At noon on February 11, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln's inaugural train stopped at the Great Western Depot located here. It was the day before his 52nd birthday. He had been coming to Vermilion County for twenty years to attend Circuit Court in Danville. He spoke briefly to his friends and supporters, an audience estimated at about one thousand. The final words of his speech were:
"If I find I have blessings at my disposal, Old Vermilion will come in for a bountiful share."
Then the bell rang, the whistle blew, the train began to move, and Abraham Lincoln left Illinois, forever.