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



  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.

26. Historic Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras

The Lincoln House Hotel and Its Famous Patrons:
Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Leonard Volk, and Adam H. Bogardus

26.1:  The Second Lincoln House Hotel on the
Southeast Corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets

     (Image provided by Fred Blanford.  Source is the Logan County Plat Book of 1910, published by the George A. Ogle & Co., 134 Van Buren St., Chicago, Illinois)    

     The train car was that of the interurban, which began in the early 1900s.  More information about the interurban is presented at 7. The Railroads & Streetcar Line at Lincoln, Illinois.

26.2:  Undated Picture Postcard of
Broadway Street Looking East

26.3:  Undated Picture Postcard Night Scene of Broadway Street Looking East

     The Lincoln House appears at the right in both pictures above.  Photo 26.2 clearly shows the streetcar tracks, which are barely visible in 26.3.  The images are not of the same period because of the differences in streetlight styles and the presence of utility poles in 26.2.  I see many photos of Lincoln in the 1910s showing the five-globed streetlights seen in 26.3.  The scene of 26.2 most likely precedes that of 26.3.

     The most thorough history of the Lincoln House is a substantial (24-paragraph) article by James T. Hickey in the centennial edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier, Wednesday, August 26, 1953, p. 8.  Hickey's research for this article included news stories published in the Lincoln Herald. The original Lincoln House was built in 1854 by the town founders (Gillett, Hickox, and Latham), being destroyed by fire on April 10, 1870.  The pictures above show the second Lincoln House, built in 1875 by John Gillett.  Some time early in the 20th Century, the top three floors were removed, leaving the first level now standing.

     Hickey writes "It was in this [first Lincoln] hotel that Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Judge David Davis, Ward H. Lamon, Leonard Sweat, Richard Yates and many other famous men of that day stayed while in Lincoln."

     Hickey quotes a justice of the peace contemporary of Lincoln in reporting a story of Lincoln in which he was approached in the Lincoln Hotel by friends of a man indicted for murder.  Lincoln was "convinced their friend was justified in his act, took the case, secured an acquittal and charged them $15 for a fee."

     According to Hickey, on July 16, 1858, when Lincoln and Douglas were running for the U.S. Senate, "the Douglas campaign train stopped at noon in Lincoln.  Abraham Lincoln was on the train, and both men had dinner at the Lincoln House.  Leonard Volk, Chicago, was also on the train."

     Hickey describes Volk's account published in the Century magazine December 1881: "'we stopped at the town of Lincoln where dinner was served at the [Lincoln House] hotel, after which, as Mr. Lincoln came out on the plank walk in front, I was presented to him for the first time:  he saluted me with his natural cordiality: grasping my hand in both of his large hands with a vice-like grip and looking down into my face with his beaming dark dull eyes.'"

     Hickey continues to quote Volk, "at that time, I arranged with Mr. Lincoln to take his life mask at some future time when it would be convenient to him and that subsequently, in Chicago, the mask was taken.' 

26.4:  Lincoln House Plaque on Broadway Street

(Leigh Henson photo, 12-2002)

     Note: I discovered that the date of July 16, 1858, is incorrect and should be July 17, 1858. For the explanation, see the information about "Abraham Lincoln's Second-Known Political Speech in His First Namesake Town" on the following page in this website: 3. The Rise of Abraham Lincoln and His History and Heritage in His First Namesake Town,

         Describing Lincoln on that occasion, Volk says Lincoln was carrying 'an old carpet-bag in hand and wore a weather-beaten silk hat, too large apparently for his head, and a long loosely-fitting frock coat of black alpaca with vest and trousers of the same material'" (Hickey, "Lincoln House Was First Hotel in Community," Lincoln Evening Courier, p. 8). Today the lobby of the main facility of the State Bank of Lincoln (Sangamon Street) displays signed copies of Abraham Lincoln life masks by Leonard Volk and original artwork by Lloyd Ostendorf. See Sources Suggested below for a the Web page of Abraham Lincoln Online showing photos of the Volk life masks of Abraham Lincoln.

     The (second) Lincoln House was where Missouri "Zura" Burns, a 21-year-old part-time maid and seamstress, stayed before her murdered body was discovered in the early morning hours of August 18, 1883 (Smith, "The Murder of Zura Burns," p. 222).  The Zura Burns murder and trial of businessman Orrin A. Carpenter attracted national notoriety for Lincoln and Logan County Illinois:  This tragedy "destroyed the reputation of a prominent business man, consumed his property, stirred up the community, entailed great expense on the county, gave employment to an army of lawyers, detectives and newspaper reporters and gave the readers a surfeit of unwholesome literature. . . ." 

      Ms. Burns's body had been discovered "at the far end of a short lane in what is known as Sigg's Survey, in the northwestern portion of the City of Lincoln and west of where Woodlawn addition has since been laid out" (Stringer, vol. 1, p. 355).  Carpenter allegedly had impregnated Ms. Burns, then murdered her, but the evidence was circumstantial; and the trial, transferred to Petersburg, Illinois, resulted in acquittal.  One of the prosecutors was Edward Dunallen Blinn (Smith, p. 229), maternal grandfather of William Maxwell, and this acquittal was probably the most public defeat suffered by Attorney Blinn, whose reputation was formidable.

       It was another scandalous murder in Lincoln of the early 1920s that became the subject of William Maxwell's acclaimed novel, So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980).

Civil War U.S. Army Captain Adam H. Bogardus--Star Sharpshooter of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show--Fired Away Inside His Home at Lincoln, Illinois, Yard, and Shooting Gallery in the Lincoln House Hotel

     Adam H. Bogardus (1833--1913) was a native of New York, where in 1854 he married Cordelia Dearstyne. A.H. Bogardus became a professional hunter, inventor, and legendary sharpshooting performer. According to the website of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame, A.H. Bogardus "began shooting a 'Brown Bess' type musket at age 15. Before he was 20, he had the reputation for being the best shot and hunter in his area."

     In the mid-1850s his wife and he moved to Chicago. There, Bogardus hunted to sell game to restaurants. In 1856 they moved to Petersburg in central Illinois and then soon to nearby Elkhart, where game was plentiful. In 1861 A.H. Bogardus was Elkhart's first street commissioner. During the Civil War, Bogardus recruited a regiment from the Elkhart area for the Union Army and served as its captain. In 1874, while living at Elkhart, Captain Bogardus published a book titled Field, Cover, and Trap Shooting, and it includes autobiographical segments (full text available via Google books).

     According to Wikipedia, Bogardus invented and patented the first practical glass ball trap [projectile machine] in 1877. The projectile glass balls were used much as clay pigeons are today. Bogardus designed and patented the glass balls, called Bogardus balls, with ridges. Thus, the striking shot pellets would not glance off. The Bogardus balls were filled with feathers, so that a hit simulated the feathery burst of hitting a live bird. In 1878 Bogardus became the Wing Shot Champion of the World in London. In 1883 William Frank Carver defeated Bogardus 19 times in a series of 25 matches.

