His First Namesake Town
 -- Stephen Douglas Speaking in Lincoln, Illinois, with Abraham Lincoln in the Audience
    -- Abraham Lincoln's Third-Known Speech in His First Namesake Town
    -- A Lincoln-Related Historical Marker Mystery in His First Namesake Town
    -- Proposal to Re-Enact Mr. Lincoln's 1858 Rally and Speech in His First Namesake Town

    -- "The Little Brother of the Great Memorial" (Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.)
    -- Samuel C. Parks: A. Lincoln's Senior Law Partner and Political Ally in Lincoln, Illinois
    -- Various Legal and Political Activities of Samuel C. Parks and Abraham Lincoln
    -- Lionel P. Lacey: Abraham Lincoln's Lesser-known Law Partner in Lincoln, Illinois
    -- Abraham Lincoln's Fourth and Last-Known Speech in Lincoln
    -- Did Abraham Lincoln Practice Law in the Christian Church of Lincoln, Illinois?
•  Stephen Douglas's Last Speech in Lincoln, Illinois (1861)
•  The Founding of Lincoln College (1865)
•  Distinguished Lincolnites Lead Lincoln College in the Route 66 Era
•  Leigh Henson's Memoir of Lincoln College
A William Maxwell Connection to the Lincoln College Neighborhood (1910s)
•  The Plot to Steal Lincoln's body: A Conspiracy in the Rustic Tavern (1876)
•  Leigh Henson's Memoir of the Rustic Tavern (1963)

The Rise of Abraham Lincoln, Including His Decision to Re-enter Politics in 1854


3.1:  Abraham Lincoln in 1846-47

3.2:  Abraham Lincoln in 1860

     Photo 3.1 above is from David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, unnumbered page. Photo 3.2 above is by Samuel G. Alschuler from Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section 2, August 26, 1953, p. 13.


     Abraham Lincoln was active in the Lincoln, Illinois, region from 1836 through his Presidential election in 1860. Photo 3.1, the earliest known photo of Abraham Lincoln, was taken during Lincoln's first and only term in the US Congress and just about six years before he christened Lincoln, Illinois, in 1853.


     Note: The Lincoln portrait of 3.1 belongs to the Library of Congress. The date of this photo has been somewhat controversial. The photo had been given to Frederick Hill Meserve by Robert Todd Lincoln, who said the photo was made in Washington, D.C, about 1848 (see link to www.lincolnportrait.html under Sources Cited below). Known as Meserve #1, this photo, however, has been dated to1846-47 by the Lincoln Research Web site (link below under Sources Cited).

     Even before Lincoln served in Congress, he had established a successful law practice throughout central Illinois, including Postville and Mt. Pulaski in Logan County. Photo 3.1 shows a faint smile and sensitive, intelligent eyes (they were gray). This is a portrait of a man with the contentment of early professional success, but the photo also suggests humble dignity, rather than smug self-congratulation. In my view, Lincoln's photos typically show his humble dignity and conceal his life-long, tenacious ambition.

     Lincoln's first ambitions were to gain public office, begin a legal career, and establish family life. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives for four successive terms beginning in 1834. When Lincoln first ran for the Illinois legislature in 1832, unsuccessfully, he printed his "platform" in the Springfield Sangamo Journal, and this article expressed one of Lincoln's life-long goals: "Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. . . ." (Thomas, p. 29). Lincoln was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1837, and he moved to Springfield, Illinois, from New Salem and married in 1842.

     Then in 1849, after serving in the Congress, he returned to private law practice and did not become directly involved in politics till 1854, when he reacted to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, which opened the possibility for slavery to spread into the western territories. The historian William Lee Miller notes that Lincoln's decision to re-enter politics was bold and would pose unusually difficult challenges. Miller writes that Lincoln's primary motive was to get the Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed, even it if meant supporting someone who was not in Lincoln's political party, the Whigs (Lincoln's Virtues, p. 301). Miller raises the question of why Lincoln would make such a decision at a time when he had escaped poverty, established a young  family, and had gained financial stability and social respectability through his growing law practice. Miller explains: "One reason, surely, was [Lincoln's] 'thirst for distinction,' his desire that his name be known, that he be 'truly esteemed of his fellow men,' by rendering himself 'worthy of their esteem.' Here was his chance. A related reason, surely, was that this time his longtime rival Stephen Douglas might be vulnerable" (Lincoln's Virtues, p. 250). David Herbert Donald summarizes Lincoln's broad, complex ambition: Lincoln "worked indefatigably for a better world--for himself, for his family, and for his nation" (Lincoln, p. 15).

     Lincoln's ambition, coupled with his intelligence and remarkable shrewdness, is the only way to explain his rise from laborer (flatboat worker), store clerk, failed grocery store owner, and traveling surveyor to become this nation's greatest President. Undoubtedly, Lincoln would have been flattered in 1853 when he was asked if the new town 30 miles north of the state capital could be named after him.

     When he christened Lincoln, Illinois, in late August of 1853, he was only a few months away from his decision to re-enter politics, and only a year away from the speeches he gave in the second half of 1854 that ultimately led to his Presidency.

     Photo 3.2 reflects a realization of the task ahead of him in 1860 that he knew to be greater even than Washington's. The jaw is set, the penetrating eyes revealing his profound intelligence and determination to accept and meet the challenge. When the photo showing the early beard was taken, the President-elect had already begun the serious business of working with other prominent Republicans in selecting his cabinet members. He was traveling to Chicago in late November, 1860, to meet his Vice President-elect, Hannibal Hamlin, for the first time. As they met for three days, "the main item on the agenda was the selection of the cabinet" (David Herbert Donald, Lincoln, p. 262).

     From the early 1840s to 1860, Lincoln transformed himself from locally successful lawyer to acclaimed national political leader and courageous President-elect. The city of Lincoln, Illinois, witnessed and participated in the drama of Mr. Lincoln's amazing advancement, as summarized by the inscription on the historical marker located at the city's christening site by the railroad depot:

     "Near this site Abraham Lincoln christened the town with the juice of a watermelon when the first lots were sold on August 27, 1853. President-elect Lincoln spoke here, November 21, 1860, while traveling to Chicago, and Lincoln's funeral train stopped here, May 3, 1865, before completing the trip to Springfield." 

     This rest of this page describes Mr. Lincoln's activities in Lincoln, Illinois, that reflect his rise in his profession and early popularity.

Mr. Lincoln's Role in the Founding of Lincoln, Illinois, and the Watermelon Christening Monument

     In 1853, the Chicago and Alton Railroad was constructed about a mile east of Postville, and developers founded a new community in the vicinity of the railroad tracks. The town's developers (Robert Latham, John D. Gillett, and Virgil Hickox) proudly asked their distinguished attorney, Abraham Lincoln (also the railroad's attorney), if he would agree to have the town named after him. According to Judge Stringer, Lincoln cautioned, "You'd better not do that, for I never knew anything named Lincoln that amounted to much" (Stringer, p. 568). 

      It was typical of Lincoln to be outwardly modest, yet he had a sizable ego. It drove him through numerous political setbacks; for example, he overcame demoralizing defeat by Douglas in the Senate race of 1858, persisted in public life, and gained the Presidency in 1860. 

     Lincoln exemplifies American aspiration at its best -- striving for success in professional life and public service. An ambitious politician, Lincoln agreed to have the town named for him. He even agreed to perform the ceremony of naming it (August 27, 1853).

3.3: Lloyd Ostendorf Painting of Abraham Lincoln Christening the Town of Lincoln

     This image appears on a placemat that was probably used at the Rustic Inn when it was operated as a restaurant by Jackie Sheridan in the 1970s. The original art work is possessed by the State Bank of Lincoln, 111 N. Sangamon Street in Lincoln, Illinois.

     The story of how Lincoln, Illinois, was named has been told by various local historians, including Logan County's most prominent early historian, Judge Lawrence Stringer.

Chronology for the Founding of Lincoln, Illinois

•  1852, summer:  the Illinois state legislature authorized surveying for the extension of the Chicago & Mississippi Railroad (to be renamed the Alton & Sangamon Railroad) northward from Springfield through Logan County to Bloomington [the railroad became known as the Chicago & Alton].
•  1852, December:  first land condemnation proceedings. Inside information about the plans of the railroad to build a station in Logan County "on the northwest quarter of section thirty-seven" is gained by Virgil Hickox (a director of the Alton & Sangamon Railroad), John D. Gillett (rancher and real estate speculator from Elkhart), and Colonel Robert B. Latham (sheriff of Logan County).
•  1853, February:  Col. Latham traveled to Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to purchase the land proposed for the rail station from Eliza and Isaac Loose. Selling price is $1,350, including price of a silk dress for Mrs. Loose.
•  1853, February 14:  the Illinois state legislature passed a bill authorizing a vote to move the Logan County seat from Mt. Pulaski to the area of the proposed railroad station.  In the event of a successful vote by the local citizens, the owners of the land proposed for the railroad station were to donate to the county "certain lots and grounds for public buildings" (Stringer, p. 566).
•  1853, April 15:  Col. Latham deeded a right of way through the quarter section to the Chicago & Mississippi Railroad, "together with a strip of land adjacent to the right of way, 80 feet wide and 1,500 feet long, including what is now Elm park and the railroad property north and south of same, now enclosed between the railroad and Chicago street"  (Stringer, p. 566).
•  1853, August 24:  Col. Latham deeds land to be shared with his partners, Gillett and Hickox.  Also, Col. Latham is endowed with power of attorney with authority to "'lay off a town'" on the said tract 'to be named Lincoln,' to have same surveyed and platted and to sell the said lots at public or private sale.'"  This document and deeds to the lots and other papers were drafted by Abraham Lincoln (Stringer, p. 567).
•  1853, August 26: surveying of the town of Lincoln, Illinois. All twenty-seven blocks of this land were in what became known as East Lincoln Township.
•  1853, August 27: first public sale of lots in Lincoln [not August 29, 1853, as
cited in Lawrence B. Stringer, History of Logan County Illinois, vol. 1 (1911), p. 569, and repeated in The Lincoln Log, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1853-08-29&r=L0NhbGVuZGFyWWVhci5hc3B4P3llYXI9MTg1MyZyPUwwTmhiR1Z1WkdGeUxtRnpjSGc9].] According to local lore, Abraham Lincoln rode the train from Springfield, along with numerous prospective buyers. "Ninety lots were sold, varying in price from $40 to $150. The lots fronting the railroad brought the highest price.  The total proceeds of the sale was $6,000. The contracts for the sale had been prepared by Mr. Lincoln. . ." (Lawrence B. Stringer History of Logan County, Illinois, 1911, pp. 569).

     According to historian Paul Beaver, "The late Lincoln historian James T. Hickey always contended that when Lincoln was in the town of Lincoln on the day lots were sold, August 27, 1853, he was accompanied by his older son, ten-year-old Robert Todd Lincoln. Confirmation of that fact may have been provided by Robert, himself, when in 1884, at the time he was Secretary of War, he delivered a campaign speech in his father's namesake town of Illinois: 'This is the city in which I have always taken a kind and personal interest, not only because it bears the name of my father, but because I myself was here about thirty years ago when the only building on this ground was a covered wagon'" (Paul Beaver, Abraham Lincoln in Logan County, Illinois, 1834--1860, p. 60).

     The following image is the first page of four from a secondary source that cites primary sources dating the first public sale of lots in Lincoln, Illinois, to August 27, 1853: Raymond Dooley, MA, editor, The Namesake Town: A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois (Lincoln, Illinois, Feldman’s Print Shop, Aug. 27, 1953): pp.11, 13, 15, and 17 (advertisements are on the even-numbered pages). Link to a PDF of all four pages from Dooley, The Namesake Town: http://findinglincolnillinois.com/LincolnILoriginallotsales8-27-1853.pdf.

3.4:  Account from Editor Raymond N. Dooley's
The Namesake Town:  A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois

Read Judge Lawrence Stringer's "Abraham Lincoln" (in Lincoln & Logan Co., IL) (1911, PDF, 24 pp., 2.03 MB).

The Merging of Postville and Lincoln

     About a mile west of Lincoln, the village of Postville had been established in 1835 by Russell Post, who had come to central Illinois from Baltimore. Post hired John B. Watson, a co-laborer of Abraham Lincoln, to survey Postville, which was the town in which the first Logan County court was held and where Abraham Lincoln first practiced law in Logan County, a county which he was instrumental in forming while a member of the Illinois House of Representatives (see 1. Abraham Lincoln and the Postville Courthouse, Including a William Maxwell Connection to the Postville Courthouse in this Web site). For unknown reasons, Postville's name was changed to Camden in 1845 and then back to Postville in 1861 (Stringer, pp. 564-565).

     Postville had been laid out in roughly a north-south, east-west orientation. Lincoln had been laid out with principal streets parallel with the railroad, which ran southwest to northeast, and other streets perpendicular to the streets that paralleled the railroad. I remember somewhere once seeing or hearing that University Hall of Lincoln College is the most true north-south building in Lincoln. The 1869 map below shows the different orientations of the two communities, but the map inaccurately suggests that Union Street divided the old community of Postville from the new community of Lincoln:

3.5:  Panoramic View of Lincoln, Illinois, in 1869

      I have added colors to the map above as follows: green = Alton & Chicago railroad track alignment; red on the map corresponds to red on other maps in this Web site to indicate the streets used by Route 66: red = Fifth Street (left of Union) and Logan Street (right); blue = Union Street; maroon = Wyatt Avenue.

     After Lincoln was founded in 1853, it expanded in all directions to the extent that its boundary line extended west to Postville. According to Stringer, two additions named for William P. Bates were made to West Lincoln in 1862 and 1864. Also, in 1864 an addition of 17 blocks was accomplished by Wyatt and Latham.

     At the age of 88 my father, Darold Henson, told me that the old timers of his childhood used to say that State Street divided Postville and Lincoln (contrary to what the above map suggests). The following curious paragraph in Stringer's History of Logan County 1911 includes a detail that confirms that State Street, not Union Street, indeed was the dividing line between the two towns. That detail follows a description of tension between the two communities as their populations began to merge:

     "While the town of Lincoln dates from 1855 [sic], the city of Lincoln began its municipal existence Feb. 16, 1865, being called into being in a legislative act of that date. Prior to that the old town of Postville and the new town of Lincoln had been separate and distinct towns, with a mere artificial boundary line between the new town of Lincoln having grown until it reached the Postville line. The rising generations of those days, perhaps more rigidly recognized this imaginary line than did their elders, for it was considered a 'dead line' either way, over which the Lincoln or Postville boy passed at his peril and many a fistic encounter, in which at times even scores participated, occurred on this line in an effort to drive the enemy back into his own bailiwick. The act of Feb. 16, 1865, effaced this line and united the town of Lincoln and the town of Postville into 'the city of Lincoln,' the town of Postville becoming the Fourth Ward of Lincoln" (Stringer, p. 574).

