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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
January 19, 2011     Times
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January 19, 2011

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12 Mr. Pulmdd Times JanumT 22, 2011 By Phil Bertoni The Lincoln - Douglas Debates were in full swing in 1858. Additionally, both opponents occasionally gave their own individual speeches at various cities throughout the state. Such was the case on October 15, 1858, in our neighboring city of Lincoln. On that day, young Samuel Linn Beidler of Mount Pulaski was the only one to greet Mr. Lincoln in the town of his namesake at the train station, as hun- dreds were already there milling around getting ready to hear an advertised speech by Stephen A. Douglas. Mr. Lincoln had quiedy arrived on the back of the same train to answer Mr. Douglas with a speech of his own the fol- lowing day. So while Doug- las stepped off the front of the train amidst his welcom- ing throng, Lincoln debarked alone. B'dler accompanied Mr. Lincoln to the local Lincoln hotel and reported later: With considerable timidity, being a young man, I took the liberty of introducing myself. Mr. Lincoln graciously bade me sit down. Learning that [ was from Mount Pulaski, many inquiries followed, regarding his old friends, many of whom he had not met since the removal of the crunty seat to Lincoln. He made particular men- tion of Thomas P Lush- baugh, Col. [Nathaniel] Whittaker, Jabez Capps and Squire [Samuel] Emmett. He had bordered with the two former. The day, in the light of future events,' proved one of the most interesting of my life. Later Lincoln and Douglas, though divided in politics, were united for country. Both were great in the end. Then it was Douglas and Lincoln. In history, they still stand together, but Lincoln is first. The Union ironclad, Monitor, was the first U.S, ship to have a flush toilet. -T-he first US Marines wore high leather collars to protect their necks from sabres, hence the name "leathernecks." Historical Sketches #18 in a Series The next day, over 50 don and soon thereafter, the "Lincoln's mind and horse-pulled wagons building was utilized as a character was most hap- jammed with admirers and school building." A belfry pily fostered by the free others on horseback and in was attached, the outside life of the circuit and it was buggies from Mount Pulaski entrances lowered and the this which largely molded arrived in Lincoln to hear rooms refitted as class- the man, in the forma- o1' Abe speak. A large sign, rooms. The "court-house five period of his career. "Mount Pulaski supports old school" continued to 1877, His practice at the Logan Abe" could be prominently when it was turned over County bar, [only inter- seen over the crowd of 5,000 to the city for their offices; rupted by a two-year stint people. A "conspicuous" and, later, the United States as a Representative in the group "containing thirty- Post Offce was given space Federal Congress] covers two young ladies [dressed until 1936, when the build- a period extending from in white] from Mt. Pulaski, hag was restored to the look the establishment of the each waving a flag with the of the Illinois 8th Judicial [Logan] County in 1839 name of a state of the union Circuit Courthouse of the to his election to the Presi- upon it." A few years before, late 1840's and early 1850's. dency in 1860; and during Mr. Lincoln had purchased The courthouse had, once all this time, it can be his- the newspaper, The Spring- again, served as a school torically, and not merely field Gazette, which was a house in 1911, following heroically, said, that he German-written newspaper the town's loss of its grades was the leading lawyer of that he had delivered to 1-12 four-level school-house the LoganCountyBar." Mount Pulaski and other mansion through a ravag- Some of the "giants" that parts of central Illinois that ing fire that, fortunately, did Laurence B. Stringer (State had heavy German popula- not result in any lives lost Representative and Senator, tions. Lincoln had seen thou- nor any reported injuries. Judge & author of several sands of immigrants flood The courthouse restoration books on the history of into the mid-west and into was spear-headed by E.H. Logan County) referred to Central Illinois, especially Lukenbill, the Logan County beyond the obvious Lincoln the