     Also, in 1883 according to Richard Baldwin's book Road to Yesterday, "At 50 years of age, Capt. Bogardus retired from competitive shooting and purchased part ownership in the Cody and Salisbury Wild West Show. He also performed shooting acts with four of his sons, Eugene, 18; Peter, 14; Edward, 11; and eight-year-old Adam Henry Jr. Money troubles with Cody and Salisbury ended that relationship after one year, and he joined the Fourspaugh Circus with his four boys for $250 a week. He remained with them until 1888 when the Sells Brothers offered him more. He finally ended his circus career in 1891. According to his daughter, 'Show business didn’t excite him anymore. He had been away from home more or less since he gave up market hunting. My brother Eugene died at 19 years old while traveling with the circus, and Dad just got tired of it all.'"

     According to The Village of Elkhart City, Elkhart, Illinois, Centennial History, 1855--1955, "Captain Bogardus had a private siding at Elkhart for his private railroad coach. This was a stopping place for Buffalo Bill and his show during the time Captain Bogardus was a  member of that show. The show would camp out west of Captain Bogardus's home in the field. Later Annie Oakley joined the show, performing with Bogardus. Cody's show performed in Lincoln on May 27, 1896, and September 9, 1907; but by 1891 Bogardus had retired from show business and was living in Lincoln, operating a shooting gallery.

     Bogardus lived in Lincoln during his final years and died there in 1913; his wife, in 1918. They are buried in Elkhart Hill Cemetery near the mausoleum of Civil War General Richard J. Oglesby, three-term governor of Illinois (see link under Sources Cited for gravesite information). For more information about Bogardus's innovative hunting methods and experiences at Elkhart, including his relationship with the John D. Gillett family, access link below to Job Conger's Illinois Times 2007 article in Sources Cited. J.D. Gillett, known as The Cattle King, was one of the three founders of Lincoln, Illinois.

     According to my fellow native Lincolnite and history buff Stan Stringer, Bogardus lived at Lincoln in a house Bogardus had built at 914 Pekin Street, corner of Pekin and Hamilton Streets (still standing in 2014). Stan wrote that "when Carl Koch went to remodel the living room [of the Bogardus residence], he found lead shot buried in the ceiling. Apparently the good captain didn't confine his shooting to the firing range or backyard." Shortly after Bogardus's death in 1913, the Bogardus house was the home of Ethel F. Welch, who was Langston Hughes's eighth-grade English teacher, later his correspondent. She was also co-editor (with Raymond Dooley) of The Namesake Town: A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois (1953). Bogardus had also built a house next to his own, and Stan's family lived there (912 Pekin St.) in the early to mid-20th century. Stan wrote, "Dad said that when he first started gardening there, he found bullet casings in the ground." If Bogardus had no objection to shooting inside his home, why would he have a problem with stepping outside and shooting? If so, did he target any of the abundant red squirrels that have always been found in Lincoln?

     The Bogardus home-shooting activity took place just across the street from the Logan County Jail. The sheriff and his people must have heard the shots, but why would they want to interfere with the recreation of a celebrity?

     From Bogardus's home on Pekin Street, he could easily walk the four blocks to the shooting gallery he owned and operated in the Lincoln House Hotel at the corner of Chicago and Broadway Streets. I suspect he carried his shotgun(s) with him down the street. No source indicates where in the hotel the shooting gallery was located, but I would guess the basement if there was one. The present building there may be part of the Lincoln House structure, and I wonder whether it has a basement. Could there be buckshot in the walls?


26.5: Captain Adam Henry Bogardus (@1874)

    The above photo is from Bogardus's book titled Field, Cover, and Trap Shooting (New York: J.B. Ford & Co., 1874). In that book Bogardus makes one reference to Lincoln, Illinois: "At Lincoln, Illinois, I shot against Abraham Kleinman at one hundred birds each, one ounce of shot, and each of us killed eighty-eight. We had not birds there to shoot the tie off, so we adjourned to meet at Chicago, where he killed ninety-one and I killed ninety, losing by one bird" (p. 306). In a letter published in American Field in 1883, Bogardus wrote, "At Lincoln, Ill., I broke 300 glass balls in succession."

26.6: Captain Bogardus with Co-Stars W.F Cody, Annie Oakley, and Dr. W.F. Carver

     Image adapted from webpage of the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society, http://www.logancoil-genhist.org/Meetings/2013/March/March.htm.

26.7: Painting of Captain Bogardus by Lloyd Ostendorf (undated)

     The above image was published in the Mt. Pulaski Times, March 18, 1971, with the following article titled "Captain Bogardus Champion Wing Shot Portrayed": "Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Shockey of Lincoln, Illinois, in cooperation with the Logan County Abraham Lincoln Heritage Foundation have sponsored a historic[al] picture created by internationally famous artist Lloyd Ostendorf [famous for his drawings/paintings of Abraham Lincoln in central Illinois, including the first Lincoln namesake town], depicting Captain Adam H. Bogardus, who was World Champion Wing Shot from Elkhart, Illinois, shooting at one of his patented glass balls being thrown from his patented trap-throwing device."


     "He became World Champion Wing Shot in London, England [1878]. Captain Bogardus came back to the U.S. and joined the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show, traveling far and wide giving shooting demonstrations using his patented trap throwing device and glass target ball. Thus he is credited with having romanticized trap shooting, as we know it, throughout the world. On one occasion with a $5,000 side bet Captain Bogardus broke 5,000 glass target balls in 500 minutes. He operated a shooting gallery in the Lincoln House Hotel in Lincoln, Illinois, for many years in the building now occupied by Alvey's Drug Store and several other businesses [emphasis mine]. Mr. Shockey is a descendant of Captain Adam H. Bogardus." According to the website of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame, "the shooting gallery in Lincoln, Ill., did so well, he started a second at Hot Springs Park, Ark. When things got slow, he gave wing shooting lessons and was probably the country’s first paid shooting instructor."



26.8: A.H. Bogardus in Later Years

     Source: but the link is dead because the Internet is chaotic and unreliable: http://www.albanyhilltowns.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Bogardus,_Adam_H.

     For additional information about Bogardus, see the Wikipedia webpage about him, link below under Sources Cited and Suggested. For information about Bogardus and the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, access the links to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, and the William F. Cody Archive, both below under Sources Cited. Google searching the web and its images will reveal a wealth of additional information.

The Site of the Lincoln Hotel (Broadway Street Side) in the Route 66 Era

26.9:  Route 66 Era Lincoln House Historical Marker (in Box) Between Spiegel's and the Malt Shop

     (Photo provided by D.D. Welch, with captions by Norm Schroeder.)

