Asahel Gridley's Bank

Asahel Gridley's Bank (HM12WE)

Location: Bloomington, IL 61701 McLean County
Buy Illinois State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 40° 28.717', W 88° 59.6'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
"My line of defense is going to be that your tongue is no slanderer...that the people generally know you to be, impulsive and say things that you do not mean, and they do not consider what you say as slander," was Lincoln's defense of Gridley in a slander suit brought by William Flagg. Known for emphatic language and intemperate outbursts. Gridley was a key element in the development of Central Illinois. At Jesse Fell's encouragement, Gridley became a lawyer. As a lawyer, as a plaintiff, and as a defendant, he crossed legal paths with Lincoln over one hundred times. Gridley was an advocate for fair dealing with black Illinoisans. In 1853, while in the state legislature, he opposed laws to oppress African-Americans as a backdoor attempt to bring slavery into Illinois. With these principles, he was elected to the State Central Committee of the newly organized Illinois Republican Party. He used his influence to ensure that both the Illinois Central Railroad and the Chicago and Mississippi Railroad would pass through Bloomington. Later, serving as land agent for the Illinois Central, he made over $80,000, and upon this his fortune rose.

By 1856, Asahel Gridley was coming off his success as land agent for the Illinois Central Railroad; had acquired full ownership of the McLean County Bank and moved into his new bank building (pictured on the left). This Italianate building, restored in 1994, was built to house the bank. While running the bank, Gridley's business interests expanded. He took control of the gas manufacturing plant and expanded its production and customer base. Gridley had an unfailing ability to make money from new technologies, coupled with a deep understanding of finance. Lincoln, who represented the Illinois Central Railroad in many matters and was also engaged with Gridley in other legal work, often visited here.

An impatient Asahel Gridley telegraphed to Lincoln on December 12, 1859, "Hon. A. Lincoln When will you come The Flagg case wants attention A.Gridley"
Telegraphy, electric communication with simple code, was the email of the pr-Civil War era. Sets of long and short signals were sent through copper wire. The signals were codes that represented letters of the alphabet. messages sent were written out in longhand by the telegraph operator. The message, called a telegram, was then personally delivered by hand to the recipient of the message. The first telegraph was installed in Bloomington in 1853. Gridley was an investor in the local company. Lincoln became familiar with telegraphy in his legal practice, which led to his deep use of it during his presidency.

HM NumberHM12WE
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 1:47pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 331038 N 4482789
Decimal Degrees40.47861667, -88.99333333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 28.717', W 88° 59.6'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 28' 43.02" N, 88° 59' 36.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)309
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-199 E Front St, Bloomington IL 61701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?