John & Judy Lyons

Henry Clark and abraham Lincoln


Milton Clark's father was Henry Clark who was born in Kentucky in 1805, four years before Abraham Lincoln.  He was one of the first settlers in Menard County and became a major land owner.  He started with 80 acres in 1828 and had four girls and one son, Milton.  

     Henry Clark served with Mr. Lincoln in the Black Hawk War.  Henry was a prominent citizen and had extensive land holdings in Menard County.  Henry was considered one of the "Lincoln Boys" and Lincoln leveraged Clark's local influence while living in the area.  When New Salem friend William G. Greene (A store clerk within Lincoln at Offut's New Salem Store) went to Washington, D.C. during the Civil War, Lincoln asked if they were backing him in Petersburg.  William Greene told the President that "Clark" was opposing him in the upcoming election.

     "Bill, when you go back home, go see Henry Clark and tell him I sent you."  Said the President, "Say to him that at one time when he had a hard fight on his hands, I stood by him and now that I have a hard fight on, I want him to stand by me!"

     When Clark got the message, he told Greene: "Tell Abe Lincoln that Henry Clark remembers, and that he and his house will stand by him."

    

The Rest of the Story

Mr. Lincoln once served as Clark's second in a fight with Ben Wilcox after Clark and Wilcox had engaged in a lawsuit.  "After the conflict the seconds conducted their respective principals to the river, washed off the blood, and assisted them to dress," Robert B. Rutledge later told William Herndon.  "During this performance, the second of the party opposed to Mr. Lincoln (John Brewer) remarked, "Well Abe, my man has whipped yours, and I can whip you." Now this challenge came from a man who was very small in size.  Mr. Lincoln agreed to fight provided he would 'chalk out his size on Mr. Lincoln's person, and every blow struck outside of that mark should be counted foul.' After this sally, there was the best possible humor and all parties were as orderly as if they had been engaged in the most harmless amusement."  The match was to have important consequences for Mr. Lincoln's social acceptance and political success. (Source: Lehraman Institute on Lincoln Studies).

     

about the Owners

Indian Creek Farmstead (LLC) is owned by John and Judy Lyons.  During the past few years our families have visited many "Agri-tainment or Agri-tourism" sites throughout the Midwest.  Each year, the families would share their "finds & experiences" with each other and pick the most popular features that would be incorporated into our Farmstead.  We already had the perfect farm setting, vintage farm buildings, rolling hills, scenic views and are located just a few short miles to historic Petersburg, Illinois, Lincoln's New Salem and the Lincoln sites in Springfield.  In the past few years, we have acquired adjoining land, began cutting trails through the forest and added to the infrastructure to make the perfect venue for fall festivals, entertainment for kids & adults, and a tourist spot for connecting with nature and an agricultural experience.  Today, our dreams have been realized and we want to share our excitement about the land and its bounty with generations of visitors.  We offer a clean, convenient and educational learning experience about farm life.  It's also a destination for entertainment, food, festivals and other activities throughout the year.  Please check back often to find out upcoming events.  And be sure to "Like us" on Facebook so we can keep you up to date on fun happenings.

Part of the farm was started by Milton W. Clark in 1865, the year of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, who spent his formative years just a few miles away at Lincoln's New Salem.  The farm was passed on to his sons and then sold several times during the next century.  With the addition of the last parcel of a large part of the original '1865' tract, the land is now back together again.

Farmstead history