Charles A. Ransom Library 

Red Brick Place Cards

Size 21" x 30"

Size 31" x 44"

Size 35" x 35"


This barn on East Allegan Street in Plainwell is where Fletcher Ransom painted some of his Lincoln series of paintings in the late 1930's and 1940's 
-Union Enterprise photo

The barn as it stands today (Summer 2002).

Fannie Ransom Scott's House
241 Allegan Street, 
Plainwell, MI

Another view of Fannie Ransom Scott's House in Plainwell

Lincoln paintings to be displayed at library.
By Gretta Burchfield

In the early 1930’s the Chicago, Ill. Midland Railroad Company, which served the area known as “Lincoln Country,” conceived the idea for a series of Lincoln pictures for use on its calendars. 

The company commissioned Fletcher Ransom (brother of Fanny Ransom Scott and nephew of Charles A. Ransom for whom the Plainwell District Public Library was named) to paint a series of pictures depicting different phases in the life of Lincoln. 

Ransom was born in Alamo, educated in Kalamazoo Public Schools, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Academy of Fine Arts in New York City.

After he worked as an illustrator for Colliers and Youths Companion, he painted about one picture a year of the Lincoln series, which totaled 14, until his death in 1944.

His Lincoln series is in the offices of the CIM Railway Co. in Springfield, Ill.  In an article in the Bloomington, III. Pantograph in 1950 the writer commented on the beautiful oil paintings relating to the life of Lincoln.

The journalist said, “Ransom’s bold and vigorous strokes are seen in the paintings. It was when New Salem became a dominant scene that the artist outdid himself.”

Due to failing health, Ransom spent his last years living with the Scotts on Allegan Street in Plainwell. He used the barn in back of the house as his studio. For the painting of “Lincoln the Lawyer” he used Jim Ranwick (now living in Parchment) and Robert Ploff (deceased) as his models.

His workmanship showed a fastidiousness even to his custom-made coveralls in which he worked.

Following his death Fanny and Frank Scott (a grant from estate made possible the establishment of the Senior Citizens’ Home in Plainwell) gave some of Ransom’s paintings to friends and institutions in Plainwell. These were paintings done mostly while he lived Plainwell.

These paintings will be on exhibit at the Plainwell District Public Library for the week of July 12-19. In addition to the paintings, the library has examples of the calendars used by the Railway Company and several prints of the Lincoln Series.

Union Enterprise, July 10, 1986 







The Woodland Scene