Abraham Lincoln recreated Hearse journey


Historical Review

A Historical Review


Abraham Lincoln Hearse. 1865



Springfield undertakers lacked a suitably grand vehicle to transport the remains Abraham Lincoln on the final leg of the journey from their arrival by railroad to Oak Ridge Cemetery for entombment. Springfield city officials received and gratefully accepted an offer from the Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, to lend a suitable hearse for the occasion. The vehicle was built in Philadelphia. It was larger and longer than typical vehicles of the period. Following the Lincoln funeral, the hearse was returned to St. Louis. A disastrous fire destroyed the the elaborate hearse.

The recreated Lincoln Hearse (2015)

The recreated Lincoln hearse servesas an"Icon of Freedom" built for our Nation bycombat veterans’making a positive historical impact within the great nation they fought for. Abraham Lincoln’s words: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” affirmed the obligation to care for those injured during the war and to provide for the families of those who perished on the battlefield. Thus, defining veterans and the country’s responsibly to them. In fact, this is the Veterans' Administration motto.

For more than 200 years, individuals in the military have never wavered in their service to America. All veterans have given something of themselves to this country. Some have given all, laying down their lives to defend the freedoms we hold so dear. Others strive to live with the horror they endured.

Not all veterans have seen war, but a common bond that they share is an oath in which they expressed their willingness to die defending this nation. They have defended Americathrough both the best and worst of time, and they have performed their duties tirelessly, with little recognition or fanfare.

The Staab Family Livery of Springfield, IL, in association with lead builder and re-creation craftsman Jack G. Feather, of Tombstone Hearse Company, Tombstone, AZ, gathered to togetherhistorians and expert craftsmen including Eric Hollenbeck of the Blue Ox School for veterans, Eureka, CA. torecreate this historic vehicle, which will become a centerpiece of the 150th Anniversary commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s entombment and celebration of his life and legacy.

Phase I:was design, guidance & research.Jack G. Feather is the lead builder and re-creation craftsman. He is a Vietnam Veteran. Eric Hollenbeck, is the expert craftsman at the direction of the lead builder. He is a Vietnam Veteranand heads the Blue Ox Schoolfor Veterans, which focuses on helping Combat veterans re-claim their lives. Jay Jones, of Nicholasville, Kentucky, President of Custom Wagon, LLC,is recreating the rolling chassis. He is a three-tour Vietnam combat veteran.

More about history of the recreated hearseat:http://www.abrahamlincolnhearse.com/AbrahamLincolnHearse/index.html

Eureka CA

Eric Hollenbeck, Eureka, California, A Vietnam Veteran, who served with the 101st Airborne during the TET offensive, was the expert craftsman. He and his wife Viviana built a nationally recognized custom Victorian Millwork shop, Blue Ox Millworks. The re-creation of the Lincoln’sfuneral hearse was the project he felt could engage a group of returning veterans who served on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Blue Ox School for Veterans focuses on helping combat veterans re-claim their lives. Eric understood what they were going through and the need to do something positive. What could be better than learning to be a craftsman.

Phase II of the project was getting the hearse’s wood frame to Tombstone from Eureka.The travel team consistedof PJ Staab, Roger Stewart, a veteran, Erick andVivianaHollenbeck, and Thomas Jones, a combat wounded Vietnam Veteran.

The journey begin 2 am Sunday, February 15, 2015, PJ Staab, Roger Stewart, and I going to St Louis to catch a plane to San Francisco, CA. Jack Featherjoined us there and the four of us flew to Eureka on a prop plane. It wasa nicesunny day in Eureka, we secure a truck/escort van at the airport and headed to our hotel to check in. Then we went to the Blue OxMillworksto reviewed the build plan.

Eurekais the principal city andcounty seatofHumboldt Countyin theRedwood Empireregion ofCalifornia. The city is located onU.S. Route 101on the shores ofHumboldt Bay, 270 miles north ofSan Franciscoand 100 miles south of theOregonborder.At the2010 census, the population of the city was 27,191. The cityreceived its name from a Greek word meaning "I have found it!This exuberant statement of successful (or hopeful) gold rush miners is also the officialMottoof the State of California. Eureka is the only U.S. location to use the same seal as the state for its seal.

The next day, February 16th, an open house was held for the Eureka community and local news media. That afternoon we had to go to the hardware store to get plastic wrap and tape, several people came up to us and talked about the morning event. Word gets aroundquicklyin small towns.

The next day weloaded the hearse on to a U-Haul trailer and departed Eurekafor San Francisco.


On the road

On the road, to San Francso Route 101, going south.


U.S. Route 101 is the major north and south highway, which connects Eureka to the rest of the North Coast region. The highway connects to Oregon, located approximately 100 miles to the north of Eureka, and San Francisco, 271 miles to the south. About a 4 hours & 45 min drive though steep mountains, with narrow valleys, canyons, and dense redwood, Douglas fir, and oak forests.

30 miles south of Eureka we stopped at the Humboldt redwoods State Park. The world's largest remaining contiguousold-growth forestofcoast redwoods. Redwoods’ trees are the largest living thing in the world, many of which grow to over 300 feet in height.The trees here are thousands of years old and have never been logged. An amazing place filled with wonders that can be found on no other place on Earth. Like places that they have build roads through the trees.

The man on top of the tree looks like an ant.


We didn’t stay long. But the sights we did see are unforgettable. Growing up in flat land Illinois these trees fit into tv boxes. Being among the giants trees, you realize how small you are. However, though redwoods are the largest living thing in the world they are forests on mountains. Traveling through California we will be driving up, down, around mountains.


Back on the road.

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Abraham Lincoln recreated Hearse Journey is over


The Abraham Lincoln recreated Hearse Journey is over.

President Lincoln has beenbroughthome in the same spirit of a one hundred and fifty years ago, people crowed the streets to get aglimpse of his funeral hearse. Kids sitting on their father’s shoulders, on roof tops,even climbing up trees, to see the hearse. There was a buzz among the crowd. Many of the men saluted the hearse as it past.

The construction of the recreated hearse became a historical event its self,it was build by combat veterans who served on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. The lead builders were Vietnam Combat Veterans. It was a healing event for those veterans psychological wounds.

Lincoln’s words“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” affirmed the obligation to care for those injured during the war and to provide for the families of those who perished on the battlefield. Veteransadministration has this as their motto.

Staab family Livery, commissioned the reproduction hearse. The family hasalways been avid supporters of veterans activities. It is a part of their mission to“Remember, Educate & Heal”. PJ Staab II, served as Project Coordinator andinvolved in every aspect of the building of the hearse. I, those who build the hearse, and those that stood in the street and watched it passed give thanks to PJ for his leadership and the Staab familycommitment to the project.

For more about Staab family activities and Lincoln hearse, clickhereabrahamlincolnhearse.com.


Also, join me in the hearse’sjourney from Eureka CA to Tombstone AZ. CLICK:Abraham Lincoln recreated Hearse journey





J Publications, Inc. 2013