Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Anna in Union County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Jonesboro Station, Anna

Looking for Lincoln

 

— 1858 —

 
Jonesboro Station, Anna Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, November 26, 2020
1. Jonesboro Station, Anna Marker
Inscription.  In 1851, when the Illinois Central Railroad began surveying land in Union County, the county seat of Jonesboro was thought to be the logical choice for the location of the tracks. However, the city fathers declined to pay the required $50 surveying fee. Jonesboro businessman Winstead Davis was not one to ignore an opportunity and personally paid the cost of the survey across his land east of Jonesboro. He donated thirty-seven acres in 1852 and named the new town site Anna, after his wife. There was one disappointment, however. The sign on the depot read Jonesboro Station for almost twenty years. Finally, in 1873, the sign was replaced by one reading Anna.

When Abraham Lincoln came to Union County in 1858 for the third debate with Stephen Douglas, he traveled by railroad from Centralia with his friend, D.L. Phillips of Anna. Phillips was land agent for the Illinois Central Railroad and was one of about fifty Republican voters in the county. The two men walked to the Phillips home on South Main Street where Lincoln stayed for two nights. After the evening meal, they went to the Union House Hotel in Jonesboro to visit
Jonesboro Station, Anna Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, November 26, 2020
2. Jonesboro Station, Anna Marker
Marker is a parking lot across from Anna-Jonesboro National Bank.
with the reporter and stenographer of the Chicago Press and Tribune. The morning before the debate, Lincoln, Phillips, and Phillips' 11-year-old son, Judson, rode a carriage through the county. As they rode, Lincoln told funny stories and kept the others in a constant uproar of laughter. They viewed the debate site in Jonesboro, and probably saw the new courthouse. They traveled west to the grounds where twenty years earlier, thousands of Cherokee Indians had camped waiting for the ice to thaw on the Mississippi River during the Trail of Tears march. That evening, after the debate, Lincoln is said to have received visitors on the porch of the Phillips home.

Southern Illinois has long been known for premium fruits, vegetables, flowers, lumber, and livestock. The railroad was the key to getting those products to urban markets. Now isolated people could interact with the rest of the world in a timely fashion. Other than the county's natural attributes and the people's work ethic and tenacity, little affected the area economy as much as the railroad. Because of the railroad and the town's proximity to Cairo, Anna became a rendezvous point for Civil War regiments from the State of Illinois. Thousands of soldiers assembled, camped, and trained in Anna and Jonesboro. General Grant spent five days here mustering in troops. In the early 1900's, Anna native John
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Pelley rose from his job as local baggage boys to the presidency of the Association of American Railroads. The new brick depot carried his name.
 
Erected 2009 by Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and the Lincoln-Douglas Jonesboro Debate Sesquicentennial Committee.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansRailroads & StreetcarsWomen. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, the Looking for Lincoln, and the Trail of Tears series lists.
 
Location. 37° 27.619′ N, 89° 14.881′ W. Marker is in Anna, Illinois, in Union County. Marker is on West Davie Street west of South Main Street (Illinois Route 146), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 113 W Davie St, Anna IL 62906, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lincoln-Douglas Debates (approx. 1.1 miles away); Background of the Debates (approx. 1.2 miles away); Where Lincoln Walked (approx. 1.3 miles away); Lincoln-Douglas Debate (approx. 1.3 miles away); Anna-Jonesboro (approx. 4.3 miles away); They Passed This Way (approx. 6.4 miles away); King Neptune
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
(approx. 6.4 miles away); a different marker also named King Neptune (approx. 6˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anna.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 29, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 52 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 3, 2021