     On the following 1876 map of Lincoln, I note that State Street separated the 4th and 3rd wards of Lincoln, and thus State Street also divided Postville from Lincoln:

3.6: State Street Dividing Postville and Lincoln (click image for larger version)

     Note: The area on the map where State Street is designated was known as Wyatt's Grove, which was purchased by the State of Illinois in 1875 as the location for the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children.

The Centennial Park Monument and the Christening Monuments (updated, 7-17)

     The photo below shows the Centennial Park monument (and town christening site) dedicated in 1953 during the Centennial Celebration (see 37. The 1953 Historic Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois). This undated photo shows the Feldman Print Shop on Chicago Street. Feldman's was where Raymond Dooley's 80-page book titled The Namesake Town:  A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois, was published in 1953. Mr. Dooley's book helped to inspire me to create this Web site.

3.7: The Centennial Park Monument and Businesses of 100 North Chicago Street

(Undated photo provided by the late Fred Blanford, 1941--2008, from an unidentified source.)

    The photo above shows the inscribed plaque facing the railroad tracks, with Chicago Street store fronts in the background. Most of the people seeing the monument in its early years would have been train travelers and those at the train depot to meet them, and they would have been less likely to see the plaque if it were on the side of the monument facing the store fronts. In the background to the right of the monument is the circular concrete walk at the center of Centennial Park. At some later date, when train travel declined and more and more people approached the monument from the opposite (park) side, the upper stone of the monument must have been rotated 180 degrees on the base stone, so that park visitors could see and read the plaque.

     The photo below was captured by Google Earth in March 2012. I marked it and added it to this webpage in July 2017 to show the monument in relation to the center of the park. Additional photos of Centennial Park and monument at https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=12443.

3.8: Google Earth Photo of Centennial Park--March, 2012

     At the time of the Sesquicentennial celebration in 2003, there was talk of opening the time capsule buried beneath the stone, but wiser citizens prevailed, deciding to comply with the inscription on the plaque, which specifies the hope that the capsule would be opened on the bicentennial celebration of the founding of Lincoln, Illinois. Here is the full inscription on the plaque:



     Of those from Lincoln and Logan county who served their country in all her wars, and of their Gold Star mothers and widows, we dedicate this park. From these grounds, those who served entrained to answer their country's call. In gratitude for those who were returned may future generations revere the devotion of those who made the supreme sacrifice, this monument was erected September 6, 1953, A.D. by the committee for the celebration of the first centennial of Lincoln, Illinois, the first and only town named for Abraham Lincoln before he became president of the United States. Beneath this stone we have placed the story of Lincoln's first one hundred years with the hope that it will be uncovered and honored on the second centennial, 2053 A.D. For a detailed account of the contents of the Centennial time capsule buried beneath this monument and the dedication of Centennial Park, see 37. The 1953 Historic Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois.

     In an email message of October 20, 2002, Fred Blanford emailed the above photo and the following description of the businesses in the background on Chicago Street to more than 150 LCHS alumni of mid 20th Century, who are members of For Remembrance, Understanding, and Fun (link at the left in navigation bar):  "As the picture is viewed -- from the right -- don't remember (though Tony Rufogales had a deli/package store there or next door on Broadway for a while), Ace Novelty, Feldman Print Shop (for Journal carriers like me -- where we reported in on Saturday to settle for the week), Brown's Basket Grocery, draw a blank next though I have a vague recollection, then the left half of the two story building--how could I have forgotten Tulls?  [For Fred's memoir of Tull's, see 26. Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras]. To throw out some suggestions for thought -- going further to the left -- Fikuarts for eyes, Secretary of State for drivers licenses, and _____ (will fill in later) for haircuts or to enlist in the Army/Marines.  Does any of that ring a bell?"  More photos of Route-66-era businesses appear throughout this Web site, including another photo of the Basket Grocery at 23. Food Stores of the Route 66f Era. The Alton & Chicago --  later the GM & O -- Depot was to the left of the christening monument.  Presently, the Lincoln Depot building contains a restaurant, and the facility includes railroad cars.  Photos of the depot appear at  7. The Railroads & Streetcar Line at Lincoln, IllinoisThe location of the depot is marked on 14. Route 66 Map with 51 Sites in the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District.

     The picture postcard at the left below, sent to me by my Uncle Gilbert Wilson of Lincoln, Illinois,  shows the site of the christening near the railroad depot at Broadway and Sangamon Streets as this monument appeared toward the end of the 20th century. Today a different marker commemorates Mr. Lincoln's christening of this namesake city, but the famous watermelon statue is still in place. The christening monument is located on the south end of the Amtrak Depot grounds, 101 N. Chicago and Broadway Streets, as seen at Mapquest: Map of 101 S Chicago St Lincoln, IL 62656, US. Photo below at right, by Leigh Henson's wife, Pat Hartman

3.9:  Near Broadway & Sangamon Streets Where Abraham Lincoln Christened the Town in his Name on August 27, 1853

3.10:  Two Lincolns at the Sesquicentennial Christening Re-enactment on August 27, 2003

3: 11: President Gerald Ford Once Said He Was "a Ford, not a Lincoln,"
But This Photo Shows One Time When Mr. Ford Was a Lincoln:
Mr. Ford Re-Enacts Abraham Lincoln's Christening of 
Lincoln, Illinois, with Watermelon Juice at the Train Depot on "The Honest Abe" Special

(October, 1976, photo from Paul Beaver, ed., History of Logan County, Illinois, 1982, p. 4)

Mr. Lincoln's Other Business, Legal, and Political Activities in Lincoln, Illinois

     After Abraham Lincoln named this town in 1853, he visited it to pay taxes on a lot he owned there, to conduct legal business--sometimes substituting as a judge--, and to pursue his political ambitions until he was elected President in 1860.

Abraham Lincoln's Lot (1858) on the Courthouse Square

     On March 11, 1858, James and Maria Primm deeded Lot 3, Block 19, in Lincoln, Illinois, to Abraham Lincoln for $400 that Primm owed Lincoln. This lot is located at 523 Pulaski Street and is marked with a plaque. 

     Primm had apparently borrowed $200 from Lincoln and $200 from a Joel Matteson, and "because Lincoln had vouched for Primm, he [Lincoln] paid off Matteson, thereby making Primm owe him $400" (Hickey, "Abraham Lincoln's Lot in Lincoln, Illinois," p. 2). This lot is the only known property owned by Abraham Lincoln in his first namesake town.

 3.12:  1920s Plaque at Lincoln's Lot Installed by David Harts, Jr., at 523 Pulaski Street

(Leigh Henson photo, 6-02)

     In May of 2007, I received the following inquiry as a response to the paragraph above, in which I summarize Hickey's explanation of how Lincoln came to own the lot on the Logan County Courthouse Square in Lincoln.

From: LeRoy Miller [mailto:lmillertekdok@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 5/29/2007 9:48 PM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Subject: Lincoln question
Dear Dr. Henson,
On your web page at http://www.geocities.com/findinglincolnillinois/alincoln-lincolnil.html you say: "Primm had apparently borrowed $200 from Lincoln and $200 from a Joel Matteson." Was the Joel Matteson referred to the former governor of Illinois (1853-1857)? If so, I find this pretty interesting. As I am sure you know, Matteson, a Democrat, was Lincoln's opponent in the Senatorial election of 1855. It was to prevent Matteson's election that Lincoln threw his support to Lyman Trumbull (who was elected), sabotaging his own chances. If this was indeed Governor Matteson, Lincoln obviously did not hold grudges!
Thanks for your very interesting and useful website. I had the pleasure of passing through Lincoln (the town) a while back and seeing the various sites associated with Lincoln (the President), including the plaque on the courthouse square.
Yours truly,
Lee Miller
Longmont, Colorado

     Leigh's response: I appreciate Mr. Miller's perceptive inquiry, which is significant for several reasons: it shows the power of the Internet to expedite insightful communication; it points out the problem that summarizing something in the interest of conciseness can sometimes compromise clarity; and it also points out a fresh example of a well-noted trait of Lincoln's character. Indeed, James Hickey's article, "Abraham Lincoln's Lot in Lincoln" specifies that the Joel Matteson to whom Primm owed $200 was indeed Joel A. Matteson, governor of Illinois from 1853 to 1857. Apparently Matteson was a personal friend of Primm. (p. 2). Matteson should have been clearly identified in my summary above.

     In Lincoln's day, the Illinois legislature elected the state's senators. In February, 1855, the Illinois Democrats cleverly tried to elect Governor Joel A. Matteson as US senator by deferring the full support of him until a later ballot. That later ballot forced Lincoln to direct his people to support another candidate, Trumbull, in order to gain an anti-Nebraska advocate in the senate (someone who would oppose the potential spread of slavery).

     Don E. Fehrenbacher notes that Lincoln had good reason to begrudge Matteson: "As for Lincoln, although his pleasure at the anti-Nebraska victory was obviously mixed with great personal disappointment, he exhibited less bitterness than some of his partisans. He did not bear a grudge against the five original Trumbull men whose steadfast opposition had contributed so much to his undoing, but placed the primary blame upon 'the secret Matteson men' within the fusionist ranks. 'I could have headed off every combination and been elected,' he wrote the day after the election, 'had it not been for Matteson's double game'" (emphasis mine) (Fehrenbacher, Prelude to Greatness, p. 39).  David Herbert Donald explains "Matteson's double game": Matteson was "a wealthy contractor for public works [who] had said just enough in favor of the Kansas-Nebraska Act not to offend Douglas but in private had expressed enough opposition to convince many of Douglas's enemies" (Lincoln, p. 184).

     Despite this certain basis for holding a grudge against Matteson in 1855, Lincoln apparently did not do so as suggested by the business process of acquiring the lot in Lincoln, Illinois, just two years after being derailed by Matteson. In buying Primm's note from Matteson, Lincoln was relieving him from the risk of not being repaid by Primm. Lincoln also apparently did not blame Matteson for allegedly directing Primm to impose upon Lincoln for a loan: "Matteson. . . probably suggested [to Primm] that Abraham Lincoln, who was also in New York, might aid him. Primm located Lincoln and borrowed $200, Lincoln writing out the following note: "New York, July 29 1857. Thirty days after date I promise to pay A. Lincoln two hundred dollars with interest at ten per annum exchange on New-York value received" (Hickey, p. 2).

     Jack Primm's note to Abraham Lincoln was purchased by Lincoln College of Lincoln, Illinois, through the efforts of D.H. Harts, Jr. who was "president of the college board of managers." Lincoln College also owns the original deed Primm gave Lincoln for the transfer of this property ("Primm Note in Abe's Hand Goes to College Here, Lincoln Evening Courier, centennial edition, section one, Aug. 16, 1953, p. 1). Most likely these materials are now in the museum of Lincoln College.

     The Lincoln literature well documents his tendency not to hold grudges. Arguably, the most significant example of Lincoln's ability not to hold grudges is that he appointed to his cabinet his 1860 Republican rivals for the Presidency (Seward, Chase, and Bates), as fully explained in Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Rivals. Lincoln biographers have especially noted that the key appointment of Edward Stanton as Secretary of War exemplifies Lincoln's ability not to let grudges stand in the way of recruiting the best people to his administration. Stanton had not been a rival for the Presidency, but Stanton's "appointment was a surprising one. In view of Lincoln's well-known unwillingness to cherish grudges, it was not important [to Lincoln] that Stanton was the lawyer who had snubbed him in the McCormick reaper case. . . (Donald, Lincoln, p. 333). Lincoln and Stanton "established the closest daily working relationship that Lincoln had with any of his cabinet members--the two men, back and forth to each other, conducting this great war" (William Lee Miller, Lincoln's Virtues, p. 435).

* * * * *

     Logan County, Illinois, historian Lawrence Stringer reports an anecdote attributed to "Lewis Rosenthall, deputy sheriff of Logan County and collector of taxes," in which Rosenthall in a conversation with Lincoln disguised his identity as the one who had erected a shed to shelter horses on Lincoln's lot without asking Lincoln's permission.

     Lincoln said the person actually using the lot ought to pay taxes on it. Rosenthall said he knew the person would not pay and that he was indeed that person. According to Stringer, Lincoln, amused, paid his taxes as he intended to do (Stringer, p. 223).

     The late Historian James Hickey questions the credibility of Rosenthall's story based on a letter Hickey discovered in the papers of  Robert Todd Lincoln. That letter was written by Rosenthall a year and half after the alleged conversation between Lincoln and Rosenthall, and the letter requests permission from Lincoln to use his property for a hay lot without mentioning the alleged previous conversation or shed (Hickey, "Abraham Lincoln's Lot in Lincoln, Illinois," p. 3). 

     On April 18, 1874, Mrs. Lincoln deeded the lot to her son, Robert Todd, who sold it to David H. Harts, Sr., in 1891 for $1,000. Inheriting this lot, David Harts, Jr., built a two-story brick building on the lot "in 1926 and marked it with an appropriate tablet" (Hickey, p. 4).

Abraham Lincoln's First-Known Speech in His First Namesake Town

     The following accounts of Lincoln's speeches in his first namesake town do not include those he gave in Postville, which are not well documented and thus impossible to date and number. According to The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, on Tuesday, September 2, 1856, in Lincoln, Illinois, a "Republican meeting, attended by large delegation from Atlanta, is held during evening. Mr. Lincoln made a speech most triumphantly vindicating the nationality [patriotism] of the supporters of Col. Fremont" (Illinois State Journal, 4 September 1856).

 Abraham Lincoln's Second-Known Speech in His First Namesake Town and His First Meeting with Leonard Volk on July 17, 1858 (not on the 16th as indicated on the historical marker on Broadway St.), and Before the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

     Note: In the spring of 2011 after I released my book The Town Abraham Lincoln Warned, I thought I had completed my work on the history of Abraham Lincoln in his first namesake town, and I began to research some of his political activities on the larger Illinois stage (as fun retirement work), focusing on the period just before the Lincoln-Douglas debates. That research, however, has pleasantly led me back to the history of the first Lincoln namesake town. (Not all roads lead back to Lincoln, but some certainly do.) I have discovered information that sheds new light on Abraham Lincoln’s activities at Lincoln and in fact solves a century-old mystery surrounding an event there first described in Stringer’s 1911 History of Logan County. As a Lincoln buff and native son of Lincoln, I was pleased to discover information that confirms a previously unverified local legend of a speech Lincoln gave there during the Senate race of 1858 just before the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Early reference to this speech is found in Judge Lawrence Stringer’s 1911 History of Logan County: “During that campaign, Douglas held a meeting at Lincoln and it is likely that very early in the campaign, Lincoln made a speech at Lincoln. A number of old settlers are positive that Lincoln spoke here quite early that year, but no newspaper notice of same can be found.”

