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

Site Map


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

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Lincoln, Illinois

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Hensons of Business Route 66

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

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

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

The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past & Present

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

Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District

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

Agriculture in
the Route 66 Era

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

Business Heritage

Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era

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

Factories, Past and Present

Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era


Hospitals, Past and Present

Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras

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

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


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

with Distinction

News Media in the Route 66 Era

The Odd Fellows' Children's Home


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

A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois

Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era

The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

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


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

About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of Lincoln, Illinois

Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life


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

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

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories

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

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

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

(Post yours there.)


Highway Sign of
the Times:

The Route 66
Association of Illinois

The Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois Tourism Site:
Enjoy Illinois



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

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

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

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

38. The Festive Sesquicentennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois--2003

     The 2003 Sesquicentennial Celebration offered thirteen days of fun and frolic beginning with the Art and Balloon Festival. Many events were cultural and educational, and many events featured live entertainment with bands playing music from folk to Civil-War-era marches and formal ball music to rock to big-band swing to classical. Many streets in the Logan County Courthouse Square Historic District were open to foot traffic only. Never in the history of Lincoln, Illinois, were there more revelers, including folks like me who enjoyed an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime homecoming, as the photos here suggest.



Sesquicentennial Homecoming:  A Time for Old and New Friendships

38.1: Fred and Marge Blanford in Their Parlor

38.2: Blanfords' Guests,
Pat Hartman and Leigh Henson


38.3: Internet Collaborators on the History of Lincoln, Illinois:
 Leigh (LCHS Class of 1960) and Fred (LCHS Class of 1959)


Wednesday, August 27: Founders' Day and Town Christening Re-enactment

38.4: Pre-Re-enactment Reunion of Postvillians Ron Musicks (l) and Hensons--1st in 43 Years
Seated (l to r): Darold Henson (LCHS 1936), Linda Henson Nelson Perry, and Jim Perry
Standing (l to r): Ron and Sandy Musick, Leigh Henson, and Judy Henson

Town Christening Re-enactment Scene Near the Railroad Depot

38. 5: Congressman Ray LaHood (Bob Michel's protégé/successor)
 Addressing the Next Generation Prior to the Christening

     A couple of politicians spoke prior to the ceremony. In the background at left, a couple of the impersonators are tuning out Mr. La Hood in favor of amusing themselves. In the light-blue suit is retired Professor and Historian Paul Beaver, editor of the encyclopedic History of Logan County 1982, a major source used in developing this Web site. Professor Beaver is tactfully attentive, patiently awaiting his turn to address the crowd. Meanwhile, Mr. La Hood endears himself to the future voters by suggesting to them that it would be great if they did not have to return to school after the ceremony. Stunned in disbelief, the audience failed to applaud this generous but radical proposal.

     Professor Beaver then very effectively summarized the fabled story of Abraham Lincoln christening the town with watermelon juice on August 27, 1853. 

38.6: Lincoln College Museum Curator Ron Keller Holds Mike for Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis

38.7: Abe Impersonator Re-enacts the
Christening of Lincoln, Illinois

38.8: Post-Christening Re-enactment Visit in the Middle of Broadway Street at the Railroad Tracks:
(l to r): Keith and Charlise Leesman, Sandy and Ron Musick, Pat Hartman, Linda and Jim Perry


Mini-Reunion of Jefferson School Alums at Jefferson School Front Sidewalk

38.9: (l to r): Proud Postvillians (no postvillains) Leigh, Larry Van Bibber, Eva Mae Harris Hill,
Ron Musick, Tom Kurtz, and Les Van Bibber

(Photo by Pat Hartman using Tom Kurtz's super camera. Photo emailed by Tom.)

     Ron and Sandy Musick arrived for the Art and Balloon Festival at the beginning of the Sesquicentennial Celebration, but had to depart before the day of the parade. Fortunately, the Musicks' and Hensons' schedules overlapped enough for Ron and Leigh to visit for the first time in 43 years, and we did so through Ron's initiative. We are same-class alums of Jefferson, Central, and Lincoln High. At Jefferson School, Ron helped me with arithmetic because I sat behind him and could observe his work. Tom Kurtz and I were among the white-belt patrol officers who ran the cross-walk lights on Fifth Street and made the trucks on Business Route 66 stop on a dime. So was Pete Frantz, our captain and traffic-control strategist.

