Thursday, February 6, 2014

Indiana; The Other Land of Lincoln

Entrance to Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Lincoln City, Indiana

Lincoln's boyhood home, Spencer County, Indiana

As we prepare to celebrate President’s Day, my Hoosier mind goes immediately to our 16th president and his connection to Indiana. Although Illinois lays claim to the slogan “Land of Lincoln,” I could argue that Indiana also has a right to share that mantra since the beloved president spent his formative years in the Hoosier state.

Nancy Lincoln Monument

In 1816 Thomas Lincoln moved his little family, including seven-year-old son Abe, to Spencer County in southern Indiana. There, two years later, Thomas’s wife and Abraham’s mother, Nancy, died of milk sickness. She is buried there near the site of the family’s cabin.
Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln
 In 1819, Thomas married widow Sarah Bush Johnston and brought her to his Indiana home to become the beloved second mother to Abe and his sister Sarah.


It was during his growing-up years in Indiana that young Abe acquired both a love of books and the honest work ethic that stayed with him throughout his life. With the closest school a four-mile walk from the Lincoln cabin Abe was, most often, what we would now call “home-schooled” by his step-mother, Sarah.
Many an evening, the boy who would one day be president, lay before his Hoosier hearth, reading the books that would help to form him into a leader capable of shepherding a divided country through a bloody civil war.



Lincoln's years as a boy in Indiana also taught him the value of hard work and instilled in him a
deep-rooted sense of honesty that later fostered his

famous moniker, Honest Abe.


Ambitious and hardworking, young Abe was always busy. He often hired himself out to clear land, plow fields, or split rails to build fences. The marker above lists some of the jobs Lincoln did as a youth in Indiana. His reputation as a rail-splitter went on to become a campaign slogan when he ran for president.

2009 Lincoln penny reverse
commemorating Lincoln's
formative years in Indiana

I think it is altogether fitting that in 1909, Abraham Lincoln’s was the first presidential likeness to appear on an American coin; the penny. A hundred years later, the Coin Act of 2005 called for four new penny designs, each commemorating a different stage in Lincoln’s life; his birth in Kentucky, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois, and his presidency in Washington D.C.


If you have an opportunity to travel to Indiana, I’d encourage you to visit Lincoln City in Spencer County where you’ll find the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Lincoln State Park, Lincoln Amphitheater, and Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum, all dedicated to the memory of our 16th president and his strong ties to the Hoosier state. You can check it out at

 Ramona Cecil is a poet and award-winning author of historical fiction for the Christian market. A proud Hoosier, she often sets her stories in her home state of Indiana.

Check out her latest release at




  1. Ramona,

    Interesting! I hadn't realized Nancy Hanks Lincoln was only 35 when she died, nor did I know there were new Lincoln pennies. I'll start paying closer attention.

    Write on!
    Because of Christ~

  2. Those were surprises for me, too, Sharon. Glad you stopped by! :-)

  3. Thank you for sharing this fascinating history, Ramona. We have visited Lincoln's birthplace and his boyhood home in Kentucky.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Brittney. I visited Lincoln's boyhood home in Spencer County, Indiana many years ago. I'm putting it on our "Places to See" list for this coming summer.

  4. I never knew that Abe Lincoln was raised in Indiana. Interesting! Thanks for your post. sharon wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. Hi, Sharon! I think a lot of people are unaware of Lincoln's Indiana connection. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Very interesting Ramona. Since getting active on the author historical links on Facebook I have learned such interesting facts about our history. Sure didn't learn so much in history when I was in school. I didn't know any of this. Thanks. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com