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Farmland Sale: Lincoln Land Sells for $10,000 per Acre

30-acre tract in Coles County, Illinois, is part of 590-acre sale that netted $4.2 million.

The sale of 30 acres of farmland that once belonged to President Abraham Lincoln was the highlight of a farmland auction in Charleston, Illinois, Feb. 12. But word is that the complimentary cinnamon rolls and coffee courtesy of auctioneer Michael Stanfield also helped draw in a crowd of 200 people to the auction.

In all, 590 acres (539 tillable acres) sold in a total of nine tracts. Tracts 1 through 8 were offered individually, and then in multiple-tract parcels. Tract 9 was the land formerly owned by President Abraham Lincoln.

Here’s more about Tracts 1 through 8.

Totaling 560 acres, all of these farms except for a 40-acre tract were contiguous, bordering to the north and east the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Park in southern Coles County.

The last three years, corn yields have ranged from 190 to 238 bushels per acre; beans 65 to 77 bushels per acre across the farm.

The Crop Productivity Index on the farm averages 129.2 (on a 0-to-147 scale) with a range between 100 and 144. Predominant soil types are Fincastle, Toronto, and Raub silt loams.

Two tracts have improvements, including 45,000 bushels of grain storage and a machine shed on a 2-acre parcel, and three metal machine sheds on a 70-acre parcel.

There is a history of grid soil samples on the property and in 2017, about 550 tons of lime were spread across the acreage.

Tracts 1 through 8 sold to an investor, for $3.9 million ($6,964 per acre).

“We were pleased,” Stanfield told Successful Farming in a phone interview after the sale. “Several lenders were present, and they all thought it was a good sale.”

The Lincoln Land – 30 acres just east of the state historic park – sold separately, for $300,000 ($10,000 per acre). To put that into context, Abraham Lincoln bought the property in 1841 for $200. In 1989, the Best family bought this 30-acre tract along with 95 additional acres, for $788 per acre.

The Lincoln Land tract has 30 acres, all tillable, featuring Fincastle and Xenia silt loam soils, with a roughly 118 CPI.

Stanfield says it’s likely that the farm’s history helped bolster the selling price. “Without disclosing the people who bid and didn’t get it, two of them wanted it only for that reason,” he says. It sold to an investor.

All the land is free to farm for 2019. The Best Family, which owned the property, chose to dissolve the family farm corporation.

“We were very blessed to sell the property,” Stanfield says. “It was a good day. The sellers were happy, and most people went away pleased with how it turned out.”

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