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James Haney Haney family photo
Randal Hanna
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James Haney

Family lived in Illinois. They owned a big farm and as usual in those days travelers would stop by to stay the night at the nearest farmhouse as towns were far apart.. This led to Abraham Lincoln first staying overnight at the Haney farm.

James Haney was a very intelligent man with very strong interest in politics. Abe was a Whig(later changed the name to Republican) James was a (dyed in the wool) Democrat.

But that did not keep the two men from liking each other allot. They would spend long hour’s evenings by the fireplace and in candle lit room arguing the best part of the night about politics.

Abe might be on his way on a speaking tour of other towns in Illinois. But he often stayed over a few days. Then he would read everything that had come into the house since he was last there
newspapers and periodicals and books.

While there he would rest his horse and himself. The girls and grandma would give him some of the clothes of James to wear while they gathered up all his clothes and washed and ironed and cleaned and pressed his clothes and suit. His dress shirt had many ruffles. He was very fond of small children and used to rock the baby while the women worked on his clothes.

He loved buttermilk and made many trips to the milk house. That was a house built over a spring. The water from the spring is very cold and shelves were built over the cold water. On these shelves were many pans of milk set to keep cold while the cream rose to the top. The women gathered the cream into a large churn and from that they churned butter. The butter rose to the top and was gathered into a solid roll of butter. The milk remaining in the bottom was known as buttermilk. This Abe liked very much and was real cool to drink.
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Photo taken at Iowa Iliinois USA on