Origins of Calumet City and Abraham Lincoln Funeral Train
Image Courtesy of Karen Kruse
The marker is located in Calumet City, on the northwest corner of the intersection of State Street and State Line Avenue.
The Calumet City Historical Society, Calumet City, and the Illinois State Historical Society
Two blocks north of this corner the funeral train of Abraham Lincoln entered Illinois at approximately 10:15 a.m. on May 1, 1865, on the Michigan Central Railroad right-of-way.
In the autumn of 1869, the founders of the state slaughter house walked east along the railroad tracks and they searched for a suitable site to establish their business. The property they chose was north of the tracks on the east side of the Illinois-Indiana border. The company shipped its first load of dressed, refrigerated beef out of Hammond in October.
Within a few years, some of the land south of the tracks on the Illinois side, once owned by Stephen A. Douglas, an attorney for the Michigan Central and a political colleague of Lincoln, became home to many employees of the packing plant. By 1891, the plant was known as G.H. Hammond and Company and employed approximately 1,000 men and women, many of whom lived in the neighborhoods on or just off State Street, including Freitag's Subdivision, which had been created in 1879 in the vicinity of Lincoln Avenue and State Street. Freitag's Subdivision and the residential neighborhoods on Douglas, Ingraham, Forsythe, and Plummer Avenues and the commercial establishments along State Street were incorporated as the village of West Hammond, Illinois, in 1893 and became known as Calumet City in 1924.
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