The Gem Inside the Logan County Courthouse in Greenfield Village, Michigan

B. Nash at the door of the Logan County Court House ("Come on in!")

Henry Ford acquired the chair that President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in while seated in Ford’s Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. It is on display inside the Henry Ford Museum. He also purchased the Logan County Courthouse that Abraham Lincoln the lawyer practiced his profession in during his circuit work. It now stands in Ford’s Greenfield Village. Those are two significant Lincoln items! But there is one more Lincoln item that Ford obtained. It’s a “gem.” What is it?  Well. first I’ll tell you where it is-it’s inside the Logan County Courthouse. It’s a cabinet. It sits in a corner in the courtroom. 

According to the Henry Ford employee who was stationed inside the courthouse building, the cabinet was built by Abraham Lincoln’s father Thomas Lincoln. Not only that, but he further stated that young Abraham Lincoln, aged 9 or 10, helped his father make it. It is a beautiful piece of furniture. It reminds me again that Thomas Lincoln has taken a “bad rap” over the years. He is often portrayed as a lazy man with no ambition. However, this cabinet tells me that he was quite skilled in his carpentry work-and that he took pride in the finished product. It tells me he was meticulous, purposeful, and creative. The cabinet, he further explained, was a gift by Thomas Lincoln to a Mrs. Crawford. Mrs. Crawford was very helpful in caring for things during the illness of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. This help continued after her death, as well.  Out of gratitude, Thomas Lincoln (and young Abraham) made the item and gave it to her. The employee didn’t know how Henry Ford bought it. See the two pictures below of the cabinet:

Wood cabinet built by Thomas & Abraham LincolnAnother view of the cabinet

Postcard from the Henry Ford Museum

Another view of the cabinet

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13 Responses to “The Gem Inside the Logan County Courthouse in Greenfield Village, Michigan”

  1. Teresa Fuhrmeister says:

    I know this is an old thread. I really need to reach Mr. Steve Haaff. I have a very old corner cupboard that has been in my family for about 100 years. It came out of a wealthy home in the oil region of Franklin, Pa.
    It is very similar in appearance to the cupboard here, with a few minor differences.
    Thank You for your time,
    Sincerely,
    Teresa

  2. Susan Burns says:

    I have an early corner cupboard that came from Kentucky, where my grandmother was born. Some of its lines sure look like the one David and Sally Lutz had that was written about and featured on TV. It’s pained a gray/green/blue color. I’d love to know more about how to research it. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!

  3. Vicky Reany Paulson says:

    I’m a descendant of Thomas Hanks, who would be Nancy Hanks Lincoln’s Uncle, and resided in Logan County, Ohio. I’m enjoying the preservation of Thomas Lincoln’s fine workmanship. He worked for Richard and Francis Berry, in Kentucky, makers of fine furniture. His brother, Mordicai, lived near them, and Thomas lived with him.

  4. Steve Haaff says:

    I would like to see a photo of Barbara Lenard’s Lincoln corner cabinet.

  5. Barbara Lenard says:

    WE HAVE A LINCOLN CORNER CABINET
    DATED 1814 ;it is 4 doors ;stands 7 ft and is 4 ft 4 in wide. If you would like a photo of it, send me your e-mail address.

  6. Steve Haaff says:

    Thomas and Abe made a corner cabinet for a wedding gift when Sarah Lincoln married Aaron Grigsby. Sarah and Aaron’s cabin was just a couple of hundred yards from where Elizabeth and Josiah Crawford lived. Following the death of Sarah, due to complications during childbirth, Aaron remarried and the cabin he shared with Sarah was given to his sister who took possession of the cabinet Thomas made. This cabinet in now in the possession of the University of Michigan and is housed in the Clementes Library. Thomas also built a corner cabinet for Aaron’s father, Reuben Grigsby. It now belongs to Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. Keep in mind Thomas made all kinds of furniture. Corner cabinets were large, heavy, and difficult to move so they were seldom transported which would account for their high survival rate. Also, corner cabinets were expensive so they were handled with great care!

  7. B. Nash says:

    Steve:
    Thanks for visit Abesblogcabin and for filling in this great information.

  8. Steve Haaff says:

    Thomas Lincoln was a cabinet maker by trade. There are many extant examples of his work, some of which are even better quality than the walnut corner cabinet at the Ford Museum. All the furniture in the Crawford cabin was ‘purchased’ by Elizabeth and Josiah from Thomas. Since Nancy Hanks Lincoln died in 1818, and the Crawfords never came to Spencer County until 1826, Elizabeth Crawford would not have nursed Nancy during her illness. Also, there is an extant step-back cupboard Thomas and Abraham made for the Crawfords housed in the Lincoln Pioneer Village in Rockport,In. The design of both cabinets match.

  9. B. Nash says:

    Thats it s far as Lincoln things at the Henry Ford Museum. I agreed with what you said about the other reason for the bad rap that Thomas gets.

  10. Chris says:

    I didn’t know this was up in Michigan. How many other Lincoln related things are at the Ford Museum?

    I remember seeing a cabinet along the lines of this in Kentucky when I was down there visiting the Lincoln sites about 10 years ago. Maybe that one’s a replica (or there could be more than one known surviving cabinet).

    I think another one of the reasons Thomas gets a bad rap is because of the way he treated young Abraham.

  11. B. Nash says:

    Oh yes I’ve known that. Glad to see you know it!

  12. Evelyn Respress says:

    The pictures of the cabinet and chair are beautiful, good reserch, you are truley a Lincoln man.

  13. Evelyn Respress says:

    In 1849, Lincoln obtained Patent No. 6,469 on a device that was designed to keep boats afloat when they passed over a sandbar or entered shallow water; to this day, he is the only president to hold a patent.

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