The City of Urbana is celebrating its connection with Abraham Lincoln. Come join Mayor Prussing and Alderman Dennis Roberts in dedicating Urbana’s Lincoln Elm Tree and commemorative plaque (pictured below) at 5:30 PM on Monday, September 17, 2012, at the Urbana Autozone at 606 East Main Street.
During a political rally in Urbana on September 17, 1856, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech under a magnificent elm tree just east of downtown Urbana. The story, discovered in 2008 during Urbana’s bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birth by the committee organizing the celebration, appeared in newspaper articles of the day. Using sources found at the Champaign County Historical Archives, the committee was able to pinpoint the location of the tree as just to the east the Autozone Corporation at 606 E Main Street. In Ruger’s Bird’s Eye View of the city of Urbana published in 1869, there is a large tree on the east side of downtown Urbana, which may be the first depiction of the elm tree. Unfortunately, the tree no longer exists.
The City of Urbana together with the Historic East Urbana Neighborhood Association and the Urbana Autozone Corporation have planted an elm tree and placed a commemorative plaque near the site of the original elm tree to celebrate this connection with Abraham Lincoln. Join us for the dedication.