Archive for Monday, August 26, 2013

100 years ago: Agricultural judging to take place in spite of dry summer, county fair officials say

August 26, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 26, 1913:

  • "Several queries have come to different members of the fair association as to the advisability of entering the corn and wheat contest at the Douglas county fair. The different farmers give as their reason in asking the fact that the corn this year is generally poor all over the county and the fact that there were so many entries last year that a great many were left out when it came to awarding the prizes. The fact is there ought to be more entries this year than there were last year for the simple reason that the corn generally is below the average and naturally the best corn in any field would have a fine show toward winning the prizes. It is a fact that there are a great many fields over the county which are showing some good corn. Now if the farmers would go out and pick the best ten ears out of those fields they could find and bring them in they would more than likely bring a winner. The same way with other fields. Merely because there has been a drouth should not stop the enthusiasm in the corn and wheat contest. On the other hand it should make it more keen and competition better for the simple reason there is an equal chance for everybody."
  • "W. M. Hazeltine, who is here for the reunion of survivors of Quantrell's raid, has another point of interest to Kansas people other than that he was in this raid. Mr. Hazeltine invented Lincoln pie. For years this was the favorite food for thousands of people. It was inexpensive, and you got such a large piece for a nickel that it made a meal. Many a farmer could recall that he went to town and for his dinner bought a square of Lincoln pie. In those days it was not the custom for country people to buy anything to eat in town at all. They did not have much money and preferred going home hungry. But the youths had to have something and a nickel's worth of cheese and crackers was not in it with Lincoln pie. Mr. Hazeltine invented this pie, thus filling a long felt want and there are thousands of men in this country who smack their lips even now as they think of it and bless the man who invented it. Long live Wm. Hazeltine. Long may his famous pie wave."
  • "Mrs. Charlotte Coleman was arraigned in police court this morning on a charge of maintaining a disorderly house at 815 Vermont street. She entered a plea of not guilty and will be tried tomorrow morning. Toots Coleman and Annie Carmack, charged with being inmates of this house, will also be tried tomorrow morning."


Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 10 months ago

Are you wondering how to make "Lincoln Pie"?


The recipe appears in 'Cooking for Profit', copyright 1882, published 1893, and was described as "A new American cookbook adapted for the use of all who serve meals for a price."

Lincoln Pie contains a lb. of crackers or bread, a lb. of brown sugar or molasses, a lb. of suet or lard, 1/2 lb. currants, some spices, a pint of water, and a half pint of hard cider or vinegar and water. Baked in a crust, it gives the cost of the ingredients separately, concluding 44 cents for 6 or 7 pounds, or 14 squares. I guess that means there was about half a pound per serving!
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A reprint of the book is available on

So, "Lincoln Pie" was equal amounts of crackers or bread, brown sugar or molasses, and suet or lard. Some currants for flavor. Personally, it does not sound very appetizing to me, and it can't have been a very healthy food!

Sarah St. John 4 years, 9 months ago

More from that same post, explains it a little:

"My grandfather came to the US in the early 1900s from Romania. Several years later, he sent for my grandmother and about 3 or 4 children. Once here, he became a baker and had his own bakery. Several more children were born, and my mother was the youngest of about 8, most of them girls. All are now deceased. My grandfather died several years before I was born so I only have a vague recollection of a story told by my aunts years ago.

"The story I remember went something like this--The bakery was in a blue collar part of town. My grandfather baked everything from bread and rolls to cookies and pies and cakes. When there were leftover day-old goods, he would break everything up and mix it together with raisins and I don't know what else, bake it in a crust in a big pan.

"He called it Lincoln Pie, but nobody seemed to know why. All they could remember was it was really heavy, like a rock, and the workmen would stop by and buy a slab for their lunch buckets.

"And then, my aunts would all get a kick out of it, and laugh their heads off. The idea does seem pretty funny--selling the leftovers as a new dessert--a big, heavy glob that would stick to a working man's ribs!

"So, for some reason I got to thinking about it, and googled it. To my surprise, I got a hit for Lincoln Pie! " (here's where Ron's excerpt starts, with the recipe included)

So yes, sounds like something the bakers threw together from their end-of-the-day leftovers and sold at a nickel a hunk the next day. As the J-W article says, more food than you could usually get for five cents, and of course not healthy by today's standards, but their target was country people who were just in town for the day and needed something quick to eat. Presumably back in those days, you got enough exercise farming to absorb such a high-calorie lump of food!

Anyway, it's interesting that this fellow from Lawrence (in the OHT) claimed to have invented it at some point between 1863 and 1913. I wonder what his story was, and why he named it Lincoln Pie!

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 9 months ago

Coffee crusted steak was much better, I'm sure! But it was surely out of the price range of the country folk in town for the day.

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