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