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Republican History of Marion County,
Illinois and the United States

Marion County, Illinois

GOP Marion County Chairmen

Birdella "Birdie" Storment of Stevenson Township ( - )
(First Female Republican County Chairman in the State of Illinois.)

James Purcell of Salem ( - )

Ed Wesner of Centralia ( - 1989)

Colonel Philip Howard Frakes of Salem (1989 - 1998)

Gerald R. Cooper of Omega (1998 - 2006)

Doris Purcell of Salem (2006 - ?)

(If anyone can give me the names of other GOP Chairmen of Marion County, please contact me at: Thank you.)

Marion County Young Republican Chairmen

Lisa Woodward
Marcia Honn
Mark A. Decker (Three Terms: 1993-1995)
Stephen P. H. Frakes (Two Terms: 1996-1997)
Philip Sharp (1998)

Marion County Men Apointed by Lincoln

Two men served in appointed positions under President Abraham Lilncoln:

Rev. Benjamin F. Lemen, Baptist minister, was appointed Agent to the Indians in the West by President Lincoln. Rev. Lemen lived at 321 South Franklin Avenue in Salem, Illinois. (See Lemen-Frakes Home.)

The Honorable William Sicher, Esquire, originally from Austria, was translator for President Abraham Lincoln. He spoke five languages. He was a Jewish man who lived with his wife, Addie (Beech) Sicher, and son, Willilam F. Sicher, in Patoka, Illinois. His brother had the Sicher's Clothier in Centralia, Illinois.

Abraham Lincoln
In Marion County, Illinois

1840: Lincoln was in Salem representing William Henry Harrison and John Tyler for president and vice president. Running on the Wig Party. While speaking on the Marion County Court House square, Lincoln coined the phrase, "Tip-a-canoe-and-Tyler-too." The exact date is not known.

9 Jun 1849: Lincoln stayed at the home of Reverend Benjamin F. and Mary (Rand) Lemen, located at 321 South Franklin Avenue in Salem, Illinois. Lincoln was a good friend of Rev. Benjamin's father, Reverend James Lemen. Lincoln spent the night in this house more than once, but it is only documented this one time.

22 Sep 1856: Lincoln spent the night at the Salem House, a hotel owned by Jesse Ray, located at 304 West Schwartz in Salem. It is not longer standing. Lincoln was in town to meet with leading Republicans, including General Martin. He was representing Colonel William H. Bissell of Belleville for Republican candidate for governor of Illinois. He also represented Freemont, who was the first republican candidate for president.

14 Sep 1858: Lincoln was in Centralia, meeting David L. Phillips. The Illinois State Fair was going on, which was held in Central City.

16 Sep 1858: Lincoln spent the day in Centralia and Central City at the Illinois State Fair.

July of 1859: Lincoln's last visit in Marion County, Illinois was with state officials with an inspection of the Illinois Central Railroad. His visit mostly went unnoticed.

The State of Illinois

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, a Whig, founded the Republican Party in Illinois in 1854. With Lincoln's election as the first Republican president in 1860, the Repubicans firmly established themselves as a major party in the United States. Preserving the Union was Lincoln's greatest challenge and greatest achievement.

President Lincoln's other accomplishments include the establishment of the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, a national banking system, the Homestead Act to help the settling of the American frontier, and the Land Grant College Act, which established universities throughout the United States.

The United States of America

The Founding of the Republican Party

From "The Writers Almanac": It was on this day in 1854 that about 50 opponents of slavery gathered in Ripon, Wisconsin, to found the Republican Party. The group was made up of Northern Democrats, Whigs, and a small antislavery party called the Free Soil Party. And they were remarkably successful for a brand-new party. In 1856, after just two years in existence, they elected 92 representatives and 20 senators, and they came close to capturing the presidency with their candidate John C. Freemont. And just four years after that, they did win the presidency with their candidate Abraham Lincoln. No new political party since then has won the presidency of the United Sates.

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