The Commercial Hotel: 
Lincoln's Leading Hotel When the Railroad and Route 66 Eras Overlapped

26.10:  Early Photo of the Commercial Hotel

     (Photo provided by Fred Blanford.  Source:  Logan County Plat Book of 1910, published by the George A. Ogle Company, 134 Van Buren Street, Chicago, Illinois)

26.11:  Commercial Hotel on
Chicago Street in 1916

     (Photo in Fish, Illustrated Lincoln)

26.12:  Profile of Henry Ford in Front of Commercial Hotel (1929) When He Bought the Postville Courthouse

(Photo from Dooley, The Namesake Town, p. 17)

     Paul Beaver describes the Commercial Hotel:  "Constructed in 1874 and opened in 1875, the hotel was located on Chicago Street between Pulaski and Clinton Streets.  The hotel served the city for many years but deteriorated over the years.  On December 17, 1979, fire virtually destroyed the structure, which was subsequently demolished" (p. 53).

     The caption for 26.11 in Fish, Illustrated Lincoln, says "Lincoln's Leading Hotel-- NEW COMMERCIAL.  A. Clark & Co., proprietors.  Rates $2.00 to $3.00 per day A.P.  Meals 50 cents."

     The centennial edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier notes that this hotel was known as the Howard Hotel in 1953.  Then, "the hotel contained the Commercial Coffee Shop, operated by Aubrey Cole. . . .  The lease of the 62 room structure is from the Hickory Hotel Co., Inc., of Chicago."  In 1953 the Howard was owned by Reginald Clark and Bessie Clark and operated by Nicholas H. Schoof" (Courier, section one, August 26, 1953, p. 11).

     Fred Blanford remembers, "On the north end of the Commercial Hotel was the Commercial Restaurant (?) or whatever -- that had a side entrance in common with the Hotel Lobby.  The eating establishment was operated by Slim Cole for many years (daughters Linda & Anita were classes about '61 and '64 respectively). Just to the north of the entrance for the eating establishment -- was a small cubby hole sort of storefront that was operated as the dispatching office for one of Lincoln's two cab companies.  Next store north was for a time the site of my Uncle & Aunt's appliance store.  A door or two north of that--John Pelc's Schwinn shop." 

Early-20th-Century Scene on Chicago St. with Two Kinds of Cabs in Front of the Commercial Hotel

26.13:  Vehicles of the Madigan Family Cab Business (undated)

      The above photo appears, undated, in both Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982 and Paul Gleason's Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History (1998).  The caption for the photo in Beaver's book reads, "Last horsedrawn cab with Bill Madigan.  First motorized cab with Thomas (Sas) Madigan" (p. 30).

     Gleason's book quotes a 1922 article in the Lincoln Evening Courier:  "The Yellows are here. T.H. Madigan, of the Madigan Taxi line, has just been granted the Yellow Taxicab agency for Lincoln, and the first of the famous Yellow cabs was in operation this morning. Mr. Madigan drove the first of the new cars down from Chicago Saturday night.  It is a 1922 model, of the familiar Yellow Taxi Co. design equipped with Red Seal Continental motor. The Madigan line now has seven taxis and the old cars will be replaced from time to time with new Yellows.  No. 1. will be replaced by additional cars of the same type as rapidly as the old Madigan cars are discarded, so that eventually Lincoln will have a fleet of Yellows. The Yellow Taxi service is known thruout [sic] the county.  Agencies are granted only to old established lines, for the Yellow Taxi Co. has a name for service to uphold wherever established.  The local Yellows will not have taximeters, as hauls in Lincoln are made on a flat rate basis, as heretofore."

Mid-20th-Century Scene with Cabs in Front of the Howard Hotel (Formerly Commercial Hotel)

26.14: Interurban Tracks, Brick Pavement, Cabs, and Lincoln Businesses in the 1950s

     (Photo by Mike Hamilton and scanned from negative and emailed by the late Fred Blanford) 

     In the 1950s, the Commercial Hotel had been renamed the Howard Hotel.  The above photo shows (left to right) the Yellow Cab Company and the Lincoln Cab Company, "Slim" Cole's Coffee Shop, Hale's Barber Shop, the Howard Hotel, and the old interurban depot.  Note the brick pavement and the way the interurban tracks lie flush or somewhat recessed.

Brief Memoir of the Interurban Tracks on Chicago Street    

     In the winter of 1958 or 1959, I was with Dave Lovelace when he was driving north near the GM&O Depot on Chicago Street in his dad's station wagon.  The pavement had several inches of snow, and Dave thought it was fun to drive placing the wheels in the snow ruts formed by the interurban tracks (most certainly he did not learn this sport from his driver-ed teacher-father, Royce).  In that way, Dave could go straight down the tracks like a train car while taking both hands off the steering wheel.  Soon, several blocks ahead, we spotted the approaching interurban's light beginning to glare at us like the glowing, menacing eye of an iron Cyclops.  Dave urgently had to fight the wheel to break out of the ruts.  As Dave's dad would say, "Where you 'posed to be, boy?"

The Hotel Lincoln Site: A Monument to Lost Opportunities for the Usable Past

     The Hotel Lincoln, now demolished, was located less than half a block from the intersection of Pulaski and Logan Streets (Business Route 66). The Hotel Lincoln was the premier hotel of Lincoln, Illinois, and destination restaurant during the Route 66 Era (1930s--1960s). The exterior and interior pictures on this page show the charming character of its Tudor-style design. This building was the only one in Lincoln with this architecture. This building is also significant for its connection to the writing of William Maxwell, as explained later on this page. If this building could have been saved from demolition, it would have added greatly to the architectural diversity of the Lincoln-Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District. The distinct appeal of the Hotel's design and the Hotel's association with Route 66 and William Maxwell would have given it a powerful role in today's push for heritage tourism in this community.

26.15: The New (old) Lincoln Hotel (@1912)

26.16: The Hotel Lincoln (@1940)

     The photos above are from Paul Gleason's Lincoln: A Pictorial History, p. 55.

       One of the first businesses on this site (308-310 Pulaski Street) was a saloon called the Forum (Gleason, p. 55). It is unclear when the building seen above left was constructed, but it was the Hotel Hoyle in 1903, and it may also have housed a gambling casino (Beaver, "Hotel Lincoln," History of Logan County, 1982, p.53). Then, for a while after 1912, this building was known as the New Lincoln Hotel (Gleason, p. 55).

     "Mrs. Ella M. Edgell, mother of Percie E. Edgell, leased the New Lincoln Hotel from Erastus Bates in 1921 and then bought the Hotel from his daughter, Mrs. Adeline Hartnell, in September 1921.  Percie E. Edgell bought the cafeteria from Mr. and Mrs. George West, December 24, 1922.  Upon the death of Mrs. Ella Edgell, September 6, 1932, her son, Percie, took over the Hotel and remodeled and completely refurnished it.  The exterior was entirely new work and was done in the spring of 1933.  New tile baths were added to many rooms without baths.  The Tap Room was opened in July 1936 and the Old English Dining Room in June of 1937.  Listed in Duncan Hines with AAA.  The most popular Hotel and eating place in central Illinois" (ad in Dooley, p. 72). Clearly, the history of this building shows a constructive re-use of the past.

     "A number of antiques [were] displayed throughout the lobby, dining room and tap room of the Hotel from the private collection of Mrs. P.E. Edgell. . . .  The hotel maintain[ed] a guest house at 114-116 Logan Street which was opened in 1948.  It has 11 handsomely furnished rooms.  The Hotel proper maintain[ed] 40 rooms for guests" ("Lincoln Hotel Popular Spot," Lincoln Evening Courier, section six, Wednesday, August 26, 1953, p. 6).