     In 1971 the late Lloyd Ostendorf, a renowned Lincoln photo expert and artist, created a drawing of Lincoln speaking at Lincoln in front of the Lincoln House hotel, located across the street from the train station at Broadway and Chicago Streets. Ostendorf dated that speech July 13, 1858, but cited no source for that date. Early in 2010 Professor Ron Keller, director-curator of the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College, kindly gave me a copy of this drawing:

3.13: 1971 Ostendorf Drawing of Lincoln's Speech at Lincoln Early in the 1858 Senate Race

     The man at the far left in the beret is Volk, and next to him is Douglas. The bearded man standing to the right of Lincoln and holding a piece of paper is Robert Latham, one of the town's three founding fathers. Latham can be identified because he resembles a published photo of him, and he appears the same in other Ostendorf artwork. No source is known to indicate that Latham was present at this time and place. The close-up below shows Ostendorf's documentation.

3.14: Ostendorf's Documentation on His Lincoln House Lincoln Speech

     I had looked at The Lincoln Log, the official day-by-day record of Lincoln’s activities, and it had no entry for July 13, 1858. The entry for July 12 placed Lincoln in Chicago, and the entry for July 14 said he returned to Springfield that evening. The route ran through Lincoln's first namesake town. Thus, Lincoln was through his first namesake town and could have stopped there on July 13 and/or July 14. Yet Ostendorf's undocumented date still puzzled, so I kept looking for more information.

     The Lincoln Log says Lincoln traveled from Springfield to Bloomington to hear Douglas speak on the evening of July 16, but Lincoln declined to speak. The next day Douglas's train continued south toward Springfield with Lincoln onboard. Running for re-election to the Senate, Douglas was conducting an aggressive campaign to defend his leadership in passing the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which was highly controversial because it allowed for slavery extension in areas previously prohibited by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Douglas was also defending himself against criticism by President Buchanan because Douglas and the President, a fellow Democrat, had conflicting views on how popular sovereignty was being carried out in recent Kansas politics. Douglas's train from Chicago to Springfield included the booming cannon that became the trademark of Douglas's train travel during the Lincoln-Douglas debates. On July 17 after Douglas's train departed from Bloomington, the first stop was Atlanta, and Douglas spoke there. Then, locals loudly urged Lincoln to speak, but again he declined. The Lincoln Log made no mention of the train stopping at Lincoln on July 17 (http://www.thelincolnlog.org/view/1858/7).

     My research has located four sources that refer to that stop. Reports in the Daily Pantagraph, Illinois State Journal, and Illinois State Register mention that Lincoln was on the train with Douglas and that it stopped midday at Lincoln. A large dinner was served at the Lincoln House, and Douglas spoke afterward. Those reports neither confirm nor deny Lincoln spoke—curious but not entirely surprising because the trip was all about Douglas, not Lincoln. Yet a fourth source says Lincoln did speak briefly on this occasion.

      That source is an article that sculptor Leonard Wells Volk (1828–1895) wrote and published in an 1881 issue of the Century Magazine, and that article was reprinted in a 1915 issue of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. Volk wrote that he was on the train that took Douglas from Chicago to Springfield with a stop in Bloomington, where Douglas was scheduled to speak on the evening of July 16. Volk said Lincoln was in Bloomington to witness that speech.

     Volk then wrote: “The next day we all stopped at the town of Lincoln, where short speeches were made by the contestants [emphasis mine], and dinner was served at the hotel, after which and as Mr. Lincoln came out on the plank walk in front, I was formally presented to him.”

     Volk wrote that he asked Lincoln to sit for a bust sometime in Chicago, and Lincoln agreed. The first sitting took place at Chicago in April 1860.

3.15: Lincoln House Marker on Broadway Street with Incorrect Date of Lincoln and Volk's Meeting

(Leigh Henson photo, 12-2002)

     The Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College and the State Bank of Lincoln’s Annex at Broadway and Sangamon Streets have reproductions of Volk’s famous Lincoln life mask and hands. Volk’s reminiscent account seems reliable: he had even accurately recalled the name of the hotel in Bloomington as the Landon House. Volk’s article thus has credibility in validating the oral tradition first reported in Stringer's 1911 history book that Lincoln had delivered a short political speech in his first namesake town on an unknown 1858 date at an unspecified, particular site.

     Thanks to Volk we now know the date was July 17, 1858, not July 13 as Ostendorf had indicated and not July 16, the incorrect date on the current historical marker at the Lincoln House site on Broadway Street, erected in 1964, that describes Volk’s meeting with Lincoln. The marker does not mention any public speaking. I have sent my findings to Dr. Daniel W. Stowell, editor of the The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, so that he may consider adding a reference to Lincoln's stop at Lincoln in The Lincoln Log's entry for July 17, 1858.

     Ostendorf’s drawing portrays Volk and Douglas in the audience with the Lincoln House in the background. Yet the depiction of Lincoln speaking in front of the Lincoln House hotel remains speculative. The speech might have been given at the train station, in the open area between the station and the hotel, or in front of the courthouse just a block away from the hotel, as was the custom of the day.

     Both the Daily Pantagraph and the State Journal noted that many people were in Lincoln at this time to see Dan Rice's Great Show, a popular circus. Rice was a famous clown, animal trainer, and humorist who parodied some of the great speeches in Shakespearean tragedies and who became a friend of Lincoln, visiting him in the White House. Rice was even nicknamed "the President's court jester." Rice was a Presidential candidate in 1868. "Google" his name for more.

     Besides the speeches of 1856 and July 17, 1858, two other speeches by Lincoln at Lincoln have been documented: October 16, 1858, during Lincoln’s Senate campaign as noted below, and November 21, 1860, during Lincoln’s trip as President-elect to Chicago to meet Vice President-elect Hannibal Hamlin, again as noted below. These two other speeches are cited in The Lincoln Log.

3.16: Leonard Wells Volk

(Source: The Library of Congress)

Notes about Volk's work and the statue of him at his gravesite in Chicago: http://graveyards.com/IL/Cook/rosehill/volk.html.
Volk at Wikipedia (reader beware): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Volk.

Volk designed the tomb of Stephen A. Douglas: http://www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/douglas_tomb.htm.

Stephen Douglas Speaking in Lincoln, Illinois, with Abraham Lincoln in the Audience

     History clearly shows this event had to be one of the most important experiences for Abraham Lincoln in the city named for and by him. In his chapter, "Abraham Lincoln," Historian-Judge Lawrence Stringer provides a detailed account of the activities of Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln on September 4, 1858, when both men were running for the United States Senate and engaged in the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. That date fell between the debates at Freeport (8-27) and Jonesboro (9-18). 

     Stringer says the occasion of the speech in Lincoln, Illinois, was part of a day-long Douglas rally leading up to a "monster demonstration" (Stringer's term) for Douglas in Springfield, Illinois. Early that morning Douglas boarded a Chicago & Alton train in Chicago, and the train gained more and more Douglas supporters during stops along the way toward Springfield. 

     Douglas, of course, would have taken special pleasure in speaking in the namesake town of his Senatorial campaign opponent. I do not know whether Douglas knew that the Lincoln namesake town had played a brief but notable part in the hoopla of the Republican Party's selection of Mr. Lincoln as its "first and only choice" for Senator.

     Historian Don E. Fehrenbacher mentions that when the Cook County Republican delegates traveled by train to the state convention in Springfield (June, 1858), they proudly "emblazoned his [Lincoln's] name on their railroad car, and when the train stopped at the town of Lincoln, they all piled out to give three cheers for their favorite" [bold mine] (Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s, p. 67).

     When Douglas traveled to Springfield by train on September 4th, Stringer writes, "Lincoln was also on the train, desiring to hear what Douglas would say and ready to take advantage of any indiscretions in the way of expressions, which Douglas might make, born in the heat of excitement and the adulation of and plaudits of his friends" (p. 223). 

     In describing Abraham Lincoln on the day of Douglas's speech, Stringer relies on an eye-witness account (S. Linn Beidler from Mt. Pulaski as reported in the Lincoln Herald on February 17, 1885), Stringer quotes: "I [Beidler] was among the thousands who attended the great meeting in Lincoln to hear Douglas.

3.17: The First of Two Douglas Speech Historical Markers at Union and Decatur Streets   

(Leigh Henson photo, 12-01)

     Lincoln [Illinois] was found to be in a holiday attire. From appearances, some effort had been made at decorating.An evergreen arch spanned the street, north of the Lincoln House. On the arrival of the train, everybody was on the qui vive, to get first glimpse of the famous orator, and 'ere the train came to a stop a surging crowd had surrounded it, giving vent to their feelings, by cheer after cheer, at sight of the Little Giant. While thus taking a survey of the surrounding, I noticed, among a few others, a tall, lean gentleman, get off the rear end of the train, whom I recognized as Mr. Lincoln, having seen him before. My attention was attracted to him, from the fact, that while Douglas was received and cheered to the echo, not a human shake of the hand was then and there tendered to Mr. Lincoln. In a wandering and gawking manner, he slowly wended his way around the outskirts of the crowd, with a collapsed old fashioned valise doubled up under his arm, toward the Lincoln House [for information about this hotel, see 26. Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras]. 

     I have wondered, but never made inquiry, why he was thus neglected, but presume his friends failed to meet him, or did not know he was coming.  That he had friends is not a question but just then none appeared" (Stringer, p. 224-225).

    Using an account published in the Springfield State Register, Stringer describes the irony of a loud, lavish, and festive rally for Douglas before and after his speech in a town named for and by Lincoln but not entirely in his political pocket:

     "The meeting was held in a circus tent.  A circus was in town, at the time, and the Douglas adherents had hired the tent, for use for Douglas' speech, the speech coming after the afternoon circus performance. The tent was pitched on the triangular lot, now located near St. Patrick's Catholic Church and occupied by the cement works [Shoup's in the Route 66 era].

     The crowds drawn by the circus and by the Douglas demonstration together, made of the day, quite an event and the new town was full of people. The procession which escorted Douglas from the Lincoln House to the tent was conspicuous for a float, containing thirty-two young ladies from Mt. Pulaski, each with flag with the name of a state of the union upon it" (Stringer, p. 224).



3.18: S. Linn Beidler of Mt. Pulaski, IL

(Image in History of Logan County 1886, unnumbered page following p. 764)

    Beidler's account also claims that Douglas was "bold, defiant" and unquestioned (no explanation, however, of what Douglas actually said). Beidler says that afterward on the train to Springfield he introduced himself to Lincoln, and conversed in a friendly way about their mutual acquaintances in Mt. Pulaski (where Lincoln had also practiced law in the courthouse from 1848 to 1856, when that town was the seat of Logan County) (Stringer, p. 225).

 The Chicago Press & Tribune, a pro-Republican newspaper, ran a satirical article about Douglas's "circus tent" speech in Lincoln, Illinois, of September 4, 1858. Apparently, the Democrats had arranged for Douglas to speak between the morning and evening performances of the circus. The Democrats may or may not have arranged for the circus to be in Lincoln on that day, but clearly they were using the circus as a strategy for attracting a large crowd.

      The Tribune's satire portrays Douglas as part of the circus: "Where Judge Douglas is classed we are not informed. Whether he is among the 'riders,' 'acrobats,' 'gymnasts,' 'voltiguers,' equilibrists,' calisthenists,' or one of the three clowns, the [circus] bill leaves us in blissful ignorance. Whether he is to assist Madame Anna Church in 'trundling a wheelbarrow to the sky,' 'with a lady weighing not more than 125 pounds,' or whether he is to play the part of one of the 'quadrupedal celebrities,' 'Bucephalus,' 'Pegasus,' 'Aristook,' 'Big Thunder,' 'Telegraph,' or 'Wildfire:' whether he comes in the Pantomime or Spectacle; or whether as a jester, or grotesque and comic gymnast, whether in 'pad,' 'entree,' 'dancing,' 'trick' or 'war,' we have no means of telling; but the bill assures us that the performance will be 'all under one tent,' and that 'Judge Douglas, the nation's favorite,' will be thar." Access the full satire re-published in the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph on September 8, 1858: part 1 and part 2.

     The events of "Douglas's Day" in Lincoln, Illinois, show that Abraham Lincoln was so ambitious, politically clever, and thick-skinned that he could insert himself into his opponent's day-long, exuberant rally at the risk of whatever neglect or abuse his opponent's supporters might be capable of.  Lincoln did so with the determination to remain passive and silent, hoping to find something he could use at a later opportunity.

     Also, in the race for the Senate of 1858, Abraham Lincoln did not allow his opponent to have the advantage of an unanswered political speech in the Lincoln namesake town. Candidate Lincoln thus delivered a two-hour political speech on the Logan County Courthouse square the day after the last Lincoln-Douglas debate (in Alton), as indicated below. No text of this speech apparently survives, so this event marks another "lost speech" of Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln's Third-Known Speech in His First Namesake Town

     On Saturday, October 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln traveled by train from Springfield to Lincoln, Illinois, to deliver a speech on the west lawn of the Logan County Courthouse the day after the last Lincoln-Douglas debate: "Lincoln arrives at noon from Springfield and delivers an afternoon speech. S.C. Parks, attorney, introduces him. He speaks for two hours" ("The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln [link below]). This speech was given just one day following the last Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Alton, Illinois. Most likely, Abraham Lincoln returned to his first namesake town specifically as a way of answering Douglas's speech in Lincoln, IL, on September 4th, when Mr. Lincoln sat in the audience uninvited to respond.

     Mr. Lincoln's speech was announced in the Bloomington, Illinois, Daily Pantagraph on the day of the speech. The announcement was actually an advertisement for the speech and urged people to attend by riding the train from Bloomington to Lincoln because the Pantagraph was pro-Republican. Access the Pantagraph announcement-advertisement.

