Abraham Lincoln in Pittsfield
Pike County in general and Pittsfield in particular have an incredibly rich history and ties to many historical characters. The most famous of these would be Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President. Lincoln had many friends in Pittsfield and spent a great deal of time here beginning in the 1830's. His law practice and later, political ambitions, brought him back to Pike County numerous times. This page contains a few of the more prominent houses he frequented and a brief description of each. With the exception of the Shastid House, all are privately owned and occupied.
For more information or to make a donation please submit to Abe Lincoln Project P.O. Box 62, Pittsfield, IL 62363 or call City Hall (217) 285-4484 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Shastid House is located at 326 E. Jefferson Street in Pittsfield. John Greene Shastid and his family entertained Lincoln during his numerous visits to Pittsfield.
The Star Hotel on North Monroe St. was built by Capt. George Edward, half-brother to Dr. Thomas Shastid. He sold it to the Watsons who said Lincoln used to stay there.
The Grimshaw House at 750 W. Perry St. was the site of Wm. Grimshaw's law office. He and Lincoln worked on several cases together and later had Lincoln represent him in federal court.
|Milton Hay House
The Milton Hay House is located at 332 W. Washington - Presidential Secretary John Hay lived here while attending the Thompson Academy. John was a nephew of Milton Hay, an attornery who studied law under Lincoln.
The Scanland House is located at 402 W. Washington Street. Mrs. Scanland's turkey dinner grew cold while Lincoln was telling tales at the local drug store. Mayor Scanland was with Lincoln at the time.
|The Lame House
Located at 409 E. Fayette Street. Mrs. Lame denied Lincoln access to her house to visit her injured husband, Charles. Lincoln had an ambrotype taken in Pittsfield and delivered it to the Lames.
|The Gilmer Site
The Gilmer site is where Daniel H. Gilmer's home and law office were located. It was at the southeast corner of E. Washington and Monroe, the present location of First Bank. Lincoln visited Gilmer's home & office often. Gilmer was a leading attorney and Whig supporter. Lizzie, Gilmer's daughter had charged Lincoln a toll to attend a luncheon her mother had prepared for her father, Lincoln, friends and leading political supporters.
|The Colonel Ross House
The Ross House is located a short distance east of Pittsfield on State Highway 106. Lincoln stayed here during his 1858 Senatorial campaign visit. Ross helped secure Lincoln's nomination for President in 1860. Other delegates included William Grimshaw.
|The Garbutt House
The Garbutt House is located at 500 E. Washington Street. Presidential Secretary John Nicolay was taken here at age 16 by foster parents Reverand and Mrs. Zachariah Garbutt. Nicolay later wrote an article advocating Lincoln for President.
|The Noyes House
The Noyes House is located at 629 E. Washington Street. Michael Noyes was the founder and editor of Pike County's first newspaper in 1841 "The Sucker and Farmer's Record". Noyes Family history says Lincoln gave a speech here.
|The Heck Bakery Site
The Heck Bakery site is presently Irving & Irving Law Building located on Adams Street directly north of the Court House. It is also the site of the first Pike County Courthouse in Pittsfield. John Nicolay took Lincoln to "Penny Hecks" for cider and gingerbread October 1, 1858 during his Senatorial campaign visit.