Forgotten Landmark: Mrs. Lincoln's Home

Forgotten Landmark: Mrs. Lincoln's Home
The plaque at 1232 W. Washington on the Near West Side (Neil Arsenty, 2013)

Tucked away on a small building at 1232 W. Washington Boulevard on the Near West Side hangs this old forgotten historical marker from 1937. It reads:

Mrs. LINCOLN'S HOME

On this site stood the home Mrs. Abraham Lincoln bought in 1866 and occupied for about a year with her son "Tad."

The Hyde Park history website had this to say about the residency:

…she would settle into a home of her own in Chicago, a row house on West Washington, between Ann and Elizabeth streets, no longer standing. Erratic, she did not stay there long. Scheming ceaselessly to raise cash to pay off $20,000 in shopping debts which she had concealed from her husband, who had been busy with the Civil War, she would later sell some of her Washington Street furniture to the Hyde Park Hotel for $2094.50. Mind the fifty cents. The furniture probably burned up with the hotel in the late 1870s.

Mary Todd Lincoln, dressed always in high-fashion black, lived seventeen unhappy, troubled years as a widow. A pathetic ruin by 1882, when she was 64, she died in Springfield in the home of her sister, who had urged her not to marry Abraham Lincoln in the first place.

UPDATE (April 2018): Shortly after I wrote this article in 2013, the building was completely overhauled and the plaque was removed; it was never replaced and its current whereabouts are unknown.

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    Neil is a comedian and web content specialist. He lives in Ukrainian Village.

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