When Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, present day Hodgenville was known as Hodgen's Mill. It was settled in 1789 on land owned by Robert Hodgen, owner and operator of the mill. This area also included a tavern and a store. Due east of this settlement was the Kirkpatrick stone house, which was one of the few places that Abraham Lincoln recalled from his early childhood in Kentucky.
Hodgen held several important positions in Hardin County. He was one of the first justices of the Hardin County Court, served as sheriff of Hardin County, and as a member of the state Legislature. Robert Hodgen died almost one year to the day after Abraham Lincoln's birth. Eight years after Hodgen's death, his widow Sarah Larue Hodgen, and their two sons, Isaac and John, filed a petition with the Hardin County Court to establish a town "on the land of Robert Hodgen, deceased, agreeable to a plan submitted, to be called and known by the name of Hodgenville." The settlement officially became Hodgenville on February 9, 1818. The Lincolns by this time were settled north of the Ohio River in southern Indiana.
[ Insert - 'Robert T. Lincoln' Letter ]
My dear Mr. Mather;
I want to renew the expression of my high appreciation of the services of the Lincoln Monument Commission, which had so large a part in the noble statue of my father at Hodgenville. Such a tribute to his memory by the people of the county and state in which the earliest years of his life were spent, has given me very great gratification, and I shall remember always the cordial good-will which surrounded me every moment during my visit.
I beg you will convey my heartfelt thanks to each of your associates.
Very sincerely your,
Robert T. Lincoln
A June 2, 1909, letter from Robert T. Lincoln, son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, to commission chairman Chris M. Mather.
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* Heritage Trail *
1809 — Abraham Lincoln born at Sinking Spring Farm, in present-day Larue County, Kentucky.
1816 — Lincoln family moved from Kentucky.
1841 — Abraham Lincoln visited his friend Joshua speed at Farmington, the Speed family plantation, in Louisville, Kentucky.
1842 — Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd of Lexington, Kentucky.
1847 — The Lincoln family visited Lexington, Kentucky, en route to Abraham's only term in Congress.
1860 — Abraham Lincoln elected President of the United States in November.
1865 — Abraham Lincoln assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.