Danville in Vermilion County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
“If I find I have blessings at my disposal, Old Vermilion will come in for a bountiful share.”
Then the bell rang, the whistle blew, the train began to move, and Abraham Lincoln left Illinois, forever.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Lincoln 1861 Inaugural Train Stops series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1862.
Location. 40° 7.476′ N, 87° 37.553′ W. Marker is in Danville, Illinois, in Vermilion County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street, on the right when Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danville IL 61832, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Abraham Lincoln (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lincoln / Lamon Law Office (approx. ¼ mile away); Lincoln's Danville Friends (approx. ¼ mile away); Danville's Lincoln (approx. ¼ mile away); The Temple / Danville USA (approx. ¼ mile away); Lindley Sign Post Forest (approx. 0.3 miles away); American Revolutionary War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Women's War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danville.
More about this marker. Marker is a large plate mounted on brick base. Parking behind site marker.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Lincoln’s Illinois Home - 360° Virtual Tours. Follow the links for Virtual Reality tours of Lincoln’s Springfield, Illinois life that he left to become President during a very troubled time. (Submitted on November 28, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. More Lincoln Tours. Follow links for a number of photo tours of Lincoln's Illinois life. (Submitted on December 14, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
3. The "Real" Lincoln Highway. Points to the 'original path' that Lincoln took traveling as a Circuit Lawyer during the years of 1847 - 1853. The fourteen Counties of their Circuit have markers existing at each Court house and County Line Crossed, as per Guy C. Fraker - author of the work titled The Real Lincoln Highway: the Forgotten Lincoln Circuit Markers. For Lincoln students and they that seek a better understanding of life in the 1860's - - this is indeed a Historical trip through the heart-land of America on the roads of Illinois. (Submitted on August 23, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
4. Trail to Freedom - Part A ::. Courtesy "YouTube" and "The Lincoln Institute":: Leaving Illinois, Lincoln's Inaugural Journey was the "Trail to Freedom"! (Submitted on February 13, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
5. Trail to Freedom - Part B ::. Courtesy "YouTube" and "The lincoln Institue":: Leaving Illinois, Lincoln's Inaugural Journey was the "Trail to Freedom"! (Submitted on February 13, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
6. Video - - "Abraham Lincoln Biography. . ." - (Courtesy - YouTube)::. (Submitted on February 15, 2013, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
1. Lincoln's Trip
The stop at Danville, Illinois (1,632 pop. in 1861) was not scheduled by the Great Western Railroad Company. One of Lincoln’s law offices was in Danville, and his junior partner Ward H. Lamon was from Danville.
Lamon was not only a friend, he also became Lincoln’s personal body guard. He traveled to Springfield, Illinois, to start the inaugural trip in order to accompany Lincoln all the way to Washington, D.C. The many friends of Lincoln and Lamon who lived in Danville demanded a stop there. This stop made the train late at State Line, Indiana, arriving there at 12:38 P.M.
The only other stops in Illinois were made at Decatur and Tolono. A pilot locomotive may have traveled in front of the Presidential Special Train to make sure the way was safe.
The Great Western Railroad was a “standard gauge” railroad. (A railroad’s gauge is the width between the rails.) It could go no further than State Line City, Indiana (commonly called State Line, Ind.) because the tracks from there to Lafayette, Indiana, were the narrow gauge tracks of the Wabash Railroad Company.
In the early days of railroads each railroad company was separately chartered by each state. Many times there were track differences at the state borders to make sure that other companies’ cars could not illegally use their tracks. Small towns grew up at these junctions making a business of moving freight and passengers from one train to another. Naturally the passengers also needed to be fed! State Line, Indiana, became so large in its early years it was thought it might grow to be bigger than Danville, Illinois. The Civil War and time proved differently.
Lincoln’s military security team kept a low profile in the State of Illinois and dressed in civilian clothing. As they left Illinois they changed to military uniforms to be seen more prominently. The day’s events—problems at Fort Sumpter—jumped into everyone’s mind and emotions. A number of death threats had been made on Lincoln’s life.
The Civil War years brought about a number of changes to railroads, including more standardization of track gauge.
— Submitted February 18, 2008.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 29, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 4,098 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on February 18, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 29, 2007, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.