Springfield, Ohio

History and Genealogy



Assassination of Lincoln


From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 480


By Oscar T. Martin

The day following the grand celebration is memorable in the history of the city. The contrast between the rejoicing, the sunshine, the multiform expression of gladness which prevailed on Friday, and the universal dejection and sorrow the symbol of mourning on every house, the cheerless gloom and leaden sky of Saturday was startling. The Chief Magistrate of the nation had been stricken unto death by the bullet of the assassin in the flush of victory and bright anticipation of peace and re-union. Upon the windows and doorways were yet clinging the decorative symbols of joy of yesterday, and now the flags and national emblems were draped in the deepest mourning. Stores and private residences were hung with their tokens of grief, as though the angel of death had touched each household. On Saturday afternoon, April 15, 1865, Krapp's band marched through the streets playing mournful dirges. Every countenance bore a look of sorrow. Knots of persons would meet on the street corners, and with bated breath discuss the momentous event. A terrible calamity seemed impending over the city. So deep was the prevailing sorrow that it was believed that a public meeting might afford the oppressed people the relief of expression. A call was therefore issued by Mayor J. J. Snyder at the request of many citizens, for a meeting to be held on Saturday at 4 o'clock P.M. At that hour, the old hall was densely crowded with the loyal men of the city. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Snyder, and an impressive prayer was offered by Rev. S. F. Scovil. After these introductory exercises were concluded, a deep and profound silence prevailed. The sorrow-stricken audience were mute with their unutterable grief. For a space of fifteen minutes there was not a word spoken. finally Gen. Samson Mason was nominated as Chairman, and Col. H. B. Wilson, Secretary. A committee consisting of the following gentlemen was appointed to prepare resolutions: Judge R. B. Warden, Hon. S. Shellabarger, Hon. R. D. Harrison, Rev. Chandler Robbins, Judge William White and Thomas F. McGrew. Owing to the importance of the duty assigned to this committee, and the near approach of Sunday, it was deemed advisable that they should report at an adjourned meeting to be held on Monday.

On Sunday the churches were appropriately draped in mourning, and funeral discourses were delivered from every pulpit. At the Second Presbyterian Church, Hon. samuel Shellabarger delivered an address on the Christian character of Abraham Lincoln, which was listened to with profound attention.

At 8 o'clock on Monday morning, at the adjourned meeting had at the city hall, the committee on resolutions reported as follows:

Burdened with common sorrow at the national bereavement in the startling and untimely death of Abraham Lincoln, the late President, and the dangerous and to be feared fatal wounds of his great co-worker, William H. Seward, secretary of State, which bereavement Providence in His inscrutable wisdom has permitted to be accomplished by the hand of the assassin, the people here assembled do resolve,
1. That we recognize this event an unparalleled national calamity to the American people, which every patriot mourns; but which the language of none can adequately express.
2. That in the present condition of our imperiled country, we feel that our supreme reliance must be in the Almighty Disposer of Events.
3. Though sadness reigns, despondency shall find no place in our hearts. But invoking the wisdom, the justice and unselfish patriotism of the late President, and aspiring to his own high rule of action, as announced in his last inaugural, "With firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right," we will strive with renewed energy to finish the work to which our country has been called, and to this end will give to the administration of his successor our unfaltering support.

Previous to the adoption of the resolutions, addresses were made by Judge White, Judge R. B. Warden and Rev. S. F. Scovil. These meetings made a deep impression upon the people. There was a unanimity of regret in the community, and universal condemnation of "the deep damnation fo his taking off."



Reception to Returned Soldiers


The gratitude of the people of the country at the safe return of her thousands of brave defenders found expression in a grand reception given to them in the fair grounds on September 13, 1865. This day was selected as it was the anniversary of the day (September 13, 1862), when Col. Gilbert, in command of but 4,000 men kept at bay in Charleston, W. Va., the whole rebel force under Gen. Loving, estimated from eighteen to twenty-four thousand men. It was a re-union of the returned soldiers with their wives, families, sweethearts and parents, who had sustained them while at the front with their prayers, sympathies, ballots, supplies and sanitary stores. The building on the fair grounds then known as Floral Hall was tastefully decorated. A table 1,000 feet long laid with plates on the sides surrounded the hall. Accomodations were provided for 2,000 soldiers at the first table, and over four thousand people feasted there during the day. Flags and banners ornamented every conspicuous place, while expressive sentiments appeared at every turn. "Welcome our Defenders" tastefully done in oak leaves was stretched across the end of Floral Hall. Among others were, "The oak of the North or the Southern Palmetto shall shelter none except in the grave." "Departed soldeirs, we mourn your loss; your reward is twofold, with God and a nation; they have earned their pathway to glory."

The speakers of the day were Gen. J. D. Cox and Chaplain Collier.



Return of Peace


Following the disturbed condition of the country incident to the war, the ominous predictions that the country would be overrun with marauding gangs of lawless men, whose object would be naught but pillage, were unfulfilled. As instantly the silent steeps fo Benledi's craggy sides were the shrill whistle of Roderick Dhu peopled with warriors "armed for strife," and again with a wave of the hand hushed into profound peace, so the citizen soldiery of this country sprang to arms, and when peace was declared quietly returned to their occupations. Business was resumed in all localities, as though there had been no interruption. In this place even before the last gun had been fired the Springfield Board of Trade was organized. It was set on foot for mutual improvement, culture of friendly feelings, and interchange of mercantile intelligence among business men, on the 25th day of February, A. D. 1865. A membership of 163 was obtained. The following officers were elected: President, William Warder; Vice President, Thomas F. McGrew; Secretary, Clifton M. Nichols; Treasurer, John C. Child; Executive Committee, Ethan A. Willams, John Foos, Edward B. Cassilly, Charles Morgan.

The board continued in existence for several years, but was finally abandoned.