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Springfield Ordinances for Lincoln's Funeral Unearthed

WUIS/Lee Strubinger

Planning is underway for next year's 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. The city of Springfield is contributing to those preparations by giving a set of historic documents to organizers.

The deputy city clerk of Springfield stumbled upon something historic in the city’s archives — four city ordinances related to President Lincoln’s funeral.  Rianne Hawkins says she found the documents in the city’s vault.
           “I’m a little bit of a history buff and so, obviously being in Springfield Lincoln is everywhere.  So just out of curiosity I decided to start poking around our books, because we have records dating all the way back to the beginning of the city.  And to see what we had,” Hawkins said.
One of the ordinances appropriated $20,000 to offset funeral costs. Hawkins says that's the equivalent of about half-a-million dollars today.  Another resolution offered 218 acres of land at Oak Ridge Cemetery for the burial site, which four aldermen voted against.
The documents were digitized by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and reproductions were given to the Lincoln Funeral Coalition.
Springfield will host a series of anniversary events in April 2015.

Lee Strubinger completed the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting graduate program and is currently in Colorado.
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