Who Do You Suppose Owns Abe Lincoln's Grave?

Real Estate Agent with Bill Cherry, Realtor 0124242



President Abraham Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth  on April 15, 1865 at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. 

That was nearly 151 years ago.

Who do you suppose now owns President Lincoln's grave at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois?

I don't know the answer because state laws vary on the succession of ownership of cemetery plots.  

In Texas, often when the first person in a family passes away, the spouse will buy a plot for that person, one themself, and one for each of their children. 

The reasoning is that the entire family can be buried in adjacent plots.  Great idea!

Here's where it gets sticky.

Who owns any remaining plots after the surviving spouse dies?  Who owns the grave sites of the two that have been used?

No one knows for sure unless the person who bought the plots specifically answers that question in their Will.

And more often than not, that was is left unanswered in their Will.

So it is possible that the plots do not pass to family member(s) at all, but to, say, a church or charity that has been specified as a remainderman.

Now is a good time to learn how your state laws address this issue, and make certain that Wills provide the answer.

In the case of President Lincoln, his grave site could easily be owned in equal undivided interests by, perhaps, a thousand decedents.

Bill Cherry, Realtor

Since 1966


214 503-8563






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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good afternoon Bill,

A subject that I may address.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 06, 2017 10:20 AM #1
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