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

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

Site Map

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, IL

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 Theatre, est. 1923, Lincoln, Illinois

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

Leigh Henson's Review of Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois

     Schumacher, Jan. Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois: An Inside Look at Abraham Lincoln's Namesake City Nestled Along Route 66 (Lincoln, IL: Lincoln Printers, 155 pages, 5.5"x8.5," including four pages of black-and-white photos).

Jan Schumacher

     In April of 2007, Jan Schumacher emailed me to ask if I would be interested in writing a review of her book, Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois, and I happily agreed. Since 2001, Ms. Schumacher has written a weekly column for the Lincoln Courier, and her book is a collection of 36 of these essays. In the preliminary pages, Ms. Schumacher thanks the Courier's managing editor, Jeff Nelson, for his cooperation and praises her husband, Steve, for his proofreading skill. Indeed, Glimpses is one of the most typo-free, self-published books I have ever seen.

     This book is also attractively printed with a heavy, glossy cover (depicted below), good paper for interior pages, and a sans serif font in a crisp, large- enough size to make reading easy. Attention to these details complements the book's worthy purposes and engaging content. Lincoln Printers did an excellent job with this publication.

     The foreword was written by Paul Beaver, Professor Emeritus of History at Lincoln College. He praises the book as "a very entertaining look at the great variety of people who make up our hometown. . . . It is a fun book [that] will prove very enjoyable reading to those of all ages." This reviewer completely agrees.

     In this review, I describe Ms. Schumacher's purposes in this book, present its table of contents, analyze the book's content and style, and comment on its significance to Lincoln and Logan County, Illinois.


Ms. Schumacher's Professional Writing Background

     At my request Jan offers the following summary of her qualifications as a professional writer: "Jan Schumacher was one of the lucky people who knew what profession she wanted to pursue at an early age, deciding in junior high that she wanted to be a writer. After graduating from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism, her writing career has given her some unique opportunities. She was a news reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal, did public relations for Nevada Power Company in Las Vegas, worked as press secretary to Congressman Harry Reid in Washington, D.C. and was head of the tourism bureau in Oxnard, California. She and her husband Steve moved to Lincoln 16 years ago when he began teaching at Zion Lutheran School, where he is now principal. She currently writes a weekly newspaper column and reviews plays for the Lincoln Courier."

     Jan Schumacher's essays about Lincoln and Logan County, Illinois, benefit from a double advantage: first, her essays are polished and make for easy reading because she uses the knowledge and skill that she developed while earning her journalism degree and gaining experience on the job.  Secondly, as a someone who grew up in the South and West, she brings a fresh, insightful perspective to her Midwestern material. Collectively, her essays are about much of Lincoln's small-town past and present, and she finds much to celebrate in the story of the first Lincoln namesake town.

Glimpses' Purposes and Audiences

     In July of 2003 when I first published this community history Web site titled Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, and Other Highlights of Lincoln, I stated its purposes on the homepage (Introduction): "This site aims to strengthen the civic pride of former and current (and future) Lincolnites and to encourage people to visit this historic central Illinois city (heritage tourism)." Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois, shares in both of these purposes.

     In their original appearance as essays in a small-town daily newspaper, their prime purpose has been to increase community pride. These essays both gently remind long-time locals not to take the familiar for granted and pleasantly inform non-native Lincolnites of the qualities that give this community and surrounding area their distinction, especially some their kind, generous, and talented people.

     These essays will also appeal to a wider audience because they capture the best of the Midwest. This book should give the readers who travel between Chicago and St. Louis great reasons to get off the Interstate at Lincoln, explore its sites associated with Abraham Lincoln and Route 66, and enjoy the museums, downtown historic district architecture, restaurants, and specialty shops as well as the friendly people connected with them.

Table of Contents

     As indicated below, the table of contents classifies the essays under three headings: history, community, and people:


  • Lincoln: A Man of Humor

  • A. Lincoln in Logan County

  • Sesquicentennial Song

  • Route 66 Mania

  • The Mother Road in Lincoln

  • Preserving the Mill

  • Lure of Route 66

  • LJHS Building

  • Logan County Courthouse


  • Lincoln Experiences

  • Bright Future Ahead

  • Historic Preservation

  • Locally Owned vs. Chain Stores

  • What Newcomers Enjoy

  • Fairs and Festivals

  • Funeral Visitations

  • Christmas Parade

  • Estate Auctions

  • Lincoln Sesquicentennial

  • Being Connected

  • Picturesque Central Illinois

  • Servant Leadership

  • Gut Value Connections

  • Dreams


  • Moving Back

  • Tribute to Mike Abbott

  • Special Mothers

  • Memorable Fathers

  • Inspiring Political Figures

  • Sonya Twist Remembered

  • Helping Our Soldiers

  • LCHS Teacher Retirements

  • Stay-at-Home Moms

  • Lincoln's "Idols"

  • Illinois State Fair

  • Help with Tornado Clean-up

     The last page is titled "More Information on Lincoln": Contact information for the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, Main Street Lincoln, and the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County.

Analysis of Content

     Typically the titles of the essays concisely name their subject matter, and collectively the titles indicate the impressive, broad scope of the book. Also, Ms. Schumacher's knowledge of this community is based on a wide range of source material. It includes published sources such as Lawrence B. Stringer's classic History of Logan County 1911, but her greatest resources are her personal observations and experiences in the community. Just as we see in Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach's remarkable essays in Our Times, Jan Schumacher's essays gain from a commendable talent for finding and quoting perceptive local citizens. At the heart of both of these writers' works are concise, apt comments from people ranging from community leaders to ordinary folks.

