Abraham Lincoln's Teacher - Azel Waters Dorsey, Huntsville, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 40° 13.515 W 090° 51.627
15T E 682036 N 4454953
Quick Description: ISHS marker, and the grave site of one of Lincoln's teachers
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 9/23/2008 6:20:47 AM
Waymark Code: WM4R9M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Corp Of Discovery
Views: 8

Long Description:

[Oral tradition has it Dorsey arrived by stage. Stopped at the small red building just SE of town (Huntsville). This building was recently (after 2000) torn down by the men in town, and the lumber was used for the pavilion in the town square. Dorsey, bought a small place, and used a store front off the square to cut hair. The barber's chair he used is still kept in the small general store in town (shown above). Dorsey taught school here, also, and was well accepted. Local Boy Scouts, who camp on the King farm, built the stone and mortar monument.]

County of both sites: Schuyler County.
Marker Erected by: The Illinois State Historical Society.
Date ISHS Marker Erected: 1952.
Location of ISHS Marker: IL-101 & Huntsville Rd., 1 mile N. of Huntsville.

Marker Text:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S TEACHER
Azel Waters Dorsey, 1784-1858. Teacher of Abraham Lincoln. Is buried on the King Farm one mile south of Huntsville. Dorsey taught a "Blab School" in Spencer County, Indiana which young Lincoln attended for six months in 1824. He moved to Schuyler County, Illinois in 1828 where he taught school.

Hunk knocked out of lower right hand corner of marker was caused by a snow plow.



Location of Tombstone: King's farm, in field 1/10 mile from barn, ¼ mile S. on Jefferson St., from Huntsville.
GPS of Tombstone: N 40° 10.884 W 090° 51.975
TOMBSTONE:

AZEL W. DORSEY
DIED SEP. 13, 1858
MARKER:
In Honor of Service in the War of 1812.
Azel Waters Dorsey

Stone:
Erected by Logan Settles, In Memory of Azel Dorsey school teacher of Abraham Lincoln, 1826. Stone from Lincoln's Tomb, 1932.



the following article is taken in part from the Aug. 7, 1952 issue of The Augusta Eagle.
Teacher of Lincoln is Buried in Schuyler County -- "Tucked away in a corner of a quiet meadow in the northwest corner of Schuyler County is the grave of an almost unknown man who may have had a great influence on the life of Abraham Lincoln.
His name which will ring familiar in only a few ears - is Azel Dorsey.
Mr. Dorsey's fame arises in that he is one of few men who guided young Lincoln during the few months of the future president's skimpy formal education."
"Just what influence, if any, Mr. Dorsey had on the future of Lincoln is not known and it is doubtful if it will ever be known. It is not even known for how long a time Dorsey taught Lincoln.
About all that is certain is this: Dorsey was one of three itinerant teachers who taught Lincoln while he lived in Spencer County, Ind., in his boyhood." - "Dorsey, it is believed was the last teacher Lincoln had.
"What little information is available on Dorsey was provided by the late J. B. Oakleaf who in 1930 wrote an article on him in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.
Dorsey, Mr. Oakleaf reported, had been a soldier in the War of 1812 before settling in Indiana. He later moved to the Military Tract in Schuyler County. (The Military Tract was land given to veterans of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 as bonuses.)
In 1828, Dorsey became a patron of the Rushville Post Office and also taught school in Schuyler County. Records in the recorder's office in Rushville show Dorsey owned property in both Camden and Huntsville townships.
Mr. Oakleaf reports that when he found the grave on the Theodore King farm, about half mile south of the village of Huntsville, the grave had not been kept and the tombstone had been knocked over. Only inscription on the stone was: Azel W. Dorsey, Died Sept. 13, 1858. Aged 73 yrs., 10 mos., 8 days.
Apparently interest in Dorsey grew for in 1932, the late Logan Settles of Rushville, who claimed he was related to Lincoln, obtained a stone from Lincoln's tomb in Springfield and had it erected over the grave. The original stone was embedded in the newer one. Inscription on the new stone is "Erected by Logan Settles in memory of Azel Dorsey, school teacher of Abram Lincoln 1826, Stone from Lincoln's Tomb. 1932."
An iron picket fence has been erected around the stone."

Location Type: Historic Marker

Property Type: Public

Date of Event: 1824

Location Notes:
The ISHS marker is on a state highway. Access to the grave site, just knock on the King farm house and they will let you visit the site. I had no problem, and Mr. King was very kind in providing exact travel instructions, even told me to "go ahead, drive through the wheat field. You wont hurt it".


URL for Additional Information: [Web Link]

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