From 1841 to 1859, Abraham Lincoln practiced law in Danville. In 1852, he established a local law firm with Ward Hill Lamon. This was Lincoln's only permanent law office on the circuit. The law firm lasted through 1857 when Lamon became the prosecuting attorney for the Old Eighth Judicial district and subsequently moved to Bloomington, Illinois in 1858. When Lincoln was elected President, Lamon received a letter from his friend that said, "Dear Hill, I need you. I want you to go to Washington with me and be prepared for a long stay." Lamon then accompanied him and was unofficially considered Lincoln's bodyguard.
BECKWITH, HIRAM WILLIAMS, studied law in the office of Ward Hill Lamon in Danville. He was admitted to the bar on May 27, 1854, after being examined by a committee that included Abraham. Beckwith retired from the law in 1876.
Mr. Beckwith's father, Dan W. Beckwith, a pioneer settler of eastern Illinois and one of the founders of the city of Danville. He donated the ground on which the county-seat of Vermilion County was located, and it took the name of Danville from his first name-"Dan."
Hiram, was left fatherless at less than three years of age, He began the study of law in the Danville office of Lincoln & Lamon, and was admitted to practice in 1854, about the age of 18. He continued in their office and when Lamon left the firm and moved to Bloomington in 1859, he succeeded to the business of the firm at Danville. Mr. Lamon was distantly related to Mr. Beckwith by a second marriage of his mother.
He partnered with Lt. Raymond W. Hanford and retired in 1876 and became famous as a historian of Illinois and the Northwest.
Judge Raymond W Harford
Raymond W. Hanford was a popular citizen of Danville, as lawyer, editor and politician. He came to Danville in 1856 and was a poor boy. He was born in Ohio. He was obliged to leave home when but fifteen years old to learn the printer's trade. He studied law under the instruction of J. M. Lesley, after he came to Danville, and was admitted to the bar in 1859. He responded to the first call for troops from the government, enlisting for three months, and when the term of service was over he reenlisted for three years. He remained with his regiment during all this time, returning in 1864 to Danville and went into partnership with H. W. Beckwith in the practice of law. He was elected county judge in 1868 and held that office for more than ten years.
In the 1960's, Warren Danz bought the firm from William Beckwith.