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 William Wallace “Willie” Lincoln

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William Wallace “Willie” Lincoln

Presidential Child. He was the third child and son of US President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. Named for Mary Lincoln's brother-in-law Dr. William Wallace, he and his younger brother Thomas (Tad) were rambunctious children during the time they lived in Springfield, Illinois, recorded by Abraham's law partner William Herndon for turning their law office upside down, pulling the books off the shelves, while their father appeared oblivious to their behavior. After Abraham Lincoln was elected US President in 1860, the family moved into the White House the following year and it became the children's new playground. In early 1862 he and Tad both became ill. The most likely cause of the illness was typhoid fever, which was usually contracted by consumption of fecally contaminated food or water. Tad managed to recover, but Willie's condition fluctuated from day to day. His condition worsened and he finally succumbed on February 20, 1862 at the age of 11. Both parents were deeply affected by his death. His father did not return to work for three weeks and Tad cried for nearly a month because they were very close. Mary became so distraught that Lincoln feared for her sanity. Dr. Charles Brown, who perfected of the technique of embalming, was called to the White House and prepared the remains. He lay in state in the Green Room which adjoins the East Room where a private service was conducted by the pastor of The Washington New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and he was interred at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, Washington DC. The Lincolns were so pleased by the preservation achieved by Dr. Brown that he was disinterred twice so that they could again view his remains. After Lincoln's assassination in 1865, his remains were exhumed and were placed on the Presidential funeral train with his father and interred in a temporary tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. In September 1871 when Lincoln's permanent tomb was finished at Oak Ridge Cemetery, he was placed alongside the remains of his father and his brothers Tad and Eddie.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 16 Apr 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9126
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Wallace “Willie” Lincoln (21 Dec 1850–20 Feb 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9126, citing Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .