Born: 1809-09-14 Saint Clair County, Illinois
Died: 1872-01-14 Logan County, Illinois
Flourished: 1858-03-11 Logan County, Illinois
Primm moved to Logan County, Illinois, in 1835 and married Maria Russell four years later, with whom he had nine children. He opened the first store in Postville. He held a number of public offices, including coroner, court clerk, master in chancery, recorder, and postmaster of Postville. In addition to these duties, Primm was also an extensive land speculator. In 1850, Primm was farming and owned $6,000 in real property. On a trip to New York in 1857 to negotiate a loan for his western lands, Primm encountered Joel A. Matteson, with whom Primm was personally acquainted, and requested a $400 loan from him. Matteson suggested that if Primm could get Abraham Lincoln, who was also in New York, to be his security on the same, Matteson would grant the loan. Primm located Lincoln, with whom Primm was acquainted, having been associated together in the courts of Logan County, who promptly endorsed Primm's note, allowing Primm to secure the loan. When the note became due, however, Primm was unable to pay, and Lincoln paid the note. In March 1858, Primm deeded a parcel of land to Lincoln for reimbursement of the loan payment, land that Lincoln would still own at the time of his death. In 1860, Primm claimed $20,000 in personal property. By 1865, Primm had moved to Chester Township and settled on a farm.
History of Logan County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1885), 640; Lawrence B. Stringer, History of Logan County Illinois (Chicago: Pioneer, 1911), 1:221-22; History of Logan County, Illinois (Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd, 1878), 229; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Logan County, IL, 201; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Lincoln, Logan County, IL, 309; Gravestone, Old Union Cemetery, Lincoln, IL; Promissory Note from James Primm to Abraham Lincoln; Deed from James Primm and Maria Primm to Abraham Lincoln.