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

Lincoln's Real Estate

Looking for Lincoln

Lincoln's Real Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
1. Lincoln's Real Estate Marker
"His love of wealth was very weak....he said he had no capacity whatever for speculation and never attempted it."
So said attorney friend Joseph Gillespie who once asked Lincoln how much land he owned and why he had never speculated in land. Lincoln had replied, according to Gillespie, that "he had no capacity whatever for speculation and never attempted it." While attorneys in Bloomington and elsewhere---David Davis and Asahel Gridley of Bloomington; Clifton H. Moore of Clinton; and Stephen A. Logan of Springfield---accumulated thousands of acres of farmland and town lots, Lincoln acquired very little. In addition to the two lots he owned briefly in Bloomington, and the home in Springfield. Lincoln owned 160 acres in Iowa, using warrants issued as a result of his participation in the Black Hawk War, land acquired in Coles County, Illinois, to protect his parents, and a lot given to him in Lincoln as payment for legal services. According to his long time friend James Matheny of Springfield, "in worldly matters Lincoln was a(s) prudent and careful as the average man, yet he never succeeded in acquiring very much
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online

Abraham Lincoln purchased lots 11 and 12, at the northwest corner of Jefferson and McLean, in Bloomington's Evans Addition from David Davis' cousin Levy Davis and his wife Lucy Davis on October 6, 1851, for $325. Lincoln retained the lots for nearly five years. On April 12, 1856, he and Mary Todd Lincoln sold the lots to Francis Thomas for $400. Thomas built a house on the property. Owned by various individuals over the years, the house and property were eventually bought by Dr. Marie Crothers, mother of noted playwright of early twentieth century Broadway fame, Rachel Crothers. Dr. Marie Crothers was the widow of Dr. Eli Crothers of the "Chicken Bone Case" (1856) which Lincoln tried.

Abraham Lincoln and Levi Davis, a cousin of David Davis had served in the Illinois General Assembly together in the 1830's. Over the years, as attorneys, the two had worked together and opposed each other. Although Lincoln was a Whig and Davis a Democrat, Lincoln wrote in 1861, that he considered Davis "a very highly valued friend of mine of long standing." It is not known what Lincoln's purposes were in acquiring the property.

Although some have speculated that Lincoln intended to move to Bloomington, that is unlikely because Springfield was the site of the Illinois State Supreme Court where Lincoln frequently practiced on behalf of clients all across the state.

Lincoln's Real Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
2. Lincoln's Real Estate Marker
Certainly, speculation may have been a factor, for two weeks before Lincoln purchased the property; David Davis had observed that buyers "are running crazy at Bloomington with property."
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Events. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1865.
Location. 40° 28.833′ N, 88° 59.317′ W. Marker is in Bloomington, Illinois, in McLean County. Marker is at the intersection of East Jefferson Street and North McLean Street on East Jefferson Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bloomington IL 61701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ezra & Barbara Prince House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Horace and Nora McCurdy House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oscar and Sara Mandel House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ruben & Laura Benjamin House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Edward & Ora Gridley House (approx. 0.2 miles away); John and Caroline Roush House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eugene and Mary Funk House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lawrence and Mary Jane Weldon House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bloomington.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 570 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 16, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
Paid Advertisements

Jun. 5, 2023