Jed Magee, an authority on Abraham Lincoln, speaks Sunday, Aug. 8, at museum on Lincoln’s “learning and his mentors”

JEFFERSON, Iowa, Aug. 2, 2021 — Jed Magee, of Jefferson, an authority on the life and career of former President Abraham Lincoln and a member of the board of directors of the Greene County Iowa Historical Society, will speak on “Lincoln’s Learning and His Mentors” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 8, at the museum in Jefferson. Admission and refreshments will be free.

Magee, a lifelong collector of Lincoln books, art and other memorabilia, donated most of his extensive collection to the local historical society in 2016.  And he now speaks occasionally on different aspects of Lincoln’s history.

A native of Dunkerton in northeast Iowa, Jed is a retired attorney and Iowa District Court judge. He spent the first half of his career practicing law in Jefferson, then was appointed a judge and served the second half of his career while based in Charles City. After he fully retired in 2015, he and his wife Betty decided to move back to Jefferson, where both had been very involved in the community in their earlier years here.

Jed Magee, in front of the Abraham Lincoln statue on the Greene County Courthouse square in Jefferson.

Jed Magee’s fascination with Abraham Lincoln began when he was in seventh grade in Dunkerton, and his teacher thought he needed more of an academic challenge.  So she told him to pick out some public figure that he might enjoy doing some research about, and he read a book about Lincoln, who had served as president from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, during the Civil War.

“That teacher bought me my first scrapbook, for $1.29, and I started cutting out articles I found about Lincoln,” Magee said. “I kept that up and by the time I was finishing high school, I had that scrapbook pretty well filled.”

He continued collecting Lincoln stories and memorabilia during his college years. And he never really stopped.

Jed Magee, and note the Lincoln necktie and Lincoln Highway lapel pin.

For most of his career, Magee kept his collection in his office in Charles City. It included 10 shelves full of books about Lincoln, 30 busts of Lincoln at different stages of his life, photographs (including two that are more than 100 years old), prints, paintings, and more.

How many books has he read on Lincoln?

“Hundreds,” Magee said. “I just finished another that was published this year.  And I still find myself learning new things about Lincoln.”

In his program this Sunday, Magee said he’ll talk about how Lincoln was basically self-taught by being a voracious reader himself.  But he also studied the writings and works of others, who became like mentors to him.

As a “teaser” to help get the public ready for this latest program, Magee drops this question: “What do Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln have in common?”

And he’ll be open to more general questions about Lincoln’s life and legacy.

One of several cases at the Greene County Historical Museum holding parts of Jed Magee’s collection of Lincoln memorabilia.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


How To Get Involved
title tag Calendar of Events
title tag Membership & Donations
Help us grow! Donate, become a member, or renew your membership today!
see more arrow
title tag Historical Markers
Did you know there were so many historical sites in this county? See many of them on the map here!
see more arrow
title tag Videos
See interviews with historical figures, events and programs we have recorded, and much more!
see more arrow
title tag Historical Trivia

How many courthouse structures have been built on the site of the current Greene County Courthouse?



There have been three courthouses built where the Greene County Courthouse stands today.  Ground was broken on the current courthouse in November of 1915, the cornerstone was set in May 1916 and the new building was dedicated in October of 1917. The centennial celebration of the courthouse is already underway, with events being planned by the “Courthouse 100” committee, with support from the Greene County Historical Society.  You can learn more about the courthouse history and the celebration plans on the Facebook page “Courthouse 100: Greene County, Iowa.”


Sorry. Try Again!

title tag Featured Image Archive
This is a gallery of our featured images which are no longer viewable on the home page. See if you have missed any by clicking here!