While riding the 8th Judicial Circuit as a young prairie lawyer, Abraham Lincoln frequently visited the community of Pontiac. Lincoln represented a number of local citizens in legal actions, and made connections here that helped him to rise to prominence in state and national politics. One of the most interesting connections revolves around Lincoln's friendship with local attorney, Jason W. Strevell. Today, the Lincoln Story Trail tells the many stories of Lincoln’s connections to this lovely community. Each year, travelers from around the world make Pontiac a stop on their cross-country U.S. Route 66 adventure and visit many of the Route 66 attractions in the community.

Read more about Lincoln and his connections to Pontiac here.

For more information:

The Pontiac Museum Complex and Visitors Center
110 W. Howard Street
Pontiac, IL 61764



Nearby Sites

Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum
110 W Howard Street Pontiac, Illinois 61764

Good for Kids Museum Passport Site Route 66 Visitor Information

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum is the repository for thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia from the glory days of the Mother Road.

Come learn the history of Route 66 in Illinois, see images of the road's wonderful history, and hear a few great stories about life in America when Route 66 was the most important highway in the nation. 

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Strevell House
401 W. Livingston St. Pontiac, Illinois 61764

Friends of Lincoln Historic House Route 66

Among the many connections Pontiac has to Abraham Lincoln, one of the most interesting revolves around Lincoln's friendship with local attorney, Jason W. Strevell.  

Strevell and Lincoln were close friends and shared many hours together in conversation. One of the most documented meetings between these two gentlemen occurred on the evening of January 27, 1860. Lincoln, earlier that day, accepted an invitation to speak to the Pontiac Young Men's Literary Society. He was in Bloomington for a trial and took an afternoon train to Pontiac. His speech was only a moderate success, and after the presentation, Lincoln went to the Strevell house to spend the night. Strevell and Lincoln stayed up late, talking about politics, slavery, and the other national and local issues of the day. During the course of the conversation, Strevell suggested that Lincoln might be selected as the Republican Party's presidential candidate at the upcoming party convention. Lincoln argued that he might be chosen as a vice-presidential candidate, but did not believe he would gain the top spot on the ticket.

As the conversation turned to less important topics, Strevell, who was six foot tall, said he did not believe that Lincoln was really 4 inches taller than himself. Lincoln offered to let himself be measured and stood in a doorway in his stocking feet while Strevell made a scratch in the door frame to mark Lincoln's height. Strevell then measured, from floor to the mark on the door frame, and found Lincoln to be exactly, 6 foot, 4 inches tall.

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Abe Lincoln Stranded Here
299 N Oak Street Pontiac, Illinois 61764

Route 66 Wayside Exhibit

200 Block of North Oak Street - by County Market Grocery

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Citizenry Mourn Lincoln
200-248 N Vermillion Street Pontiac, Illinois 61764

Route 66 Wayside Exhibit

Located at Fell Park - 200 Block North Vermillion Street - Across from the former Chicago & Alton Depot

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County Seat Almost Moved
130 W Washington St, Pontiac, IL 61764 Pontiac, Illinois 61764

Good for Kids Route 66 Wayside Exhibit

South Side of Courthouse Square, near statue of Lincoln. Be sure to pose with Abe, and get your photo taken!

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