New document connects Abraham Lincoln to central Illinois

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Central Illinois has a new link to Abraham Lincoln through a mortgage document dated Sept. 10, 1844.

Employees in the Tazewell County Recorder of Deed’s office found the record after hearing the possibilities that Lincoln owned land in the area.

“We’d heard gossip six to eight months ago that Lincoln had owned a piece of property here in Tazewell. And well, with property, there’d be something here at the recorder deeds office, but we had no record offhand that we could find. So we started searching,” said John Ackerman, the Tazewell County Clerk.

The 234-acre property mortgage was given to Lincoln by John H. & Isabella W. Morrison as collateral for his legal work. They owed Lincoln and his legal partner, Stephen T. Logan, a total of $284.94.

Back then, exchanges like this were common practice, but Ackerman says there’s no record that shows Lincoln ever saw or visited the property. The property is at the southwest corner of the intersection of Allentown and Springfield Road in Tremont.

Since Lincoln didn’t own many properties in his life, it’s a rarity and shows his name forever marked as a part of the area’s history.

“It’s easy to dismiss that these are legendary figures that lived far, far away. This shows that Lincoln’s path here, that he traveled the same streets that we do today, that he was here walking amongst us in 1844,” said Ackerman.

On Wednesday, Lincoln’s 211th birthday, the mortgage record will be on display all day at the Tazewell County Recorder of Deeds Office in Pekin.

There will be a presentation, “Every document can lead to a story – A tale of three Tremont men that crossed paths with Lincoln,” at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Ehrlicher Research Center in Pekin.

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