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

Lincoln's Carriage Maker

Looking for Lincoln

Lincoln's Carriage Maker Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 9, 2012
1. Lincoln's Carriage Maker Marker
Lincoln brought his buggy to Obed Lewis for servicing at his shop on the north side of Monroe Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets.
When Lincoln first arrived in Springfield riding a borrowed horse he wondered at the "great deal of flourishing about in carriages" he saw here. Eventually he could afford to buy his own. A lawyer friend recalled that Lincoln's blacksmith-made buggy was "a most ordinary looking one." Maintenance included occasional tire and floor repairs, repainting, and "oiling" the carriage top. The year before he ran for president, Lincoln had Lewis hang new interior silk curtains by glass hooks to the edge of the carriage roof. Lincoln also purchased a $7.00 wheelbarrow from Lewis and a $30.00 sleigh for winter transport. In 1852 Lincoln had Lewis replace his old buggy with a new carriage for $260---but a week later he brought it back for repairs! The next day he exchanged his new carriage for yet another. Even Lincoln it seems was not immune to buying an occasional "lemon."

The American House Livery Stable was on the Southwest corner of Seventh & Monroe Streets. Here guests at Springfield's

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most prestigious hotel boarded their animals while visiting Springfield. The workshop of Lincoln's carriage maker, Obed Lewis, is in the foreground. A photograph from the 1890's (right) shows Obed Lewis in his senior years sporting a cane and reclining in a chair while visiting with another old-timer, Roland W. Diller, who owned a drugstore frequented by the Lincolns.

Horses were an important part of Lincoln's Springfield world. Horses provided locomotive power, carrying riders, pulling wagons and carriages---and producing manure that often piled up around the stables. Flies abounded and the stench could at times be stifling. One-in-twenty of Lincoln's neighbors worked with horses for a living, as teamsters, saddlers, wagonmakers, horse dealers or liverymen. In town it was illegal to "gallop" a horse. An ordinance also forbid flying kites in the city for fear of spooking horses. "Putting a stallion to a mare" brought a $5.00 fine for "indecent exhibition of horses." Lincoln used city hay markets instead of gas stations; carriage shops instead of auto repair garages; stables instead of parking lots. He didn't have to buy licenses or liability insurance.
Erected by State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency & Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:

Lincoln's Carriage Maker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 9, 2012
2. Lincoln's Carriage Maker
AnimalsIndustry & Commerce. 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 1852.
Location. 39° 47.946′ N, 89° 38.785′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on South 7th Street just south of East Monroe Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Animal Problems (within shouting distance of this marker); The Children's Lincoln (within shouting distance of this marker); Mary Lincoln's Family (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln-Era Fire Companies (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Florville's Barber Shop (about 300 feet away); Republican Wigwams (about 400 feet away); Lincoln's Horse (about 400 feet away); Historic Grace Lutheran Church (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Obed Lewis and Roland W. Diller image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 9, 2012
3. Obed Lewis and Roland W. Diller
Credits. This page was last revised on October 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 749 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 5, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Mar. 2, 2024