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 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

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)

Directory of Email Addresses of 168 Mid-20th Century LCHS Alums

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

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 i

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

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

Leigh Henson's Review of Dr. Barabara 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

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

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, including excerpts from Young in Illinois and from Maxwell's letters to Robert; family photos and information from Robert's only child, Sue Young Wilson; commentary from Literary Critic Lee Walleck; and memoir by Curt Johnson

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. In 1853, Abraham Lincoln was the attorney for the founders of Lincoln, IL; and he christened this first namesake town with watermelon juice in a public ceremony. The town's colors are thus red and green. (Note: 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"


You CAN go home again.

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

Here Lived Major American Writers:  Poet Langston Hughes, Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr,
& Creative Writer William Maxwell, Who Wrote Many Stories Set in Lincoln, Illinois


     Here also have lived other creative writers whose publications describe aspects of Lincoln, Illinois:  William "Chilly" Childress, Lee Gurga, David Kindred, Judge James A. "Jim" Knecht, and Robert "Bob" Wilson (also movie critic of December Magazine, 1965-1983).  Future editions of this Web site will present and discuss more of these authors' works.  In addition, several historians have published material about Lincoln:  Paul Beaver, Raymond Dooley, Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach, Paul Gleason, James Hickey, William A. "Bill" Krueger, Judge Lawrence Stringer, and Stan Stringer. This published literature and history make Lincoln, Illinois, one of the most extensively written about communities in Illinois outside Chicago.  Moreover, this Web site contains a lot of memoir written by Lincoln Community High School alums.  Please return occasionally for new information.

     NEW as of 4-15-04--"Samuel C. Parks: Distinguished Law Partner and Political Ally of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, Illinois." NEW as of 5-2-04, "Lionel P. Lacey: Abraham Lincoln's Lesser-Known Law Partner in Lincoln, Illinois." Open Chapter-Page 3, and scroll to "Samuel C. Parks. . . ." and to "Lionel P. Lacey. . . ."

by Darold Leigh Henson, Ph.D., 

     . . .  with contributions from family, especially Uncle Gib Wilson, Stepmother Judy, and Father Darold as well as friends, specifically
Counselor Fred Blanford, Judge Bob Goebel, Mike Hamilton, Dave Johnson, Judge Jim Knecht, Mary Baldin Moore, Stan Stringer, and Leon Zeter (others listed below).

     Leigh Henson, a native of Lincoln, is a graduate of Lincoln Community High School, Class of 1960; was a teacher of English at Pekin Community High School (1964-1994); and is now a tenured associate professor of English at Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri.  Paradoxically, he lives in self-imposed exile in the Ozarks, but remains a "Lincolnite at heart."  Email Leigh at dlh105f@smsu.edu.

2003 the Sesquicentennial Year of
Lincoln, Illinois: 1853-2003
150 Years of Living the American Experience
-- The Past Is But the Prelude --

     "I can never forget Lincoln, Illinois, because in a sense my writing career began there in the eighth grade when I was elected class poet."

     -- Langston Hughes, letter to Miss Ethel F. Welch, his 8th grade English teacher, published in the Lincoln Evening Courier, August 31, 1953, p. 9.

     "So far as I was concerned, the town of Lincoln was the Earthly Paradise."

     -- William Maxwell, "With Reference to an Incident at a Bridge" in All the Days and Nights (1984), p. 265.

     William Maxwell, native Lincolnite; M.A., Harvard University; fiction editor of the New Yorker magazine for 40 years; and distinguished author.  Recipient of the Brandeis Creative Arts Award, the American Book Award, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

     "I am aware that Sherwood Anderson writing about a similar though smaller place saw it quite differently.  I believe in Winesburg, Ohio, but I also believe in what I remember."

     -- William Maxwell, Ancestors:  A Family History (1971), p. 190).

      "The truth is I feel my real roots are firmly planted somewhere in Illinois farm ground - probably smack in the middle of a cornfield."

     -- Vic Gibson, LCHS Class of 1959, metro Atlanta, GA, from an email message of 7-02.