     Samuel C. Parks not only introduced Lincoln, but also was a key figure in convincing Lincoln of the need to speak in his first namesake town. According to Judge David Davis's biographer, Willard L. King, Davis wrote to Lincoln to urge him to speak there upon Parks's advice. King quotes the letter Davis wrote to Abraham Lincoln from Lincoln, Illinois, on September 25, 1858, when Davis was holding court there and had obviously spoken with Parks. This letter reveals that Douglas had spoken there not once but twice. Davis urges, "You must come [to Lincoln, IL]. Parks fears this district may be a little doubtful" (letter quoted in Lincoln's Manager: David Davis, p. 125. Davis's letter to Lincoln of 9-25-1858 was in the Robert Todd Lincoln papers, which are now in the Library of Congress). King notes that Lincoln won Logan County by 141 votes "but lost the representative district in losing Macon County by 216 votes; Sangamon they [Republicans] lost by 207 votes. . ." (King, p. 342).

     Coming as it did at the conclusion of the debates, Mr. Lincoln's speech of October 16 in the first namesake town must have been a most powerful summary of his main points in the various debates. As far as I know, the complete text of the speech has never been discovered, and the speech is thus not much discussed in the Lincoln literature. This event was described in the Illinois State Journal, October 18, 1858. The speech was also briefly described in the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph of October 18, 1858.

     On October 21, 1858, the Chicago Tribune published a two-paragraph description of Abraham Lincoln's speech earlier that week in his first namesake town in an article titled "Mr. Lincoln in Logan County." In Lincoln's time, newspaper accounts were often very biased, mixing fact and opinion; and the Chicago Tribune was strongly pro-Lincoln, as this article shows:

     "This is a glorious day for little Logan. Abe Lincoln has just closed one of his noblest efforts here. The crowd in attendance is generally set down at five thousand. The Democrats admit that it was as large a crowd as Douglas had when he had the 'show' [speech on September 4, 1858] to help him. This admission is tantamount, coming from a Douglas man, to saying that we had about one or two thousand more than they did, and it may be remembered that they claimed from seven to eight thousand at that time."

     "The demonstration today was far beyond anything that ever transpired in this part of the State. Two long trains on the St. Louis, Alton and Chicago Railroad--one from Springfield and the other from Bloomington--came in about twelve o'clock, loaded down with live Republicans. The cannon announced the arrival of 'Old Abe,' and as soon as he made his appearance on the platform on the cars, such cheers were never heard as continued for some time. Then came the [Mt.] Pulaski, Salt Creek and Lake Fork delegations, like an army with banners. Soon after came Sugar Creek and Middletown, who were joined by a large delegation from Delevan [sic] Prairie. The Atlanta delegation, composed of from 300 to 400, took the front in the procession, led by their band, and then came the delegations above mentioned, which occupied over a mile in length; after which the crowd dispersed for dinner. The speaking took place in front of the Court House, at two o'clock, when it was found that all were there who could get near enough to hear Mr. Lincoln speak."

     Note: The 1858 courthouse, built on the foundation of the previous courthouse, which burned in April 15, 1857, faced Kickapoo Street, as did the previous one: "The front door [of the 1858 courthouse], opening on the portico, faced Kickapoo Street and a rear door faced McLean Street" (Stringer, Logan Country History, 1911, p. 163). Thus, there is no doubt that Abraham Lincoln delivered his 1858 speech in Lincoln on the west lawn of the present-day courthouse. Yet not until 2015 did any historical marker commemorate Mr. Lincoln's most important political event in his first namesake town. As explained below in the next section, the historical marker on this side of the courthouse commemorates Mr. Lincoln's circuit court appearances in his namesake town, not his 1858 speech.

     The correspondent for the Tribune concludes this report: "I understand that Douglas is to speak in Atlanta next Thursday, and that the fears of a failure in the way of a crowd are such that Gov. Matteson has actually furnished a free ride to all who wish to hear the Little Giant. The free trip is advertised in their papers. I think this is the first instance in which I have ever heard of a railroad being prostituted to the purposes of one political party, when others are required to pay full fare. But let them do their worst; they are but making their final struggle. Logan County will give Walker (Republican) 250 or 300 majority, and they will probably carry Mason County. They need not talk about this district being one of the doubtful ones, for they have no more chance here than they have in Cook."

     Access photocopy of the Chicago Tribune article on Lincoln's rally and speech in his first namesake town on October 16, 1858.

     Lincoln's two-hour "lost speech" on the day after the final debate shows his tenacity and stamina. I have seen various sources noting that Douglas lacked Lincoln's stamina; for example, Douglas's voice sometimes faltered during the debates. I read somewhere that in the Alton debate, people close to the speakers complained that they could not hear or understand Douglas because his voice was so faint. Douglas, who later supported Lincoln as President and supported the drive to maintain the Union, died June 3, 1861, within months of the 1860 Presidential campaign.

     Note: When I began to research Mr. Lincoln's namesake town speech, the only primary source cited for it in The Lincoln Log (official account of Mr. Lincoln's known daily activities) was the Springfield Illinois State Journal. Thus, after I discovered the reporting of this speech in the Pantagraph and Tribune, I notified The Lincoln Log to suggest adding citations to these papers' accounts. Below is the reply I received:

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel W. Stowell [mailto:dstowell@papersofabrahamlincoln.org]
Sent: Mon 1/7/2008 11:14 AM
To: Henson, D Leigh
Cc: mmueller@papersofabrahamlincoln.org
Subject: RE: Lincoln Namesake Town Rally-Speech of 10-16-1858
Dear Professor Henson:

            Thank you for your helpful e-mail regarding Lincoln's 1858 speech in Lincoln.  I have forwarded the materials to Marilyn Mueller, who is handling the updates to The Lincoln Log.  I have suggested that she cite both the Bloomington Pantagraph and the Chicago Press & Tribune reports in the bibliography for that entry.  She may contact you for page and column
number information.  The updates will probably not appear for a while, but they will be there eventually.

            One quick clarification:  The 1886 History of Logan County was cited for biographical information on Samuel C. Parks, rather than for the event itself.  As you may know, the citations in Lincoln Day by Day, on which The Lincoln Log is based, were rather Spartan, and we sometimes err in the opposite direction in our efforts to be clear about our sources.  None
of the newspaper reports seem to identify who Parks was, so we cited the county history to let researchers know where we got information on Parks. Thank you again for your assistance in improving The Lincoln Log.

Daniel W. Stowell
Dr. Daniel W. Stowell
Director / Editor
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln
#1 Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, IL   62701-1512
(217) 785-9130
fax: (217) 524-6973 dstowell@papersofabrahamlincoln.org www.papersofabrahamlincoln.org

A Lincoln-Related Historical Marker Mystery in His First Namesake Town

     As the preceding section indicates, Mr. Lincoln's two-hour speech on October 16, 1858, in front of the Logan County Courthouse was his most dramatic and important political experience in his first namesake town. This speech surely shows Mr. Lincoln's tenacity--he must have been especially tired and weary that day--, the day after the last Lincoln-Douglas debate (in Alton).

     The Illinois State Historical Society maintains a Web page that lists its markers and gives their text. None of the markers listed for Logan County even mentions Abraham Lincoln's 1858 speech at the Logan County Courthouse. As the next section explains, the DAR-sponsored Lincoln monument on the west lawn of the present-day courthouse--the site of Mr. Lincoln's 1858 speech--has nothing to do with that speech.     

     It is ironic that Lincoln, Illinois, has an Illinois State Historical Society-sponsored historical marker that commemorates Douglas's 1858 speech there (as shown above in 3.11), but not one to mark where Mr. Lincoln delivered his. Why no such monument has ever been created is a mystery.

     The key to getting an Illinois State Historical Society marker is local sponsorship. I asked the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, Illinois, to help sponsor such a marker. It was then not yet too late to get one for the year of Mr. Lincoln's 200th birthday--2009.

     Access my essay making the case for establishing this marker that was published in the Lincoln Courier on November 17, 2007.

Proposal to Re-Enact Mr. Lincoln's 1858 Rally and Speech in His First Namesake Town

"The Little Brother of the Great Memorial" (Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.)

     As the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln approaches in 2009, every community, every organization, and every person who has ever had a connection to the Great Emancipator may find themselves looking for new insights into those connections and even looking for new links to Lincoln. A good local example of probing connections with Abraham Lincoln is the research on whether he practiced law in the Lincoln Christian Church. This church's discovery of information about a plaque describing this alleged connection makes us realize that historical monuments, markers, plaques, statues, and replicas can have their own interesting stories.

     The first Lincoln namesake town, of course, has numerous structures that commemorate and celebrate its connections to the life and times of the Great Man. This community history of Lincoln tells the stories of many of these local historical monuments, markers, etc. The Logan County Courthouse lawn alone has three of them: the statue of the Civil War Union soldier on the northwest corner, the Civil-War-era cannon on the northeast corner, and the historical monument on the west lawn, shown in the photo below. (For information about the Civil War Union soldier statue and the cannon, access the Web page in this site titled "The Logan County Courthouse, Past and Present").

     Of these, the monument on the west lawn is the least known and understood: it is the smallest, and it is nearly obscured from street view by evergreen bushes. This monument is an upright granite cube standing at about five feet and featuring a plaque with a raised bust image of Abraham Lincoln. Beneath the raised image is the simple inscription: "Abraham Lincoln traveled this way as he rode the circuit of the Eighth Judicial District . . . 1847--1857. Erected 1921." At the bottom of the plaque are two small, raised symbols identifying the sponsoring organizations. The story of this marker is as obscure as the marker itself.

      As explained in the discussion below the photo, the location of this marker on the west lawn of the courthouse is one of the most significant Abraham Lincoln-related sites in all of Lincoln, Illinois, and Logan County. Yet, no monument testifies to this significance.

     The discussion below this photo tells the stories of how I became interested in this marker and what I discovered that reveals its significance--and the little-known significance of its location.

3.19: Abraham Lincoln Monument on the Logan County Courthouse West Lawn:
Designed by Henry Bacon, the Architect of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.,
Who Nicknamed His Monument Above as "The Little Brother of the Great Memorial"

     Background for the Discovery: After I took the above photo in June of 2007, I became curious about the language and dates on the plaque. First, the language puzzled me because it does not mention this specific location's greatest significance for Abraham Lincoln: this west lawn of the Logan County Courthouse was the site of Mr. Lincoln's major political speech of October 16, 1858--the very next day following the last Lincoln-Douglas debate (in Alton).  (The Tribune article quoted above--a primary source--says that Lincoln delivered his speech in front of the courthouse: in 1858, the courthouse faced Kickapoo Street, so that site is the west lawn of the present courthouse.) Second, the phrase "traveled this way" is ambiguous: this language does not specify that Abraham Lincoln practiced law in two Logan County Courthouses that occupied this particular site. Third, the dates on the plaque of 1847 to 1857 especially puzzled me because they inaccurately indicate the years in which Abraham Lincoln practiced law on the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

      Abraham Lincoln first "traveled this way" (to the area of Lincoln, Illinois) on the circuit in 1839, when Logan County was established by the Illinois legislature and the Logan County Circuit Court was held in the Deskins Tavern in Postville (site of the present VFW building). When the Logan County Courthouse in Postville was erected across the street from the Deskins Tavern in 1840, Lincoln practiced law there on the circuit until his election to Congress in 1847. After his single term in Congress, Abraham Lincoln practiced law on the circuit in the Logan County Courthouse at Mt. Pulaski from 1849 to 1856, when the Logan County seat and courthouse were located there. Abraham Lincoln did not begin to practice law on the site of the monument pictured above until 1856, when the county seat was moved to Lincoln, Illinois, and the first Logan County Courthouse on this site was erected. Lincoln continued to practice law on the circuit, including this site in Lincoln, until his Presidential election in 1860. (Construction on the second Logan County Courthouse on this site was begun in 1857 after fire destroyed the first one in 1856.) Thus, Lincoln "traveled this way" on the circuit from 1839 to 1860, not 1847 to 1857.

     I was curious about other features of this monument. I wondered about the source of the raised image of Lincoln on the plaque, and I wondered who was involved in the placement of this memorial as designated by the two small, raised symbols at the bottom of the plaque.

     The Discovery: This monument's vague language and misleading dates were a minor mystery to me--not so important that I made a special effort to research it--, but I solved the mystery when I was using Google to search for information about the timetable of the Eighth Judicial Circuit as the court moved from one location to another. In this browsing, I discovered an article in the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association titled "The Real Lincoln Highway: The Forgotten Lincoln Circuit Markers" by Guy C. Fraker, a Bloomington attorney and widely known as a leading authority on the Eighth Judicial Circuit in Lincoln's time.

     Mr. Fraker's article explains that early in the twentieth century, the Illinois Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored a special organization whose purpose was to erect monuments at various locations on the Eighth Judicial Circuit: "To broaden the support and effort beyond the members of the DAR, a separate organization (under the auspices of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Illinois) was incorporated in 1916—The Lincoln Circuit Marking Association. . . .  The first president was Judge Lawrence Stringer of Lincoln, author of a two-volume history of Logan County published in 1911."

     "The plan was to mark the circuit in three different ways. First was the marker at each county seat. Second was the marker to be placed at the points where the traveling lawyers traversed each county line. Third was a combination of small, metal markers and stencils to paint the Association's symbol on telephone and telegraph poles along the route. This part of the effort was tried and abandoned fairly early. It became quickly apparent that these markers would not last. Advertising was sometimes stuck or painted over them, and weather quickly obliterated them, making it obvious that maintenance was not practical."

     "For the county-seat marker. . . , a renowned architect, Henry Bacon [was selected]. A native of Watseka, he grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. He studied for a year at the University of Illinois before going to work in 1885 for the prestigious firm of McKim, Mead and White in New York as an architect in training. He studied in Europe for several years and finally started his own firm in 1903. He was awarded the commission for the Lincoln Memorial in 1905 at the age of thirty-nine [emphasis mine]. Jones [representing the The Lincoln Circuit Marking Association] went to Washington, D.C., and was given a tour of the memorial by him in 1921. His design for the county-seat marker included a specification of the material, Greens Landing granite 5 feet 6 inches by 2 feet 4 inches and 12 inches thick. The face of the granite was recessed for the placement of a plaque. Bacon referred to this monument as 'The little brother of the great Memorial' [emphasis mine]. New York sculptor Georg J. Lober designed the plaque and created the markers in 1921. The total cost for all the county-seat markers was $4,950."

     Mr. Fraker's article shows a photo of the design of the monument that the Lincoln Circuit Marking Association placed at the county seats, and it matches the above photo of the monument on the west lawn of the Logan County Courthouse. The raised symbols at the bottom of the plaque are the insignia of the sponsoring organizations.

     Mr. Fraker notes that Lincoln actually began riding the circuit in 1837, when he was admitted to the bar. The article does not discuss the reason for the specific years inscribed on the plaque, but does mention that the counties in the Eighth Judicial Circuit did vary over the years and that McLean County was the only one throughout the entire period.

