Tuesday, April 23, 2013
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D. Leigh Henson named to District 27 'Distinguished Alumni'

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[April 23, 2013]  D. Leigh Henson's name is well-known around Lincoln. He is the developer of the award-winning website findinglincolnillinois.com. The website is a community history of the first Lincoln namesake town and is titled Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, and Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois. Dr. Henson began this website in 2003 and was awarded the "Best Web Site of the Year" by the Illinois State Historical Society in 2004.

Henson was born in Lincoln in 1942. He attended kindergarten at Central School, grades one through six at Jefferson School, and grades seven and eight at Central School, from which he graduated in 1956. After graduating from Lincoln Community High School, he attended Lincoln College for his freshman year. He graduated from Illinois State University, majoring in English with a minor in history. He earned his master's degree in American literature and a Ph.D. in English studies from Illinois State University.

Before his retirement, Dr. Henson was professor of English at Missouri State University and now serves as Professor Emeritus of English.

He has published many articles. In 2012 he was given the Award of Superior Achievement by the Illinois State Historical Society for his book, "The Town Lincoln Warned: The Living Namesake Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois." Besides writing extensively about Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln, Ill., Henson has written several articles about another well-known Lincoln native, author William Maxwell.

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Henson is currently working on a long-range plan to promote Lincoln, Ill., as a Lincoln-heritage community by increasing civic pride and adding tourist appeal to the city. His proposal is to erect four new Lincoln statues here, which would give the city a total of 11, second in number only to Springfield, Ill.

[Text from file received from Lincoln Elementary School District 27]

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