Category Archives: Presidents

Johnston-Hatcher fires, 1907 & 1913

The Johnston-Hatcher Co. sold home furnishings of all kinds from 1899 to 1949 in downtown Springfield. The store, however, fell victim to two of the city’s most devastating early 20th-century fires. Johnston-Hatcher was the creation of two sets of brothers … Continue reading

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Lincoln Tomb custodians, 1874-1975

Five men served as custodians of the Lincoln Tomb in the century from 1874, when the still-incomplete tomb was dedicated, and 1975, when tomb management was reorganized. They were: *John Carroll Power (1819-94), a Kentucky native and failed farmer, was … Continue reading

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Robert Irwin (Lincoln banker & friend)

On May 18, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase about an “old friend who has served me all my life, and who has never before received or asked anything in return.” The friend, Robert Irwin, … Continue reading

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Lincoln Home neighborhood in 1971 (Nelson Howarth)

Nelson Howarth, with only a week to go in his third and final term as mayor of Springfield, testified in April 1971 before the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation in support of designating the Lincoln Home neighborhood … Continue reading

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Lincoln Tomb ‘Battle of the Gravesite’

Today, we take for granted that Lincoln is buried here. But we must remember that the journey from that terrible April day when Lincoln died to the day when he was placed in Oak Ridge’s receiving tomb was a tumultuous … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum controversies

Design and construction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum took years and involved a variety of political squabbles and maneuvering. If politics could have been put aside, the facility would have been completed much sooner. Of course, since … Continue reading

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Lincoln Tomb reconstruction and rededication, 1930-31

President Herbert Hoover rededicated the Lincoln Tomb in front of a massive crowd on June 17, 1931. The occasion was the reopening of the tomb following a complete reconstruction, including a new interior. When the memorial was erected in the … Continue reading

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Trip to Springfield, 1852 (letter)

Mark Bangs of Lacon, while on a business trip to Springfield in 1852, wrote a letter to his wife Nellie, describing his trip and giving his impressions of the elite American House Hotel, the largest in Illinois at the time. … Continue reading

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The Globe Tavern, 1886 (photo)

The newlywed Abraham and Mary Lincoln rented a room in The Globe Tavern, 315 E. Adams St., from November 1842 until the next fall. Their oldest son Robert was born there. The photo above, from 1886, shows only a portion … Continue reading

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Larkin Mead, Lincoln Tomb designer

Larkin Mead (1835-1910), who designed the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, got his artistic start from a snow angel. Not the kind children make by lying down in snow, but an 8-foot-tall, highly detailed snow statue of the biblical Recording … Continue reading

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