     According to Mr. Fraker's article, a corresponding marker is located on the lawn of the Logan County Courthouse in Mt. Pulaski. He says there is another marker on the boundary of Logan and DeWitt counties on the road between Lincoln and Clinton, and he describes its specific location.

    The Lincoln, IL, Chapter of the DAR in 1917 had erected a granite monument and plaque of a somewhat different design, still standing on the southeast corner of the Postville Courthouse block. For more information, see the Web page in this site titled "Abraham Lincoln and the Postville Courthouse, Including a William Maxwell Connection to the Postville Courthouse."

     See the Fraker entry in the Sources Cited below for a link to the full, online text of his article, including a photo of a county seat marker and a photo of a county line maker as well as a map of the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

     Lincoln, Illinois, has only two statues of Abraham Lincoln. One is in the rotunda of the present-day Logan County Courthouse. According to Paul Gleason's Lincoln: A Pictorial History, "the sculptor was Max Backman, and originally the statue was white. The body was a duplicate [replica] of St. Gauden's statue of Lincoln located in Lincoln Park, Chicago" (p. 15). For photos of this statue in its original unpainted state and its present, vivid-color version, see the page in this site titled "The Logan County Courthouse, Past and Present." The second statue is Lincoln, the Student, by Merrell Gage on the Lincoln College campus.

     Perhaps some day a third Lincoln statue will be erected on the west lawn of the Logan County Courthouse-- the site of his most important appearance and speech in the first Lincoln namesake town.

Samuel C. Parks: A. Lincoln's Distinguished Law Partner and Political Ally in Lincoln, Illinois

     When Abraham Lincoln practiced law in Lincoln, Illinois, from 1853 to 1860, he sometimes collaborated with a local lawyer named Samuel C. Parks and less often with Attorney Lionel P. Lacey. On this page, I  refer to Parks and Lacey as partners of Mr. Lincoln, but these relationships were not formal partnerships as were Lincoln's legal-business partnerships with John T. Stuart, Stephen T. Logan, and William H. Herndon. Besides being colleagues, Lincoln and Samuel C. Parks were friends and fellow Republicans; and Parks supported Lincoln's political activities, whereas Lacey was a Douglas Democrat, as indicated below. Access a photo of a plaque on the alleged site of Samuel C. Parks's law office on the square of Lincoln, Illinois.

     In 2004, information was discovered that identifies the location of Samuel Parks' law office along Kickapoo Street on the south side of the Logan County Courthouse square. The City of Lincoln has erected a plaque to identify this location and to honor Samuel C. Parks. [For more information, including the text on the plaque, see "City Celebrates Abraham Lincoln's Birthday" (2003) in Lincoln Daily News.com (link below in Sources Cited). Also, see Nancy Rollings Saul's Courier article titled "'42 News Clipping Solves Mystery About Abe's Lincoln Law Office" (link under Sources Cited)].

     Samuel C. Parks was "born March 25, 1820, in Windsor, Vermont, came to Springfield, Ill., in 1840, six months before his parents.  He was married Nov. 13, 1853, in Logan County, Ill., to Elizabeth A. Turley. They [had] four children, Lula H., Henry C. Samuel C., and Mary L. and reside[d] in Lincoln, Ill. ("Early Settlers of Sangamon County--1876").

     In the following chronology of Judge Parks' life, I rely heavily but not exclusively on Judge Lawrence Stringer's fabled History of Logan County 1911. Stringer notes that in 1840 Parks "read" [studied] law in the Springfield, Illinois, office of Stuart & Edwards. Stringer also writes that in Springfield, Parks "became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln, and a warm friendship resulted, which continued until Mr. Lincoln's death" (p. 324). Stringer implies but does not actually state that Lincoln and Parks met through Stuart. Below I cite additional facts that support Stringer's implication.

Highlights in the life and times of Samuel C. Parks:

  • Late 1830s: Parks attended Indiana State University.

  • Late 1840s: Parks read law in Springfield, Illinois, at the firm of Stuart and Edwards

     Abraham Lincoln had met John T. Stuart in the early 1830s, when both men were running for the Illinois legislature. "During this [1834] campaign Stuart, who had taken a great liking to Lincoln, encouraged him to study law" (Thomas, Abraham Lincoln, p. 42).

     Lincoln and Stuart became law partners in 1837, when Lincoln moved from New Salem to Springfield (Thomas, p. 67) and remained in partnership until 1841 (p. 95).

     Thus, Lincoln and Parks most likely first met and became friends through some association with their mutual colleague, John T. Stuart.

  • 1846: Parks was admitted to the bar.

3.20: Judge Samuel C. Parks

(Photo in Dooley and Welch,
The Namesake Town,
p. 24)

  • 1848: Parks was a delegate to the Republican Congressional Convention at Springfield. "He was one of only two delegates who favored the re-nomination of Abraham Lincoln for Congressman, the other delegates, including the Sangamon County delegates and Lincoln's law partner, Herndon, being against Lincoln's re-nomination, on account of Lincoln's opposition in Congress to the Mexican War" (Stringer, p. 325).

  • 1849-1855: Parks was commissioner of the public school system of Lincoln, Illinois.

  • 1854: Abraham Lincoln made a key anti-slavery speech, and many years later Samuel C. Parks claimed he was influential in urging Lincoln to make that speech. Here is the context of the 1854 speech: "In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act made possible the spread of slavery. This angered Lincoln, and on October 4, 1854, he made one of the greatest speeches of his career in opposition to it. Lincoln's campaigning was so effective that he became a contender for election to the U. S. Senate seat occupied by James Shields. Lincoln did not win the election, but he did continue to work against slavery. His anti-slavery beliefs were to have great consequences after his election to the presidency" (Lincoln the Politician before the Civil War).

     The letter in which Parks claimed he encouraged Lincoln to speak against slavery was provided to Lincoln's Springfield law partner, William Herndon, when Herndon was working on his biography of Lincoln, and the letter is dated March 25, 1866: "In politics Mr. Lincoln told the truth when he said he had 'always hated slavery as much as any Abolitionist' but I do not know that he deserved a great deal of credit for that for his hatred of oppression & wrong in all its forms was constitutional--he could not help it. . . . His first great speech in opposition to that measure & in reply to Mr. Douglas in Springfield [October 4, 1854] was one of the ablest & most effective of his life. Pending the Repeal [of the Missouri Compromise] I was in Springfield & urged upon Mr. Simeon Francis the necessity of the leaders of the Whig Party coming out at once against it. I remember well his reply, 'I will see Lincoln & get him to make a speech against it. And Lincoln did make a speech & rallied the Whig Party of Central Illinois almost to a man against 'Nebraska Bill'" (Lincoln and Freedom).

  • 1855: Parks was elected to the Illinois legislature.

  • 1856: Parks was a delegate to the first Republican National Convention at Philadelphia.

  • 1858 or 1859: Parks formed a law partnership with William McGalliard, "a scholarly, industrious lawyer, a native of New Jersey, which continued until Parks became a judge. Judge Parks was the first attorney and agent for William Scully in this county [Logan]. The firm of Parks & McGalliard were his [Scully's] attorneys and agents after the formation of the co-partnership until the same was dissolved, and then Mr. McGalliard, who in the meantime had been appointed master in chancery for Logan County, resigned that office, retired from the practice of law, and systematically organized the great Scully estate. He conducted its agency until he [McGalliard] committed suicide by shooting himself. The firm of Parks & McGalliard was known as a very reliable, safe and able one" (Logan County History 1886, pp. 297-298). Judge Stringer describes McGalliard as "the foremost leader of the Logan County bar. He was a man of literary attainments, a close, industrious student and a man of culture and refinement. He was especially strong as a pleader, being thoroughly conversant with the books with reference to this branch of the law. . . . He was intimately identified with the establishment of Lincoln University [later named Lincoln College], taking an active part in its location in Lincoln and was the first Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the institution" (History of Logan County 1911, p. 330).

  • 1860: Parks attended the Republican National Convention in Chicago and "was very active in assisting in securing the nomination of Lincoln for President" (Stringer, p. 325). Note: In 1860 the famous journalist William Dean Howells wrote a biography of Abraham Lincoln titled Life of Abraham Lincoln. In a copy of Howells' book owned by Samuel C. Parks, Parks asked Lincoln to make handwritten corrections in the margins, and Lincoln complied in the summer of 1860 (Donald, Lincoln, p. 638).  This emended copy was published in 1938 by the Abraham Lincoln Association, Springfield, Illinois, as W.D. Howells, Life of Abraham Lincoln (Donald, p. 638).

     Note: Both of the great Lincoln historians, Benjamin Thomas and David Herbert Donald, acknowledge that David Davis, who directed operations on behalf of Lincoln at the 1860 Republican Convention, assigned Parks to seek support for Lincoln in the Vermont delegation (Donald, Lincoln, p. 248). Thomas writes, "Samuel C. Parks, a native of Vermont, established a liaison with the Green Mountain boys" (Abraham Lincoln, p. 210).

    Note:  When news reached Lincoln, Illinois, that Abraham Lincoln had won the Republican nomination, "guns were discharged, and at night great bonfires were built, tar barrels fired and crowds, assembling about the court house [sic] were addressed by Judge Parks, Robert B. Latham, William H. Young, and others. The man for whom the town was named, was about to be President of the United States" (Stringer, p. 229).

  • 1863 or 1864: President Lincoln appointed Parks as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in Idaho. According to "Today in Old West History," on January 26, 1864, in Lewiston, Idaho Territory, "District Judge Samuel C. Parks sentenced road agents Lower, Renton, and Romain to be hanged by the neck until dead for the murder and robbery of the Magruder party" (link below in Sources Cited).  Note: Patronage issues were a considerable burden on Lincoln's time and energy while he was wrestling with crisis after crisis in the Civil War. For more information about Lincoln's appointment of other friends and supporters from Illinois, see "Illinois Patronage" (link below in Sources Cited).  Note: "Abraham Lincoln had an interest in and connections with Idaho through both friends who moved to the region and the political appointments he made in the Pacific Northwest. William H. Wallace, Samuel C. Parks, and Dr. Anson G. Henry were three old friends from Illinois who later served in Washington, D.C., and were appointed to political positions in Washington and Idaho territories. Until his assassination, Lincoln remained knowledgeable about and interested in Idaho politics" (abstract of Leroy, David H. "Lincoln and Idaho: A Rocky Mountain Legacy." Idaho Yesterdays 1998 42(2): 8-25.  Information located through America: History and Life, the database of ABC-CLIO).

  • 1865, September 14: Parks introduced three-time Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby when the Governor gave the main speech at the dedication of the cornerstone of University Hall at Lincoln College (Dooley and Welch, The Namesake College, p. 14).

  • 1867: Parks resigned from the bench in Idaho and resumed law practice in Lincoln, Illinois.

  • 1870: Parks was a member of the Illinois Constitutional Convention.

  • 1878: President Hayes appointed Parks as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of New Mexico.

  • 1882: President Arthur transferred Judge Parks to the Supreme Court of Wyoming.

  • 1890: Parks wrote a monograph titled "The Great Trial of the Nineteenth Century," "which for depth of thought, originality of idea and ornateness of expression has few superiors in literary work. It indicates a thorough knowledge of the classics. In substance, the work is a discussion of the policy of the United States in acquiring insular possessions" (Stringer, p. 325).

  • 1909: Parks delivered a speech in which he discussed "Lincoln's candidacy for the US Senate, the formation of his cabinet in 1861, Parks' appointment as associate justice of the Supreme Court of Idaho Territory, and emendations made by Lincoln in Parks' copy of William Dean Howells' Lives and Speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin (Fischer, Le Roy, ed., "Samuel C. Parks Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln." Lincoln Herald 1966 68(1): 11-19).

  • 1911: At the time Stringer's History of Logan County was published, Judge Parks, at age 90, was living with a daughter in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Various Legal and Political Activities of Samuel C. Parks and Abraham Lincoln

     As indicated below, The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln shows that Abraham Lincoln and Samuel C. Parks began their frequent collaborations in 1854. Also, in 1854 events began that led to litigation in 1857 that would prove to be the most important case in which Lincoln and Parks were involved--Beam & Skinner v. Buckles. Yet, curiously, in that case Lincoln and Parks represented opposite sides. That case concerned the location of a road from Mt. Pulaski to Springfield.

     Beam & Skinner v. Buckles was significant because it involved a conflict between local officials who planned a public road and owners of private property used by the road's alignment. "The location and route of roads in antebellum [pre-Civil War] America was a serious issue for landowners who stood to lose the integrity and value of their land. Since the settlement of Mt. Pulaski in Logan County, Illinois, people traveled on a straight-line road between Mt. Pulaski and Springfield, the state capital, in neighboring Sangamon County.  

     In 1854, the Logan County Commissioners decided to sanction the building of a road that followed the old [straight] path. . . .  Barton Robinson, who owned land southeast of Mt. Pulaski through which the road passed, opposed the construction. In 1855, he sold his land to John Buckles, a farmer and livestock dealer, who also opposed the road. Buckles submitted a petition to relocate the road from passing through his land to skirting the northwest boundary of his property.  Buckles and the Logan County Commissioners agreed that if Buckles would pay for the building of the new route, then the county would support it. Buckles spent $250 to elevate and grade the new road, and county inspectors gave their approval. Believing the issue had been settled, Buckles built fences along the borders of the property in order to contain his livestock." These fences blocked the straight-line road. ("Road Rage in Logan County").

     Samuel Beam was the road commissioner of Mt. Pulaski, and he objected to Buckles' blocking the straight-line road. Permelia Skinner owned land adjoining the alternative route being built by Buckles, and she also objected to Buckles' road blocks. Beam and Skinner thus hired Samuel C. Parks and Wilford D. Wyatt to plead their case. In 1857, "Beam and Skinner petitioned for an injunction in the chancery division of court to stop Buckles from obstructing the road. Buckles retained Abraham Lincoln, William H. Herndon, and Lionel P. Lacey" ("Beam & Skinner v. Buckles: From Courtroom to Classroom"). John Buckles, Lincoln's client, was a self-made man who spent almost his entire life on the family farm. He and his sons held about 4,000 acres near Mt. Pulaski, owning one of the largest cattle operations in this area. John Buckles constantly rode his land, traveling "as far as forty or fifty miles in a day, and in that time scarcely ever took his dinner at home, save on Sunday." He could be single-minded:  "His mind and energy were directed toward a given point; nothing turned him to the right or the left." Buckles was a Republican and a proponent of temperance (History of Logan County 1886, p. 777).

