Abraham Lincoln in Decatur, IL
Decatur was an important locale in Lincoln’s life and we celebrate his time here with a multitude of statues and wayside attractions.Download the Shadows of Lincoln Brochure
Macon County History Museum
The Prairie Years and Victorian Era in Central Illinois come to life in exhibits at the Macon County History Museum. “The Lincoln Connection Exhibit” tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s connection to Decatur and Macon County, and displays one of only two matching chairs that Lincoln owned and used in his Springfield, IL law office. Extensive Lincoln papers and reference materials can also be found in the Museum’s library. The Prairie Village on the museum grounds is home to such historic buildings a replica of the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced in the 1830′s, an 1850’s log house, an 1860’s one-room school, a smithy and a print shop.
Main & Merchant, Downtown Decatur
A statue of Abraham Lincoln commemorates the site of his important “Stump Speech” that propelled him into political prominence.
421 W. William St., Decatur – This historic Decatur landmark is the beautifully restored Victorian home of Richard J. Oglesby, a close friend of Lincoln. You can visit the mansion website here.
W. Main Street, Front Lawn, Shilling Hall, Millikin University
This Abraham Lincoln statue celebrates his arrival in Macon County at the age of 21.
Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park – Lincoln’s First Home in IL
The Lincoln Trail Homestead is the location of the first Lincoln family settlement in Illinois. Thomas Lincoln, his wife, step-son, two step-daughters and their husbands and children, along with young Abraham, lived in that location approximately twelve months. After an arduous winter of 1830-31, and illness in the family, Thomas Lincoln moved his family to Coles County, to the area now known as the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. Abraham did not accompany them, but remained in central Illinois to make his own way, and the rest, as they say, is history. The family’s coming to settle in central Illinois happened this way.
Busey Bank & Trust Parking Lot
130 N. Water St., Decatur – A plaque marks the site of “The Wigwam” where Lincoln was nominated for President by John Palmer during the 1860 Illinois Republican Convention. Also introduced at this site was Richard Oglesby’s famed slogan, “Abe Lincoln, The Rail Splitter Candidate for President of 1860.”
Southwest Corner of Main and Main Streets – Downtown Decatur
A bronze monument marks the original site of the old log cabin courthouse where Lincoln tried five cases.
Entrance to James Millikin Homestead, West Main Street, Decatur
A bronze circuit marker recalls Lincoln’s route through Decatur on the Eighth Judicial Circuit.
Birks Museum – Gorin Hall – Millikin University Campus
On display are an 1851 Lincoln letter, bronze casts of Lincoln’s hands and a replica of a Lincoln life mask. The museum is located on the second floor and is not ADA accessible.