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1. Abraham Lincoln Heritage

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2. Route 66
Heritage


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3. Logan Co. Courthouse Historic District

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4. Museums, Memorials, Parks, & Recreation

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5. Residential Heritage

6. Agriculture

7. Business & Industry

8. Education & the Arts

9. Government

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10. The Professions & Social Services

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11. Religion

1. Abraham Lincoln Heritage

     Abraham Lincoln's law practice often took him to this community from 1839 to the late 1850s, just before his election to President.  Today people throughout the world are drawn to visit the Lincoln sites of this community, Logan County, and central Illinois.  

     In Lincoln, Illinois, the most visible site in the Abraham Lincoln heritage is the Postville Courthouse, a state historic site (link to official Web site).  On the large Eighth Judicial Circuit in the mid 1800s, such lawyers as Mr. Lincoln traveled by horseback to practice their profession.  Twice a year Lincoln worked here from 1839 to 1848, when the county seat was removed to Mt. Pulaski. 

     In 1856, the county seat was relocated to Lincoln, Illinois, where in his namesake town Mr. Lincoln practiced law and even substituted for Judge David Davis on occasion until Lincoln's election to the Presidency.  The Logan County Courthouse Historic District includes several other attractions relating to Abraham Lincoln.

     The present Postville Courthouse is a replica constructed by the State of Illinois and is open to the public.  It is furnished with "authentic period pieces. . .and exhibits of early Illinois judicial practices" (Illinois Department of Conservation brochure, no date).

     Across the street from Postville Courthouse was Deskins' Tavern, where Lincoln and others stayed while on court business.  The drinking well location in front of the tavern is visible today.

     Two blocks west of these sites, also on Fifth St. (old Business Route 66), is Postville Park, where Lincoln socialized and participated in sports.

     The portrait at the right, known as the Meserve 1 photo, is thought to be the first photo of Lincoln.  It was taken at Washington, D.C., in 1848, when Lincoln was a member of Congress.  This photo shows how Lincoln looked when he was in the middle period of his activities in Lincoln, Illinois. 

     The small photo in the upper-left border of this page, taken by Alexander Hester in Springfield, Illinois, June 3, 1860, was used as an official campaign photo.  Lincoln reportedly said this photo "expresses me better than any I have ever seen."



Postville Courthouse (replica)
at Fifth Street (old Business Route 66)
and Madison Streets



Alleged First Photo of
Abraham Lincoln (1846)
(showing him as he looked during much of the time he was on business in Lincoln, Illinois.
(Photo in Benjamin Thomas, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography, 1952.)

Photo of Postville Park here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    
     As the railroad was laid adjacent to Postville, business leaders founded a new community.  They proudly agreed to name it after their distinguished attorney, Abraham Lincoln (also the railroad's attorney).  See detailed account of Abraham Lincoln's christening of the only town named after him before he became internationally famous. The picture postcard at the right shows the site of the christening near the railroad depot at Broadway and Sangamon Streets.

     The historical marker reads, "Near this site Abraham Lincoln christened the town with the juice of a watermelon when the first lots were sold on August 27, 1853.  President-elect Lincoln spoke here, November 21, 1860, while traveling to Chicago and while traveling to Chicago and Lincoln's funeral train stopped here, May 3, 1865, before completing the trip to Springfield."

     Another major Lincoln site is Lincoln College, the only institution of higher education named for Lincoln in his life time.  It was chartered as Lincoln University in 1865.  The name was changed to Lincoln College in 1901 as a result of its affiliation with Millikin University of Decatur, which lasted until 1953, when Lincoln College became independent.

     The Lincoln College building at the right is University Hall, the institution's original building. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. This structure boasts a towering cupola and massive features in the Italianate architectural style.  Lincoln College Historian  Andrew Lindstrom describes the beginning of its construction:  "Despite the financial difficulties which beset the board, ground was broken on February 12, 1865, Abraham Lincoln's last living birthday. . . " (Lincoln:  The Namesake College, p. 13).

     According to Mr. Lindstrom, "by September 14, 1865, work had progressed so well that the cornerstone was laid in ceremonies with Governor Richard J. Oglesby [friend and supporter of President Lincoln] delivering the feature oration of the day" (p. 14).  Financial problems delayed completion until 1866.

     In this building in 1960-61, the author of this Web site was a student and developed a strong interest in studying English as result of the teaching of Mrs. Florence Molen.  I also gainedan an interest in reading about Abraham Lincoln as a result of the teaching of James T. Hickey. 



The Site at Broadway & Sangamon Streets Where Abraham Lincoln Christened the Town in his Name on August 27, 1853
(photo from 1996 postcard)


Lincoln College Seal
(from author's copy of the 1961 Lynxite)
 



University Hall of Lincoln College,
Constructed 1865-66
(photo from @1890 to 1901)



University Hall
(Leigh Henson photo, 7-01)


 

      Two museums, open to the public, are housed in the McKinstry Library of Lincoln College.
    

 

McKinstry Hall, museums

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Inn photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Douglas Speech Historical Marker
at Decatur and Sangamon Streets
(Leigh Henson photo, 12-01)

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