      Undoubtedly, Buckles and Lincoln had a number of qualities in common, including a love of liberty, temperance, rugged individualism, and tenacity. Abraham Lincoln "secured the testimony of county officials who declared that Buckles's road was much better than the straight-line road despite being longer" ("Road Rage in Logan County". "Judge David Davis granted the injunction [to remove the road blocks], but the parties apparently reached a settlement, and Beam and Skinner dismissed the case in the March 1858 term" ("From Courtroom to Classroom"). "With Lawyer Lincoln's help, Buckles was able to maintain the integrity of his land by relocating the county road along the outskirts of his property" ("Road Rage in Logan County").

     A search of The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln (link below) using "Parks" as the keyword, identifies several cases on which Lincoln and Samuel Parks worked together in addition to other activities:

3.21: John Buckles of Mt. Pulaski, IL:
Abraham Lincoln's Client

(Image in History of Logan County 1886,
unnumbered page following p. 774)

  • April 5, 1854, at Lincoln, Illinois: Turley et al. v. County of Logan. Lincoln and Parks successfully defended Logan County against property owners in Mt. Pulaski who complained that the county seat had been illegally moved from Mt. Pulaski to Lincoln.

  • Wednesday, March 25, 1857, at Lincoln, Illinois: Webster v. Rhodes and Angell. Lincoln, Herndon, and Parks for plaintiff. Case dismissed with each party paying his costs.

  • 1857, the Dalby case. "Joseph A. and Sarah Dalby sued the St. Louis, Alton, and Chicago Railroad in 1857 for injuries inflicted by employees unfairly attempting to put them off the train. William H. Herndon and Abraham Lincoln of Springfield and Samuel C. Parks of Lincoln, Illinois, represented the Dalbys. Although it has always been assumed that Lincoln argued the case before the circuit court and state supreme courts, court records discovered in 1988 show that it was actually Herndon who did so. The court agreed that a corporation could be guilty of assault and battery inflicted by its employees, so Herndon won the case" (abstract of Beard, William D. "Dalby Revisited: A New Look at Lincoln's 'Most Far-Reaching Case' in the Illinois Supreme Court." Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 1999 20(2): 1-16. Information located through America: History and Life, the database of ABC-CLIO).

  • Monday, August 9, 1858, in Springfield, Illinois: Abraham Lincoln "writes regrets to his friend D.A. Cheever of Tremont, that previous engagement prevents acceptance of speaking invitation and suggests S.C Parks of Lincoln as speaker."

  • Monday, September 27, 1858--Lincoln at Springfield and Jacksonville. "Lincoln finds time to write defendants' answer in Mershon v. Oliver and Milner, Logan County case. He signs "Lincoln & Parks p.d.," and evidently mails document to Samuel C. Parks."

  • Abraham Lincoln's "lost speech" of Saturday, October 16, 1858, in Lincoln, Illinois. Samuel C. Parks introduced Lincoln to a crowd of 5,000.

  • Wednesday, March 23, 1859, Abraham Lincoln writes and files pleas in Critz v. Deskins, in which he and Parks act for the defendant. Lincoln writes affidavit of William Oliver in Mershon v. Oliver and Milner.

  • Thursday, March 24, 1859, Lincoln is attorney for Abraham Nash, alias Yankee Sullivan, charged with assault with intent to kill. By agreement bail is increased to $1,000, and change of venue to Sangamon County granted. Lincoln writes and files pleas for defendants in Loomis v. Beverly et al. and in Classon v. McFarland. In first case he acts with Parks. In second with Estabrook.

  • Thursday, March 31, 1859, Lincoln files bill and affidavit in Day v. Skinner et al. which he drew March 22, 1859. He also writes and files order of court by which case is continued. Lincoln writes and files demurrer in Smith v. Bowman Sewell, in which he and Parks are for plaintiff.

  • Friday, April 1, 1859, Campbell et al. v. Blatchford and McCoy is tried by jury, which finds for plaintiffs in sum of $1,155.55. Lincoln and Lacey represent defendants. Lincoln files praecipe [request of the court to order someone to appear in court] and declaration in Foster v. Cosby. He writes and files, for defendants, please in Goltra v. Ewing et al. and Davis & C. v. Burt, acting with Parks.

  • Monday, March 19, 1860, Acting for defendant, Lincoln writes, signs, and files demurrer in Hinrichsen v. Laughery in Logan Circuit Court. He writes agreement as to issue in Musick for use of Johnson v. Baughn and Jackson, which Young for defendant and Parks for plaintiff .

     Historian Judge Lawrence Stringer's Assessment of Samuel C. Parks: "Judge Parks. . .was an able lawyer, a safe legal adviser, and an earnest advocate. He was and is a close student of men and affairs. He is one of the few remaining examples of the old school of public men, whose stock in trade was their ability, integrity, and pure patriotism, and who are rapidly passing away" (p. 325).

Lionel P. Lacey: Abraham Lincoln's Lesser-Known Law Partner in Lincoln, Illinois

      The account of Beam & Skinner v. Buckles above cites Lionel P. Lacey as the only other lawyer who worked with Lincoln and Herndon for the defense of John Buckles.

    Lionel P. Lacey was a close contemporary of Samuel C. Parks: "The first lawyers of the Logan County bar, in the sense of being actual practitioners, were Lionel P. Lacey, William H. Young, and Samuel C. Parks" (Stringer, p. 321. "Lionel P. Lacey was born at Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois, 1820. He was reared a farmer but before reaching manhood he studied law, which he followed the greater part of his life. Soon after his marriage he brought his wife [Ruth] to Illinois [from New York] [and settled first in Mt. Pulaski ("Lionel P. Lacey Was Legal Advisor," Lincoln Evening Courier, 1953, p. 15)] and then in Lincoln, Logan County, where he practiced his profession till his death. . . . He was much respected in the county, and his death was universally regretted" (History of Logan County 1886, p. 491). Lacey was admitted to the bar about 1841 (Dooley and Welch, p. 24). Like Parks, Lacey became a judge and civic leader.

3.22: Judge Lionel P. Lacey

(Photo from The Namesake Town, p. 24)

    In 1855 Lacey was a school trustee (Stringer, p. 437). Lacey, unlike Parks, was a strong Democrat. When Stephen A. Douglas spoke in Lincoln, Illinois, on September 4, 1858, during the Lincoln-Douglas debates--with Abraham Lincoln in the audience--, Lacey was "the president of the day and introduced Douglas to the audience" (Stringer, p. 224). Lacey's election as circuit judge occurred in 1873 ("Lionel P. Lacey Was Legal Advisor," Courier, 1953, p. 15).

     In 1875 Lacey, along with such other civic leaders as Robert B. Latham, played a key role in establishing Lincoln, Illinois, as the site of the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children [later named the Lincoln State School & Colony]" (Stringer, p. 455). A search of The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln (link below) using "Lacey" as the keyword, identifies four cases on which Lincoln and Lionel P. Lacey worked together. In each of these cases, Lacey was Lincoln's only partner, and the actions occurred in Logan County Court in Lincoln, Illinois:

  • April 13, 1853: Lincoln and Lacey for plaintiff and Gridley and Stuart for defendant try Campbell v. Weed, action in covenant, before court. Court takes it under advisement.

  • March 26, 1858: Lincoln and Lacey represent defendant in Hildreth v. Gill, which is continued by agreement.

  • April 1, 1859: Campbell et al. v. Blatchford and McCoy is tried by jury, which finds for plaintiffs in sum of $1,155.55. Lincoln and Lacey represent defendants.

  • April 2, 1859: Thompson v. Crane. Lincoln and Lacey for plaintiff is tried by jury, which awards their client $48.80 plus part of costs. Lincoln also sits as judge on 33 cases.

     Note: Perhaps Lionel P. Lacey was the first of countless Abraham Lincoln look-alikes, including today's various professional Lincoln impersonators: "One of Judge Lacey's daughters says she heard a friend of her father say, 'as Lacey and Lincoln rode together going to court on horseback, it was hard to tell them apart. They were both tall, lean men, of a similar general appearance. Mr. Lacey wore a beard and had the same cadaverous expression, not so sad however, as his lot in life had always been easier'" ("Lionel P. Lacey Was Legal Adviser," Lincoln Evening Courier, p. 15).

Mr. Lincoln's Fourth and Last-Known Speech in His First Namesake Town: His Only Appearance There with a Beard

     Above I refer to Abraham Lincoln's final visit to Lincoln, Illinois, on November 21, 1860, as he was enroute to meet his Vice President-elect, Hannibal Hamlin, for the first time. Historians have noted that on the next day the New York Herald printed the following: "At the town of Lincoln the calls for the President-elect were so persistent that he appeared and spoke a few words,

     'Fellow Citizens: I thank you for this mark of your kindness towards me. I have been shut up in Springfield for the last few months, and therefore have been unable to greet you, as I was formerly in the habit of doing. I am passing on my way to Chicago, and am happy in doing so to be able to meet so many of my friends in Logan County, even if to do no more than exchange with you the compliments of the season, and to thank you for the many kindnesses you have manifested towards me. I am not in the habit of making speeches now, and I would therefore ask to be excused from entering upon any discussion of the political topics of the day. I am glad to see so many happy faces, and listen to so many pleasant expressions. Again thanking you for this honor, I will pass on my journey" (quoted in The Namesake Town, p. 25). Official source of text: Source: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln4/1:215?rgn=div1;view=fulltext. For a photo of the railroad depot where Lincoln spoke from the back of a train on November 20, 1860, access

     Like many Americans, I had heard that Mr. Lincoln had begun to grow his beard after he was elected President in 1860. When I discovered that Abraham Lincoln had spoken in his namesake town for the last time on November 21, 1860, as he was traveling by train to Chicago after the election, I wondered whether he had begun to grow his beard by that time. I had seen photo 3.2 by Alschuler showing Lincoln's early beard as I sometimes looked through my 144-page 1953 Centennial Edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier. The Courier, however, does not indicate when the Alschuler photo was taken.

     The story of 11-year-old Grace Bedell's suggestion (in a letter dated October 11, 1860) that he grow a beard is well known.  Lincoln's response to her, dated October 19, included the question: "As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection [affectation] if I were to begin it now?"  (Abraham Lincoln Research Web site, link below under Sources Cited).

     According to the Abraham Lincoln Research Web site, "When Abraham Lincoln left Springfield on February 11th, 1861, bound for the White House, he was fully bearded. On February 16th the train stopped in Westfield, New York. The President-elect appeared on the train platform, and he called out for Grace. She was in the crowd with her two sisters, Alice and Helen. She came forth, Lincoln kissed her, and he said he took her advice."

     On November 27, 2002, I emailed Roger Norton, who created the Abraham Lincoln Research Website, to ask him if he knew when Mr. Lincoln had begun to grow the beard. Mr. Norton promptly emailed the following response in which he attached the same photo seen above in 3.2:

"Hello Leigh.

     This photo of President-elect Lincoln was taken on Sunday, November 25, 1860, by photographer Samuel G. Alschuler in Chicago. The whole story of the photo is unclear, but it was saved from destruction by Herbert Wells Fay, a custodian of the Lincoln Tomb.

     I am including the photo via file attachment.


Roger Norton"

     The photo below, then, was taken in Chicago just four days after Mr. Lincoln spoke in Lincoln, Illinois, on November 21, 1860. Curiously, this photo shows Mr. Lincoln with the early growth of beard exactly as citizens of this namesake city would have seen him probably for the last time.

    Abraham Lincoln's contemporaries wondered why he decided to grow a beard:  "No one knew just what to make of the change.  Perhaps it suggested that he was hiding his face because he knew he was not ready to be President.  Or maybe it demonstrated the supreme self-confidence of a man who was willing to risk the inevitable ridicule and unavoidable puns like 'Old Abe is . . . puttin' on (h)airs.'  Or possibly it hinted that the President-elect wanted to present a new face to the public, a more authoritative and elderly bearded visage.  Or maybe the beard signified nothing more than that the President-elect was bored during the long months of inaction between his nomination and his inauguration" (Donald, Lincoln, pp. 258-259).

3.23: By Samuel G. Alschuler November 25, 1860, in Chicago

Stephen Douglas's Last Speech in Lincoln, Illinois

     Despite losing the Presidency, Stephen Douglas supported Abraham Lincoln and all efforts to save the Union. Douglas reportedly spoke the following, in part, on a stop at Lincoln, Illinois, on April 26, 1861, as he traveled from Springfield to Chicago: ". . . Fellow Citizens: I have no time to make a speech; the cars won't wait. It is not necessary, I believe, for I take it that you are all a unit for the Union. I have done my best to preserve peace, but now that the war is upon us, the Government must be maintained at all hazards" (quoted in The Namesake Town, p. 25). [Note: Douglas died June 3, 1861.]

The Founding of Lincoln College (1865)

     Today, the city of Lincoln proudly honors its place in the life and legend of Abraham Lincoln, eagerly searching to discover and celebrate every detail of Mr. Lincoln's association with this community.  Yet, the building of that legend here was a gradual process, typically requiring strong civic leadership. 

     The naming of Lincoln College is a prime example of the role of this leadership.

     Lincoln College is the only institution of higher education named for Abraham Lincoln in his life time.  It was chartered as Lincoln University February 6, 1865. The name was changed to Lincoln College in 1901 as a result of its affiliation with Millikin University of Decatur. This affiliation lasted until 1953, when Lincoln College became independent.  

     University Hall at 300 Keokuk Street, depicted below, is the institution's original building. On April 24, 1973, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first of four such current designations in Lincoln, Illinois (see navigation panel for the other three, including the Foley house in the Lincoln College neighborhood).

3.24: Lincoln College
Bronze 1965 Centennial Medallion

     For detailed information about University Hall's historic features, see Sources Cited below for the Web site address of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Lincoln College Historian Andrew Lindstrom describes the beginning of University Hall's construction:  "Despite the financial difficulties which beset the board, ground was broken for University Hall on February 12, 1865, Abraham Lincoln's last living birthday. . ." (Lindstrom, Lincoln:  The Namesake College, p. 13).

     According to Mr. Lindstrom, "by September 14, 1865, work had progressed so well that the cornerstone was laid in ceremonies with Governor Richard J. Oglesby [friend and supporter of President Lincoln] delivering the feature oration of the day" (p. 14). Financial problems delayed completion until 1866. According to Barbara Hughett's The Lincoln College Story, 1865--1995, the name of Lincoln University was changed to Lincoln College on April 30, 1901; and it became a two-year institution "at the end of the 1928-29 term."

