As an artist I walk the world with open eyes, my oil paints, and journal a little about the places I visit, whether I wander a 1000 feet or 1000 miles away from home. I like to know where I go.
I recently visited Lincoln, Illinois and learned it is the only town named for Abraham Lincoln before he became President. Evidently a train needed water and Lincoln was a lawyer in the right place at the right time.
During the 1800’s westward railroad expansion, steam trains frequently stopped for water. With a bit of insider information, a railroad director, a large landowner, and the county sheriff partnered up and platted a town around a planned railways water stop.
The partners hired Mr. Lincoln, the railroads sharp attorney to draft the legal papers and then magnanimously persuaded him to share his name with the town. He modestly accepted, and on August 27, 1853 Abe split open a watermelon and christened the new town Lincoln.
Today, Lincoln is a charming town surrounded by fertile fields of corn. A majestic stone courthouse sits square in the center of an active downtown, brick paved streets line beautiful parks and artistic Victorian homes grace the neighborhoods. I went to pay my respects to beautiful Lilly, the towns’ newest offspring. To share in the joy of a new life beginning in Americas heartland, a place that became, because once a train needed water.
On the way back to the airport, I painted a harvested cornfield.
Illinois corn field
oil on linen 4″ x 5″