Central Illinois Section of the Illinois Department of Transportation's Map, Illinois Historic Route 66:  Where the Road Began (names of cities added in various type sizes).

Office of Public Affairs
Illinois Department of Transportation
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62764

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

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

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

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

     Online reviews of this Web site: Lincoln Courier's Capturing Lincoln on the Web by Nancy Rollings Saul and Lincoln Daily News.com's Websites: Gateway to the World by Jan Youngquist. The site map presents the Peoria Journal Star's "Lincoln online" by John O'Connell.


In this central Illinois, historic community of 15,400, American democratic values and institutions have flourished since its founding in 1853:


     Like the statue below of Lincoln, the Student, on the Lincoln College campus, the city of Lincoln may be seen from various angles.  Both statue and city grow more distinct with the passing of time.

Merrell Gage's Bronze Statue,
Lincoln, the Student


     The picture postcard photo above was taken soon after the statue's dedication on May 27, 1961 (Lindstrom and Caruthers, Lincoln:  The Namesake College, p. 114).

  A rich cultural and literary heritage;
Civic pride;
  Effective mayoral-city council government;
  Excellent public elementary and secondary schools, private elementary school, and secular and religious higher education;
  Social and religious diversity;
   Wide range of businesses, agriculture, and small industry;
   Dedicated professionals in education, law, medicine, the ministry, real estate, and social services;
   Traditional and contemporary neighborhoods;
   Distinctive memorials, truly unique museums, tree-shaded parks, and four-seasonal recreation; and
   Commuting distance to Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Decatur, and Springfield (the state capital). 

     The combination and balance of these elements distinguish this community, the seat of Logan County.

     Lincoln lies about mid way on I-55 (formerly Route 66) between Chicago and St. Louis and about mid way between Bloomington to the north and Springfield, the state capital, to the south.

     Three major American historic and cultural phenomena have enriched Lincoln, Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Route 66, and an extensive body of published history and creative writing about this community. 

     Lincoln, Illinois, is the only city named for Abraham Lincoln before he became famous.  Mr. Lincoln christened the city, practiced law here, engaged in politics, and owned property.  His clients included the railroad company whose expansion led to the founding of this town. 

     Route 66 was formed from the alignments of Illinois Route 4, an early highway that paralleled the railroad, running between Chicago and St. Louis (see IDOT map above at the right).

     Lincoln is rich in remnants of historic Route 66. 

      This Web site presents four original maps to guide your exploration of historic Lincoln, Illinois:

   A detailed map showing an overview of Route 66 throughout Lincoln, Illinois, including more than 40 sites;


Another Early View of
Lincoln, the Student

     Time and source unknown.


Lincoln, the Student, Today

Leigh Henson photo, 7-01

   A map showing Routes 4 and 66 through the business district and neighborhoods of Lincoln, Illinois;

  A detailed map of the Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District, including 51 additional sites; and

  A map with 28 locations of the Routes 4 and 66 region south of the city, where they crossed Salt Creek and crested Cemetery Hill.

     These maps may be printed for reference in exploring the Route 66 remnants and other historic sites of Lincoln.  

     The photo below shows piers from a 1920s-era Routes 4 and 66 bridge over Salt Creek, just south of town and near Cemetery Hill. 

The Statue Captures the
Man's Determination to Succeed

 Leigh Henson photo, 6-02

Piers of 1920s Route 66 Bridge Over
Salt Creek at Lincoln, Illinois
(Leigh Henson photo, 12-01)

     For more photos and other information about this area, see link in the left-panel navigation bar:  12. Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Salt Creek & Cemetery Hill, Including the Highway Bridges, GM&O Bridge, Madigan State Park, the Old Dam, & the Pig-Hip Restaurant Museum in Broadwell.


The Public Affairs Purpose of This Web Site

     This Web site has been created by a native Lincolnite as a "distance" public service to educate viewers about the rich heritage and promising future of Lincoln, Illinois.  This project has used the resources of Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) for online research.  The central mission of this University is to promote public affairs, and this Web site is intended to foster community development by strengthening civic pride and increasing heritage tourism. 

