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Clinton L Conkling was laid to rest at Oak Ridge Cemetery:  Block 7 Lot 119.

Clinton Cooking

October 1, 2021

October 16, 1843- October 12, 1920

Clinton L. Conkling was known as one of Springfield’s most prominent citizens. His selfless service to the Springfield community and his impactful provision to The King’s Daughters Organization has many historians speaking his name years after his death.

Beyond his service within the Springfield community, Clinton L. Conkling’s prominence began at a young age when he was referred to as the boy who told Abraham Lincoln of his nomination for the Presidency in 1860.

Published in the New York Harold, Clinton Conkling reminisces on the moment he shared the news with Mr. Abraham Lincoln of his nomination for presidency in 1860.

“About 8 o’clock Lincoln came into my fathers office. For a long time they talked about the convention. Lincoln wanted to know what had been done, and what my father had seen and learned, and what he believed would be the result.  Father replied that Lincoln would be nominated that day. After discussing the situation at length, Lincoln arose and said “Well Conkling, I believe I will go back to my office and practice law.” A moment after Lincoln left, the wires in the telegraph office gave the news of his nomination, and I rushed down the stairs after him. I met him coming out of his brothers-in-law’s store, just a few steps away, and all unconscious of the news, I cried to him “Mr. Lincoln, you’re nominated.” Taking my outstretched hand in both of his great hands, a smile spreading over his face, he looked down upon me and said: “Well Clinton, then we got it”. Soon an excited crowd surged around him and I dropped out of sight.”

 

A Graduate of Yale, Clinton Conkling returned to Springfield to practice law with his father, who was also a prominent lawyer and intimate friend of Abraham Lincoln. Clinton served as corporation counsel for the City of Springfield, a member of the board of education, the first secretary of the Lincoln Monument Association under whose direction the monument at Oak Ridge Cemetery was erected over the remains of the martyred president. Clinton was also one of the members of the guard of honor which protected the body of Abraham Lincoln. He was one of the witnesses to certify to the identity of President Lincoln’s remains when for the last time they were exposed to view in September, 1901 and were then sealed beneath the reconstructed Lincoln monument.

His list of accomplishments and social involvement continue with being a member of the State Constitutional Convention, a member of the Illinois Bar Association, a charter member of Sangamo Club and Illini Country Club and was the president of the board of directors at the Lincoln Library at the time of his death. He was an active member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church where for 50 years he was a ruling elder. The Window of St. Paul on the north aisle of the church was given in memory of Clinton Conkling and his wife, Georgianna. The greatest memorial to Clinton Conkling, however, is Westminster  Church, “The  Church Beautiful,” since he served  faithfully as chairman of the  Building  Committee from its beginning in 1905 until the dedication on March 8, 1908.

Where does Clinton L. Conkling fit in with the Kings Daughter Organization you may ask?

With years of community involvement and his reputation as a trusted advisor, the board chose Mr. Clinton Conkling as their legal advisor. Mr. Conkling willingly  assisted The Kings Daughters Organization in opening the Home for the Aged. He served the home without compensation and it was through his assistance and advice that the home was secured. His knowledge and thoroughness gave The Kings Daughters direction with respect to management and regulations of the home. The Kings Daughters organization spoke highly of Mr. Conkling giving much of the success of the home to his advice and good direction.

Clinton L. Conkling was first known as the boy who told Abraham Lincoln of his nomination for presidency, yet he left behind an even bigger footprint with his passion for community involvement and charity work in Springfield, Illinois. The Kings Daughters Organization is proud of their rich history and the individuals who have played such an important role in making KDO what it is today. We honor these individuals by sharing their story and keeping their legacy alive. Thank you Clinton J. Conkling for your impact not only to KDO, but to the Springfield community.

The Home of Clinton L. Conkling still stands today, located at 802 S. Second Street

The Home of Clinton L. Conkling still stands today, located at 802 S. Second Street

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“We assisted one particular client who is a single female in her late 60s with her utilities. She had some unexpected health issues, which resulted in unexpected medical bill. Being on a fixed income making sure that her all of her bills were paid on time was becoming a challenge. Thankfully through the assistance of KDO we were able to pay her CWLP bill so she didn’t get disconnected. Her appreciation was so great that she was moved to tears and later mailed us a thank you card. So many of our senior clients are like this individual in that they are living on a fixed income, their dollar isn’t going as far, they face unexpected bills, but don’t have the money to fall back on.”

Catholic Charities

Patrick McConnell, Area Director

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