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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greencastle in Putnam County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Abraham Lincoln's Biography

 
 
Abraham Lincoln's Biography Marker image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy:: Marilyn S. Wolf, June 10, 2012
1. Abraham Lincoln's Biography Marker
Inscription.

Greencastle Courthouse Square
6 West Washington Street

William Herndon
Jesse Weik
Abraham Lincoln
and
Greencastle


During the long, hot summer of 1887, William H. Herndon of Springfield, Illinois, the former law partner of Abraham Lincoln, came to Greencastle to visit his young friend Jesse W. Weik, a native of Greencastle who had graduated from Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in 1875. Upon graduation Weik obtained a position in the United States Pension Bureau in Springfield, and here these two men met and became close friends. Both had a deep, abiding interest in the life of Lincoln, and it would in time become their dream to together write a book on the true life of Lincoln.

Following Lincolnís assassination, William Herndon, realizing Lincolnís great future impact upon history, began to collect all things he deemed pertinent to Lincolnís life. In time this collection would become awesome, and today it now rests in some of our nationíĎs greatest libraries. Herndon, with his boxes of papers, arrived by train in Greencastle August 1st. He stayed at the Richardson Hotel (now demolished) on the northeast corner of College and Walnut Streets, where he rocked away the hot summer evenings on its front porch.

These two men were now ready
Plaque Photo - - "William Herndon" image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy:: Marilyn S. Wolf, June 10, 2012
2. Plaque Photo - - "William Herndon"
to collaborate on the book they had long planned. Their office was on the second floor over this building in what was then the Weik Grocer-Bakery. Here they labored daily for long hours in what must have been intolerable heat. Herndon wrote rapidly and with flourish, drawing upon his personal memories and his cherished papers. Weik edited Herndonís pages, wrote some of the chapters himself, and gradually brought the manuscript into publishable form. Weik can be credited with providing the intellectual discipline necessary to bring Herndonís long dream to fruition. Without his help the book might never have been published.

Herndon left Greencastle for his home in Springfield the first week in September, old and tired out. He died there March 18, 1891. But he had lived to see the book published in the summer of 1889, under the long title “Herndonís Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, the Historical and Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln.” This book has found an honored place in our countryís literary and historical heritage. In 1892 a second, somewhat-altered edition was published.

Herndonís great Lincoln Collection had been left in Greencastle. The bulk now rests in our United States Library of Congress, the Rare Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C. Jesse Weik devoted the rest of his life to writing and lecturing
Plaque Photo - - "Abraham Lincoln" image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy:: Marilyn S. Wolf, June 10, 2012
3. Plaque Photo - - "Abraham Lincoln"
on the life of Lincoln, sharing generously his information with all who were interested. He died in August 1930 at his daughterís home in Larchmont, New York. He is buried in Greencastle.

And so William Herndon came to Greencastle one day, and Abraham Lincoln became a part of Greencastle history.
 
Erected by Heritage Preservation Society.
 
Location. 39° 38.635′ N, 86° 51.814′ W. Marker is in Greencastle, Indiana, in Putnam County. Marker is at the intersection of South Vine Street and East Washington Street (U.S. 231), on the right when traveling south on South Vine Street. Touch for map. Located on "Heritage Wall". It is on the top row - - third plaque from the right. Marker is in this post office area: Greencastle IN 46135, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eli Lilly & The Civil War ( 1861–1865 ) ( here, next to this marker); Cannon's Men's Wear 1891 -- 1985 ( here, next to this marker); Percy Lavon Julian ( 1899--1975 ) ( here, next to this marker); Eitel's Flowers ( here, next to this marker); Julian Family Home ( here, next to this marker); Donald J. Cook ( 1915 - - 2005 )
Plaque Photo - - "Jesse Weik" image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy:: Marilyn S. Wolf, June 10, 2012
4. Plaque Photo - - "Jesse Weik"
( here, next to this marker); Women in Greencastle History ( here, next to this marker); The Founding of the Lilly Family in Greencastle, Indiana ( here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greencastle.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Other markers related to William Herndon and Abraham Lincoln..
 
Categories. Notable Events
 
"Heritage Wall" image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy:: Marilyn S. Wolf, June 10, 2012
5. "Heritage Wall"
Wide View - - Abraham Lincoln's Biography Marker image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy:: Marilyn S. Wolf, June 10, 2012
6. Wide View - - Abraham Lincoln's Biography Marker
This is the building in which Herndon and Weik worked on Lincoln's Biography, as per this markers text:: ""Their office was on the second floor over this building in what was then the Weik Grocer-Bakery.""
Other View - - Abraham Lincoln's Biography Marker image. Click for full size.
By Courtesy:: Marilyn S. Wolf, June 10, 2012
7. Other View - - Abraham Lincoln's Biography Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 12, 2012, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 491 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 12, 2012, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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