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1. Town christening
and Chicago streets
In August 1853
the first sale of lots in the new town of Lincoln took place near this spot.
Abraham Lincoln, in whose honor the town was named, was in attendance. When
asked on the day of the land sale to officially "christen the town,"
Lincoln obliged. Lifting the cover off a pile of watermelons stacked on the
ground by a local farmer, Lincoln picked up a melon and conducted a brief
ceremony using its juice. Lincoln, Ill., is the only town named for Lincoln
before he became president.
2. Lincoln railroad
frequented this city by train after its founding. As president-elect, Lincoln
came hereon Nov. 21, 1860. He stopped near this spot to make a few remarks from
the rear of his train. This was his last speech in Logan County and the last
time Lincoln would visit his namesake city. His funeral train stopped here on
May 3, 1865. The current depot was built several decades later, in 1911.
3. State Bank of
met sculptor Leonard Volk for the first time on the boardwalk in front of the
Lincoln House Hotel. Volk asked Lincoln to pose for a bust and life mask of his
face and hands. Signed copies of the life masks by Volk, as well as original
artwork by Lloyd Ostendorf of Lincoln in Logan County, are on display in this
bank building's lobby.
4. Site of the
Lincoln House Hotel
House, one of the grandest hotels between St. Louis and Chicago, stood on this
spot from 1854 to 1870. All the political luminaries of the day, including
Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, David Davis and Richard Oglesby, crossed
its threshold at one time or another The Lincoln House was a two-story frame
structure that fronted the railroad tracks and featured a large veranda.
5. Robert Latham
Latham joined John D. Gillett and Virgil Hickox in founding the town of Lincoln
in 1853. Abraham Lincoln, other lawyers and judges were often guests at his
6. Logan County
became the county seat in 1853, a courthouse was built on this spot. A second
courthouse was built in 1858 and remained in use until the early 20th century,
when it was replaced with the current building. Abraham Lincoln practiced law
and attended political functions in the first two courthouses built on the
square. A statue of Lincoln stands in this courthouse. A Civil War monument and
cannon sit on the north side of the courthouse grounds.
7. Lincoln lot site
located on the right-hand side of this store identifies the location as a lot
Lincoln once owned. James Primm, in need of money, approached former Illinois
Gov. Joel Matteson for a $400 advance. Matteson directed him to have Lincoln
sign a note as Primm's guarantor. Lincoln co-signed the note. Later Primm
defaulted and Lincoln had to pay the note. Eventually Primm deeded Lincoln this
property in recompense.
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8. Rustic Inn
In 1876 members
of a counterfeiting gang met here to hatch a plot to steal Lincoln's corpse from
its burial vault in Springfield. The gang had planned to hide Lincoln's body in
the Indiana sand dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan and negotiate with the
governor of Illinois for $200,000 in cash and the release of Ben Boyd. The
bartender at the Rustic Inn overheard the plot and reported it to the
authorities. The Secret Service later apprehended the gang members. Robert Todd
Lincoln had his father's coffin encased in several tons of cement to prevent
future attempts to steal the body.
Other Lincoln sites
9. Stephen A.
Douglas speech site
Fourth and Logan streets
visited this city during the famous 1858 Illinois senatorial campaign. Douglas
paraded with all his supporters through the decorated streets to the tent that
was pitched on this site. Lincoln, who was also in town, listened to his
opponent from the back of the crowd. In the end, a majority of Logan County
voters favored Lincoln, but Douglas won the 1858 election.
historic site is a replica of an 1840 courthouse where Lincoln argued, won and
lost cases while he traveled the 8th Judicial Circuit.
11. Site of Deskins
stayed at Deskins Tavern when he traveled to Postville. A
well where he quenched
his thirst is also at this site.
12. Postville Park
was well-known for his athletic abilities, and he frequently joined in games of
"town ball" at this village park.
13. Lincoln College
registered landmark, Lincoln College was founded and named for President Lincoln
on Feb. 12, 1865. The museum houses an extensive collection of memorabilia on
the life of Abraham Lincoln.
[See "LC Museum named one of 10 best Lincoln-related sites in Illinois"]
Other sites of
interest in downtown Lincoln
Library (a Carnegie building)
725 Pekin St.
& Historical Society
114 N. Chicago St.
Lincoln City Hall
700 Broadway St.
U.S. Post Office
102 S. McLean St.
including historic sites, restaurants
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