The Audiences, Content, and Scope of This Web Site

     This site's audiences range from those who have never heard of this city to those with a strong interest in it.  Readers include future residents and tourists as well as former and current Lincolnites, especially students. The aim of this site is to increase anyone's interest in Lincoln, Illinois, and so an attempt is made to offer various kinds of content. 

     Some material here is serious, some humorous. Some of the content is derived from dozens of published sources about the life of Abraham Lincoln and the history of Lincoln and Logan County, Illinois, including railroad and highway history.  As an educational source, this site attempts to follow fair-use practices and credit sources accurately.  Individual Web pages have citations for online and printed sources used or recommended for additional information.

     In choosing and developing the content of this site, I am attempting to be accurate and fair.  Yet I admit to a favorable bias toward Lincoln, Illinois, because my childhood and adolescent experiences there were essentially positive. In an effort to provide an honest, balanced account, I speak candidly about how I worked through some of my own youthful "mixed" views of my hometown (see About Lincoln, Illinois; This Web Site; & Me); and I quote other writers who express social criticism (see 4. Introduction to the Social & Economic History of Lincoln, Illinois).

     For added "human interest" and to suggest the basis for my favorable view of Lincoln, many pages in this site include brief memoirs and family history.  I have created a separate Web site concerning my years at Lincoln Community High School, and that site is titled For Remembrance, Understanding, & Fun (link located in the left-side navigation panel of each page).

     Another "human interest" feature of this Web site is memoir from more than two dozen mid-20th-Century alums of Lincoln Community High School.  For the last two years, they have used email to exchange stories and photos relating to their youth in Lincoln, Illinois; and I have placed some of their messages and photos in appropriate places throughout this site.  These contributors are among those named under Acknowledgments below.  Some of these alums have "always" lived in Lincoln; others are scattered throughout the United States, as you will see in this site where I have identified them and their locations.

     The writings of William Maxwell set in Lincoln, Illinois, are essential to an understanding of this city's place in American life.  A significant portion of Maxwell's writing relates to people, places, and experiences from his childhood in Lincoln, Illinois.  While reporting the history of Lincoln, Illinois, throughout this Web site, I sometimes quote passages from Maxwell's work concerned with Lincoln (eleven short-story length works, four novels, and a book-length family history). Additionally, I supplement with photos and commentary on his Lincoln settings and characters.  A separate page in this Web site discusses Maxwell's portrayal of society (5. Social Class, Race, and the Question of Universality in William Maxwell's Writings Set in Lincoln, Illinois). 

     The aim of my treatment of Maxwell's work is to improve a reader's understanding of

   The history of Lincoln, Illinois;

  The culture of small-city Midwestern life in the early 20th Century; as well as

  Maxwell's artistic methods and development. 

William K. Maxwell

     Photo from front cover of Wilkinson's My Mentor:  A Young Man's Friendship with William Maxwell.  Photo credit:  Alfred Knopf and the University of Texas at Austin.

     For these reasons, this site may be of use to students of William Maxwell and American literature. Most importantly, my hope is that this Web site will encourage more people to read his stories and novels, especially those set in Lincoln. 

      As this Web site attempts to show, 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 need for more recognition of writers associated with Lincoln, Illinois -- Lee Gurga, Langston Hughes, William Maxwell, and Reinhold Niebuhr --  is discussed in an article titled "Dream Deferred" by Maureen Foertsch McKinney published online by Illinois Issues (December, 2001):  http://illinoisissues.uis.edu/features/2001dec/lincoln.htmlMr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois, helps to meet that need.  Besides offering information about Maxwell, this site also briefly discusses Langston Hughes (see 4.  Introduction to the Social & Economic History of Lincoln, Illinois, and 8. Route 66 Overview Map of Lincoln with 42 Sites, Descriptions, & Photos) and Reinhold Niebuhr (see 21. Churches).  This Web site also presents other creative writers and historians who published material using Lincoln, Illinois, as subject matter. 

