My Good Friend

My Good Friend (HM7X7)

Location: Bloomington, IL 61701 McLean County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 28.899', W 88° 58.841'

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Judge David Davis - Mansion

— Looking for Lincoln —

The frame house (left) that once stood on the site of this Victorian mansion was the home of Abraham Lincoln's trusted friend, legal associate, and political manager, David Davis (1815-1886). The two-story structure closely resembled Lincoln's Springfield home. But the setting was very different. Built on the outskirts of Bloomington, Davis's home was the center of a large farm. There were pastures, orchards, and flower gardens planted by David's wife, Sarah. Rows of trees lined the drive that stretched from the house to Jefferson Street. In 1870, Judge Davis, who had been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lincoln, moved the building to make way for the elegant mansion that you see today.

Abraham Lincoln Sometimes Stayed at The Davis Home during visits to Bloomington.
One memorable stay occurred during Lincoln's 1858 senatorial campaign against Stephen A. Douglas. McLean County Republicans pulled out all the stops in preparing for Lincoln's September fourth speech in the courthouse square. At 2:30 P.M., a procession marched to the Davis home to escort Lincoln to town in style. A number of banners bobbed over the marchers, among them "one of the prettiest that we have ever seen displayed at a political meeting" carried by German Americans who headed the parade. "The procession marched to the residence of Judge Davis.... and halted in front of the gate. Two carriages... proceeded to the door of Judge Davis's residence. The large crowd in front of the gate waited patiently until Mr. Lincoln made his appearance, when they gave him ?three times three.'" It was, as the Bloomington Pantagraph reported, "a magnificent demonstration."

Abraham Lincoln Remained an enduring presence in David Davis's life. On the day that Lincoln died, his twenty-one-year-old son Robert sent a telegram to Bloomington, begging Davis to take charge of the murdered president's affairs. Davis agreed, managing the estate and securing the president's papers in a Bloomington bank vault. He also served as "Tad" Lincoln's legal guardian and advised Robert regarding his mother's care. At Davis' funeral in 1886, Robert Lincoln sat among the mourners in the mansion parlor and rode in the procession of carriages, accompanying the body to its grave. Robert later recalled, "Upon my father's death I went to the Judge as a second father, and this he was to me until his death. I am deeply indebted to him for counsel and affectionate help on many occasions and revere his memory."
HM NumberHM7X7
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Year Placed2008
Placed ByLooking for Lincoln and the City of Bloomington
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 6:19pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 332118 N 4483102
Decimal Degrees40.48165000, -88.98068333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 28.899', W 88° 58.841'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 28' 53.94" N, 88° 58' 50.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)309
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 518 Mallery St, Bloomington IL 61701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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