The Bement Connection

The Bement Connection (HMFTV)

Location: Bement, IL 61813 Piatt County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 55.406', W 88° 34.312'

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— Looking for Lincoln —

A pocket watch is meant to be used with a chain. Three styles were popular: T-bar, which slips through a vest buttonhole; spring ring, which attaches to a belt loop; and fob. Lincoln's pocket watch shown here has a shorter style chain, featuring a decorative fob on the end, allowing it to simply hang from the pocket freely, while the other end of the chain attaches to a small ring at the top of the watch for easy retrieval. Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch, with chain and fob, was inherited by his son Robert.

Abraham Lincoln passed through Bement regularly during the years he practiced law on the old Eighth Judicial Circuit and while he was campaigning in the 1850's. On one trip, he lost his gold watch. It was found near the livery by young Fannie Fristoe Scott on her way to school.When Fannie showed the watch to the livery man, he suggested it was Mr. Lincoln's. Fannie gave the livery man the watch, and he returned it to Lincoln. Fannie received a nice letter from Lincoln, thanking her for finding his watch.His last trip through here was on Monday February 11, 1861, en route to Washington, D. C. The train sped through Bement, passing through a corridor of well-wishers. As the train rushed into the countryside, the brakeman, Thomas Ross, was surprised to see a man standing with a shotgun at a trestle.This volunteer guard presented arms as the train passed by. He was carrying out the self-appointed task of seeing that the President's train got over the trestle safely. Who was this unsung hero? In the words of Clay Whig, Chicago Daily Tribune, it was one of the "sturdy yeomanry of Piatt County".

Abraham Lincoln received threatening letters the minute the results of the presidential election were official. His enemies openly bragged that "Old Abe" should never be inaugurated as President of the United States. While traveling toward the capitol in February, whispers of Lincoln's assassination were rampant. Rumors suggested he would meet his end at Baltimore, where secessionists were waiting to kill him. Detective Allan Pinkerton confirmed the assassination plot, urging Lincoln to avoid Baltimore completely. Although Lincoln was unconvinced, his travel plans were adjusted; the President-elect slipped away accompanied by Ward Hill Lamon and Mr. Pinkerton. In a soft hat and old overcoat, he boarded a special train, arriving safely in the Capital.
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Year Placed2009
Placed ByCentral Illinois Manufacturing Company
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 9:05pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 365673 N 4420441
Decimal Degrees39.92343333, -88.57186667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 55.406', W 88° 34.312'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 55' 24.36" N, 88° 34' 18.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-198 E Wilson St, Bement IL 61813, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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