Germans, who oumum- Superintendent of schools: and Davis were: Judge bered all the others; "Lincoln 1916 to 1959, along with (General) John Logan, carried a German grammar local carpenters, merchants Stephen A. Douglas, Gen- and studied the language in and artisans. Mount Pulaski eral McDougaU, Harvey a night class. He wrote 'nix received State restoration E. Hogg, Richard Oglesby, com raus' in letters". [For funds and the completely Judge Samuel H. Treat, John further information about restored courthouse was T. Stuart, Judge Samuel C. these two days in Lincoln, made an Illinois Historic Site Parks, Lyman Trumbull, consult Paul Beaver's new on February 16, 1939. William Herndon,. and book: A. Lincoln in Logan '.'Fortunately, the trend others, including influential County, IL. 1834-1860] of official affairs has made local businessmen, politi- Meanwhile, in Mt. Pulaski, , this building a public clans, local officials, lawyers: "by action of the State Legis- asset for all time and it Robert B. Latham, John D. lature [General Assembly] in will likely be preserved. Gillett, Virgil Hickox, Jabez 1857, the old courthouse on And, as the years go by, Capps, Colonel Nathan- the mound had been turned its value as a reminder of iel Whittaker, William H. over to Henry Vonderlieth, the days when intellectual Young, and David B. Camp- Jabez Capps and George W. giants strove for mastery, bell (Eight Judicial Circuit Turley as trustees for two increases more and more. Prosecuting Attorney). years, to be by them turned For 'there were giants in These "giants" and many over to the Board of Educa- those days'." Mount Pulaskians - friends 175th Anniversary Committee Celebrating Abraham Lincoln's Birthday -" Sat Feb 12 at Mt Pulaski Courthouse 2 pm Cast-iron Tombstone Case performed by Mt. Pulaski High School Drama Club Donna Koehler, Director 3:30 pm Guy Fraker talks on mid-1800s Illinois 8th Judicial Circuit, of which Mt. 'ulaski was the county seat (1848-1855). 5 pm Cast-iron Tombstone Case performed by Mt. Pulaski High School Drama Club Donna Koehler, Director 7 p.m. Chris Vallillo performs his mid-1800s song selections 2 & 5:30 performances tickets are for adults $3 -- Children & Students are Free Tickets on sale at Salt Creek Attic and At The Door Proceeds will be shared by Mt. Pulaski District #23 High School Drama Department and Mt. Pulaski Township Historical Museum. N-o tickets required for the 3:30 & 7 performances. Mary Todd Lincoln Cake Will Be Served at 6 pm and acquaintances of Mr. Lincoln, town officials, local circuit court officials, merchants, carpenters, saw and flour millers, tanning owners, eatery owners and other merchants, stable owners, farmers and cattle- men, house wives, teachers, and lawyers - could proudly state that they had some- thing to do with that which "largely molded the man" - that which provided solid and genuine foundations for the 16th President of the United States, whom many throughout this nation and around the world think is the finest and certainly the most famous of all of our Ameri- can Presidents. As President and Commander in Chief, his bold but thoughtful actions helped immeasurably to preserve our country as a whole - as it was deemed to be from the beginning by our forefathers. He also paved the way for a kinder reuni- fication of the two warring regions following the disas- trous and tragic blood-letting and family-tipping conflict. What greater man could he be? In his 1911 History of Logan County, Judge Lawrence B. Stn'nger said it best: Out of the eternal he came, spirit of the un- purpled people, and to the eternal he returned. He was safe, able and self-con- trolled. Not too radical, neither too conservative, he was endowed with a wisdom comprehending every phase of human life, an ability to manage, without mistake, compli- cations most intricate and a faith sufficiently sublime to remove mountains. Untouched by dogma, child of the elemental, a giant sprung from the loins of the common people and in touch with ever grada- tion of their daily life, he saved the nation, gave liberty to a people and his name will ever live in every heart-beat of the human race--ABRAHAM LIN- COLN[ In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a pri- vate social club in Pulaski, Ten- nessee, called the Ku Klux Klan. During the US Civil war, 200,000 blacks served in the Union Army; 38,000 gave their lives; 22 won the Medal of Honor.