38.10: 19th Century Jefferson School Bell

     During our mini-reunion, we were not allowed inside the contemporary Jefferson School for security reasons.  I had visited the School earlier in August when it was not in session and was allowed inside, where I took the above photo of the legendary Jefferson School bell, which is mounted in a glass case located in the foyer. At the mini-reunion I gave a copy of this photo to alums pictured in 38.9.

Friday, August 29: LCHS Class of 1960 Pre-parade Strategy Meeting at the KCs

38.11: (l to r): Leigh Henson, Bud Huffaker, Jeff Fults, Dick George, and Mike Hayes

     Bud continues to cope well with the emotional scars he suffered from being walloped out of his Room 316 seat by the study hall teacher who mistook him for the culprit who rolled the steel ball bearing that clattered up the aisle and disrupted the scholarship--or nap--of many students.

Saturday, August 30: Homecoming Day with Sesquicentennial Parade

38.12: Class of 1960 Homecoming Queen Judy Lohrenz Perkins in Original Royal Red Dress,
Accompanied by Husband Cliff and 1960 Classmates:
(l to r): John Coombs, Kathy Mitchell Leesman, Barb Geary Cicci, Diane Caplinger Farmer,
Cliff Perkins, Queen Judy, Janet Ritchhart Smiley, and Jerry Gibson

     Judy Lohrenz Perkins, the 1960 Lincolnite editor, continues effective supervision of her sports editor--yours truly, who continues to need it. Judy points out that behind Diane Farmer is her husband, Bob, who furnished the bed the float sat on and drove the float. Also, I note that behind Jerry Gibson and out of sight is Bob Pharis in blue/white checkered shirt.

38.13: Jerry Gibson Holding Switch-Blade Comb in Right Hand and
Extending Left Arm at Maximum Length for a "Behind the Scene" Embrace of Lady Classmates:
(l to r): Janet Ritchhart Smiley, Barb Geary Cicci, Diane Caplinger Farmer, & Donna Geriets Miles

     The sign on the truck denotes one of the float's sponsoring organizations.

38.14: The LCHS Class of 1960 Prepares to Rock and Roll (forward)
in the Sesquicentennial Parade

     At center, Jon Diers wonders why he has no dance partner. Is the queen getting a beauty nap before the performance?

Typical Sesquicentennial Parade Dignitaries from the LCHS Class of 1960

38.15: John T. Coombs

38.16: Jeff E. Fults

38.17: Jerry L. Gibson

38.18: Robert W. Pharis

     The bulge in Jerry's upper shirt sleeve is not a triceps muscle, but a pack of cigarettes.
A Sampling of Other Parade Entries (But Not Necessarily Better Ones)

38.19: Unknown Sponsor

18.20: Chamber of Commerce Melon Wagon

18.21: Alderpersons Jonie Tibbs and
1960 Classmate Dave Armbrust


18.22: Alderman Pat Madigan
(Son of Bob and Connie; is he the 4th or 5th generation of Madigan politicos?)

38.23: GOP Entry

Place reserved for the DEMs'
parade entry, but. . .

photojournalist Pat, a GOP herself, says she saw
no parade entry for the DEMs.


38.24: Forthcoming?


8-30-13: Tenth anniversary posting of link to video of the LCHS Noble Class of '60's participation in the Sesquicentennial Celebration Parade (Lincoln's biggest):


Images from the Post-Parade De-Briefing Session at the KCs

38.25: Mike Hayes and Bob Madigan

38.26: Jon Diers and Leigh

38.27: Classmate Cousins Leigh and Jerry Gibson

38.28: Leigh, Susie Mills Fults, and Jeff Fults, His Best Man in the First Wedding


  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.