475. Elizabeth Herndon Bell (Jesse W. Weik Interview).
Petersburg Menard Co Ills. Aug 24 1883
Mentor Graham — Lincoln's teacher now 80 years old and living in Dakota — daughter Mrs Lizzie H. Bell 50 years old lives in Petersburg — father kept hotel at N. Salem — Mother went away, one day to see friends who had just come from Kentucky leaving Lincoln and a large girl Polly — who was ugly & awkward to Keep house while she was gone — They broke so many dishes & spoiled so much food — L. made a hoe cake & put handful of salaratus instead of salt in it — when Mrs G. returned L ran down the road in the mud without hat to announce his bad luck — L. went to Graham's school with Ann Rutledge who died an old maid in Iowa yrs afterward — Ms. B. attended quilting when Ann helped quilt. Ann was beautiful girl and skillful with the needle At this quilting L. sat beside her and whispered words of love into her ear She was so much excited or worked up over it that she overlooked her work and made long irregular stitches and the quilt now in possession of person at Petersburg shows by the long stitches today when L. talked love to her — L. offered Mrs B. brother Simpson Graham a new jack Knife if he would Kiss a certain pretty girl as she went to school. Simpson agreed to do it. So L. and some other boys hid behind a clump of trees along the road to see the work done. Simp. met the girl — stepped up put both hands on her cheeks and made the attempt to kiss her — but the girl was equal to the occasion — they carried with their dinner to school in those days a jug of milk — this the girl broke on Simpson's head the milk bespattering his jeans clothes. L. & the boys enjoyed the fun and Simp was given the Knife by L. for his attempt.
When L first came to N Salem he wore a suit of grey jeans clothes and a stove pipe hat — a long shaft for a hat with a narrow brim — a very fashionable style in those days. for a time worked in a hotel
Illinois State Historical Library: Weik Papers