City of Springfield, Illinois

James O. Langfelder - Mayor

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Benjamin S. Edwards Place

Benjamin S. Edwards Place

700 North 4th Street, Springfield, IL

Edwards Place is the oldest house on its own grounds in Springfield, and for well over a century has been prominent in the cultural life of the city.

Benjamin S. Edwards, a lawyer, was the son of Ninian Edwards, first territorial governor of Illinois and third state governor (1826-1830). The Benjamin Edwards home was a center of social and political life before and during the Civil War. From one of its upper windows, Abraham Lincoln once spoke to a gathering in the grove. The grove was also the scene of a Stephen A. Douglas rally attended by a charted train load of Douglas supporters from Chicago. The house was thrown open to guests who came to Springfield to attend Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. The funeral cortege passed by the Edwards home.

Mrs. B.H. Ferguson, daughter of Benjamin Edwards, deeded Edwards Place to the Springfield Art Association in 1913. Since that time, the house has functioned as a combination club, museum, and art school.