     Ms. Schumacher wisely devotes the first section of her book to local history. The essays dealing with the Abraham Lincoln heritage and the lore (and lure) of Route 66 connect all kinds of readers with the essence of the first Lincoln namesake town and Logan County.

     "Sesquicentennial Song" is notable for its account of how a local teacher, Ruth Freesmeier, involved her students at Carroll Catholic School in researching the town's history in order to write the lyrics to a song titled "A Lincoln Sesquicentennial Tribute." Using these lyrics, 1997 Carroll graduate Jason Yarcho, then a music major at Eastern Illinois University, composed the song. When Mayor Beth Davis heard about this project, she "was so impressed. . .she decided it should be sung at the re-enactment of the [town's] christening." Undoubtedly this is the best kind of history lesson because it connects the past, present, and future as many of the students will cherish this memory. "Sesquicentennial Song" includes the complete lyrics.

     The four essays on the Route 66 describe the alignments and heritage of the Mother Road in Lincoln and Logan County. Examples are cited of visitors to these sites, including many tourists from other countries. In "Preserving the Mill," Ms. Schumacher describes the efforts of Geoff Ladd, director of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, to save part of the Mill restaurant, home of a famous schnitzel, as a Route 66 museum and photo attraction.


One of Four Pages of Photos in Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois

     As someone who was born and raised in Lincoln but who has lived several years in the Missouri Ozarks, I am especially interested in how Ms. Schumacher finds central Illinois culture different from the other sections of the country where she has lived. "Estate Auctions" describes a new kind of event for the author, and this essay features the observations of auctioneers Mike Maske and Col. Dan White and his wife, Pam. All readers of this essay will find their observations interesting and informative.

     Rather than vent about "culture shock," Jan Schumacher finds positive ways to adapt. For example, in "Funeral Visitations," she notes the absence of these visitations in the Southern and Western places where she has lived and then writes, "Over the years, I've changed my opinion about viewing the body. At first it seemed morbid and unnecessary. Now I see how viewing the body of the deceased helps bring closure in the grieving process. It also presents death as part of life, rather than something hidden away."

     In "Picturesque Central Illinois," the author describes how her attitude changed toward the geography and climate of this locale. As a college student traveling from Texas to Champaign, Illinois, "on a snowy December day, I had looked at the stark, desolate countryside and thought. . . , 'Who would ever want to live here?'" "My impression changed completely when I moved to Lincoln in 1991. I now treasure the many picturesque scenes I've discovered throughout Logan County. . . . I especially enjoy the beauty of the seasons."

     All of Ms. Schumacher's essays express a positive attitude toward her material. The only essay in which she even hints at a complaint about her adopted community is "LJHS Building," which offers friendly advice. This essay is a lament for the loss of the 1925 red-brick Lincoln Junior High School (originally, part of the Lincoln Community High School complex) on Broadway Street. She observes that the loss of this building is a part of a trend to demolish historic schools. She tactfully counsels: "Some of our historic buildings are important because they're beautiful and Lincoln would be less attractive without them. Others are worth saving because they have plenty of good use left in them. Some places are worth saving because they link us with our past and help us understand where we've come from and who we are."

     In such other essays as "Historic Preservation" and "Logan County Courthouse," Ms. Schumacher documents the efforts to preserve local historic structures. In "Historic Preservation," she tells about Tom O'Donohue's work to restore the former J.C. Penny Building on north Kickapoo Street and about the success of Greg and Julie Tarter in restoring the former Landauer Building, which is the location of their Hallmark store on Broadway Street.

     The final essay is "Help with Tornado Clean-up" (June 7, 2003). Since these essays portray the willingness of many people to be involved in improving their local community, this essay is especially appropriate as the last in the collection. In this crisis, government agencies from the local fire and police to the Emergency Services Disaster officials did exactly what their jobs required. Much of the clean-up was done by local volunteers. "'I knew I had good neighbors, but wow,'" said Bridget Schneider, whose recently renovated farm house was destroyed by the tornado. 'I couldn't believe it when everyone came to help us. The response has been absolutely fantastic.'"

     "Schneider herself showed community commitment by handing out diplomas as a Lincoln Community High School board member at the LCHS graduation the night after the tornado devastated her home."

Analysis of Style

     These essays, averaging just two or three pages, are truly entertaining, informative, and easy to read. The paragraphs and sentences are short and characterized by plain English, as the quoted passages above show. The readable style of this book makes it accessible to readers of all ages.


     Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois, is a fine addition to the growing body of literature about Lincoln and Logan County. This book will have a special appeal to former residents, offering them a way to reconnect and to tune in to present-day hometown folks and activities. Of course, the book will also appeal to current residents of this area because it celebrates the blessings of their community. For others not familiar with the culture and people of central Illinois, this book will afford an excellent introduction. Readers of all kinds will come away from this book thinking, "Every place should be like this," and they most likely will find themselves hoping for More Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois.


Availability of Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois

     In Lincoln, Illinois, at

  • Prairie Years

  • Penache Boutique

  • Beans and Such

  • Mustard Moon

  • Mary Todd Hallmark

  • The Information Station operated by the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau and Lincoln/Logan Chamber of Commerce (corner of Fifth Street and Business I-55--formerly Route 66)

     Glimpses is also available on eBay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Route-66-book-on-Lincoln-

     If this link does not work, search eBay with "Lincoln Illinois" + Glimpses.

Other Book Reviews by Leigh Henson in This Site

A Tribute to Robert Wilson (LCHS '46): Author of Young in Illinois

Review of Dr. Barbara Burkhardt's William Maxwell Biography: A Literary Life

Review of Ernie Edwards' Biography, Pig-Hips on Route 66, by William Kaszynski


  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.