A map of Yorkshire within England
A map of Yorkshire within England

Here’s some photos and blog posts on Yorkshire in northern England.



Some of Lincoln’s Court Cases

The Coles County Courthouse in Charleston, Illinois
The Coles County Courthouse in Charleston, Illinois

Prior to getting into politics, Abraham Lincoln practiced law in Illinois, throughout the state, including Coles and Clark counties, where some of my ancestors lived. Lincoln’s father, Thomas, and stepmother, Sarah, lived in Coles County as well, and Abe would visit on occasion.

The Coles County courthouse “existed a few years before Abraham Lincoln would enters its’ chambers to practice his trial skills. . . .”

. . . The square and the later court house (1835) would become the cultural and business of the little hamlet. Instead of covering the physical history of the building, this virtual field trip would like to consider the court house and square as a meeting place for one of America’s greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, to develop friendships and relationships in politics to mold his future. He had a whole list of relatives, and lawyers in the county that would actually guide and tutor him to success. Lincoln would practice with all the judges and lawyers of Coles County, but was actual partners with Orlando Bell Ficklin and Usher Ferguson Linder. Both of these men were of the Whig party, and then later would join the Democrat party, after the Whigs dissolved. Lincoln, of course was a Whig and then helped start the Republican Party of Illinois. Ficklin was a year older than Lincoln, while Linder was born the same year as Lincoln. They were all in their 30’s when practicing law in Coles County. According to Dr. Coleman, in his book Lincoln in Coles County, 1955, Abraham Lincoln’s court win/loss record in Coles County was about average and adequate. Records have been found for twenty-four cases. Twenty-two were civil cases of a large variety. Two were criminal cases. When he represented the plaintiff he won nine and lost two. When representing the defendant he won four, and lost five cases. In both of his criminal cases, both defendants lost, but he got pardons for both.  Lincoln can be described as always being well-prepared and always did his share of the work when working with a partner.  Probably his most famous case was representing a slave-owner by the name of Matson (October of 1847), [who] wanted his slaves returned to him. Lincoln went against his friend Usher Linder, who was defending the slaves. Lincoln lost this case. The slaves were freed. 

Abraham Lincoln did not practice in Coles County after 1857, but represented Coles residents at the Supreme Court in Springfield for appeal cases.

At least two branches of my family, the Parkers and the Goodells, lived not far from the farm where Thomas and Sarah Lincoln lived out there last years.

The Court House and the square would be a place for Abraham to visit with his nephews and nieces, cousin Dennis, and other step-relatives. He would have to travel down to Goosenest Farm to see his father and step-mother, as he often did.  He could be seen on the square and in its hotels and taverns telling stories, talking politics, and finding out just what is going on in the mind of Charlestonians. He was called “Uncle Abe” by all the Hank children. He was also known for joining in on a game with them. He would even have a running race around the court house on another occasion.

I’ll be looking through Lincoln’s cases to see if represented any relatives.


Lincoln Lying in State in Chicago

Lincoln lying in state at the courthouse in Chicago
Lincoln lying in state at the courthouse in Chicago

I discovered this drawing of Abraham Lincoln lying in state at the courthouse in Chicago after his assassination. It’s graphite and crayon on paper, and the artist is apparently unknown. The original is housed at the New York Historical Society and digital versions are available via the Library of Congress project American Memory. I assume if they brought his body all the way to Chicago that his casket must have been sent to various places throughout Illinois and the nation as well. I will have to check if the procession went to any places near my relatives, including Coles and Clark counties.


Presbyterians & The Two Elihus

Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Salem
Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Salem

On Sunday I went with a friend’s mother and his sisters to visit their church, Evergreen Presbyterian Church, part of the Presbyterian Church in America denomination. The sermon, by a pastor named Lewis, whose wife was a costume director of a musical I happened to be in at community college, was about a man named Elihu, who had scolded Job.

This reminded me of another gentleman named Elihu, a friend of Teddy Roosevelt—Elihu Root. Root probably would have been president if TR had thought he could win an election, but, alas, he didn’t and so TR went with jolly Taft instead. Root is one of those fascinating, but obscure and forgotten statesmen who have helped forge the nation. I have read some brief info on him in the American Heritage series of books on the presidents.

