Today, the Illinois Centennial Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin remembers the statue honoring Abraham Lincoln unveiled and dedicated 97 years ago.
The Blue Book of the State of Illinois published in 1921 included two separate mentions of the statue:
One of the principal features or the Illinois Centennial celebration in 1918 was the unveiling of monuments marking historical spots in the State. Perhaps the most striking of these is the statue of Abraham Lincoln by Andrew O’Connor, erected in the State Capitol grounds at Springfield.
This monument is a huge bronze statue of the statesman and represents him as he appeared when he left his home in Springfield to assume the duties of President.
On the back of the large granite tablet which serves as a back ground for the monument are engraved the words of his farewell.
A statue of Abraham Lincoln, by Andrew O’Connor, representing him as he appeared the day he left Springfield to take up his new duties as President, was erected immediately in front of the State Capitol and dedicated on Saturday, October 5, 1918.
The statue was erected at a cost of $50,000.
It stands on a large base approached by granite steps and as a background there is a huge granite slab, on the back of which is carved Lincoln’s Farewell Address to Springfield:
My friends: No one not in my situation can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting.
To this place and the kindness of these people, I owe everything.
Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man.
Here my children have been born and one is buried.
I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington.
Without the assistance of that divine being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail.
Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well.
To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
The Illinois Centennial Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin shows against another artistic work by Andrew O’Connor featuring the Lincoln family, circa 1865.