Historic Lincoln interment book restored

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Springfield, Ill (WAND) – When Oak Ridge Cemetery Executive Director Michael Lelys started his job in 2011 he discovered an important piece of Lincoln history was in a series state of disrepair.

Interment book number 1 listed the names of Abraham & Willie Lincoln as being laid to rest on May 4, 1865.  The cause of death for Abraham was listed as assassination.  But the interment book, nearly 150 years old at the time, was in deteriorating condition. It was stored in an old vault and was not in a climate-controlled environment.

“It had been taken apart, digitized, handled, abused,” Lelys told WAND’s Doug Wolfe.  “I’m quite amazed that the book was actually in as good a shape as it was after being handled for 150 years and not in a controlled environment.”

Mayor Jim Langfelder and the Springfield City Council came up with the money, approximately $40,000, to restore interment book 1 and interment book 2.  Book 2 contains burial information on Mary Todd Lincoln.  It also covers the cost of a secure display case.

Interment book 1 with President Lincoln’s name was unveiled Friday at Oak Ridge Cemetery.  It has now been moved to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential library where it will be briefly on display next week for the public to view.  It will be stored at the library in a climate-controlled area.

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