     "The Edgells and Mrs. Edgell's brother, John McGowan, operated the cafeteria and bar until it closed in 1972.  The Hotel was then sold for later renovation and operation" (Beaver, p. 53). Several years ago, the building was demolished.

26.17:  Colorized Picture Postcard of Hotel Lincoln (undated)

(picture postcard image provided by Fred Blanford)

     Access an amusing post-WW II photo of the Hotel Lincoln's Tap Room and related reminiscence on another page in this site.

A Double Lost Opportunity for the Usable Past

26.18: Gravesite of Former Hotel Lincoln (2003)

     The site of the former Hotel Lincoln on Pulaski Street now bears a double sadness for "Lincolnites at heart." Not only is the Hotel Lincoln gone, but also the site is the graveyard for the classical-column ruins of the 1925 Lincoln Community High School building, demolished in 2002. The owner of this property has boldly and nobly established this monument as a history lesson in lost opportunities for the usable past of two of the first Lincoln namesake town's historic landmarks.

      And now, gentle reader, another curious little lesson in local history:

An Abuse of Historic Artifact in Downtown Lincoln

26.19:  Hotel Lincoln Sign in 2001

26.20: Revision Sign History in 2004

     Photos courtesy of Leigh Henson.

     The purpose of the above sign left was to instruct patrons of the Hotel Lincoln where they could find additional parking. This sign was located on a back wall of a building on the alley behind the Hotel Lincoln between Sangamon and Logan Streets. The building with this sign is behind the present Blue Dog Inn, formerly the Illinois Hotel (a great example of the usable past). The sign reads, "Hotel Lincoln Parking --Gay 90s Room." According to Fred Blanford, the Gay 90s Room was the idea of owners who came after the Edgells.

     In 2004, a group of "wall dogs" visited Lincoln, donating a great deal of time and effort to refurbish some downtown historic ad signs on buildings (for more on this activity, see Contemporary Renderings of Historic Wall Ad Signs). The sign above right was painted over the sign above left. The new sign is misleading--since the Hotel Lincoln has been demolished, the sign could easily be misinterpreted as marking the site of the former Hotel by people who had never seen it (and that's a lot of folks).

     But that's not the only problem. It's highly unlikely that the "wall dogs" alone would have decided to revise history, so someone in the town's "powers that be" must have made the "executive decision." Perhaps the reason has to do with the language in the phrase "Gay 90s Room." Was someone afraid that a reader might think the Hotel Lincoln's Tap Room was a gay bar for nonagenarians? (And even it it were, so what?) Is the sign makeover a curious example of reverse political correctness? And who said that revisionist history is un-American? Certainly the dates make it clear that the Hotel no longer exists, but they could have been added beneath a restoration of the old sign with "Gay 90s Room," along with the street address so readers would not think the sign marks the site of the former Hotel.

A William Maxwell Memoir of the Hotel Lincoln

     The following scene from William Maxwell's memoir titled "The Value of Money" is set in the Hotel Lincoln:

     "From the Franklins', they drove downtown again, to join Helen's family in the cafeteria of the New Draperville Hotel.  With several drinks under his belt, Edward [literary counterpart of the author] looked around the noisy dining room.  The faces he saw were full of character, as small-town faces tend to be, he thought, and lined with humor, and time had dealt gently with them.  By virtue of having been born in this totally unremarkable place and of having lived out their lives here, they had something people elsewhere did not have. . .  This opinion every person in the room agreed with, he knew, and no doubt it had been put into his mind when he was a child.  For it was something that he never failed to be struck by -- those sweeping statement in praise of Draperville [Lincoln] that were almost an article of religious faith" (p. 183).

      Maxwell's "The Value of Money" is just one of twelve stories set in Lincoln, Illinois, in his collected stories titled All the Days and Nights, 1995 (Vintage Books, a division of Random House).  William 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 next two photos were taken in the Hotel Lincoln during the time Maxwell returned to visit his family in Lincoln, Illinois (1940s and 1950s) and show the kinds of people Maxwell describes.

26.21:  Central Illinois Electric and Gas Dinner in the Hotel Lincoln Banquet Room

(Photo provided by Fred Blanford)

     Fred Blanford writes, "I am attaching a pic that shows a bit of a place that I got to know well as a young adult.  This is shot in the banquet room of the Hotel Lincoln (I would recognize the paneling anywhere) which was behind the bar area (that's where I got to know the paneling so well) -- the right side of the building as you entered -- cafeteria was the left half. 

     The occasion is a company dinner for employees of CIE&G -- later Commonwealth Edison then CILCO.  My dad and mom are in the pic as are Marilyn Yeates Weingarz's mom and dad.  The couple facing the camera are Mr. & Mrs. Finlay Cameron if I am not mistaken -- should have had a daughter that was about [LCHS] Class of '55 or thereabouts -- I think.

26.22:  Colorized Picture Postcard of the Hotel Lincoln Banquet Room (undated)

(Image provided by Fred Blanford)

     Going to go an alternate route for some of the next few pics -- if I can figure out how to tweak them in the scanning.  They are slicksheet prints -- not photos and contain too much 'tiling' to be pleasant -- but
should be worthwhile IF I can get them scanned appropriately."

Remembering the Hotel Lincoln by John Swingle, LCHS Class of 1957

     Ah, yes, the Hotel Lincoln and Tap Room. As you [Fred] say, not only prime destination for locals, but from many miles around. The establishment enjoyed a loyal clientele, many of whom came back week after week. And your thoughts on "waiting in line" were a fact in the glory years of the hotel, before motels and fast food came into play. A lovely couple, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Edgell were the owners, and I had the pleasure of working for them from about June 55 to January 56, I believe. (My "data bank" may not be as accurate as yours, Fred.) By that time, Percy Edgell's health was not good, although he did make occasional visits from their on-site residence to the business. Mrs. Edgell by that time was operating the business herself. As a part-time bus boy and desk clerk, I had varied hours during the school year, but during the summer I worked a split shift 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Prime time for the cafeteria. I think I started out earning 65 cents an hour and later received an increase to 75 cents.

     Christmas that year turned into an unusual experience for me, because I was scheduled to work that day. There was very little going on, of course, and there were only a couple of us scheduled to work. But the one who worked the hardest that day was Mrs. Edgell, who cooked Christmas dinner for those of us on duty and insisted we be part of the "family".  In those days, I believe the Tap Room was operated by John McGowan and his wife, relatives of the Edgells.  If you wish to do something with this, I have no objection."

Remembering the Hotel Lincoln by Diane (Clever) Schwelle, LCHS Class of 1963

     Near the end of October 2014, I received the following fine reminiscence about the fabled Hotel Lincoln and am pleased to add it to this collaborative history of that business.

