Danville in Vermilion County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Friend Forever
ó“ Looking For Lincoln “ ó
“I appeal to you because I can to no other with so much confidence,” Lincoln said to Doctor William H. Fithian, August 15, 1860. He was asking for Fithianís assistance in a political matter. After both were elected to the Illinois Legislature in 1834, a friendship developed between the two Whigs, who shared political views and goals. In 1841 Fithian hired Lincoln to represent him in a court case in Vermilion County. In the years following, Lincoln represented Fithian in a number of legal matters, some reaching all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Lincoln visited the Doctor in his home in Danville when court was in session. A notable overnight stay at the Fithian home occurred during Lincolnís 1858 senatorial contest with Stephen Douglas. On his arrival in Danville, a large crowd followed him from the depot to the Doctorís house, calling on Lincoln to make a few remarks. He complied by climbing out a bedroom window and making a brief speech in his stocking feet from a balcony on the second floor.
(Copy of Newspaper Articles)
Lincoln had no better friend in the county than the “Vermilion County Press”, a weekly newspaper published by James D. Kilpatrick. The paper served
Doctor William H. Fithian was a real estate investor, mercantile store owner, private banker, farmer, state legislator, volunteer soldier in the Black Hawk War, and volunteer physician during the Civil War. But, primarily, he was a doctor traveling great distances over the Illinois prairie in the early days of statehood. Fithian was Lincolnís friend, client, and political supporter for more than thirty years. He was the iron man of Whig and Republican politics on the Eastern Illinois prairie. Fithian, one of the oldest practicing physicians in the state, was interviewed by Hiram Beckwith about the changes he had observed during his decades in Illinois. When asked to comment on his friend Lincoln, the Doctor reflected a few moments and then said, “He was just Lincoln,” as if the name told it all - - for generations it has.
Erected 2008 by the Vermilion County Museum.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 40° 7.639′ N, 87° 38.158′ Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 116 North Gilbert Street, Danville IL 61832, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dr. William Fithian Home (a few steps from this marker); Abraham Lincoln Delivered an Impromptu Address (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Millstone (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln at Danville Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 0.2 miles away); World War I Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aircraft in Honor of Chanute Air Force Base (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Danville.
Also see . . .
1. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P.B.S. Follow Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "...from Illinois, to Gettysburg, to Washington, D. C., and face to face with people who live with Lincoln every day...". (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. Looking for Lincoln. Many resources for the Tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois. Aimed at all ages. (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
3. Travel with Lincoln (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Categories. • Notable Events • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,004 times since then and 11 times this year. Last updated on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.