“where Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln were frequent visitors”
When Benjamin and Helen Dodge Edwards made their home a center of Springfield's early social and political life, they attracted Abraham and Mary Lincoln as occasional visitors. They met Mary soon after arriving in Springfield in 1840, because both were temporary residents at Mary's sister's home. Helen quickly established what would become a lifelong friendship with Mary. The Edwards's were among the small group of friends who were present at the Lincoln's marriage ceremony in 1842. The Edwards's bought the house in 1843 and eventually enlarged it to 15 rooms -- with enough space to host the entire Illinois Legislature for dinner. It was built in 1833 by Thomas Houghan, and is now the oldest house in Springfield still on its original foundation. In Lincoln's time it was set in a 14-acre grove of elm, walnut, and maple trees on the northern edge of town.
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