“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jonesboro in Union County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Where Lincoln Walked

Looking for Lincoln

— 1858 —

Where Lincoln Walked Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, November 26, 2020
1. Where Lincoln Walked Marker
Inscription.  In 1858, Jonesboro was the bustling county seat of one of the state's oldest counties. Founded in 1818, Jonesboro was located on twenty acres donated by John Grammer. Several early politicians came from Jonesboro, including Representative John Hacker, Secretary of State Alexander Field, State Treasurer Abner Field, U.S. Senator Richard Young, and Lt. Governor John Dougherty. Dougherty's home still stands west of the square. Prosperous businesses, including the Union House Hotel pictured on the right, operated with goods shipped along the plank road to and from Willard's Landing on the Mississippi. Jonesboro boasted churches, Jonesborough College, a Masonic hall, and a women's seminary. Two 1850's Lutheran churches are still standing south of town.

At the time of the debate, Abraham Lincoln had few supporters with whom to visit in this Democrat county. The evening before, Lincoln and host D.L. Phillips went to the Union House to meet with Chicago Press and Tribune reporter Horace White and stenographer Robert Hitt. History reports they sat in front of the hotel to watch Donati's Comet. The next morning Lincoln, accompanied
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by Phillips and eleven-year-old son Judson, rode to the Mississippi River. Returning to Jonesboro, Lincoln visited the home of Dr. Henry Hacker. Mrs. Hacker recalled that Lincoln was so kind that everyone liked him. Lincoln also spent some time at the courthouse, conversing with local politicians. Senator Douglas arrived by train, accompanied by the Jonesboro Band, which had met him in Cairo the previous evening. At two o'clock the band marched to the fairground followed by Douglas in a carriage and a cannon brought from Cairo. Mr. Lincoln followed, walking with his hands behind him and his head bent forward, apparently in deep meditation. The bandleader inquired who the tall man was - he was identified as Lincoln.

The old brick courthouse Lincoln visited was the third one to have stood in the center of the square. Even though it was being used in the 1850's, it was in poor repair, with a dirt floor. The plasterer was putting the finishing touches on the new courthouse on Market Street while Lincoln and Douglas were debating at the fairgrounds. The plasterer later recalled that he was not interested enough to stop his work and listen to the debate. During the Civil War years, Union County had divided loyalties. Even though southern sympathies were still strong here, over eighteen hundred local men fought for the north. The Jonesboro Gazette was closed
Where Lincoln Walked Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, November 26, 2020
2. Where Lincoln Walked Marker
Marker is in front of First National Bank-Jonesboro.
by militia in 1863 for anti-war editorials.
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 this topic list: Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1858.
Location. 37° 27.108′ N, 89° 16.092′ W. Marker is in Jonesboro, Illinois, in Union County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street and Broad Street (Illinois Route 146), on the right when traveling north on North Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 N Main St, Jonesboro IL 62952, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lincoln-Douglas Debate (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln-Douglas Debates (approx. 0.4 miles away); Background of the Debates (approx. 0.4 miles away); Jonesboro Station, Anna (approx. 1.3 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); Illinois Central (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); World War II Memorial (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jonesboro.
Lincoln Steps Display image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, January 26, 2020
3. Lincoln Steps Display
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 29, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 236 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.   3. submitted on November 29, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio.

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Dec. 9, 2023