Genealogy trails


SPENCER COUNTY INDIANA


Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln in Spencer County Indiana

Abraham Lincoln was born 1809, in Kentucky. He had an older sister Sarah and a brother who died in infancy. He came to Indiana with his parents, Thomas and Nancy (Hanks) Lincoln in 1816. Thomas acquired land in Spencer County and the family lived there until March 1830.
Nancy died in 1818 and in 1819 Tom remarried a Sally Bush Johnson a widower.
In October 1844 Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at the Spencer County Court House to promote Henry Clay Whig presidential candidate.
Lincoln, during his first trip to Indiana in 14 years, was a guest at the Rockport Tavern
From Historical Marker

Mary Todd Lincoln Biography


LINCOLN, THE HOOSIER -- ABE LINCOLN

Character Sketch Of the Great American

In one corner of a country burying ground in southern Indiana there is a simple stone tablet, the Inscription on the face of which reads: "Here lies Nancy Hanks Lincoln. mother of Abraham Lincoln." This tablet was placed there to mark the last resting place of the frail little woman who gave to her country a physical and Intellectual giant—Abraham Lincoln.
That little tablet at the head of a grass grown grave marks more than the resting place of the mother of Lincoln. It is a milestone in the eventful life of this man of destiny. There in that little clearing near Gentryville. Ind.. Lincoln spent his boyhood. For 14 years he roamed over the hills and through the maple woods of southern Indiana, hunting, fishing and thinking.

A Kentucky Hoosier

He was a Hoosier. Born in Kentucky. which is only Indiana divided by the Ohio, and making his home after he was of age in Illinois. which is just across the Wabash. young Lincoln was born, reared and buried within sight of the corn fields and the green meadows of the Ohlo valley which is home to every Hoosier. His mother, a delicate creature. stricken with the fatal milk sickness two years after Thomas and his son Abe had driven the ox cart from Hardin county, Kentucky. to Spencer county, Indiana died and left them. With his own hands Thomas fashioned a coffin of green timber. using an old rip saw and a hammer as his only tools. in this unpainted casket the mother of the man of men was laid in the little cemetery near Gentryville. No services were said over the grave, and only a few neighborly mothers and wide-eyed children witnessed the burial.
This impressed the young boy so deeply that he persuaded an itenerant preacher to stop over night at the Lincoln home cabin that he might say a prayer over the newly made grave.

The Mother's Influence.

It Is doubtful if this mother had a great influence on Lincoln's early life. That the prenatal influence was great in shown by the peculiar blending in his character of the traits which his mother possessed with those of his father. plus the ruggedness he gained from the great outdoors and the refining influence of the second Mrs. Lincoln. This woman, strong, robust and full of natural mother love, was the guardian angel of the young Lincoln in his adolesent years. Disgusted at the lad's shiftlessness, a touch of which he had given the boy by inheritance. Thomas rebuked Abe often for his preference for his Pilgrim's Progress. Aesop's Fables, the life of Washington and the revised statutes of over rough field work. But Mrs. Lincoln. who was the real ruler of the home, provided a quiet place In the corner for the long-legged lad to read. and she would make the other children be quiet when Abe was In that corner.

Getting His Education.

There for hours he would sit on a stool without a back, munching a piece of bread and reading. With a piece of charcoal from the broad fireplace be learned to write on clapboards. When he went up to the garret to his bed of shucks he would take his beloved books with him and would read himself to sleep by candle light. His appetite for books and for knowledge was equally insatiable. What he could not get from books he would learn from rubbing elbows with the rough men of his section.
When asked for a sketch of himself in later life he referred to his education as being deficient, yet he knew men as no other men did and he knew conditions in America as they existed.

A Story Teller

As a story teller Lincoln was irrepressible. He liked to bear a story as well as to tell one which is the mark or the true story teller. He would rather sit by the hour and "swap yarns." as he called it than to go to a dance and gallop around the floor. His humor was as contagious as it was wholesome. He never told a story to wound anyone's feelings and his repartee was never personal. Tall, awkward and ungainly. he knew the pain of a personal thrust, although he enjoyed telling of his awkwardness and lack of beauty as much as he did hearing a new story.

His Early Years.

Lincoln was a Hoosier. The early years of his life. the years when the impressions were being recorded on the tablets of the brain that afterwards molded his character. were spent in the valley of the Ohio where men, rough rugged men, but real men nevertheless, lived next to nature without ostentaion and with a simple sincerity. His first glimpse of the law was in a revised statute of Indiana. Hls first debates took place in the Gentryville village store. the forum for the countryside. His first knowledge of nature was gained in the purple and green woods of the bottom lands. There he heard the call of the meadow lark and the bob white. the call of the wild that beckoned to him to come and sit at the feet of the greatest teacher, to commune with nature in her element.

The Boy Lincoln

The Hoosier.

Abraham Lincoln—"Abe" Lincoln sounds so much more like the man was a Hoosier. He was human, as human as the little store keeper who went to Washington Just to see "Mister Lincoln." His love for humanity was equaled only by his love of country. the country for which he gave his life. Mark Twain said of the Lincoln birth-place that it was the "little farm that raised a man." Rather, it was the little farm where a man was born. To Indiana belongs the honor of rearing the man and to Illinois the honor of giving him to the nation.

El Paso Herald.,El Paso, Tex.) February 12, 1910 (Transcribed by J. M. Kell)