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Abraham Lincoln and Coles County

News Items Concerning the Lincoln Family

Dennis Hanks, cousin of Abraham Lincoln, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of Sarah Bush Lincoln by a former marriage, were born in Hardin Co., Ky. and came to Illinois from Spencer Co., In. with the Lincoln family in 1830. They finally located in Charleston in 1832. Their residence at that time was in an old log cabin situated on the southwest corner of the public square, which is now occupied by the Charleston Odd Fellows block.
Dennis Hanks was a shoemaker by trade and followed this occupation in this city until 1864 when his shop and residence was destroyed in the great fire which burned the greater part of the west side of the square. He was raised by the Lincoln family and is credited with giving the great emancipator his first lessons in reading and penmanship.
Mr. and Mrs. Hanks were the parents of eight children, two of whom are now living. They are Mrs. Harriet Chapman of Charleston, and Mrs. Amanda Poorman of Chicago. There are now living thirty-three grandchildren. Mrs. Hanks died in 1869 and Mr. Hanks in 1892 in his 93rd year. Both are buried in the old cemetery in West Madison street.
[Charleston newspaper, submitted by Src #196]

John Chapman Poorman
John Chapman Poorman, grandson of Dennis Hanks, was born in Charleston, March, 1855. He learned the trade of a printer with Dunbar Brothers, propiaters of the old Charleston Plaindealer. In 1878 Mr. Poorman and Newman Said, another Charleston printer, were associated together as managers of the Morrisonville, Ill. Gazette. Mr. Poorman died in Charleston in 1882.
[Charleston newspaper, submitted by Src #196]


Springfield, Il. - May 22 -- Unless a rescuer is found or the state acts the modest little house where the romance of Abraham Lincoln and Nancy Hanks were married is nearing destruction. The house has been sold to a Springfield real estate dealer and is to be moved from its present site to make room for the new State Centennial Building.
Whether it will descend to some other use than a habitation for human beings or will be torn down altogether has not been decided.
The "Seymour house," as it is known in Springfield, is a little red brick structure. It sits well back from the street with an expanse of lawn in front and is equipped with a wide veranda. Its rooms not only saw the queer, awkward courtship of Lincoln brought to a conclusion, but at times resounded to the voice of Stephen A. Douglas, the "Little Giant" and Lincoln's rival. Through the Civil War it was a congregating place for officers of the Federal army and for leaders in Illinois politics and business. Some of the most famous historical figures Illinois has produced were glad to enjoy its hospitality.
[Charleston newspaper --- unknown date - submitted by Src #196]

The step-mother of Abraham Lincoln still lives near Farmington, Coles county, Illinois, in a one-story log cabin containing two rooms. Aunt Sally Lincoln, as the villagers call her, is now eighty years old, and very feeble. She is a plain, unsophisticated old lady, with a frank, open countenance, a warm heart, full of kindness toward others, tall and slender, and, in many respects very much like that the President -- enough so to be his own mother. And, as he was but nine years of age at the time of her marriage with his father, it is not improbable that she had much to do in the formation of his character. She still speaks of Abraham as her "good boy" and praises his obedience. She says "Abraham and his stepbrother never quarreled, but once, and that you know, is a good deal for step-brothers." About a mile and a half from her old cabin is the grave of Thomas Lincoln, father of the President. It is marked by a piece of clapboard, on which is rudely carved only the initials "T.L."
["Lowell Daily Citizen and News", 6 Dec 1867 - sub. by Src #25]

"Grandmother" Lincoln

DEATH OF "GRAND-MOTHER LINCOLN" - We are palled (?) to learn that Grand-Mother Lincoln, step-mother of the martyr President, a noble, kind-hearted lady, died at her residence, in the southern part of this county, on Monday of last week, and was buried by the side of her husband who has long slept "the sleep that knows no waking" in this vail of tears. [The Plaindealer... April 22, 1869 - sub. by Src #25]

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