Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincolns

It was the neatest thing to see five Lincolns -- and one Junior Lincoln.

Marilyn Helmer started this event 19 years ago. It's still going strong because of Marilyn, the Lincoln County Historical Society, and other volunteers.

To sit in the courthouse courtroom and listen to Tom Leahy (one of the Lincolns) tell about campaigning in Kansas was pretty special.

You could have heard a pin drop as Civil War nurse Mother Bickerdyke (Lu Adams) told about taking care of her boys on the battlefield. I found out some things about Mary Todd Lincoln (Bev Nelson) I had either forgotten--or never knew. She led a very difficult life after Abe died, including a stint in an insane asylum. Bev, like Lu, had me crying. Grace Bedell (Maruby McQueen) told Lincoln why her brothers would vote for him if he grew a beard. Good thing he listened back then.

Angela Bates gave the African American view of the Civil War like only Angela can tell it. Later some members from the Nicodemus church choir gave a mini-concert. Pictured are a few that sang.

I was very impressed with this drummer boy. He knew his role and played it perfectly, standing at perfect attention as the Lincolns filed from the courthouse and passed the junior color guard. WenDee took part in the Freedom March while I snapped pictures.

The United Methodist Church ladies had buffalo stew, grapes, and pie waiting for hungry marchers. The audience came from faraway places like Ness City and Neodesha, and many more locales I didn't hear about. One family was going to go to Springfield, IL to celebrate Abe's birthday but came to Lincoln instead! Many were educators, home-schoolers, some were little, others dressed for the late afternoon Ball.
In the end, it was all about the Lincolns. It was just one of the neatest days. Thanks to all who made it happen.
It's important that we recognize significant events that shaped our world and we thank the volunteers who spend countless hours preparing to help us "Get Kansas!"
KE #2 Marci Penner


Unknown said...

I am so glad you were there and got some good photos. I had this on my "to-do" list, but somehow forgot about it completely. Thanks for sharing your experience, sounds like an interesting day!

Anonymous said...

I used to go to Lincoln days all the time. I haven't been for years. There are several Ladies for Yates Center that never missed.