The Shastid House

The Shastid House (HM2DK9)

Location: Pittsfield, IL 62363 Pike County
Country: United States of America
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N 39° 36.55', W 90° 48.117'

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Looking for Lincoln

John G. Shastid moved his family to Pittsfield in 1836 from New Salem, where he had been a neighbor to Abraham Lincoln.

Pittsfield was the county seat, yet there were only six houses here at the time. John bought one of them. Finding the house too small for his family, he built this larger white frame house in the same yard in 1838. John was a farmer who had but three months of formal schooling. Yet he was literate and valued book learning. His grandson recalled that he knew almost the whole New Testament and Fox's Book of Martyrs by heart. John was a man of few words. So it made a deep impression on the family when, on hearing that President Lincoln had been shot, he gathered them about him to utter a deeply felt six syllable prayer pleading for Lincoln's life. Later that day, when a boisterous young man loudly exclaimed his satisfaction that "Old Lincoln is dead," the sixty-seven-year-old Shastid knocked him to the ground in one solid punch that rendered him senseless.

Mother Shastid once asked Lincoln to view the flower garden she kept at the house. Lincoln replied, "I will look at your flowers, Mother, but I really cannot understand what people see to admire such things. I am somewhat deficient." On the basis of this story, family members have speculated that Abraham Lincoln must

have been colorblind. Dr. Thomas W. Shastid, as a boy, jealously watched Lincoln devour a platter of pigeons. He heard both Lincoln and Stephen Douglas deliver speeches in town. He considered the lion-voiced Douglas to be the better and the high-pitched Lincoln to be the better analyst.

Abraham Lincoln visited the Shastids when in Pittsfield. John's son Tom told of his father returning from hunting with a dozen "wild pigeons." Tom and his siblings waited wide-eyed and hungry for the pigeons to cook. Suddenly, the door burst open, and there stood Lincoln. Mrs. Shastid ushered him to the head of the table and placed the platter of pigeons before him. At first, Lincoln talked vivaciously. Then, he fell completely silent and ate voraciously. One by one, the pigeons disappeared. A gesture from Tom's mother kept the children from calling for pigeon. After a short time, Lincoln, still abstracted, reached out his fork for the last pigeon, took it to his own plate, and began to eat it. At this juncture, little Tom burst into tears and cried: "Abe Lincoln, you're an old hog."
HM NumberHM2DK9
Placed ByLooking for Lincoln
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 688698 N 4386688
Decimal Degrees39.60916667, -90.80195000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 36.55', W 90° 48.117'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 36' 33" N, 90° 48' 7.0199999999998" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 230 N Illinois St, Pittsfield IL 62363, US
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