Members of the
society borrowed Mrs. Lincoln's recipe for white cake with almonds
and offered the resulting treat with iced tea to those in
Gary and Carol Simpkins of Heyworth presented a program from the
perspective of President Lincoln and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln,
telling of their childhoods, experiences while growing up, courting
other people, living in Springfield and raising four sons.
Gary Simpkins gave background for some of the misunderstood
situations in Abraham Lincoln's life, such as his romance with Ann
Rutledge and the practice of travelers and acquaintances sharing a
bed. He told several stories that shed light on the difficult or
transitional times in Lincoln's life, such as events leading to the
Republican nomination for president and decisions made during the
Carol Simpkins described Mary Todd Lincoln's personality and her
fashion preferences, the couple's differences -- physical
appearance, education and family background -- and the recurring
depression that gripped them after their sons' deaths. She also told
of Mary Lincoln's life after her husband's assassination, including
traveling in Europe, the death of her third son, commitment to an
insane asylum and the living arrangement she had in her sister's
home for the final years of her life.
The couple owns Simpkins' Military History Museum, 605 East Cole
in Heyworth, a collection of military items that date from the Civil
War to Desert Storm. The museum is open 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday,
Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, or by appointment. The phone number
at the museum is 309-473-3989.
The couple performs their presentation free of charge. The
material can be adjusted to suit different age groups. Contact them
at the number listed above.
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The Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society, 114 N.
Chicago St. in Lincoln, is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and
can be reached at 732-3200. Researchers are welcome to visit for
information and assistance. Residents are encouraged to join the
society and learn more about Lincoln, Logan County and its many
communities. Everyone is welcome to enjoy programs sponsored by the
[By MARLA BLAIR]