Dear Leigh,

      I was very interested to read about the Hotel Lincoln in your recent article about historic hotels and restaurants of the railroad and route 66 era.  I have a couple memories to share of the Hotel Lincoln that may (or may not) be of interest to you!  Feel free to use all or part of them in any way suitable.

      When my family moved to Lincoln in 1952, we stayed in one of the "Guesthouses" on Logan Street, owned and operated by the Hotel. I was only seven years old, and our family was there only about two weeks while our rental house was being prepared for occupancy, so I don't have many significant memories about that building.  

      I do, however, have strong memories of working in the cafeteria there, as a sixteen year old in the summer of '61. My job was preparing and tending the salads in the cafeteria. I worked a split shift, 10AM-2PM and 4PM-8PM. as did John Swingle a few years before me. For a teenager it seemed like I was working from 10AM until 8PM! I was paid .65 and 1/2 cents an hour and was allowed to eat one light meal there per day. No tips in the cafeteria, of course! Employees could help themselves to most anything, in small portions, from the cafeteria line as long as they did not slice their own meat. Carving had to be done by the permanent staff cooks and/or special experienced servers who were known to go very light on the meat, usually beef and ham.

      My job as salad maker and server included de-veining shrimp every Saturday morning for the weekly Saturday evening shrimp cocktail special. Every Saturday morning, two huge barrels of shrimp, on ice, were delivered to the alley behind the hotel. There the salad makers had to de-vein all the shrimp packed in these barrels. One can only imagine the terrible smell (which is why it was done outside), intensified by the summer heat! Like clockwork, after about 15 minutes of working on this project, I had to dash to the nearest bathroom or remote spot in the alley to upchuck! Happened every Saturday morning! To this day I cannot look at, let alone eat, shrimp!

      The salads were prepared in a room behind the cafeteria. When we ran out of something, we had to go to the basement store room to replenish whatever we needed. One entered the basement from the alley outside the building. It was probably just me, but the dimly-lit, damp basement storeroom really creeped me out! There were shelves for non-perishables like canned fruit and there was a huge walk-in cooler for things like cottage cheese. I really feared getting locked in the cooler, and I hated having to go to the basement for supplies!

      To the best of my recollection, Mrs. Edgell nearly always was there to run the cash register at the end of the cafeteria serving line. In her absence, which was rare, the job was done by Mrs. McGowan. I don't remember anyone else ever touching the cash register. Curiously, I don't think there were any food prices listed anywhere for the food in the cafeteria line. That was probably not true in the dining room, but I cannot attest to that as I never worked there. Because of un-posted food prices in the cafeteria, it was widely thought that Mrs. Edgell charged according to what she thought a customer could afford to pay!

     Occasionally I had to go into the bar to deliver or get something, probably ice. My memory fails me here, but I know I was in the bar a few times for work-related errands. I remember one of the regulars there, although I don't know if I ever knew his name. He had a reserved stool at the far end of the bar near the front window and had the look of a heavy drinker. I think he was a salesman who traveled to Lincoln regularly and always stayed at the hotel, spending his free time in the bar. He always tried to start up a conversation, slurred speech and all; really creeped me out. 

      It saddens me to think of the hotel being torn down and all the important history lost. When I was working there, it was said that if one worked there only a few months one would see everyone who lived in Lincoln and many travelers from all over the country. What a loss for Lincoln with the destruction of that historic treasure.

      Lastly, one of the main reasons Mrs. Edgell hired me, a real greenhorn with no work experience, was because my brother Alan Clever (LCHS class of '60) preceded me in working there and was a favorite of Mrs. Edgell's. I remember her singing his praises as he did a little bit of everything during the time he worked there. A classmate of yours Leigh, sadly Al passed away in July of this year at his home in North Carolina.  

Diane (Clever) Schwelle, LCHS class of '63.

Remembering the Hotel Lincoln by Carol Maxey Schleder, LCHS Class of 1961

     During the 50's my Uncle Francis Phelan and his wife Julia from Winnetka, IL, would visit our family in Lincoln. They always stayed at the Hotel Lincoln. From time to time he hosted our family there for dinner. I was surprised they allowed him to bring his chocolate toy poodle into the dining room. Also remember the wonderful pies!

* * * * * * * * * *

     Access an amusing post-WW II photo of the Hotel Lincoln's Tap Room and related reminiscence on another page in this site.


26.23: Molloy's Cafe on
Chicago Street in the 1950s

(Photo provided by
D.D. Welch and Norm Schroeder)

26.24: Molloy's Counter and Crew

(Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 61)

     Information about Molloy's legendary restaurant appears in the centennial edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier and in Paul Gleason's Lincoln: A Pictorial History.  By all indications, Molloy's was one of the key downtown restaurants serving train crews and train travelers in the first half of the 20th Century.  The Courier says Molloy's was opened in 1903 by Eugene Molloy and was first called the Farmers' Restaurant.  At the time of the Courier article (1953), Molloy's restaurant employed 10 (Courier, section four, August 26, 1953, p. 6).

     The information from Mr. Gleason's book is the caption of 25.16 above:  "Molloy's Cafe first opened at 406 Pulaski Street in 1902. Eugene Molloy later operated a second cafe at 126 South Chicago Street in 1918. 

26.25:  Token from Molloy's Cafe


      A single kitchen served both cafes, which were open 24 hours a day and became famous for their coffee.  Train crews stopping in Lincoln got fresh coffee from Molloy's for the next leg of the trip.  Molloy's also served many banquets in its day" (Gleason, p. 61).

      Fred Blanford writes, "Molloy's -- a cafe where my grandmomma liked to partake of the "blue plate specials" and where the owners were especial friends of my father-in-law -- Dr. Jimmy Coogan.

     Were the Molloys two Irish Catholic brothers (Paulie & Jimmy??) maybe never married (lots of IC males never did -- although Jim & Stan Eckert did) who may have come along (via their ancestors) by reason of the railroad construction (as related previously about my wife's IC ancestors) and for that reason catered to the railroad/traction workers and passengers.  I know where Molloy's was (about) and I know my father-in-law liked to eat there AND liked the Molloys -- and liked to tell the Chili story --whenever the pot got low they just added more ingredients--so that at any given time in any given bowl --you might get a "bean" that had come from the "original pot" that had been prepared years before--possibly by their ancestors -- who may have established the eatery in the first place.  One should never let facts get in the way of a good story -- but do you want a good story or facts?

     I was a good friend of Jimmy Coogan many years before I ever dated his daughter.  Believe it or not -- he and Mrs. Coogan hired me to tutor Marge in math when we were in HS -- we never dated until we were over in Champaign.  He was a wonderful raconteur -- the sort I have long enjoyed for friends.  He also enjoyed history and was a man known for truth and veracity--but would have been one of the first to distinguish between "the interesting tale" and "fact," a not absolutely necessary part of an interesting tale."

