(Photo by Nancy Nelson)
Students were allowed to volunteer to try on the hat, compare hand sizes, and ask any questions they wanted. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln would be 197 years old this year?
De Haan does the impersonation for fun scheduled around farming and working at Kraai Furniture in Orange City. He has been doing Abraham Lincoln presentations since 1991.
He got started doing this when his daughter, Leah Johnson, of Cherokee, was doing her student teaching at M-O-C Elementary in Orange City. He had grown a beard for a local centennial celebration and everyone realized he started to look a lot like Abraham Lincoln.
His daughter asked him to come to her first grade class, dressed up as Abraham Lincoln, and do a little presentation. Word spread fast and pretty soon everyone wanted him to come to their school.
He did a lot of reading about Abraham Lincoln and convinced his wife to sew him a suit, and he ordered a special top hat. Since then, he has spoken to hundreds of students, community groups, churches, etc. all over Iowa and the midwest. He even won a national Lincoln look-a-like contest held in Lincoln, Kansas.