     Today Lincoln College continues as "a private, two-year, liberal-arts college, fully accredited by the North Central Association. . . .  Lincoln College has long fostered a personal approach to education."  For this purpose, faculty provide individual attention to students in helping them with course work, scheduling classes, and  other counseling (Lincoln College Catalog, 2001-2002, p. 2). A full range of scholarships, support programs, and extracurricular activities, including conference sports, are offered.

     "Through cooperative programs with Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Springfield, and others, Lincoln College students follow specific curriculum choices during their first two years of study which aid in successful transfer to specific majors"  (LC Catalog, p. 4). As a former student of Lincoln College, I can testify to the key contribution it made to my education at a critical time.

3.25:  Paul Norton Water Color of University Hall (undated)

     David Alan Badger describes University Hall as 60 feet in height with Italianate design (this style popular 1840-1885).  "Identifying features. . . center gabled with square cupola. . .  paired eave brackets. . . unusual window detail, 6/6. . . Early Classic Revival door surround, semi-circular fanlight."

      (From The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois," no page numbers used).

Distinguished Lincolnites Lead Lincoln College in the Route 66 Era

     In the photo below, at the far right in the front row is Raymond N. Dooley, president of Lincoln College from 1948 to 1971. A biographical sketch of Mr. Dooley, including an account of his accomplishments and contributions to Lincoln College, is given at 35. A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois.

3.26:  Lincoln College Board of Trustees (1963-64) on
the Steps of University Hall

(Photo from Lindstrom and Carruthers, Lincoln:  the Namesake College, p. 118)    

3.27:  View from South Corner of Library-Museum

3.28:  View from North Corner of Library-Museum

     In the building shown above, Lincoln College houses a museum with memorabilia and publications relating to Abraham Lincoln. This museum began as a result of the materials willed to Lincoln College by Historian-Judge Lawrence Stringer. More information about this museum appears in this Web site at 29. Museums & Parks.  I took the above photos in July, 2002.

Leigh Henson's Memoir of Lincoln College

     As a student at Lincoln College in 1960-61, I had several classes in University Hall. There, my interest in English was strengthened by Mrs. Florence Molen and Mr. William Stigall. 

     I also gained an abiding curiosity about Abraham Lincoln as a result of Mr. James T. Hickey, whose class in "Lincoln Literature" was also taught in this building.  He was a Lincoln scholar and curator of the Lincoln Collection in the Illinois State Historical Library. 

     His works are published in The Collected Writings of James T. Hickey (1990).  Mr. Hickey was a protégé of the legendary Judge Lawrence Stringer, a Lincoln scholar and collector of Lincolniana.  Judge Stringer donated his Lincoln collection to Lincoln College and asked the college to establish a Lincoln Museum.  Today this museum, open to the public, is housed in the McKinstry Library Building of Lincoln College.


3.29: University Hall, on the
National Register of Historic Places

     (Leigh Henson photo, 7-01.  The arrow at the right of the photo points to the classroom where I took Introduction to Literature with Mrs. Molen for two semesters.)

Favorite Teachers at Lincoln College    

     Below are the photos of three teachers who impressed me during my freshman year at Lincoln College in 1960-61. A photo of James Hickey appears on 35.  A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois.

3.30:  Reverend John T. Burns,
Instructor of World Religion


3.31:  Mrs. Florence Molen,
Instructor of English

3.32:  Mr. William Stigall,
Instructor of Humanities

3.33:  Aerial View of the Lincoln College Campus, 1960

(Photo inside the cover of the 1961 Lynxite)

     This view looks west by northwest.  Near the bottom of the photo and running across it horizontally is Ottawa Street.  At the lower left corner of the photo is the intersection of Ottawa and Keokuk Streets. Toward the upper left Keokuk curves and beyond becomes Woodlawn Road (17th Street).

     In the aerial photo above, the large white house near the intersection of Ottawa and Keokuk (bottom left corner of photo) was the residence of President Raymond Dooley, Mrs. Florence Dooley, and their two sons and daughter.  (More information about President Dooley appears at 35. A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois). University Hall is center right, and to its immediate left is the Administration Building (white roof). The Administration Building was destroyed by fire in January, 1969, and a photo of that disaster appears on page 86 of Paul Beaver's History of Logan County 1982.

A William Maxwell Connection to the Lincoln College Neighborhood

     At the top-right of the photo above is the property that was owned by Mrs. Ella Owsley Brainerd (mansion, 320 acres with farm, and Brainerd's Branch, a small creek). This home was known as the McGrath Mansion in the Route 66 era and was owned by James McGrath, one of three principals of the McGrath Sand and Gravel Company.

     Living in the city of Lincoln even before her teenage marriage (she was 17) on July 13, 1857, Mrs. Brainerd knew Abraham Lincoln. She was not only a patron of individuals and Lincoln College, but also a true civic leader and philanthropist -- in the tradition, however, that Charles Dickens criticized as "telescopic" (accomplished at a distance with "white gloves"):  "Ella Owsley Brainerd was a benefactress of the First Presbyterian Church and of the Lincoln Chautauqua for which she and her husband gave the land and the Park was named in their honor.  She gave generously to foreign missions for several years paying the entire salary of a missionary in the field.  She served as state president of the Presbyterian Foreign Mission Board for 20 years, was a member of that same board for the North West and one of her most highly prized possessions was a pin presented to her -- the highest honor which this organization could award.

     She was a great lover of flowers and the grounds surrounding her home were a beautiful example of landscaping, which she shared with her friends, holding an annual picnic on the lawn.  She tended to dress in all black or white, "with a little black bonnet with a white ruching [decorative strip of fabric] similar to that worn by Queen Victoria. . . " ("Ella Brainerd One of City's Leading Women," Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, section eight, p. 16).

     The Brainerd home is depicted in The Badger Collection of Featuring Lincoln of Illinois.  Badger's drawing and description are presented at 30. Neighborhoods with Distinction.

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

     Note:  The source about Mrs. Brainerd cited above is inaccurate in saying that she "gave the land" used for the Chautauqua at Lincoln, Illinois. According to Judge Stringer's Logan County History 1911, she leased this land to the Chautauqua Association from 1902 until 1908 (p. 467). At that time, the Association assessed members, "and the funds so secured were used in paying for the original grounds, a deed to the same being made to the association by Mrs. Brainerd, Dec. 19, 1908. A contract of sale was also entered into between Mrs. Brainerd and the association, providing for the further purchase of twenty acres additional, immediately north of the original grounds, at the price of $200 per acre. With this new addition, the Lincoln Chautauqua can boast of possessing the largest and most beautiful Chautauqua grounds in the Central West" (p. 469). 

     William Maxwell's Boy Scout leader, Lincoln College biology Professor Christopher Oglevee, also lived at the Brainerd Mansion "in the position of a son" (William Maxwell, "With Reference to an Incident at a Bridge," All the Days and Nights, p. 266).

     "The Brainerds' only son died in infancy and it seemed that Ella Brainerd reached out and helped many relations and friends to a college education because of her love of children. Dr. C.S. Oglevee, one of these, attended Lincoln College, where he later became a teacher, and as manager of the Brainerd farms for thirty years, made his home with Mrs. Brainerd, taking the place of a son.  He was the third man to organize a Boy Scout troop in the United States and gave freely of his time to youth and the good of the community" (Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, section eight, August 26, 1953, p. 15).

3.34:  Mrs. Brainerd and Professor Oglevee

     (Photo from Lindstrom and Caruthers, Lincoln:  The Namesake College, p. 75)

     Oglevee (d. 1936) was well known as "a true jack of all trades, for he was an expert in natural science, woodcarving, painting, astronomy, and agriculture. . . " (Lincoln:  The Namesake College, p. 75). He was also a civic leader: "He helped organize the Logan County Farm Bureau, was a past president of the Sportsmen's Club, and a director of the Lincoln Chautauqua. Finally his work as an elder in the [First Presbyterian] church and as a YMCA leader at the college proved to many that a scientist need not be Godless" (Lincoln:  the Namesake College, p. 75).

     In the upper-right of photo 3.31 is a dark line, which may be Brainerd's Branch, where William Maxwell played: "In the early spring I used to walk along the stream listening to the musical sound it made, and sometimes stopping to build a dam.  Tucked away in a remote corner of the pasture was a one-room clubhouse with a fireplace, which my brother's generation of Boy Scouts had built under Professor Oglevee's direction. . . . . He [Oglevee] was a walking encyclopedia. . . . He was immensely patient, good-natured, and kind. . . ("With Reference to an Incident. . . ," p. 267).

     Professor Oglevee rests in Old Union Cemetery near Frank Frorer's tomb. For information about this historic cemetery, see 11. Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial Park (former Chautauqua site), the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites.

3.35:  Professor Oglevee in His Lab

     (Photo from Lindstrom and Caruthers, Lincoln:  The Namesake College, p. 75)

    "In the early spring I used to walk along the stream listening to the musical sound it made, and sometimes stopping to build a dam.  Tucked away in a remote corner of the pasture was a one-room clubhouse with a fireplace, which my brother's generation of Boy Scouts had built under Professor Oglevee's direction. . . . . He [Oglevee] was a walking encyclopedia. . . . He was immensely patient, good-natured, and kind. . . ("With Reference to an Incident. . . ," p. 267).

     Professor Oglevee rests in Old Union Cemetery near Frank Frorer's tomb. For information about this historic cemetery, see 11. Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial Park (former Chautauqua site), the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites.

     Maxwell also describes his older brother, Hap, and his friends trapping at Brainerd's Branch:  "In winter when it was still dark, I would be wakened by the sound of gravel striking against the window, and Hap would get up from his warm bed and dress and go off with Harold to see if they had caught anything in the traps they had set at intervals along Brainerd's Branch. They had learned from an ad in a boys' magazine that you could get a quarter for a properly stretched and dried muskrat skin, and they meant to become rich.  If they waited till daylight they would find their traps sprung and empty.  Other boys -- coal miners' sons from the north end, they believed -- also knew about that ad" (William Maxwell, "The Holy Terror," All the Days and Nights, p. 304). In 1909, Hap was seriously injured in the wheel of a carriage, and his left leg had to be amputated above the knee. Yet, Hap led a physically active, competitive childhood and youth:  "there was very little other boys could do that Hap couldn't do" ("The Holy Terror," p. 303), as his high school senior sketch shows:


3.36:  Summary of William Maxwell's
Older Brother's High School Career from the 1921 Lincolnite

    From childhood, Edward "Hap" Maxwell (d. 1985) was interested in following his maternal Grandfather Blinn into a legal career and attended the University of Illinois before moving to California, where he eventually practiced law with his younger brother, Robert Blinn Maxwell.

    "The Holy Terror" describes the ways in which Hap's spirited zest for life, sometimes taking a mischievous turn, endeared him to family and friends.

     "The Holy Terror" is just one of eleven short stories and five books in which William Maxwell develops interesting characters from Lincoln, Illinois, with vivid descriptions of this setting.  Maxwell's readers discover and enjoy complex and believable characters, moving scenes, and perceptive insights into human nature and American life. Maxwell's works are readily available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. 

The Plot to Steal Lincoln's Body: An Alleged Conspiracy in the Rustic Tavern

     Local lore says that "in 1876 members of a counterfeiting gang met here to hatch a plot to steal Lincoln's corpse from its burial vault in Springfield" ("Walking the Path of Abraham Lincoln"). Another source that repeats this story is Paul E. Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 15. Gleason's book contains a picture from a mural inside the Rustic Inn that depicts the conspirators discussing their plans over drinks with the bartender overhearing. The bartender allegedly reported his news to the authorities who later captured the offenders. The Great Lincoln Hijack (1997) by Bonnie S. Speer is a book about the conspiracy to steal Lincoln's body in 1876.  I have not read this book, but I emailed Lincoln Historian Roger Norton to see if he knew whether the book confirms that the conspirators met at the Rustic Tavern, and he responded as follows: "The book does not mention the exact name of the tavern, but it does say the members of the Logan County gang often drank in the saloon in Lincoln owned by one of the gang's members (Robert Splain). Thus, perhaps, Splain's Saloon and the Rustic Tavern are one and the same. I do not know this for certain, but at least it seems a possibility. So, yes, there is indeed a connection between the plot and Lincoln, Illinois" (Roger Norton, 3-25-02). In Sources Cited below, a link is given to Mr. Norton's excellent Web site titled the Abraham Lincoln Research Site.

     Thomas R. Turner in a review of a book titled Stealing Lincoln's Body (link below under Sources Cited) acknowledges that one of the two conspiracies to steal Lincoln's body was hatched by a gang from Lincoln. The Splain tavern in Lincoln was allegedly the site where the gang first discussed their plot to steal Lincoln's body. The gang then established a tavern in Springfield to be closer to the Lincoln tomb in order to carry out their conspiracy, and that was where their plot was discovered.

Early 20th-Century Photo of Pulaski Street with Rustic Tavern at Far Right

3.37: The Historic Rustic and Malerich Bros. Taverns Adorned with Lavish Patriotic Bunting

(Photo provided by Larry "Jughead" Malerich (1941--2011), LCHS Class of 1959, and emailed by Fred Blanford). The occasion for the lavish display of patriotism is unknown. Perhaps it was the Fourth of July.

     Fred Blanford emailed the following account (3-28-04): "The Pulaski Street scene has these items of note: The street does not appear to be paved.  While the whole street is not visible--I would hazard the guess there does not appear to be any trolley tracks down the center.  The business on the left (Jacob Parod's{?} shoe repair shop of the 50's) is in fact T.C.Molloy's restaurant (or Lunch Room according to the sign at the right laying on the sidewalk) at this time.  In this regard, I seem to remember my father-in-law [Dr. Jimmy Coogan] mentioning that Molloy's once ran two different storefronts (the more familiar one of the 50's on Chicago Street) and this one--and that they shared a common kitchen when they were operating.  I won't bet the rent money on this proposition, however, as I have previously mentioned--memory is a fallible tool--but the only one I have. 

     Next (going left to right) is the Bucket of Beer [site of regular boxing matches] where there is a beer logo sign mounted but nothing on the window to ID the place--then the Gold Top Beer--Malerich Bros.--with an identical beer logo sign mounted next to its entry.  The business of the next two establishments is not evident from the names Sc_ _ _ & Cherney (Scotch & Cherney??) would appear to be what the awning says and the Rustic's awning does say it is a "Saloon" but the name is like J.K. Smithers _ _ _? into oblivion.  The Historical Register says that it is for sure the "Rustic Tavern" where the plot to steal Lincoln's body was hatched, etc., etc.The "Rustic" is obviously the more "uptown" establishment at this time--as they not only have a deployed awning--but they have provided two benches for patrons to rest upon while the indeterminate shop (a barber shop when we were in HS) has only a "Funeral Parlor folding chair" and Malerich Bros. has no seating at all on the outside. When I asked Jug what the saloon was called when we were in HS--he said it was the J&J--"that people called the Double Hook"--a reference that does not strain my Bucket of Beer label [Fred's term for any unsavory establishment dispensing liquid refreshments].

