MARCH 10, 1997

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Bothell woman treasures Abraham Lincoln memory

Fahrenkopf family

Members of the Fahrenkopf family gathered recently for a reunion. Pictured are (left to right): back row, Raymond, Herb, Gerald, George; middle, Betty Mae, Mary Ellen; seated, Gerry, Clementine Paige, and George.
Photo courtesy of the Fahrenkopf family.

inauguration attire

Clementine Paige of Bothell wears the attire that had been worn to the inauguration of Abe Lincoln on March 14, 1861.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.

Oscar Roloff by Oscar Roloff
In 1831, a gangly young fellow named Abraham Lincoln stopped in New Salem, Illinois, to find work. He found a small house next door to the Cazzell residence and saw a daughter named Elizabeth, then 15. The girl kept peeking out of the window to see who the new neighbor was. They were related to the Theodore Roosevelt family.
   On the other side of Abe's house was the Barton family who had a daughter named Clara. Later, she'd go on to become the founder of the American Red Cross and would receive a commendation from the gangly guy next door.
   Young Abe got a job doing odds and ends around town. Next, he opened a dry goods store and studied law. But he always had time to speak to the young girl next door. Elizabeth did not know that the gangly young fellow would some day become great.
   In 1834, Abe went next door and told the gal he'd just been elected to the Illinois legislature. When his law degree came through, Abe told her goodbye and moved to Springfield, the capital.
   One day, Elizabeth heard that Abe had married Mary Todd, a prominent socialite. Elizabeth felt sorry. She had a crush on him.
   Years passed, and a few weeks before March 14, 1861, the day Abe was sworn in as president, young Elizabeth received a special hand-delivered letter. Elatedly, she opened it to find a special invitation for her to attend Abe's innaguration. Happy, she began making a special dress, a blue handbag, and a parasol to wear to the event. After the inauguration, Abe came up to her and talked about the good old days back home.
   Time passes. Elizabeth, now married, had returned home and carefully packed her keepsakes in a chest to remember the event. When one of her daughters grew up, she got the attire. Then that daughter's daughter, a Seattle resident, in turn received the treasured attire.
   Before that daughter moved to Georgia, she called a friend, Clementine Paige of Bothell, and said, "I'd like to give you these keepsakes and not hand them down in my family." Today you'll note Clementine, now 90, attired in those keepsakes of years ago, especially for this photo (pictured above).
   Clementine is past president of the Americal Legion, past president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and past president of the Disabled American Veterans. On a wall chart, she can trace her family back to the French and Indian Wars and point with the pride that in every war, someone in her family had served with distinction.