      Thus, Lincoln, Illinois, has the distinction of being one of the most extensively written about communities in Illinois outside Chicago.  The information about these writers presented in this Web site will be of interest to students of American literature. The published creative writing about this community is significant for various authors' use of local color; realism vs. romanticism; use of the past; themes of universal significance such as identity, conformity vs. alienation, love, death, etc.; as well as literary styles.

Audience Participation Invited    

     My sincere wish is that you will find these Web pages worth while and that they will spark additional interest.  If you have lived in Lincoln and have stories or photos relating to the history of this city, please consider sharing them to help expand this Web site.  Simply use the email link below to let me know, and we will work out the details.

     If you have not spent time in Lincoln and central Illinois, I hope these Web pages will help persuade you to visit and explore these areas so you can see firsthand how they help make our country great.

The Organization and Navigation of This Web Site

     The left margin of each page presents various topics that span most of this community's history.  The topics are used as links to their own Web pages.  By placing these topics in a navigation panel on each page, I am trying to prevent readers from getting lost in this book-length Web site. 

     In these topics, we see the past living today and offering the promise of future growth and development -- a central theme of this Web site.  For this reason, many (not all) of the photos in this Web site depict places and things of the past remaining today.

     At first, it might seem that writing history is as simple as following chronology, but chronology is not appropriate as the only organizing principle for the extensive material that I used. Besides accommodating the Lincoln history material, I sought to formulate an organization that would encompass links to external Web sites, including links to Web pages that I composed prior to my Lincoln history Web site. Thus, I organized the overall material by dividing it into five categories, each consisting of several Web pages. The first category concerns topics that are unique to Lincoln, Illinois, for example, the town's connections to Abraham Lincoln and Route 66. The second category consists of topics that are common to any community, for example, factories, government, and museums and parks. The third category consists of Web sites or pages I have created that relate to my autobiography, for example, those about my childhood, my high school class, and my professional life. The fourth category relates to the writing of other Lincolnites. This category consists of Web pages I created about Lincoln's published writers and Web sites created by other native Lincolnites about their hometown and high school classes. The fifth category consists of external Web sites about Lincoln, for example, those of the chamber of commerce, online newspapers, and nonprofit tourism organizations.

     Web pages in the first two sections are numbered. Topics 1, 2, and 3 focus on Abraham Lincoln's activities in this vicinity. Topics 4 and 5 provide overviews of social history.  Topics 6, 7, and 8 relate to the railroads and highways that were essential to the development of central Illinois. Topics 9 and 10 portray the life of both sets of my grandparents, whose homes were on Business Route 66 and whose lives were affected by this highway.

     Topics 11 and 12 focus on the part of Route 66 immediately southwest of Lincoln, an area that includes historic bridges, cemeteries, and parks. Topics 13, 14, and, 15 relate to Business Route 66 near the business district and the Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District, now on the National Register of Historic Places.  Topic 16 concerns another building on the National Register of Historic Places in a traditional neighborhood near the business district.  The remaining numbered topics -- or, chapters -- cover other key facets of the history of Lincoln, Illinois, and are given roughly in alphabetical order.  Chapter 37 depicts the 1953 Centennial Celebration of the city of Lincoln -- a touchstone event that lives in the memory of many "Lincolnites at heart" who have contributed to this Web site.

Leigh Henson, June of 2003
Photo by his wife, Pat Hartman

     Some pages in this site offer substantial visual and verbal content, and their loading time requires a little patience.  I suggest reading while the images load.

     About external links:  I have checked and re-checked external links, but Web sites change as often as the weather in the Midwest.  External links are keyed to open separate windows so that when you close a page by clicking the x in the upper-right corner, you will return to the previous page and not lose the site.

