Abraham Lincoln Sites in Pekin

Sites in Pekin with ties to Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Sites in Pekin

Pekin, Illinois 61554, United States

Created By: Pekin Public Library

Tour Information

Late local history researcher Dale Kuntz identified numerous sites in or adjacent to downtown Pekin that have connections with Abraham Lincoln during his life in Illinois and his career as an attorney in Central Illinois. In 2008, during preparations for the 2009 celebration of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, Kuntz proposed the creation of a "Walk Where Lincoln Walked" route in Pekin. This walking tour follows the route that Kuntz proposed, highlighting 18 of the sites Kuntz had researched.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The first time Abraham Lincoln ever came to Tazewell County was in 1832. After the Black Hawk War during which Lincoln served in the Illinois Militia, Lincoln took a canoe down the Illinois River on his way back home to New Salem. As he nea... Read more
One of Pekin's early hotels was the Eagle Hotel, located on the south side of Court Street at the intersection of Front Street (now within Pekin Riverfront Park). Pekin's pioneer historian William H. Bates confusingly claimed Tazewell Hous... Read more
One of Pekin's pioneer settlers was named Samuel P. Higginson, who lived in a house on Lots 16 and 17 of Block 3 of the Original Town of Pekin. Those lots are located on the north side of Susannah Street about midway between Front and Secon... Read more
Joshua Wagenseller, a prominent Pekin merchant, was a leading member of the local Whig Party (later a Republican) and a good friend of Abraham Lincoln, who several times visited or stayed at the grand and beautiful Wagenseller house during ... Read more
These railroad tracks along Third Street run along the same rail bed of the railroad company that Abraham Lincoln defended in court even as rails were being laid down. This was the 1857 case of Charles Sprague v. The Illinois River Railr... Read more
In the 1830s this lot was the property of Lewis F. Crain. Benjamin Kellogg Jr. was appointed administrator of the estate of Lewis F. Crain, which included properties scattered all over town. Unfortunately Crain was $21,000 in debt at the ti... Read more
This was the site of the home of Isaac A. Hawley, son of Pekin pioneer settler Gideon Hawley. Abraham Lincoln worked as Isaac Hawley's attorney during the settlement of Gideon Hawley's estate, but Isaac Hawley failed to pay Lincoln's attorn... Read more
Rev. Gilbert S. Bailey, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, organized First Baptist Church of Pekin in 1850 and initiated a building fund campaign for a church. Bailey wrote to Lincoln asking if he would become a subscriber to the building fund. L... Read more
This is the home of Illinois inventor Jonathan Haines (1808-1868), who was a younger brother of Pekin co-founder William Haines. After Jonathan's death, the home passed to Jonathan's younger brother James Haines. It is thought that this hou... Read more
This lot was part of the estate of Pekin co-founder Nathan Cromwell (1784-1836), and Abraham Lincoln was retained as an attorney in the settlement of Cromwell's estate. Pioneer traditions dating from no later than the 1850s relate that Cr... Read more
During the mid-1800s, John J. Spillman ran a blacksmith and pattern shop on the south side of Court Street, the second door west of Fifth Street. Spillman and David Lawler made an agreement concerning a plow. Lawler gave Spillman a promisso... Read more
N. H. Wilson ran a grocery store at this location in the 1830s, and Seth Wilson worked as a clerk in the store. Seth was called as a witness in the Sept. 1838 case of Crain v. Crain et al., a dispute over a land sale in which Abraham Lincol... Read more
The current Tazewell County Courthouse was built in 1914-1916. It replaced a somewhat smaller courthouse located on the same site, which stood from 1850 to 1914. Prior to 1850, Tremont was the county seat and the location of a domed Neo-Cla... Read more
This was the location of the home and law office of James Harriott, who came to Pekin in 1849 from Jersey County, Illinois. Harriott later was elected a judge of the 21st Judicial Circuit in 1857 and was reelected judge in 1861. As a Pekin ... Read more
William B. Parker was a Tazewell County attorney in Abraham Lincoln's day who had his law office at this site. Lincoln partnered with Parker in many cases. The accompanying image is of an early 1870s business card showing the location of t... Read more
In Abraham Lincoln's day, the spot now occupied by the Court Place Apartments high rise was the site of the Flint & Co. Pork House, which was owned and operated by Thompson J. S. Flint and Watson Matthews. Flint and Matthews sold the po... Read more
The 1852 case of Gill & Rupert v. Webster was a Tazewell County case in which Abraham Lincoln was involved, and the settlement of the case included 20 gallons of peach liquor. "Webster" was  Remington K. Webster, whom Lincoln represen... Read more
This was the location of the Tazewell House hotel (later called Bemis House). Abraham Lincoln and other attorneys often stayed here when court was in session in Pekin. It was probably in the lobby of Tazewell House where Lincoln first encou... Read more


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