26.26:  Inside Leonard's Cafe in the Route 66 Era

(Photo in Gleason, Lincoln: A Pictorial History, p. 60)

     Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach describes the restaurant careers of Howard and Marge Leonard in Lincoln:  first operating the Cottage Drive-In, then Leonard's Cafe in the remodeled locker plant at 111. S. Hamilton.  They bought the Hi-Ho at 122 N. McLean from Clyde and Helen Boyd, remodeling the coffee shop and adding on a kitchen and dining room" ("Mom & Pop -- and Their Cafe," Our Times, 6.1, spring, 2001, p. 8).  Leonard's was the place where many LCHS student went after school for cokes and conversation, and the Leonards were patient with this noisy pre-dinner crowd.

     Ms. Gehlbach's article describes or mentions other restaurants of the Route 66 era (no particular order):  Broadway Cafe, the Commercial Coffee Shop, Coonhound Johnny's Roadhouse, the Colonial, Guzzardo's, the Blu-Inn (later the Heritage Inn), the Gem, the Hotel Lincoln, the Latham Tea Room, Lee's Tavern, Lincoln Candy Kitchen, Lincoln Bertoni's, Leonard's, Marcucci's, the Mill, the Lincoln Depot Restaurant, the Lincoln Inn, Molloy's, the Pig Hip, Tibbs', Tiz-Rite, the Tropics, Sorrento's, Tull's Ice Cream Shop, Vintage Fare, the White House.  Route 66 era folks also remember the DQ, the Chuck Wagon, the Dog 'n Suds, and the A&W.

26.27: Gem Lunch on Pulaski Street

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch with
caption by Norm Schroeder)

26.28: Gem Lunch Room Counter

(Photo in Our Times, spring, 2001, p. 5)

     With regard to the above photo left, Norm Schroeder notes that in front of the window at the right the vehicle appears to be Houser Crain's.

     The photo above rigth appears in both Gleason's Lincoln:  A Pictorial History and Our Times (6.1, spring, 2001, p. 5).  In the photo above right, Tony Rufogales appears at the left.  Pete Andrews is at the right, his backed turned as he works at the grill (Our Times, spring, 2001, p. 5).  

     In Our Times, Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach tells the story of the Gem Coney Island Lunchroom, owned and operated first by Tony Rufogales and then by Pete and Jo Andrews.  In 1930 Pete Andrews and his brother Tom (Tommy) were brought to American from Greece by their Uncle Tony Rufogales and his wife, Katherine "Kate" (Danosky).  Tony Rufogales had immigrated to America in about 1905.  After WW I, Tony "stuck a pencil in a map at random and in landed on Lincoln."  In Lincoln he co-owned a lunchroom with Tony Lapinski on Pulaski Street.  Later, Tony Rufogales bought out his partner, Tony Lapinski, and moved across the alley to 414 Pulaski Street. 

     During the Depression, Pete and Tommy worked in their Uncle Tony Rufogales's restaurant.  "If Tony went to a show, he would tell the boys, 'If anyone comes in and wants something to eat, I want you to give them a hot dog and a piece of pie and a cup of coffee.'  In later years, Pete and his wife, Jo, carried on the tradition, serving meals to people sent over by the Salvation Army and Ministerial Association" (Gehlbach, p. 5).

     "After Pete graduated from high school at 16, he went to work at the Gem full time, until he volunteered for the Army in June of 1941.  After WW II, Pete met Josephine "Jo" Danosky, who was working at the Gem.  Pete and Tommy Andrews bought the Gem from Tony Rufogales in 1945. [In the paragraphs below, Stan Stringer describes Tony's business activities after he sold the Gem.]  Pete and Jo were married in 1946.  Later, Tommy sold his interest to Pete and Jo and moved to Mattoon.  Pete and Jo operated the Gem until 1984, when they sold it to Mel and Joyce Kinzie ("From Greece to America, Our Times, 6.1, spring 2001, p. 5). 

     Paul Gleason notes that "Pete and Josephine Andrews became well known for the hearty meals they served at moderate cost" (Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History, p. 59).  Favorite plate-lunch dishes included chop suey, ham and beans, roast pork loin with dressing, and meat loaf.  Also, chili was a standard.  Typically, more than 20 dishes were served each week (Gehlbach, p. 5).

     In September of 2003, Stan Stringer emailed me to say my summary of Nancy Gehlbach's article contained a couple of errors.  These errors were my fault, not Nancy's, and I have attempted to correct them in the summary above.

     Stan also provides the following exchange of emails that he had with Mary Baldin Moore.  This exchange adds a great deal of information about the wonderful Lincolnites who owned and operated the businesses cited above in the Route 66 era, and I reprint their correspondence below with Stan's and Mary's permission:

Dear Leigh:

     The following includes an exchange of e-mails between Mary Moore and myself.  I contacted Mary and she agreed that I could share these with you.  I trust you will find this helpful and perhaps amusing.

     Tony [Rufogales] bought the liquor store across the street from the restaurant.  My Dad jokingly asked Tony when he was going to add a few tables and start serving sandwiches.  The reply (perhaps jokingly) was the contract on the sale of the restaurant prohibited him from opening another restaurant in the immediate area. 

     In a general e-mail [to many LCHS alums] dated 10-23-2002, Mary Moore reported locating Harry Gianakoupoulos.  After making the connection between Mary and Pete and Josie Andrews, she and I corresponded.  On 10-24-02 I wrote:

Dear Mary:

     I don't know Harry, but I when I lived in Lincoln I'm sure I knew Pete and Jo.  When I lived there, the Gem Lunch was owned by Tony and Kate Rufogales.  As I recall, Tony had brought his nephews, Tommy and Pete, to the Lincoln.  I was told that my parents (Charles & Virginia Stringer), and Tony and Kate had occasionally double dated when they were young marrieds, but that was before I was born.  Tony & my dad were WWI veterans.

     Pete and Tommy went into the army during WWII.  Sometime in the late 40's Pete and Tommy bought Tony out.

     I went to Pete and Josephine's wedding party [1946].  It was held at the Women's club at the corner of Delavan and McLean streets.  It was a fantastic event.  I was about 12 then.  Hey, I knew Greek weddings were great long before anyone thought to do a movie.

     I vaguely remembered that Pete, and maybe Tommy too, went back to Greece when the communists where trying to take over Greece.  It must have been after Pete and Jo married, as I recall Pete didn't let Jo come because of the risks.  I had the impression he/they went to help the anticommunists resist a take over of Greece.

     After Tony sold out to the boys, he bought the liquor store across the street.

     Tony & Kate's home on McLean street was beautiful, but I see it disappeared when the Christian Church built its new building in that block.

     It sounds from your note that Pete and Jo are still living.  I don't expect they would remember me, but tell them I wish them good health and continued happiness.

Kindest regards,

Stan Stringer”

  Mary replied:                         

  “Dear Stan,

     Good to hear from you.  Yes, Pete and Jo are still going.  Jo had a stroke about 10 years ago, and is now in a wheelchair, but is still as sassy as ever!  Tony Rufogales died in 1975 and Katie in 1991.  When Tony gave up the liquor store, Jo's father, Julius Danosky, bought it, then his son John had it for quite some time.

     It's really a small world, isn't it.... I was at Pete and Jo's wedding reception at the Women's Club also.  I was about 5 1/2 at the time, and remember running with one of the balloons on a string when someone reached out and popped with a cigarette.  I was devastated!!  Later, I had two kittens that I named "Pete" and "Tommy".

     Pete says that he really thinks he remembers you, and wishes you well.  Was Stringer Avenue named for anyone in your family, and are you related to Elizabeth Stringer?

     Had you heard that Lincoln Developmental Center is closed?

Mary Moore”

     On November 19, 2002 Mary replied to another note I sent her with more information about the Tony & Kate and Tommy and Pete & Jo Andrews.  Included with this is an incident relating to my e-mail about Mattie Anderson, and as I said Mattie was a legend (of sorts). 

     “Pete says that Tom (I will always think of him as "Tommy", died a couple of years ago.  He married and had two children.  His wife and one son are also deceased.

     You mentioned about Tony & Katie's house being gone.  Jo told me this morning that it was moved to the corner of Pekin and Sherman (I sure didn't know anything about that!).  Jo wanted to know where you were now, and I had to tell her I really didn't know, but would find out.  OK, where are you???

     Enjoyed your ruminations on "Mattie".  I didn't have her, but was terrified of her anyway.  That woman's reputation was awesome!

     My husband and I were in Springfield Sunday evening with Ray Turner ('58) and his wife.  We stopped for a sandwich, and I was reading Ray an excerpt about Mattie from your e-mail.  He had her for math.  He commented that she had an awful body odor, but could still smell gum from anywhere in the classroom and tell what kind it was!  There were two older couples in the booth next to ours, and when they got up to leave, the wife of one of them came over and asked if we were from Lincoln, because they had overheard us talking about Mattie Anderson!!!!  She called her husband back... Bob McAfee from the old McAfee Electric (don't know if that's spelled right).  He also had recollections of Mattie, her reign of terror, and her body odor!  I bet Mattie could never have imagined what a place she made for herself in history!!

     Enjoyed the picture of the 3rd Grade at Monroe School.  Bill Coombs is a first cousin on my Mom's side.  (The Danosky's are on my Dad's side).  Rose Marie Turner is the aforementioned Ray Turner's oldest sister.


     Since then, Pete Andrews died this past March.  I trust you saw Pete’s obituary in the Courier.  If not, I find my copy and send a copy to you.  Pete was a remarkable man, and they were a delightful pair that shared their good fortune with their church and community.  Josie is now a resident of the Christian Village.

Kindest regards,


26.29:  Inside Tibbs' Hi Spot at 418 Broadway Street

(Photo from Paul Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 56)

     The caption for the photo above reads, "Glenn and Mary Tibbs purchased Bechelli's in 1942 and operated it as Tibbs' Hi Spot until 1962.  Until the new high school was constructed on Primm Road in the mid-1950s, no lunch was served at the high school, so students ran down Broadway to Tibbs' for lunch.  At times, the line was a quarter of a block long, but it didn't take long to consume a hamburger and chug down a cherry coke" (p. 56).

26.30:  Mary and Glen Tibbs (May, 1949)

(Photo from Paul Beaver, Logan County History 1982, p. 56)

     The following are excerpts from a brief article that accompanies the photo above:  "Glenn and Mary Tibbs came to Lincoln in 1941 from Gary, Indiana to work at the defense plant in Illiopolis.

     In 1942 they purchased Bechelli's Confectionery from Charly Bechelli.  The business they purchased was located at 418 Broadway and had been operating for 18 years when they purchased it.

     Mr. and Mrs. Tibbs, with their four children, Shirley McKearnan (deceased), Martha Crost, Mary Ellen Copeland and Thomas Tibbs, operated the business until 1962.

    Saturday nights on ballgame nights were standing room only. 

     For nearly 20 years Glenn and Mary Tibbs were the close friends and supporters of scores of Lincoln teens as they struggled toward maturity" (p. 56).

Lincoln's Maid Rite and Greyhound Bus Depot

26.31:  The Maid Rite Grill on Broadway Street,
One Block West of the Railroad Tracks and One Half Block East of Business Route 66

(Photo from Lincoln Evening Courier, centennial edition, section six, 8-26-53, p. 9)

A Parade That Stopped Traffic on Business Route 66 and Passed the Maid Rite

26.32:  1950s Parade Passing the Maid Rite on Broadway Street (Looking West)

     (Photo provided by Dottie and Bud Huffaker and emailed by Fred Blanford; photographer and date unknown)

     Fred Blanford emailed this photo to 160+ LCHS alums on February 5, 2003, saying "Clues from the pictures and a little research have led me to conclude the picture is from the fall of 1954 -- hence representing the class of 1955.  The scan with this email has the following 'historical' items of note--unfortunately none are the 'stars.'

     The surface of Broadway was still brick.  The facade of the Grand Theater is visible as is the signage for the Ten Pen Recreation and the sign and a bit of the front of the Maid Rite Grill.  I am guessing Carol Turner is the twirler (teen sized) and the name of the twirler (mascot-sized) was unknown to me even though I think the same little girl continued in that capacity into my years in HS." 

     Gwen Lisk Koda emailed her response to Fred's message on February 5, 2003:  "Freddie, you have managed to penetrate my Alzheimer's haze here.  Got my brain in gear and I'm trying to make some sense of my memories.  I seem to have a clear memory of the Maid Rite being closer to the Methodist Church.  I remember my brother and I skipped Sunday School one day and went there for cokes.  My dad caught us, however, and we were taken back to Sunday School in disgrace.  Wasn't there another restaurant owned by that same Lincoln entrepreneur (Jack Bingham's dad), I believe) called the Tiz-Rite?  If so, is this it?  If not, where 'tiz? The Maid Rite was the bus station, too, wasn't it? 

     I also recall being shocked, as a little girl, to learn that African-Americans were not allowed to eat inside the restaurant.  However, since we Yankees were a little more enlightened than our Southern brethren, they were allowed to come inside to pick up food in a brown paper bag and then take it back outside to the bench (rain, snow, sleet, and hail) to wait for their bus.  I also remember that Maid Rite burger's special seasoning was mostly ketchup.  I sure loved them, though." 

     Leigh Henson adds that the parade's occasion may have been the Homecoming parade, and obviously the band is that of Lincoln Community High School.  In the 1950s, parades often began in front of the high school, located at Broadway and Kankakee Streets, in the background beyond the trees to the right.  Parades then proceeded east on Broadway Street across Logan Street (temporarily halting traffic on Business Route 66) through the business district and around the Logan County Courthouse square.

     The Tin Pin had seven "duck pin alleys" and was owned by  Harold and Paul Madigan.  The Illico Service Station at the corner of Logan and Broadway Streets housed some school buses and was originally owned by the Beach family.  Also visible is the sign of Wayne Perry's Standard Service Station on the southwest corner of Logan and Broadway Streets. 

     A photo of the buildings on the opposite side of the street from the Tin Pen Recreation is found at 22. Food Stores of the Route 66 EraScroll to 22.5 to see this photo, which shows Ey's Bakery.  

