Metro-East News

Still a ‘beacon of hope’: Lincoln’s funeral re-enacted in Alton

Lincoln-Douglas Square in Alton is site of President Lincoln funeral re-enactment

Re-enactment of Abraham Lincoln funeral 150 years after his death
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Re-enactment of Abraham Lincoln funeral 150 years after his death

One hundred and fifty years ago, Abraham Lincoln’s body traveled from Washington to Springfield, where he was buried.

On Saturday, dozens turned out in downtown Alton to view a re-enactment of the 16th president’s funeral.

“This is such a special event,” said Alton Mayor Brant Walker.

People wore period costumes and retold the personal stories of Lincoln. Mary Todd Lincoln, Lincoln’s wife, spoke to the crowd gathered at Lincoln-Douglas Square on Saturday morning, along with the undertaker and coffin-maker, and a train employee who worked on the funeral train. Each recounted their experiences.

A replica of the hearse that carried Lincoln’s body was on display.

Although Lincoln’s body never came to Alton, Alton-Godfrey Rotary President Elizabeth Parker noted that he was important to the region and debated Stephen Douglas at the site of the re-enactment.

After Lincoln was killed, businesses in Alton were closed, flags were lowered to half-staff and guns were fired every half-hour to honor him.

“Lincoln remains a beacon of hope in a world riddled with hate, prejudice and murder,” said state Sen. Bill Haine, who spoke at the ceremony.

Lincoln remains a beacon of hope in a world riddled with hate, prejudice and murder.

Bill Haine, state senator from Alton

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