Although Abraham Lincoln owned other properties in his lifetime, only one of them—to the best of our knowledge—was ever farmed by his father, Thomas Lincoln. This was the “Abraham 40,” or the Abraham Lincoln “Forgotten Farm.” This identical property eventually proved to be the only real estate owned for the longest period of time in the actual name of the 16th President of the United States.
The 40-acre parcel was purchased from the Government in 1837 by John Davis Johnston, stepson of Abraham Lincoln’s father, Thomas. Thomas Lincoln bought it from Johnston in 1840 for $50. When Thomas found himself in financial difficulties less than a year later, his dutiful son, Abraham, bought the forty acres for $200, allowing his father and stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln, lifetime estate.
Thomas Lincoln died in 1851, and Abraham resisted efforts by Johnston to sell the “Abraham 40” (for Johnston’s benefit), holding fast to Abraham’s promise to provide for the widow.
The property remained in Abraham Lincoln’s name even after his assassination in 1865 because the deed clearly reserved this parcel for the personal use of his parents. Sarah Lincoln lived until 1869, whereupon her grandson, John Johnston Hall, continued to farm the land along with his own adjacent acres.
Finally, in 1888, Hall secured title to the “Abraham 40” by reason of undisputed “possession for more than 20 years.”
Ancestors of the present owners purchased the property in 1914. By then it was the “Forgotten Farm” of Abraham Lincoln. The “Abraham 40” is still being farmed.
The Abraham Farm is legally described as the Northeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter of Section Twenty-one (21) in Township Eleven (11) North, Range Nine (9) East of the Third Principal Meridian.
It is located approximately 8 miles south of Charleston, Illinois.