Prolific Poet Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg with a guest at Connemara in 1952. Photo from the N.C. Museum of HistoryOn July 22, 1967, American poet, journalist, biographer and folk musician Carl Sandburg died at Connemara, his antebellum home in Flat Rock, where he wrote a third of his works and spent the last 22 years of his life.

Born in January 1878 to Swedish immigrants in Galesburg, Illinois, Sandburg left school after the eighth grade. He worked numerous odd jobs and hoboed his way across the West before serving in the Spanish-American War. Afterward, he attended Lombard College in his hometown but never graduated. In 1908, Sandburg married Lillian Steichen. They had four daughters.

As a family man, Sandburg settled into journalism, writing for the ChicagoDaily News while still pursuing his poetry. By 1945, when the family moved to Flat Rock, Sandburg had published several volumes of poetry, written five children’s books and received two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Corn Huskers and another for Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. He won a third Pulitzer Prize in 1951 for his Complete Poems.

Connemara’s 264 acres offered plenty of space for Mrs. Sandburg’s prize-winning goats and plenty of solitude for the poet. There, in an upstairs garret, Sandburg wrote, and in a downstairs bedroom, he died at age 89.

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