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Collection Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana


Chronologies of key events in the lives of William Henry Herndon (1818-1891) and Jesse William Weik (1857-1930), lawyers, biographers, and collectors of Lincolniana.

A timeline for Abraham Lincoln is available at

William Henry Herndon

William Henry Herndon (1818-1891)

  1. 1818, Dec. 25

    Born, Greensburg, Ky., son of Archer Gray Herndon (1795-1867) and Rebecca Day Herndon (1790-1875)

  2. 1820

    Moved to Macon County, Ill.

  3. 1821

    Moved to Sangamon County, Ill.

  4. 1825

    Moved to Springfield, Ill.

  5. 1836-1837

    Student, preparatory department, Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill.

  6. 1840, Mar. 26

    Married Mary J. Maxcy (1822-1861), the daughter of James Maxcy and Maria Cook Maxcy, with whom he would have six children

  7. 1844

    Admitted to bar and formed law partnership with Abraham Lincoln

  8. 1854

    Elected mayor of Springfield, Ill.

  9. 1862, July 31

    Married Anna Miles (1836-1893), the daughter of George Uriah Miles and Jane McCoy Miles, with whom he would have four children, three of whom lived to adulthood.

  10. 1867

    Inherited over 500 acres of farmland in Fancy Creek Township, Ill., after father's death. Herndon renamed the property Fairview.

  11. 1869

    Sold copies of his "Lincoln Record" to Ward Hill Lamon

  12. 1871

    Moved to Fairview after losing home in Springfield, Ill., due to debts. Herndon would be forced to sell most of his farm in the coming years.

  13. 1876

    Unsuccessful campaign for district attorney, Sangamon County, Ill.

  14. 1881, Apr. 17

    Elected to school board, District 5, Township 17, Sangamon County, Ill.

  15. 1886-Jan. 1887

    Curator, Lincoln Memorial Collection, Chicago, Ill.

  16. 1889

    Coauthored with Jesse W. Weik Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life External(Chicago: Belford, Clarke. 3 vols.)

  17. 1891, Mar. 18

    Died, Springfield, Ill., just hours after his son Willie died. Interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Ill.

  18. 1918, May 30

    Tombstone dedicated at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Ill.

Jesse William Weik

Jesse William Weik (1857-1930)

  1. 1857, Aug. 23

    Born, Greencastle, Ind., son of Louis Weik (1830-1898) and Catharine Schmidt Weik (1838-1881)

  2. 1875

    A.B., Indiana Asbury (now DePauw) University, Greencastle, Ind.

  3. 1883

    A.M., Indiana Asbury University, Greencastle, Ind.

  4. 1880

    Admitted to bar but never practiced

  5. 1881

    In response to Weik's request for an Abraham Lincoln autograph, William H. Herndon sent him a double-sided leaf from Lincoln's arithmetic or sum book (now part of the Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana)

  6. 1886

    Agreement with Herndon to coauthor book on Abraham Lincoln

  7. 1889

    Coauthored with William H. Herndon Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life External(Chicago: Belford, Clarke. 3 vols.)

  8. 1890, Dec. 1

    Married Frances Almaretta Hays (d. Mar. 19, 1911)

  9. 1892

    Published Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life External(New York: D. Appleton. 2 vols.), a revised edition of Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life (Chicago: Belford, Clarke. 3 vols.)

  10. 1910

    Published History of Putnam County External(B. F. Bowen & Company)

  11. 1922

    Published The Real Lincoln: A Portrait External (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company)

  12. 1925

    Moved to Larchmont, N.Y.

  13. 1930, Aug. 18

    Died, Larchmont, N.Y. Interred Forest Hill Cemetery, Greencastle, Ind.