1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Gen. Grant
Page 499

There probably will be some people in a few generations hence that may think a history without the name of Grant would be like the play of Hamlet with the one great character left out of it.

For the gratification of many such people, it is considered not out of place to speak of Gen. Grant as a retired citizen of Illinois, whose fame is a part of the heritage of Mason County, as also of the State and nation. As a military hero, his name will probably be handed down to posterity, in the ages that are to come, as the greatest of any age or country.

In another part of this volume of history, the character of Abraham Lincoln is more fully discussed, because he was a citizen of Menard County at one time. So long as Illinois is remembered as the home of Lincoln, Douglas and Grant, the State will remain immortalized.

Some two years ago, after his retirement from the Presidential chair, which he had occupied for eight years, Gen. Grant and family started out upon a voyage around the world, and visited every crowned head and every nation of people in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. The progress of his journey was a continuous ovation of the people in every nation and every land, from the highest monarch to the lowest serf-each one vying with others in the effort to do the greatest honors to the plain republican citizen of Illinois as he advanced from one county to another.

The great fame of the country to which he belonged, was one of causes that led to the bestowal of such unprecedented honors upon Gen. Grant, but his personal qualities as a man and a soldier constitutes the crowning glory of the character whom the world delighted so much in honoring.

On the 20th of September, 1879, Gen. Grant returned from his wanderings and again his feet pressed upon the soil of his native land in the city of San Francisco, Cal., where he was met with such a reception as was never before given to mortal man in America.

At the time of writing this brief sketch, Gen. Grant is still the quest of the Golden City. His return to his home in Illinois will be marked in every town and city through which he passes, by the same spontaneous outburst of the joy of the people that greeted him on his arrival.

Many papers have been urging the nomination of Gen. Grant for another term of the Presidency, which could add no new luster to a fame that already fills the world.

One of the active papers in this movement is the one from which the following lines are copied, as indicative of the swelling tide of the "Grant, boom:"


Oh! The Boom, the beautiful Boom!
Crowding the earth and sky for room:
Over the ocean, over the land,
With the pace of a whirlwind's four-in-hand,
       Whooping along,
Beautiful Boom, it is going it strong.
Filling all space with a music so sweet
That the spheres find it trying to keep their feet,
Beautiful Boom, white-wing'd as the dove,
Bright as an angel, and constant as love.


Oh! The Boom, the beautiful Boom!
How it grows as it goes, and continues to loom:
Whirling about in its glorious fun,
It plays in its glee, like a giant Krupp gun.
       Quivering by,
It lights up the face and sparkles the eye.
E'en the man in the mood cannot fail but agree
That the man of the Boom is a bigger than he.
The country's alive, and its heart's making room
To welcome the rule of the beautiful Boom.

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