Happy Birthday Mr.President! Abe Lincoln Turns 205 Today

Happy Birthday Abe!  Today, Abraham Lincoln turns 205.

Lincoln's bust in Waukegan commemorates his visit to Lake County

Abraham Lincoln is an historical icon, known the world over for freeing the slaves during his term as America’s 16th President.  But did you know that Lake County and Lincoln have history too?

Born in Hardin County, Kentucky, and later relocating with his family to Springfield, Lincoln also made his way to Lake County.  Which is a lot easier to do these days!  Luckily for him and for the residents of Waukegan, the train line from Chicago to Waukegan, better known to us as the Metra North Line, gave Lincoln an opportunity to visit Lake County.

On April 2, 1960, only weeks before being nominated for president, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Waukegan and visited some of his friends.  He dined at the home of Waukegan’s first mayor, Elisha P. Ferry, at the corner of Julian and County Streets, before giving his speech.  Unfortunately he was cut short by a fire, but being the hero that he is, he rolled up his sleeves and helped put out the blaze.

Elisha P. Ferry

Exhausted, Lincoln stayed the night at the Ferry home, purchased a new suit atWaukegan clothing shop Durkin and Durkin and then headed out to Chicago in the morning.  You can still see a piece of this historic trip at the Waukegan Historical Society, where the bed he slept in is still on display in their Lincoln room.

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