     Gwen, I don't think the Maid Rite sandwich meat was/is made with ketchup.  You must have added that "Reagan vegetable."  Also, here 'tis some other related information:

Lincoln, Illinois:  The Land of Tiz-Mania

26.33:  Tiz Ads from the 1947 Lincolnite

(Images reflect the water damage to Lincolnite stored in frequently flooded basement at 912 7th Street)

     The Tiz-Rite Service Station and Grill were relocated to the Four Corners -- intersection of Routes 66, 10, and 121 -- at some time in the late 1940s, early 1950s.


     Tulls' was another ice cream parlor of the Route 66 era, located on Chicago Street across from the train depot.  The front of Tulls' is noticeable in the background of the photo of the christening monument presented at 3. The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln and the Founding of Lincoln, Illinois,
also the Founding of Lincoln College, the Plot to Steal Lincoln's Body, and Memories of Lincoln College and the Rustic Tavern-Inn.

     Fred Blanford wrote that "They [Tulls] had the yellowest vanilla ice cream I think I have ever seen.  The dipper was square -- pushed into the container then dip was ejected like with a caulking gun squeeze.  A dime chocolate frostie got you three dips in a large coke glass with lots of chocolate while the fifteen cent large frostie was five dips of ice cream in a tall 'soda' glass with even more chocolate.  Talk about location, location, location --when the paper boys came out of Feldman's flush with a week's earnings--they could go one door one way to Ace Novelty or a few more the other for tons of ice cream.  Today's Aladdin's Castles should die for such a placement."

     Linda Sparks Barrick wrote, "when I was 13 my Dad bought me a horse from Larry Atteberry. Susie Mills Fults and I would go riding (yes, both of us on the same horse) and we would usually stop at Tulls' to eat. We would "park" Red out in back and could count on her to do her "job". As we were leaving, Mrs. Tull would hand me a shovel to take care of her droppings. I believe the Revere House was located next to Tulls' on the North Side.

     Suz and I had a lot of fun riding around town --I remember the time I let her ride alone, we were out at Handlin Field and Red took off at full speed with Suz hanging on for dear life. I believe that was the last time she rode her alone -- Thanks for jogging the memories Fred, keep up the good work."  Linda Sparks Barrick" 

Sources Cited and Suggested

     Abraham Lincoln Online Web page showing photos of the life masks of Abraham Lincoln, including Sculptor Leonard Volk's account of the experience:     http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/resource/masks.htm

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

·  1932 Photo of the Lincoln House building showing Alvey's drug store, Chicago and Broadway Streets, p. 15.

·   Descriptions of the Hotel Lincoln, four-story Lincoln House at Broadway and Chicago Streets (with photo), Commercial Hotel on Chicago Street (with photo), and the Spitly House at Sangamon and Broadway Streets (with photo), p. 53:

·  "Marcucci Confectionery, Gus Marcucci," p. 55

·  "Molloy's Cafe," p. 55

·  Tibbs' Hi Spot," p. 56

      Bogardus, Adam H., Field, Cover, and Trap Shooting (New York: J.B. Ford & Company, 1874). Full text available at Google books.

     Bogarduses' gravesite at Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19294362.

       Bogardus webpage at the Logan County Genealogical and Historical Socitety website,


     Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, http://www.buffalobill.org/.

     Conger, Job. "Straight shooter: Elkhart resident Bob McCue gets a kick from portraying famous ancestor," Illinois Times (Wednesday, May 9, 2007),  http://illinoistimes.com/print-article-4078-print.html.

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

·   Photo of the Deskins Tavern in Postville, p. 6.

·   Photos of the Spitly House and the Lincoln House, p. 21.

·   Half-page ad of the Hotel Lincoln and Cafeteria, p. 72.

     Gleason, Paul E. Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History.  St. Louis, MO:  G. Bradley Publishing, 1998:

     ·  "Hangouts," with photos of Charlie Bechelli's, Tibbs' Hi Spot, Marcucci's Confectionery, the Gem Lunch Room (full, two-page photo), Leonard's, Bee's Ice Cream Store, Molloy's, the Maple Club, the Lincoln Rustic, the Heritage Inn, the Tropics, the Country School, the Illinois Tavern, Riggs' Dairy and Drive-in, the Colonel's Kentucky Fried Chicken, pp. 56-64:

·   Photos of the Deskins Tavern and the Lincoln House, p. 11.

·   Photo of the Lincoln House and the Spitly House (looking west on Broadway) with streetcar tracks visible on Broadway, p. 21.

·   Section titled "Hotels," with photos of the Lincoln House and Elm Park, the Spitly House, the Inman House, the Hotel Lincoln, and the same building as the Forum (saloon), pp. 54-55.

·   Photo of the Commercial Hotel (formerly the Howard Hotel)

     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, Illinois:
A Pictorial History
(1998) (200 pages of rare photos and text) or Logan County Pictorial
(2000) (also 200 pages of rare photos and text).  Please visit

     Gehlbach, Nancy Lawrence. "Let's Eat Out." Our Times. vol. 6, no. 1, spring, 2001.  Prairie Years  Press. 121 N. Kickapoo Street, Lincoln, IL 62656:

·  References to the Arcade, Bee's Ice Cream Store, Bennis's Lincoln Candy Kitchen, Bertoni's, the Blu-Inn, Busy B Bakery, the Colonial, the Commercial Street Coffee Shop, Coonhound Johnny's, Cottage Cafe, Cottage Drive-In, the Country-Aire in Atlanta, Eimer's Sandwich and Ice Cream Shop, the Gem, Guzzardo's, the Heritage Inn,  Hi-Ho, Latham Tea Room, Lee's Tavern and Cafe, Leonard's, the Lincoln Inn, Marcucci's, the Mill, Molloy's, Parkside Cafe (Mary's Place), Pig Hip, Tiz-Rite, Tull's Ice Cream Shop, the Tropics, and the White House (Segg's).

     Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Wednesday, August 26, 1953:

·  Ads for the Blu-Inn, Chuck Wagon Cafe, Lee's Cafe, the Lincoln Inn, Molloy's Cafe, Slick's Inn, Tibbs' Fountain-Grill, Tiz-Rite and Maid-Rite Grills, the Tropics

    ·   Hickey, James. "Lincoln House Was First Hotel in Community," p. 8

·   "Howard Hotel Was Formerly Commercial," (with photo), section 1, p. 11.

·   Photo of Spitly House, section 3, p. 14.

·   "Lincoln Hotel Popular Spot," section 6, p. 6.

·   Photo of the Lincoln House, section 7, p. 6.

     Smith, Beverly A., Ph.D.  "The Murder of Zura Burns, 1883:  A Case Study of a Homicide in Lincoln." Illinois Historical Journal. Winter, 1991:  218-234.

     Stringer, Lawrence B.  History of Logan County Illinois 1911.  Chicago:  Pioneer Publishing Co., reproduced by Unigraphic, Inc., 1978.

     Trapshooting Hall of Fame, http://www.traphof.org/People-Stories/captain-a-h-bogardus.html.    

     William F. Cody archive, http://codyarchive.org/.


     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.