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Washburne Garden - Galena, Illinois
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 42° 24.785 W 090° 25.826
15T E 711430 N 4698840
Quick Description: This marker, part of the Washburne Garden, describes the life of Elihu Washburne, a prominent citizen of Galena during the last half of the 19th Century. The marker located at 422-424 South Main Street in Galena.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 6/8/2019 9:03:28 PM
Waymark Code: WM10Q0H
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 2

Long Description:
Jul 20, 2017 GALENA, Ill. (KWQC) - The City of Galena, as well as the Galena Belles Questers and the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, have dedicated a new garden in honor of Elihu Benjamin Washburne.

Washburne was a prominent resident of Galena and held a law office in the Peck Building on Main Street in 1845. He later came to own the building. He was an important historical figure in the city and had connections to Abraham Lincoln.

During the dedication ceremony, re-enactors dressed as Washburne, his wife Adele, and President Lincoln shared memories of their impact on Galena and the rest of the country.

The Washburne Garden is located next to the Peck Building, the current home of Galena River Wine and Cheese. The garden includes a revitalized green space and interpretive signage.

- KWQC website



Washburne Garden is a small pocket park of .05 acres located at the intersection of South Main and South Water in Galena, Illinois, next to the Peck Building. As stated above, Elihu Washburne had offices in this building. I can find no further information if this green space has always been here or what this space's function was during the life of Washburne. The park has a small lawn, plantings, an interpretive historical sign, two benches, and bust of Elihu Washburne. This truly is more of a pocket park than a true garden.

(left side of marker)
Washburne Garden
Dedicated in 2017

1816    September 23 - Elihu B. Washburne was born in Livermore, Maine.
1840    April - Arrived in Galena with Harvard Law Degree.
1844    Met Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois when they both attended sessions of the Illinois Supreme Court.
1845    Washburne and Charles Hempstead established a law office in the adjacent Peck Building. Married Adele Gratiot with whom he had eight children.
1852    Became a delegate to the Whig National Convention and won Congressional nomination. Served 16 years from 1853 to 1869 during which time he was Chairman of the House Appropriation Committee. He was one of the most powerful Congressmen during the Civil War and earned the nickname "Watchdog of the Treasury."
1850s   Washburne and his politically active brothers helped create the Republican Party which championed the Anti-Slavery Movement when slavery was an issue dividing the country.
1858    An avid supporter of Lincoln for President, Washburne set the Lincoln-Douglas debate at Freeport and wrote Lincoln's campaign biography. Washburne purchased the Peck Building.
1860    November 6 - Lincoln elected President of the United States. Washburne remained a close political advisor keeping him abreast of developments in Illinois and Washington, D.C.
1861 - For his safety, Washburne and Alan Pinkerton met lincoln at the B & O Railroad Station on the way to his Inauguration. This led to the founding of the Secret Service.
           April 13 - Civil war began. Washburne promoted the career of U.S. Grant throughout the War.
1865    April 9 - Washburne was the only civilian at Appomattox the day Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant.
           April 14 - President Lincoln was assassinated. Washburne was a pallbearer and accompanied Lincoln's body to Springfield, Illinois.
1868    Washburne managed U.S. Grant's Presidential Campaign.
           November 3 - Grant learned of his election in the library of Washburne's Galena home.
1869    Washburne is appointed Minister to France. He was the only Ambassador who remained at his post during the Franco-Prussian War and is credited with saving 29,000 lives.
1877    The Washburnes take up residence in Chicago.
1887    October 23 - Washburne died in Chicago. He and Adele were interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Galena.

(center and right side of marker)

(picture of Elihu Washburne)
Elihu Benjamin Washburne
1816-1887

(picture of Washburne House)
E.B. Washburne House
908 Third Street, Galena, Illinois * Illinois Historical Site
Tours by volunteers from the Galena Belles Questers.

(picture of men sitting in a room)
November 3, 1868, election night, Grant becomes 18th President. Washburne set up a special telegraph machine in the library of his home to learn voting results that night.

(picture of Washburne, Grant, and Lincoln)
Ulysses S. Grant receiving his Commission as Lieutenant General on March 9, 1864 from President Lincoln. "All I know of Grant I have got from you," Lincoln told Wasburne (left).

(seal of Galena Belles Questers #1304)
(seal of University of Illinois Master Gardeners Extension)
(Seal of the City of Galena)

- Marker Text

County: Jo Daviess

Historical Society: City of Galena

Dedication Date: 1/1/2017

Location: intersection of South Main and South Water

Website: Not listed

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