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Lincoln Museum timeline

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Sources: The Lincoln Museum Web site, The News-Sentinel archives

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - 12:21 pm

The collection of the Lincoln Museum grew very large under the leadership of three directors: Louis Austin Warren (1928-1956), Robert Gerald McMurtry (1956-1972) and Mark E. Neely Jr. (1972-1992).

In 1993, Joan Flinspach became the museum's director.


1905: The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company is founded in Fort Wayne. The company receives approval from Lincoln's surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, to use an image of Abraham Lincoln on company letterhead.

1928: Lincoln National Life establishes the Lincoln Historical Research Foundation.

1928: Louis A. Warren is named foundation director and begins to collect Lincoln- related documents and items.

1931: The Lincoln Library and Museum opens to the public in the basement of Lincoln Life's headquarters building on Harrison Street.

1956: Gerald R. McMurtry is named Library and Museum director after retirement of Louis A. Warren. He serves until 1972.

1972: Mark E. Neely Jr. is named museum director and serves until 1992.

1976: The Lincoln Library and Museum moves into the Lincoln National Life building at 1300 S. Clinton St.

1993: Joan Flinspach, current museum president and CEO, is named museum director.

1995: The Lincoln Museum closes in February at the Clinton Street location and reopens in October in its present location, 200 E. Berry St., in the Renaissance Square building. Lincoln National Corp., through its Lincoln National Foundation, spends about $6 million on remodeling and exhibits. Former President Gerald R. Ford attends the dedication.

Today: The Lincoln Museum, now part of Lincoln Financial Group, houses the world's largest private collection of items commemorating the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The collection includes nearly 18,000 published volumes and thousands of manuscripts, including more than 300 documents signed by Abraham Lincoln.