Historic Lincoln Oak Falls in Virden

By Benjamin Cox on January 30, 2024 at 9:25am

A historic tree in Virden has toppled.

WCIA reports that the historic Lincoln Oak Tree fell this Saturday, falling into the historic Cowen House that sits next to it.

The story of the tree is well documented in local history. Young Mary Bartlett took an acorn from the ground at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield during Abraham Lincoln’s funeral and planted it in her front yard at home in Virden in 1865.

The tree and the Cowen House had become a local landmark for arborists, historians, and school classes to visit over the years.

An acorn from the tree was planted in Virden’s city park on the downtown square in 2002 in commemoration of Virden’s sesquicentennial. The tree is commemorated with a plaque. A mural of the tree can be found on the town square, and the tree was even the focus of an old town flag.

Current owner of the Cowen House, David Adcock tells WCIA that he plans on making repairs to the damaged parts of the Cowen House first and then starting on restoration of the home in the meantime. For now, the City of Virden will have the new oak in the city’s park to remember the original historic Lincoln Oak.