A few ancestors have been Presbyterians, including John Shannon Boal, veteran of the Civil War and father of Nettie Ann Boal, who married my great great grandfather Jerome Harvey Darling. The Boal clan had come from Northern Ireland to Pennsylvania and then relocated to Iowa.

When I lived in Seattle I attended a few functions at University Presbyterian Church (UPC), where Eight Is Enough star Grant Goodeve attends. (He hosts a show I like, Northwest Backroads, on the Seattle NBC affliate, KING.) UPC is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The pastor at that time, Earl Palmer, was a huge fan of C. S. Lewis, as am I.

While at Evergreen and munching on goodies after the service, I also came across copies of the Westminster Confession and brochures about the PCA.


The Changing Leaves on the Hempstead Plains

Here’s a little writeup on some hallowed ground on Long Island.

Has anyone ever counted the amount of leaves that change color and subsequently lose their vitality to the blustery autumn weather over the Hempstead Plains in Uniondale at this time of year? Or has anyone ever [counted] the number of American soldiers who have trained on the soil of those sacred Hempstead Plains before going off and changing colors like the leaves above them, soon falling victim to the gusty winds of war?

Although it may be a little too early to commemorate next month’s Veterans Day holiday, it’s always the right time to remember our soldiers.”

The plains were home to thousands of troops training during World War I at Camp Mills.

During the Revolutionary war it was known as the Hempstead Plains and used as an Army enlistment center. In the War of 1812 and in the Mexican War it was a training center for Infantry units. During the Civil War, it was the location of Camp Winfield Scott…During World War I Camp Mills was located here…Antisubmarine patrol missions were carried out in 1942 by Air Force planes based at Mitchel.”

Check out the Friends of Hempstead Plains and HempsteadPlains.com for more information.


The Chicago School of Dental Surgery

The Chicago School of Dental Surgery Building on an advertisement
The Chicago School of Dental Surgery building on an advertisement

In the 1895 city directory my great great grandfather Jerome Harvey Darling is listed as a student with the address 355 Western Avenue. (Today there is both a North and a South with this address.) He was attending the Chicago School of Dental Surgery (sometimes known as the Chicago College of Dental Surgery).

I never thought much about the family, including my great grandmother, living in Chicago during the time of the World’s Fair and while a serial killer was preying on single women. I have read some of The Devil in the White City, which is all about this time. There were more than a million people living in the city, which, for a bunch of rural folks, must have made quite an impression.

After his daughter Geneva, my great grandmother, died, my father rescued a large, framed photograph of him with his classmates in 1893. My dad also saved his certification to work as a dentist, which was dated June of 1897. He was living and working in Henry County, Iowa. There were just more than 20,000 people living in the county in 1900, which is quite a contrast with the million in the big city.

While doing research online I found a few references to the Chicago School of Dental Surgery. A man named Alfred Guthrie, Jr. appears to have been one of his classmates.

He was fond of study and research and at an early age conceived the ambition to follow in the steps of some of his forebears and become a physician. No opportunity offered itself until at the age of thirty four, he then entered the Chicago School of Dental Surgery and graduated April 2, 1895, tying with one other for second place in a class of one hundred and twenty five students. He followed his profession in Chicago.

Another graduate was Charles Edwin Bentley, who was considered by some a black radical. He graduated from the school in 1887. The Journal of the National Medical Association published a brief article on him in the December 1983 issue. W. E. B. Du Bois praised Bentley in the NAACP’s Crisis magazine.

After learning that the school was somehow associated with Valparaiso University in Indiana, Schuyler Dailey of the Valparaiso University Archives wrote to me about the Chicago School of Dental Surgery.   

. . . I have attached the explanation of the dental surgery school to Valparaiso University (previously N.I.N.S — but not owning the dental school while under that name).  So this was an independent school when your great-great grandfather was a student there.  The “announcement” (or catalog) of the Chicago College of Dental Surgery for 1903-04 lists all the graduates from its beginning in 1883/84 through  the graduates of 1902/03.  There are 3 men with the surname of Darling listed.  They are Charles Henry Darling –graduate of 1887/88;  Hiram Darling — graduate of the class of 1891/92;  and Seeley Adelbert Darling — graduate of 1902/03.

Whether or not Grandpa Darling graduated I don’t know, and I am not sure if this was a prerequiste to becoming a certified, practicing dentist.