Grave of Angelina Turner Lamon

Gravesite of Angelina Turner Lamon
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery - Bloomington, IL

Ward Hill Lamon left Berkeley County Virginia in 1847 to study medicine in Illinois with his cousin Dr. Theodore Lemon.   Prior to leaving Berkeley County, Ward Hill had been courting Angeline Strode Turner of Shepardstown, Virginia. The Strode-Turner families were wealthy and prominent landowners in Beckley County.   Angeline Strode Turner was the daughter of Priscilla Strode and Ehud Turner. Angeline and Ward Hill Lamon were married on September 5, 1850 in Hagerstown, Md. (records show Allegany Co. Md.).   The Turners were not in favor of Angeline’s marriage to Ward Hill. They felt that because of the large number in the Lamon family, Ward Hill’s future prospects by way of inheritance were very slim.   With the stories of his youth in Berkeley County and those seeping back from the west they were even more apprehensive.   As a result Angeline and Ward Hill eloped.   The Turners were furious and it was many years before they forgave Ward Hill for this impetuous act.

Following their marriage, the Lamon’s returned to Berkeley County only long enough to pack and send Angeline’s personal belongings to Danville where Ward Hill was an attorney.   The most valuable of Angeline’s possessions was Topsy, a fourteen year old slave, who had either been given or promised to her mistress prior to the elopement.   Topsy (whose real name was Diana) was freed upon crossing the Ohio River, but remained with the Lamon’s.   Following Angeline’s death in 1859, Topsy continued as companion to Angeline and Ward Hill’s surviving daughter Dolly; until Dolly was eighteen.

In legal documents, Mrs. Lamon’s name is shown as Angeline.   In Strode-Turner family documents, she is called Angelina.

The census of 1850 shows Angeline to be 25 years old.

In Lavern Marshall Hamand’s 1949 thesis “Ward Hill Lamon: Lincoln’s “Particular Friend”’ he gives this description of Angeline: “Angeline was another lawyer’s wife making a home in a prairie town.   If she stood out it was due to her southern upbringing; she undoubtedly brought west fancier, newer styled clothes than most of the women had.   Her mannerisms and accent were different and she had Topsy”.... ”These things alone would have made her more than a ‘drab background’ for her husband.   There are no likenesses of Mrs. Lamon in existence, but members of the family recall hearing her described as small and blond.   By assembling the fragments known, a composite picture can be drawn that would show a pretty little woman who did her marketing with a Negro girl trailing along behind carrying the daily purchases.   She was rather delicate, the type to whom self-assertive men are attracted, and with servants to help her, didn’t have to endure the hardships of most pioneer women.   Any further details about the homes of the Lamon’s had in Danville and Bloomington do not exist; nor is there anything on their home life.”

The Lamon’s had three daughters, Julia Hill Lamon, died September 3, 1853 at the age of 2 years 1 month and 3 days; Kate Lincoln Lamon, died September 4, 1858 at the age of 10 months 18 days; and Dorothy Lamon Teillard, November 13, 1858 to January 20, 1953.   Julia and Kate are buried in Danville’s Spring Hill Cemetery with Ward Hill’s youngest sister Elizabeth Virginia Lamon.   On display in the Berkeley County Museum in Martinsburg, WVA is a portrait of Julia and her pet monkey.   The dress Julia is wearing in the portrait had belonged to the Lincoln children.

Angeline had two brothers that came to Illinois.   One brother, Ehud, came to Danville in late 1850 and became a partner with Ward Hill in a real estate business.   Their business was located in “Office Room No. 1 and Office Room No. 2 in the Barnum Building”.   A second brother, Carlyle (shown as Carliloe in the 1850 census) married Ann E. Lamon, Ward Hills cousin, had a son Robert Turner in 1857.   Carlyle was involved in real estate with Ann’s brother Joseph Brown Lamon.

Angeline died 5 months after the birth of Dolly (Dorothy).   Dolly was raised in Danville by Ward Hill’s sister, Anna Ward Morgan and her husband William (Uncle Billy).   More about Dolly is at Dorothy Lamon Teillard.

Judge David Davis suspended all cout activities on the day of Angiline’s funeral.   Attorneys and frineds, led by Abraham Lincoln, followed Angiline’s casket to the grave site in Blomington’s Evergreen Cemetery.   The Rev. Harlow conducted the burial service.   The Bloomington Pantagraph reported on April 20, 1859, “‘the wind chanted a dirge through the leafless trees’ around the last resting place of the departed.   Requiescat in peace.”

The Lamon House
Vermilion County Museum Society
116 North Gilbert Street
Danville, Illinois 61832
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