Contemporary Signs on Old Route 66 Greeting Visitors to the Namesake City




Lincoln, Illinois:
a 2001 Tree City

     Honored by the National Arbor Day Association & the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for its ongoing community forestry program

Lincoln, Illinois: Member of the
Illinois Main Street Program Since 1994

      A national program "to improve all aspects of downtown areas. . . entrepreneurship, community cooperation, and civic concern"

Community sign photos by Leigh Henson

Dome of the Logan County Courthouse

Dome and Sunglow Balloon
 in the Heart of Lincoln, Illinois,
the Seat of Logan County

(Courthouse dome photo from 1970 picture postcard 
Balloon photo: lincolndailynews.com
Sunglow Sponsor: Graue Inc. Pilot:  Jim Ireland
Graphics manipulation in Photoshop to place Sunglow near the dome)


  Site publicly announced July 4, 2003.  Latest revision/expansion: June 23, 2004.

Acknowledgments: I am grateful for the research assistance of my stepmother, Judy Henson; the historical knowledge and experiences shared by my father, Darold Henson; and the patient support, advice, and photographic contributions of my wife, Pat Hartman.

     At the risk of errors of omission, I also thank the following:  LCHS 1960 classmate the Honorable Judge-Writer Bob Goebel for helping me to discover William Maxwell, to other LCHS alums (many listed in the directory of For Remembrance, Understanding, & Fun) for encouraging me to do this Web site, and especially to these Lincolnites at heart for their photos, memoirs, and/or other historical information:  Historian Herb Altman, Postville Historian Willie Aughton, Professor Paul Beaver, Realtor-Writer Linda (Sparks) Barrick, Counselor-Writer-Sage Fred Blanford, Poet-Writer William "Chilly" Childress, Teacher Dorothea (Rich) Costa, Entrepreneur-Technologist Brad Dye, Historian Nancy Hatfield Eichelberger, Historian J. Richard (JR) Fikuart, Humorist Jeff Fults, Professor Dan Gaydosh, Author Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach, Beloved Cousin-Writer-Humorist Jerry Gibson, Writer-Thinker Vic Gibson, Author Paul Gleason, Photographer-Canoeist Mike Hamilton, Postville-Historian Chris Huff, Lincolnite-at-Heart Sylvia (Handlin) Husted, Archivist-Historian Francine Jereb, Teacher-Archivist Dave Johnson, Jazz Musician-Writer Lynn Kavelman, Professor-Museum Curator Ron Keller, the Honorable Judge-Writer Jim Knecht, Multi-talented Gwen (Lisk) Koda, Beloved Cousin-Memoirist Keith Leesman, Vintage Picture Postcard Collector Ron Lessen, the Honorable former state of Illinois Senator Bob Madigan, Professor Joe Miller, Photographer Mary (Baldin) Moore, Beloved Sister and Helicopteress Linda (Henson, Nelson) Perry, Teacher-Technologist Norm Schroeder, Author Stan Stringer, Journalist John Swingle, Postville Historian-Proponent of Social Justice Les Van Bibber, Professor Joe Webb, Innkeepers-Lincolnites D.D. and Bonnie Welch, Beloved Uncle and Writer Gilbert (Gib) Wilson, Historian-Technologist Stu Wyneken, and Archivist Leon Zeter.  Other contributors and copyrighted sources are credited throughout this site.  (Let me know if I've missed your name, so I can add it -- Web publication allows for easy revision.)

Deep gratitude goes to several special sources:  Fred Blanford (fred) and Stan Stringer for the rare, prolific stories and photos they have generously contributed; Mike Hamilton for the remarkable photos he took as a teenager in the 1950s; the Courier in its various names; the G. Bradley Publishing Co. of St. Louis for permission to use copyrighted material from Paul Gleason's Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History (1998) and from Paul Gleason and Paul Beaver's Logan County Pictorial History (2000). 

     These publications of the G. Bradley Publishing Company contain many more photos and information in captions than I have used from these works in this Web site.  Throughout this Web site, I include information about contacting the G. Bradley Publishing Company, including its Web site address, so you can see the range of wonderful books offered, and  I encourage you to inquire about obtaining some of these publications. 

     I am also most grateful to Village Profile.com, Inc., of Elgin, IL, for permission to use selected photos and text from the Lincoln/Logan County Illinois Chamber of Commerce Community Profile & Membership Directory.  Material borrowed from this publication has been credited where used, and the Web site address of Village Profile.com, Inc., is given in these citations.

