Monday, February 11, 2013

The Woman Who Saw Lincoln Twice

Here's an interesting article that appeared in the February 12, 1959 Lorain Journal on the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth. It was written by Jean Weaver and tells the story of a Lorain woman whose mother saw Lincoln twice during her lifetime.


Lorainite Recalls Stories Mother Told About Lincoln

Stories her mother used to tell her about having seen Abraham Lincoln were recalled by Mrs. Nellie Albaugh today as the nation observed the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Great Emancipator.

Mrs. Margaret Harvey, the mother of Mrs. Albaugh and grandmother of Mrs James C. Hageman, 305 Michigan Ave., saw Lincoln twice when he passed through Cleveland where she lived as a child.

Mrs. Harvey, who died Jan. 21, 1942, was a girl of nine the first time she saw the 16th president of the United States.

"That was when Lincoln stopped in Cleveland enroute to Washington for his inauguration in February 1861," Mrs. Albaugh said.

1915 postcard of President Lincoln lying in state in Cleveland in 1865
(Courtesy Cleveland Memory Project website)
The second time was four years later, after Lincoln's assassination. The body of the Civil War president was brought to Cleveland and lay in state on Public Square before it was taken on to Springfield, Ill. for burial.

Mrs. Albaugh's grandfather, William Simmons, was a railway engineer and ran the engine which pulled the train carrying Lincoln's body from the Cleveland Union Depot to the Euclid Ave. station.

"I remember mother telling about how she helped drape Engine 40 and how she spent most of the day before making rosettes which were put on the engine," Mrs. Albaugh recalled.

"At one time we had the oval framed picture of Lincoln which they put on the front of the engine over the headlight."

A newspaper account of an interview with Mrs. Harvey in 1930 relates Mrs. Harvey's recollection of the sadness of an entire community as the body of Lincoln rested in state in Cleveland Public Square April 28, 1865.

"It was raining quietly – as though the skies were weeping for him," Mrs. Harvey said at that time.

According to the above article, Margaret Harvey, the woman who had seen Lincoln twice, passed away on Jan. 21, 1942. So it was easy to head back to the microfilm and see if her obituary was in the newspaper that week. I was curious; was her Lincoln connection important enough to mention in her obituary?

It was indeed. Here is her obituary (below) as it appeared on Jan. 23, 1942 in the Lorain Journal.


Mrs. Margaret Harvey 
Mother of Doctor

Mrs. Margaret Harvey, 90, who saw Abraham Lincoln as he passed thru Cleveland on his way to the inauguration at Washington, D.C., died yesterday at the home of her son, Dr. W. S. Baldwin, 1153 6th-st.

Mrs. Harvey, a resident of Lorain for 39 years, formerly lived in Cleveland. Her father, William Simmons, was engineer on the train that took Lincoln to Washington for the inauguration ceremony. After Lincoln's assassination, she viewed the body as it lay in state in Cleveland.

The Lorain woman was a member of the First Methodist church here.

Survivors besides the son, at whose home she died, include two daughters, Mrs. Nellie Albaugh, Lorain, and Mrs. Walter Mahla, McKeesport, Pa.: six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Baldwin residence. Rev. A. I. Cox, pastor of the First Methodist church, will officiate and burial will be in Woodland cemetery, Cleveland, under the direction of Sidney B. Royce.

No comments: