In the summer of 1826, Abraham went down to the Ohio River at a point where Anderson Creek emptied into the mighty river. He would often be in the area during the summer months. Opportunities for gainful employment was the business at hand but Abe was always amazed at the volume of river traffic. He observed vessels of all types and sizes, strings of flatboats, houseboats, ark like vessels, small craft, and large and small steamboats. He came up with the idea of a small startup business.
Abraham from the age of 6 years had been using an ax to clear land, split rails and chop cord wood. For over a decade he had honed his skill with the ax and hardened his muscles to endure this arduous task. He often chopped wood to barter for goods or earn a few coins. Now the idea was evident. Steamboats needed cordwood for their boilers and lots of it.
Together with a couple of friends, Abraham Lincoln began chopping down trees to produce cordwood for the steamers. The business seemed successful as it provided income for the three young men however the labor to produce cordwood and the long hours of chopping was out of balance with the remuneration. His industry did not go unnoticed and soon he caught the eye of a man named Taylor.
By: James Farris, Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial Historian