....Through Sandridge and Oakford precincts
during the 1830s is possible through careful research
of available documents. The following annals reflect
Lincoln's great interest in this Sangamon wilderness.
APRIL 1831. Abe Lincoln first visited this area as
a helper on a flatboat on the way from Sangamon town
to New Orleans via the Samgamon, Illinois, and
Mississippi Rivers. On April 19 the boat lodged on
New Salem mill dam and probably made it to Miller's
Ferry. Sandridge Precinct by the 20th or 21st. Since
the river was low that year, it is doubtful they floated
at night. Very likely, they tied up for the night at
MARCH 13, 1832 Lincoln and a group of
interested friends walked to Beardstown to meet the
"Talisman", a steamboat enroute to Springfield via
the Sangamon River. On the trip back, they used their
long handled axes to chop overhanging tree limbs
obstructing the way.
1832 According to a Sutton family story the
"Tailsman" tied up for the night at their mill at the
mouth of Clary's Creek which then emptied into Swiss
Slough. Lincoln was a crew member. This was their
first acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln.
MARCH 15, 1832. Lincoln's House of
Representative candidacy platform speech appeared
in the Springfield paper. His detailed description of
improvements necessary to make the Sangamon
navigable is proof of his great interest in our area.
MARCH 25, 1832 The "Talisman" docked at
Sangamontown near Springfield. Because of the
declining water level, a week later Lincoln helped
pilot the vessel on its hasty return to Beardstown. By
now. Lincoln was well acquainted with the Sangamon
JULY 17, 1832. Lincoln returned by boat from the
Black Hawk to Havana, then walked to New
Salem via Miller's Ferry. He and George Miller were
now close friends.
1833-1834. Lincoln engaged in business at
1834. Upon mastering surveying. Lincoln was
appointed Deputy Surveyor of Sangamon County. His
area in the northwest part of the county included
JANUARY 29, 1835. Representiative Abraham
Lincoln introduced a bill for a road from Springfield to
FEBRUARY 6, 1835. Lincoln made a motion to
the House for an "act to improve the navigation of the
Sangamon River" from Beardstown to Miller's
DECEMBER 11, 1835, Lincoln chaired a House
committee and was subsequently appointed to
consider incorporating the Sangamon Valley Canal Company.
DECEMBER 12, 1835. He supported bill to
incorporate the Beardstown Sangamon Canal Company.
FEBRUARY 13, 1836. Promoting the canal
company. Lincoln addressed a large crowd at
Petersburg, Illinois pleading to the people to buy
subscriptions. Seventy-eight shares were sold with
Lincoln purchasing one. At this time the proposed
canal prospects seemed good.
MARCH 8, 1836. A petition written by Lincoln was
circulated and presented by George Miller to the
County Commissioners for a new road to be
established from the Morgan County Line near
Watkins's Mill northeast to Miller's Ferry. The road
would pass from one end of the precinct to the other.
MARCH 16, 1836. Lincoln purchased a tract of 47
acres at $1.25 per acre on the Sangamon River a mile
east of Miller's Ferry (N pt NW ¼ Sec 3 T 19-N-R 7 W)
Old fishermen still refer to this long hair pin
curve in the Sangamon River as "Lincoln's Bend"
MARCH 1836. Lincoln surveyed the town of
Huron at Miller's Ferry for a group of Springfield
MAY 21, 1836. Lincoln certified survey of Huron
at the eastern terminus of proposed Beardstown and
Sangamon Canal at Miller's Ferry.
JUNE 1, 1836. Lincoln surveyed and located the
Watkin's Mill-Huron road and then northeast towards
Pekin. Oakford was founded on this road in 1872
OCTOBER 30, 1836. Lincoln stopped at Deer Lick
Tavern overnight enroute to survey Bath, Illinois.
NOVEMBER 1, 1836. Lincoln again stayed at the
Deer Lick Tavern as he returned from Bath via
Purdy-McGinnus Ferry. The tavern was located a
quarter mile southwest of the Royal Armstrong
JANUARY 16, 1837. Lincoln presented the
Beardstown and Sangamon Canal petition to the
House of Representatives.
MAY 9, 1837. Apparently sensing the doom of the
proposed canal. Lincoln sold his tract of land near
Miller's Ferry for $30.
JULY 13, 1837. Lincoln presented a bill for a road
from Beardstown to Petersburg through Robinson
Mill on Clary's Creek. Robinson and Lincoln were
good friends. Family stories tell of Lincoln boarding
often with the Miller's while surveying in the area.
As these facts prove. Lincoln was deeply
interested in our area. Undoubtedly, Lincoln was a
friend to many of the early settlers---perhaps your
In the 1870s the railroad crossed Lincoln's
Walkin's Mill to Miller's Ferry road. At this crossing
William Oakford and Colson had the town of Oakford
surveyed in 1872.
Shortly afterwards, the exodus from Robinson
Mills (Bobtown) began. Some moved their houses to
this more promising site.
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