Lincoln Meets Grow-a-Beard Girl.
Lincoln Meets Grow-a-Beard Girl.

Lincoln Meets Grow-a-Beard Girl

Field review by the editors.

Westfield, New York

Could Abe Lincoln win the presidency if he couldn't win a beauty contest?

12-year-old Grace Bedell didn't think so, and she wrote him on Oct. 15, 1860, urging the then-presidential-candidate to grow a beard because "all the ladies like whiskers."

Abe followed her suggestion, won the election, and on Feb. 16, 1861, arrived in Grace's hometown of Westfield on his way to the White House. Grace met him at the train station, and Abe shook her hand, kissed her, and thanked her for the advice.

For years the memory of the Grow-a-Beard Girl was only kept alive in Delphos, Kansas, which erected a monument in Grace's honor after she'd moved there, years later, as an adult. Westfield finally erected its own tribute on July 10, 1999, the Lincoln Meets Grow-a-Beard Girl statue, sculpted by town resident Don Sottile. Abe has doffed his hat and extended his hand toward starry-eyed Grace, who looks up at her made-over man with evident approval, her bouquet of roses dropping at her feet. He really does look better with a beard.

Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Also see: That "Grow a Beard, Abe!" Town

Lincoln Meets Grow-a-Beard Girl

Address:
N. Portage St., Westfield, NY
Directions:
Downtown, on the northwest corner of US Hwy 20/E. Main St. and Hwy 394/N. Portage St.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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