The Rustic Tavern in the Route 66 Era (1930--1960)

     The first owners of the Rustic Tavern in the Route 66 Era were Frank and Joe Sumski, who started the business on September 8, 1934. Later, Mrs. Bess Sumski owned and operated the Tavern (I'm not sure whether her husband was Frank or Joe. Can you tell me which was her husband?).

3.38: Interior of the Rustic Tavern at 411 Pulaski Street, October, 1936

     Photo courtesy of John Swingle, LCHS Class of 1957, and a major contributor to this community history Web site project. John retired from the Peoria Journal Star. In the above photo, John identifies the two men behind the bar as Frank Sumski (l) and Joe Sumski. Others are unidentified. See photo later on this page for exterior view. The bar in the photo may or may not date to the time of the Lincoln body-snatching conspiracy.

     John's mother, Mrs. Ruth Swingle, worked in the Rustic Tavern before she began to work in the tavern that she and her husband owned and operated; it was located "around the corner" on Chicago Street, next to Molloy's Cafe. Mrs. Swingle appears in a photo later on this page.

     The photo above shows the wooden decor. The chairs are constructed of willow wood, probably from the nearby Salt Creek area. My Grandfather Wilson used to get willow-wood chairs from gypsies in exchange for food from his grocery store. A printed source that I obtained but that has no identification (it may be a feature from the Lincoln Courier) says that "the bar and the canopy over it represented a house on one side of the street; the booths and another canopy opposite the bar represented a house on the other side of the street. This unusual treatment gave the tavern the appearance of a small Western town. [At the time the unknown source was written--1960s?], the tavern appear[ed] much the same-- only wall murals depicting the attempted theft of Lincoln's body now occupy space over the booth area. Painted by a local artist, the scenes depict seven important events in [Abraham] Lincoln history ranging from 'the Railsplitter's' move to Illinois in 1830 to his assassination in 1865 and the funeral train that toured the country in 1876."

3.39: Mrs. Bess Sumksi (l) and Appreciative Patrons

(unidentified source provided by Nonagenarian Willie Aughton)

     As indicated in an email of 8-6-2007, Sandy (Sumski) Bergman was kind to help identify folks in the above photo: "Leigh:  Really like your information about the Rustic Tavern.  My uncle & aunt owned it for many years. I have been trying to get the identity of the people in the photos you displayed. The only ones I can get positive identification on are the two men & lady behind the bar.  Looking at the picture the first man is Frank Sumski, the lady is Bessie Sumski (his wife) and the other man is his brother Joseph Sumski. 

     Frank & Bessie owned the bar for many years. Frank died of cancer in 1954 at the age of 58 and then Bessie ran the bar. I asked my aunt by marriage if she recognized any of the people besides Frank, Joe and Bessie and she could not identify them. Aunt Jewell Sumski was married to Bernard Sumski one of the other brothers and he tended bar at the Rustic as well. Aunt Jewell is 103 years old and her eye sight is not to good otherwise I think she might have recognized some of the people in the bar. My dad was Edward Sumski and he never worked in the bar. He was the youngest brother.

     Hope this helps you and I well keep trying to identify the rest of the people in the photos. You do a great job. Sandy (Sumski) Bergman

     Also in the above photo are Lewis "Zoo" Barrick (far right) and his wife, Mildred Feldman Barrick, in the dark polka dot dress.. Mr. Barrick owned and operated Barrick Transfer and was the Budweiser distributor for Lincoln. Mr. and Mrs. Barrick also appear in 3.39 below. In 2010 Mr. Barrick was posthumously inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame: his business was located on Route 66 in Lincoln for 75 years (http://route66news.com/2010/06/12/a-closer-look-at-a-hall-of-fame-inductee/). Mr. Barrick's son, Jack, continued the business. For a remarkable photo of "Zoo" Barrick in 1953 during the town's Centennial Celebration, with the Budweiser wagon and white-mule team that preceded the Clydesdales, access http://findinglincolnillinois.com/pinballwizards.html#whitemules.

3.40: Mrs. Sumski (l), Ruth Swingle, and Mrs. Sumski's Brother-in-Law

     Mrs. Swingle was the mother of the John Swingle described above. The above photo shows three draft beer spigots. The one being used by Mrs. Swingle says Hamm's. When was the last time you saw Hamm's on tap? Are today's fewer choices of draft beer an indication of "progress"?

3.41: Conspiracy Scene Mural by Unknown Local Artist

(Photo provided by the late Willie Aughton. Photographer unknown.)

     The above photo shows the scene in which outlaws conspired to steal Lincoln's body in 1876. This scene was apparently created by the unknown local artist, and this work would be called "folk" or "outsider" art today. Yet notice the clever use of a "balloon-like" image above the head of the conspirator at the far left: it shows the idea of stealing the body from the temporary tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery (before the final tomb was constructed).

     If you know who the local artist was of the conspiracy scene above, why, email me at dlhenson@missouristate.edu or dlh105f@sbcglobal.net. One speculation is that it could have been Father James Thomas McCarthy, who was commissioned to restore paintings in the Logan County Courthouse. Compare the folk art above with the work below at the right. This mural below was also created on a wall of the Rustic. I speculate that the one below may have been painted over the earlier one.

3.42: Rustic Tavern in the 1960s

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)


3.43:  Conspiracy Scene Segment from
the Mural in the Rustic Tavern

     (Photo from Gleason, Lincoln:  Pictorial History, p. 15).

      Above are a rare photo of the Rustic Tavern in the 1960s and an image of the conspiracy scene when my LCHS and Illinois State classmate and I went there to see the mural (see memoir below).  I speculate that the artist of the conspiracy scene above-right was probably Lloyd Ostendorf. I have several Lincoln-related images by Ostendorf that were used on placemats in the Rustic when it was operated as a restaurant by Jackie Sheridan in the 1970s, and the style of the placemat images is very similar to that of the Rustic Tavern conspiracy scene above-right.)

Photos of the Antique Back Bar of the Rustic Tavern

     The photos below show the antique back bar of the Rustic Tavern but in a different setting. The 1936 photo above--3.36-- shows the front bar featuring the carved-branch design of its front and sides. The photos below show the back bar--now used as a front bar--with the same design. As noted above, this bar may or may not date to the time of the Lincoln body-snatching conspiracy--probably not--, but the back bar is a significant artifact of the local Lincoln lore. These photos are kindly provided by realtor Linda Sparks Barrick, a fellow native Lincolnite and history buff. Linda wrote that her husband, Jack, acquired the back bar many years ago. At that time, the Rustic Tavern building was being sold. The new owners were going to operate a different kind of business, and they wanted the bars removed.

     Linda explained that her husband, owner of Barrick Transfer (trucking company), was contacted by the New Salem (IL) Inn, whose owners wanted to purchase the bars. They asked Mr. Barrick to deliver the back bar in one piece. Mr. Barrick explained that such a delivery was impossible because a middle section had been cut out for a draft beer box, and moving the bar would thus break it into two sections. Then, the owners of the New Salem Inn decided they did not want the back bar, so the Barricks acquired it. The Rustic's new owners also painted over the interior murals. (The following link takes you to a preceding part of this webpage that has photos and information about Jack Barrick's father, Lewis "Zoo" Barrick, the founder of this company and member of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame: http://findinglincolnillinois.com/alincoln-lincolnil.html#zoobarrick.)

     Linda notes that the back bar's original length was 21 feet, but the present piece is shorter because some of the bar had been destroyed by termites. In the first photo below, the dark furniture piece at the left, presently used as a back bar, was originally a counter in the Pluth Tin Shop in Lincoln.

3:44--3:46: Antique Back Bar from the Rustic Tavern

Henson's Christmas Memoir of the Rustic Tavern

     On Christmas eve in1963, I was with a high school classmate who was also a classmate at Illinois State [Normal] University when we entered the Rustic Tavern.  We went there because we were curious about the tavern's historic significance and the mural, and on Christmas eve few folks were around who might see us come or go from a downtown bar and be shocked and dismayed at our behavior (we planned careers in education, and in those days local teachers seen in bars were asked to resign). 

     When we first entered, we were the only patrons.  We sat at the bar, enjoying a cold beer and the mural on the opposite wall depicting the conspiracy scene.  Then, another patron entered after parking his station wagon out front. 

     This patron was Santa Claus himself.  Apparently he had time for a cold one before he made his next call.  This Santa had been hired by local families to make personal appearances as a special treat for the children.  As the kids sat on his knee, did they wonder about his peculiar cologne?


3.47: Today's Rustic Tavern on Pulaski Street

(Leigh Henson photo, 6-02)

3.48:  Rustic Tavern Historical Plaque at Right

(Leigh Henson photo, 6-02)

Sources Cited

     Note: Some links may no longer work.

Abraham Lincoln Research Web site: http://home.att.net/~rjnorton/Lincoln2.html.

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

     Beam & Skinner v. Buckles. From Courtroom to Classroom: The Lincoln Legal Papers Curriculum. http://www.papersofabrahamlincoln.org/

    "City Celebrates Abraham Lincoln's Birthday" (2003): http://archives.lincolndailynews.com/2004/Feb/13/News_new/today_b.shtml

     Donald, David Herbert.  Lincoln.  NY:  Simon and Schuster, 1995.

     Dooley, Raymond N., and Ethel Welch, editors.  The Namesake Town:  A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois. Lincoln, IL:  Feldman Print Shop, 1953.

     Early Settlers of Sangamon County--1876 (Samuel C. Parks, biographical sketch): http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilsangam/1876/parksb.htm.

     "Ella Brainerd One of City's Leading Women," Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, section eight, August 26, 1953, p. 16.

     Fehrenbacher, Donald E. Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1962.

     Fraker, Guy C. "The Real Lincoln Highway: The Forgotten Lincoln Circuit Markers. Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Vol. 25, No. 1, Winter, 2004. Full text at http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/jala/25.1/fraker.html.

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

     Hickey, James T. The Collected Writings of James T. Hickey.  Springfield, IL:  The Illinois
State Historical Society, 1990.

     History of Logan County Illinois. Chicago: Inter-state Publishing Company, 1886. Reprinted by Higginson Book Company, Salem, MA.

     Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.  Information and a photo of University Hall is available at http://www.state.il.us/hpa/PS/nrill.htm.  On that page, follow the directions to search the HARGISS database for University Hall in Lincoln, Illinois.

     Illinois Patronage: http://www.mrlincolnandfriends.org.

     Lincoln and Freedom: http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/print.asp?=10

     Lincoln College, 2001-2002.  (Catalog.  No place or date of publication.)

     Lincoln Evening Courier. Centennial edition (August 26, 1953), section 1, p. 1 and section 2, p. 13.

    Lincoln the Politician before the Civil War: http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/ihy960245.html

     Lindstrom, Andrew, and Olive Carruthers.  Lincoln:  The Namesake College.  No publisher's name or place of publication given, 1965.

     "Lionel P. Lacey Was Legal Advisor." Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Eight, August 26, 1953, p. 15.

     Lynxite, 1961. (Lincoln College yearbook).

     Maxwell, William.  "The Holy Terror."  All the Days and Nights:  The Collected Stories.  NY:  Vintage Books, 1995.

     __________ .  "With Reference to an Incident at a Bridge," All the Days and Nights:  The
Collected Stories
.  NY:  Vintage Books, 1995.  William Maxwell's works are available at
 www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com

      Meserve #1 photo of Abraham Lincoln, information at the Lincoln Research Web site:  http://home.att.net/~rjnorton/Lincoln85.html.

     Miller, William Lee. Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography. NY: Vintage Books, 2003.

     "Road Rage in Logan County." http://www.papersofabrahamlincoln.org/Briefs/briefs58.htm

     Saul, Nancy Rollings. "'42 News Clipping Solves Mystery About Abe's Lincoln Law Office."  http://www.lincolncourier.com/news/04/02/10/c.asp

     Speer, Bonnie Stahlman.  The Great Lincoln Hijack. Reliance Press, 1997.

     Stringer, Lawrence B. History of Logan County Illinois (1911). Reprinted by UNIGRAPHIC, INC., Evansville, IN:  1978. Access William Stringer's chapter titled "Abraham Lincoln" (PDF, 23 pp.).

     The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln.   http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/lincoln/index.php  

     Today in Old West History-January. http://home.hiwaay.net/~dbennett/tiowhjan.html

     "Walking on the Path of Abraham Lincoln" on the tourism page of lincolndailynews.com:

     www.lincolnportrait.com/ (for very controversial information about the allegedly first Lincoln photo portrait that preceded Meserve #1).

Sources Suggested

     Biographical information about Sculptor Merrell Gage, creator of bronze statue titled Lincoln the Studenthttp://www.usc.edu/isd/archives/la/pubart/Downtown/figueroa/gage_bio.html

     Lincoln College Web site:  http://www.lincolncollege.edu/

     Maxwell, William. All the Days and Nights:  The Collected Stories. NY:  Vintage Books, 1995.

     Plummer, Mark A.  Lincoln's Rail-Splitter:  Governor Richard J. Oglesby. Campaign, IL:  the
University of Illinois, Press, 2001. 

     Governor Oglesby was a key supporter of Abraham Lincoln and  a prominent politician in his own right.  Oglesby also played a key role in the history of  Lincoln, Illinois, for example, providing  keynote speeches for such milestones as the laying of the cornerstone at the founding of Lincoln College and the dedication of the Civil War soldier statue monument on the Logan County Courthouse square.  Oglesby is the subject of a chapter in Stringer's History of Logan County History (1911) and the subject of the full-length book biography cited here. 

     Governor Oglesby was a friend of the radical intellectual Robert Ingersoll, who was in turn a friend of Judge Blinn, a grandfather of Lincolnite Author William Maxwell.  For more information about this curious trio and their religious views, see 21. Churches.  

     The University of Illinois Press makes an online version of Plummer's biography of Richard J. Oglesby available at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/epub/books/plummer/. A related work of interest is Plummer, Mark A. Robert G. Ingersoll:  Peoria's Pagan Politician. Macomb, IL:  Western Illinois University, 1984.

     Turner, Thomas R., book review, "Stealing Lincoln's Body, by Thomas J. Craughwell," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 29.1 (winter 2008), 63-70: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0029.107/--stealing-lincolns-body?rgn=main;view=fulltext.


          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.