Provenance of the Ostendorf Collection
The late Phil Wagner, was a native of Athens, Illinois, a town 7 miles east of New Salem, and a Springfield businessman, wanted to help revive Athens, a typical dying small town, U.S.A. In 1937, he attended the 100th anniversary of the Long Nine Banquet held in the Colonel Matthew Rogers general store, which included the post office and meeting hall upstairs. From this memory, Phil sought to find out more about "Young Abe Lincoln" in Athens, Illinois.
In 1970, he contacted Dr. Wayne C. Temple, the Deputy Director of the State of Illinois Archives, who stated that "Young Abe" borrowed books, picked up mail, defended Colonel Rogers, surveyed two farms and the Post Road, borrowed a horse for the 1836 campaign, first speech the 3rd time he ran, banqueted there in 1837. Lincoln was well known in Athens, Illinois.
Phil organized a group of investors to refurbish the "Long Nine" building. He contracted the late Lloyd Ostendorf to illustrate the above events of "Abe in Athens". The late Arthur Sieving, sculptor, was contracted to illustrate with dioramas the above events of "Abe in Athens". Dr. Temple certified the historical correctness.
In 1983, when the "Long Nine" venture became insolvent, Tom & Mary Mack, along with Phil Wagner, absorbed the losses. The Macks took the Dioramas, Life Mask & Muriel. Phil Wagner received the remaining items.
Many of the Lincoln related items were from projects that Phil promoted to enhance the "Lincoln in Athens" projects, financed mostly by Mack-Wagner.
General Chairman to promote re-establishing of the "Lincoln Post Road" from New Salem to Springfield
Vice Chairman for the 1976 Bicentennial Wagon to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, starting on the Lincoln Post Road from Springfield
Chairman of the Helen Keller, sightless Lincoln Post Road Bicentennial, "A Touch of America:
150th anniversary of Athens, Illinois
Chairman of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln the Post Master to help the D.E.A.F. Program in Central Illinois
Chairman of the Lincoln Post Road project, creating a wheel chair & walking path - New Salem - Springfield
Two state wide land surveyor celebrations in Athens
Chairman of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce "Post Road Place Mat" - 1,000,000 printed and distributed
Chairman of the Central Illinois Tourism "Find Mr. Lincoln In Your County", 29 counties participating; Ostendorf drew one "ink and wash" for each county.
Phil helped Springfield Convention and Tourism obtain 30 ink and wash by Ostendorf to depict Abe in Springfield.
Board of Directors for the National Guard exhibit in Washington, D.C. "Lincoln-Grant" exhibit
Published and furnished the Lincoln book dignitary gift for the reopening of Lincoln's Home, along with several thousand 1st Day issue envelopes
Chairman of 1977 Grant's March to Fame
Published 5,000 books, "Cliff Hangers and Down to Earth Sayings by Abraham Lincoln and other Common Folk", which also promoted the "Lincoln Heritage Trail"
Published over 52,000 "Abraham Lincoln ~ The Boy-The Man" books, which promoted central Illinois and the Lincoln Heritage Trail.
Worked with the Post Office to create four 1st day cancellations
Worked on many other Lincoln promotions. (Raised $25,000 for V.A. Clinic equipment through the American Legion selling Lincoln book and other fund raising projects).
By association with the many Lincoln Projects, being the agent for Lloyd Ostendorf, and by furnishing many of the original drawings for these projects, Phil accumulated one of the largest private collections of the late Lloyd Ostendorf's art work and other Lincoln collectibles which are detailed in the catalog.
Wagner Office Systems
2800-2 South Sixth Street - Springfield, Illinois 62703
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