The photo of Lincoln that you're looking at was taken in Beardstown, Illinois in 1858. It is supposedly one of the last (if not the very last) photos taken of Lincoln without a beard (and it was taken in Beardstown? Oh, the irony!). This photo gives you a pretty good idea of what Lincoln looked like when he visited Rockford 3 years previously, in 1855.

Abraham Lincoln, Illinois' favorite son (although he was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky), came to the Forest City (a name Rockford was given in 1853 by an article in the New York Tribune) in the summer of 1855 as an attorney, representing a man named John H. Manny, in a patent suit against Cyrus McCormick. Manny, with Lincoln's help, would go on to prevail against McCormick for patent rights to the "Manny Reaper" in 1856. Rockford would gain another nickname in the process, "The Reaper City."

I happened to find a few more interesting Lincoln nuggets at

For instance:

  • Lincoln wore size 14 shoes. The biggest of any American president.
  • Lincoln is enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame, having lost just once in over 300 matches.
  • Lincoln hated being called "Abe."
  • Lincoln suffered from depression, and would not carry a knife with him, for fear of using it on himself.
  • Lincoln signed off on the creation of the Secret Service...the same day he was assassinated.
  • Lincoln has no confirmed living descendants. The last one, a great-grandson, died in 1985.
  • Lincoln's coffin has been moved 17 times, and opened 5 times.
  • Lincoln is the only American president to hold a patent. He invented a device for “buoying vessels over shoals,” and received patent number 6469.
  • The last words Lincoln heard before John Wilkes Booth fired a gun into Lincoln's head were, "You sockdologizing old man-trap!" a punchline from the play he was watching, "Our American Cousin."

For the full slide-show of Lincoln facts, click here.

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