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

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

Site Map

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, IL

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Hensons of Business Route 66

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

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

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

The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past & Present

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

Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District

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

Agriculture in
the Route 66 Era

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

Business Heritage

Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era

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

Factories, Past and Present

Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era


Hospitals, Past and Present

Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras

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

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


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

with Distinction

News Media in the Route 66 Era

The Odd Fellows' Children's Home


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

A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois

Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era

The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

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


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

About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of Lincoln, Illinois

Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life


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

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

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories

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

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

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

(Post yours there.)


Highway Sign of
the Times:

The Route 66
Association of Illinois

The Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois Tourism Site:
Enjoy Illinois



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

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

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

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

In Memory of Karl Leo Krotz (1938--2010), LCHS Class of 1956

     I sometimes visited with Karl in his store-museum in the early 2000s as I researched Lincoln's history. Karl was always friendly and cooperative, sharing stories, showing me around the historic Krotz Building, giving me good deals on memorabilia, and allowing me free rein to take photos. May he rest in peace. -- Leigh Henson

     Four generations of Krotzes have owned and operated various enterprises in Lincoln. G. Frank Krotz bought 1010 N. Kickapoo in 1919 (across the street from the Stetson China Factory outlet store during the Route 66 era). The Krotz Building and the Krotz businesses depicted on this page are vivid examples of how the past has continued to be "usable" in the first Lincoln namesake city.

     The original red brick building at 1010 N. Kickapoo (Business Route 66) was built in the first decade of the 1900s. Some of the material used in the construction, including windows and doors, had been salvaged from the dismantled 1858 Logan County Courthouse, in which Abraham Lincoln practiced law. G. Frank added 40' to the length of the original building's 60' (presently the building is a large, two-story structure--100' x 25'-- with covered patios at side rear). For many years, the Krotz family made its home above the store.

     G. Frank's son, Anthony "Tony" Krotz, and Tony's sons, Edward, Karl (LCHS Class of 1956), and Bob (LCHS Class of 1947), and daughter, Barb (LCHS Class of 1960), continued to operate a grocery store in this building into the early 1970s. The Krotz & Sons grocery was the main business of its type in north Lincoln during the vibrant years of the North Lincoln Mine and the establishment of such major factories as the Illinois China Company (later Stetson's). In the mid 1900s, Author Robert Wilson's parents operated a smaller grocery store nearby on Burlington Street.

     Besides the Krotz & Sons market, the other grocery stores on Business Route 66 in Lincoln were the Heinzel market on Keokuk Street and the H.F. Wilson & Son grocery on west Fifth Street. The Krotz Building is the only one remaining.

     Following survival law #1, the Krotzes have adapted with the changing times. At one time Tony sold fried chicken for carry-out. From about 1974 to the late 1990s, the family business became Krotz & Sons Lawn & Garden, Pet Supplies & Gift Center.

     In the last few years, Krotz & Sons is what I would describe as an "extreme" curiosity shop. Its inventory includes Crosley vintage auto parts because Karl Krotz is a collector. The inventory also includes rare, large photos of Lincoln scenes and merchandise of the Stetson China Company. Some of the store's thousands of antiquities, including printed materials relating to Lincoln's businesses, are not for sale. The establishment thus also serves as a free museum--one of the best-kept secrets of present-day Lincoln, Illinois, and all of central Illinois.

     This page is a tribute to the Krotzes and was produced with the cooperation and permission of Mr. Karl Krotz. Photos on this page are by Leigh Henson unless otherwise noted. A special thanks to Fred Blanford for obtaining, scanning, and emailing some of Karl's photos.

     When you visit Karl, please tell him I sent you. (I am hoping he will give me a discount for producing this promotional page on the Web.)

1: 1010 N. Kickapoo in 2004

2: Window from 1858 Logan County Courthouse

3: Sidewalk Folk Art at Krotz's

4: The Sign Says It All

5: Undated Store Front

(Photo courtesy of Karl Krotz and
transmitted by Fred Blanford)

6: Karl Krotz at 7 (circa 1945): First Day at Work

(Photo courtesy of Karl Krotz and
transmitted by Fred Blanford)

7: Krotz Delivery Truck Stuck on Pulaski Street on the Square

(Click image for larger version. Undated photo courtesy of Karl Krotz and transmitted by Fred Blanford)

     Tony Krotz handles the shovel while two unidentified men push.

8: North Side Exterior with Crosley Body

9: Patio at Rear with Vintage Signs

10: Front to Back Just Inside the Front Door

11: Krotz Promo Model Airplane

12: Photo Wall Featuring Paul Powell Portrait

13: Karl with Two Beauties

14: Before the Colonel Came to Town?

15: Karl Krotz, "The Shabby Sheik," in 2004

16: Official Business Card

     Note: Karl has no email address, and his phone number is private. Karl's local celebrity status leads him to value privacy in off hours. If you need him, you know when and where to find him.

17: Crosley Front

18: Crosley Interior

19: Interior Doorway of the 1858 Logan County Courthouse

     The doorway is at the back wall of the main room. This view looks toward the front. When Abraham Lincoln walked through this doorway, was it high enough that he at 6' 4" did not have to duck?

20: Iron Ring on Floor at Rear of Building--
Used to Secure Hogs at Slaughter

21: Monument in Front of Krotz Building

22: Krotz Clan Portrait in 1999--75th Anniversary of Krotz Enterprises in Lincoln

     (Click photo for larger version. Photo courtesy of Karl Krotz and transmitted with names of subjects by Fred Blanford)

     Front Row-L-R--Karl Krotz, Edward Krotz, Cecile (he wasn't sure of the spelling--widow of Edward I believe he said) Krotz, Robert Krotz, Barbara Krotz Kirk.

     Back Row-L-R--Mark Krotz, Edward Krotz III, Frank Krotz III, and Steven Klemm (son of Barb). The occasion was the 75th year of operation--the why for the tombstone.


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