     Artist-Historian David Alan Badger of 202 S. Plum St., Havana, IL 62644-1318 has generously given permission for my use of several of his marvelous architectural descriptions and artistic drawings of houses in Lincoln, Illinois, from his self-published book titled The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois (1987).  Material borrowed from this publication has been credited where used, and Mr. Badger's Web site address is given in these citations.

Dedication:  This book-length Web site is dedicated to my father, Darold Henson, in his 84th year (b. September 17, 1918) and to the memory of my mother, Lydia Jane (Wilson) Henson (1921-1978), both native Lincolnites and proud, life-long citizens of their hometown.  The following link provides biographical information about Darold Henson, including the article written by Ken Goodrich when Darold was recognized as the Lincoln Evening Courier "Man of the Month" in May, 1977, upon his retirement from Lincoln Community High School:  http://lincolnhigh1960.tripod.com/autobios/darold_henson.html.

Disclaimer:  This Web site does not attempt to express the policies and positions of any public or private organization affiliated with Lincoln, Illinois.  The author of this Web site wishes to be accurate and fair and will correct or refine content according to reasonable requests.

Promotion of Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois

     This Web site was the subject of a feature story by Nancy Saul in the Courier of Lincoln, Illinois (July 5, 2003):  http://www.lincolncourier.com/news/03/07/05/d.asp.

     Link placed on the homepage of the Lincoln-Logan County Chamber of Commerce by Director Bobbi Abbott (link below) (July 7, 2003)

     Link placed on the Lincoln Research Web site by Founder Roger Norton (under Lincoln Links) (July 7, 2003): http://home.att.net/~rjnorton/Lincoln2.html.

     Launch announcement and Internet address posted to the message board of Yahoo's Route 66 Group of 600+ members (July 15, 2003):  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/route66/

     Link placed on the "Services/Links" page of the Courierhttp://www.lincolncourier.com/links/links.asp (July 22, 2003) through the efforts of Journalist Nancy Saul and Managing Editor Jeff Nelson.

     Collaboration established with Mr. Richard Sumrall, Director of the Lincoln Public Library (A Carnegie Library) and link to Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois, placed (10-15-03) on the Lincoln Public Library Web site at http://www.lincolnpubliclibrary.org/.

     Link placed on the Springfield Today page of Princeton Professor William Howarth's Web site for his Springfield High School, Class of 1958: http://www.princeton.edu/~howarth/SHS/, thanks to the effort of Dave Johnson of the LCHS Class of 1956.


Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, & Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois,

was created with an education
that began in Lincoln, Illinois;
a curiosity about this hometown; and
the following technology:

Fuji QuickSnap photos;
Adobe Photoshop graphics editing;
IrfanView graphics file management;
Extensis PhotoFrame;
Microsoft Paint;
Microsoft Word;
FrontPage 2002; &
Ipswitch FTP; and

the Internet for
research of commercial databases for printed information,
email solicitation of information from friends and relatives,
 Web site publication, and
Web site promotion
(think locally; act globally).

Viewable in Mozilla, Netscape (later versions), and Opera;
but Internet Explorer is the recommended browser for this Web site.


lincolncourier.com lincolndailynews.com


Present-Day Special Events of
Lincoln, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County

Lincoln Daily News Tourism Page Lincoln-Logan County Chamber of Commerce Main Street Lincoln

Images of Abraham Lincoln as He Appeared
During the Years of His Visits to the Lincoln, Illinois, Area (1839-1860)

    Note:  The "slideshow" of Abraham Lincoln that follows takes a half minute or more to load.  To supplement what may be a quirky slideshow, I follow it with a line-up of its images (minus one).  Some versions of Netscape do not display the slideshow and/or the scrolling banner at the bottom.


Email comments, corrections, questions, or suggestions. 
Also please email me if this Web site helps you decide to visit Lincoln, Illinois:  dlh105f@smsu.edu.

     (Or, correspond with me at P.O. Box 3127 GSS, Springfield, MO 65808.)

"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.