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

Lincoln's Pike County

Looking for Lincoln

Lincoln's Pike County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 4, 2010
1. Lincoln's Pike County Marker

Pike County, Illinois was organized January 31, 1821,
named for Zebulon Pike, early explorer of the Louisiana Purchase and general in the War of 1812. The first settlement in 1820 was founded by Ebenezer Franklin, followed by Daniel Shinn and four sons of Micah Ross of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Atlas was laid out in 1823 by Col. William Ross and Rufus Brown and became an early county seat. In 1833 the county seat was moved to a more central location. Col. Ross advanced $200.00 to county authorities to purchase land for Pittsfield the new county seat, named after his old home in Massachusetts. It was recorded May 14, 1833. Lincoln-era sites still in the county include Mormontown, an early community led by Joseph Smith's uncle Silas Smith, and New Philadelphia, the first town in the United States to be settled by an African-American. Pittsfield's Paul Findley, a Member of Congress, 1961-1983, pioneered historic preservation laws, making the Lincoln home in Springfield a part of the National Park Service. His A Lincoln: The Crucible of Congress is listed in Burkhimer's Anthology as one of "100 essential Lincoln books".

(Upper Photo Caption)
After Abraham Lincoln's speech in Pittsfield On October 1, 1858, Daniel Gilmer requested that Lincoln have his photo taken at the gallery of Calvin
Lincoln's Pike County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 4, 2010
2. Lincoln's Pike County Marker
Close-up of upper image
Jackson on the northeast corner of the square. Lincoln sat for two ambrotype poses, but only one was finished. The original was given to Daniel Gilmer and a copy sent to Charles Lame, who was seriously injured the day before by a cannon explosion while he was preparing to welcome Lincoln into town. After photos were taken, Lincoln visited with Gilmer and other friends, including John Nicolay. Later, Nicolay took Lincoln to Heck's Bakery where they enjoyed cide and gingerbread.

With Lincoln's election as president, the county was split north and south over issues of slavery and state's rights. Pike County men answered to Lincoln's call for troops in 1861. In 1860, the population of Pike County was approximately 30,000, with an estimated 6,000 voting-age men. Pike County put in the field 3,132 men, over one-half male voters. Fifteen infantry companies were organized in Pike County, including Co. H of the 73rd Illinois Regiment. Also, the entire 99th Illinois Regiment and three cavalry companies were organized in Pike County. Soldiers from Pike County participated in major battles throughout the war, including the Atlanta Campaign, Chickamauga, Corinth, Missionary Ridge, Stone River, Shiloh, and Vicksburg. Ulysses S. Grant and the 21st Illinois Regiment camped east of Perry in June 1861, the only time a regiment entered Pike County during the Civil War.
Lincoln's Pike County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 4, 2010
3. Lincoln's Pike County Marker
Close-up of lower image
2009 by Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 36.416′ N, 90° 48.352′ W. Marker is in Pittsfield, Illinois, in Pike County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Street (U.S. 54) and Madison Street, on the right when traveling west on Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is located at southwest corner of County Courthouse Square. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsfield IL 62363, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pike County's Lincoln (here, next to this marker); Commemorating (within shouting distance of this marker); Reuben Scanland House (approx. mile away); Mormontown Site (approx. 4.1 miles away); Earl C Smith (approx. 7.1 miles away); Civil War Monument (approx. 7.4 miles away); Atlas (approx. 10.9 miles away); Oldest Building in Pike County (approx. 10.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsfield.
More about this marker. The marker is part of a double-sided interpretive sign with the marker Pike County's Lincoln on the other side. As noted on the marker, this marker / exhibit was made possible through a generous gift from the Findley Family; Lewis
Pike County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 4, 2010
4. Pike County Courthouse
As viewed from marker
Grigsby, Sr. Family; Wanda Hutter; and Kent and Kathy Zimmerman.
Categories. PoliticsSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 30, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 432 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 30, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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