Enos Park played a key role in the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Re-enactment
Download the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Procession Route Map through Enos Park… (PDF)
2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition website…
Abraham Lincoln Funeral Train website…
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On May 4th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln made his final visit to Enos Park as his body was brought through the neighborhood along North 3rd Street on its way to his resting place in Oak Ridge Cemetery. Thousands of mourners lined the streets as the horse drawn hearse with its ceremonial black plumes moved from the Old State Capitol past Lincoln’s home at 8th Street and Jackson. The procession continued south to Cook Street, named after Brig. Gen. John Cook, who along with Major Gen. Joseph Hooker, lead the procession west to 4th Street and then north to the cemetery. Behind them came family, neighborhood friends, political allies, national, state, and city officials, the clergy and Union soldiers including General John McClernand, a long time associate of Lincoln and fellow resident of Springfield who lived at 801 North 6th Street in Enos Park. Waiting for the procession at the East Gate of Oak Ridge Cemetery were thousands of other mourners.
As the procession crossed Carpenter Street into Enos Park it passed by Edwards Place, a home Lincoln had visited many times when he lived in Springfield. Benjamin Edwards had been a long time associate of the President, and his brother Ninian was married to Elizabeth Edwards, Mary Todd Lincoln’s sister. Edwards, however, was a Democrat and had been a strong supporter of Stephan A. Douglas. In 1858 he held a huge rally in the “black walnut grove” just north of the Edwards home at what is today the corner of 4th and Dodge. This event kicked off Douglas’ campaign for state senator and eventually led to the historic series of Lincoln-Douglas debates. The black walnut trees still growing on this open lot are reminiscent of the unique history of the neighborhood.
Adding to the significance of the neighborhood’s role in Lincoln’s life are the number of Enos Park residents in the procession, including Dr. Gershom Jayne and his son, Capt. Henry Jayne, also a doctor who resided at 816 North 5th Street just one block east of the procession route and the black walnut grove. Capt. Benjamin Ferguson, son-in-law of Benjamin Edwards, who would eventually build his majestic home at 815 North 5th Street on property given to him by his in-laws, was also in the procession. Two other distinguished delegates from the neighborhood included Shelby Moore Cullom, Illinois Governor and six term U.S. Senator who had a beautiful home at 601 North 6th Street, and the Honorable Ozias Mather Hatch, Illinois Secretary of State. Hatch lived at 1005 North 7th in a home originally occupied by the Pascal Enos family; Pascal Enos was his wife’s father and one of the founding fathers of Springfield.
Before the Lincolns left for Washington, D.C. as the newly elected president and wife, they attended the wedding of Ozias Hatch to Julie Enos in the Enos home. Julie would eventually donate a section of the family estate to the city to establish a Park. Enos Park “the neighborhood” gets its name from the Park developed in memory of Pascal Enos.
As the procession moved across the train tracks to North 3rd Street, it went past open fields that are today part of Gehrmann Park. At the time it was land owned by Archer Herndon, father of Lincoln’s law partner, William Herndon. Archer had acquired the land from William Kelly whose family is recognized as the first settlers of Springfield. One of the Kelly family’s original log cabins was built in this section of Enos Park in 1821.
From this point north there was only one other home on the procession route in what is today Enos Park. Once across North Grand and into the Lincoln Park neighborhood, there were a few more estates, but 3rd Street was basically a country road leading to a distant hilly, wooded cemetery.
Thousands of visitors from around the world gathered in Springfield to participate in the reenactment of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. The historic weekend started with scholarly symposiums on Lincoln’s death and national mourning, Civil War encampments open for public viewing, and a number of Civil War era musical performances.
Enos Park was a focal point for many of the weekend activities, including the encampment of Union soldiers in our open lots and decorating our homes and walkways along North 3rd and 4th Street for the funeral procession held on Sunday, May 3rd.
Helen Edwards, Benjamin’s wife, recalled Lincoln’s death and funeral as follows:
Mrs. Edwards’ experience sets the standard for those of us in Enos Park. We were proud to host and support all of those who were our guests during that once in a lifetime event.