Sunday, August 29, 2010

Iowa, the Land of Lincoln - Say What?

Illinois claims to be the "Land of Lincoln." His birth state Kentucky also celebrates its famous son. But 42N's Iowa can also claim a piece of Abraham Lincoln pie.

The future 16th President of the United States was awarded two land warrants in Iowa for his service in the Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Black Hawk War in 1832. These warrants were exercised for land in Crawford and Tama countries.

So what does this tract of land in Tama county look like? First of all there are signs posted on Iowa Highway 63 north of Toledo, Iowa to help get you about four miles north and two miles west of the highway. That puts you smack dab in Iowa's corn and soybean fields.

Lincoln's particular 40-acre tract is located atop a rolling hill and meadow. This season the land is in hay production, as is evidence by the round bales seen in these photos. In 1977 the Iowa State Historical Society and the Alpha PSI chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International created and paced an aluminum plaque on the property.

By several accounts Lincoln was reportedly proud of this track of land, even paid 75 cents tax on it, but never saw the property. Following his death, Mary Lincoln quick claimed the land to their son Robert. He later sold the property. 

Being present on this historic land for a short time, smelling the freshly baled hay, and watching waves of wind push over soybean fields adjacent to the field, its possible to imagine this tract then and now. Somehow if Abraham himself had worked the land before his presidency, it would look like this now. He would be pleased. Know that.