Robert Green Ingersoll returned to the area of his birth only once, in 1889, when he was fifty-six years of age. Accompanied by his wife Eva and his daughters Eva and Maud, he traveled to Penn Yan by rail. This reflects the sentimental nature of this trip, as Ingersoll usually traveled alone when on one of his lecture tours.
The family lodged at the Benham House, Penn Yan's premier hostelry.
On Tuesday, September 24, the Ingersolls toured Dresden, viewing his birthplace, then a private home, and the nearby private residence that had once been his minister father's church.
The next day, Wednesday, September 25, he addressed a crowd of about eight thousand at the Yates County Fair. Appropriately for his rural audience, his remarks were drawn from his famous speech "About Farming in Illinois," coupled with praise for the beauty of the region where he was born.
Thanks to Richard MacAlpine for research assistance.