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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
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July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961
 

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! 1961 To Public I00]F Restored Shrine LINCOLN MEMORIAL COURT HOUSE SHRINE TODAY, Opened To Public Sunday, Feb. 16, '39 Joe Snyder Was Spearhead In Securing Shrine FebruarF 16, 1939 Several hundred persons pass. ed thru the Lincoln Memorial Shrine atop the hill in Mount Pulaski, Sunday, when the re- cently completed restored court- house was thrown open to the public. Many out-of-town visitors took advantage of the beautiful day to visit the shrine and had their fltt view of the state's newest memorial to Abraham Lincoln. Many Mount Pulaskians who had followed the progress of the restoration from the sidelines made their first trip to the build. Ing and were very much pleased with the completeness with which the state had restored the building. 1umbered among the visitors were several who had attended school in the courthouse before the first combined grade and hlgh school was built, On the site of the present grade school. It took them back many years to very pleasant memories. Pacer Zah, the custodian, was a pupil in the school held in the court- house and the thought that to- day he has charge of the build- lng which is now a shrine to Lincoln, is a matter of pride with him. While no furniture is as yet placed in the courthouse, the com- pleteness of the restoration was worth viewing. The newness of the complete work was modified somewhat by the smudges left and there to give it an ap- pearance of antiquity. An ODOMETER in the survey- or's office was an instrument used to measure distance in the 1840's in Massachusettes, Penn- sylvania, Maine and Illinois, by I June 22, 1933 A meeting was held at the city clerk's office Wednesday night and a temporary organization formed in the interests of taking: definite steps to make a shrine out of the old Mount Pulaski Court House. A fine group of interested citizens were present to help get the project under way, and from the enthusiasm shown, it is but a matter of a definite or- ganization pushing the matter and keeping at it until the job is completed. Joe Snyder, who has been do- ing considerable research work in reference to various phases of the proposition to make a Lin- coln shrine out of the building, was chosen as temporary chair- man and Keith Rothwell, secre- tary, both to act in that capacity until a permanent organization is formed. The new chairman was author- ized to appoint a committee of five or seven members to.com- plete the setup for the perman- nent organization, a meeting to be called shortly to do this. John M. Rothwell, speaking in favor of the project, told of past I enthusiasm that had been arous-[ ed but allowed to die down be-[ fore the task had gotten under[ way. The expensive memorial ! marker on the south side of thet grounds was an expression of I the interest of the South Side Club. ]RESTORATION OF COURTHOUSE Frank B. Snyder told of the ar- rangement and appearance of AS LINCOLN SHRINE IN 1936 the original court house as far as he was able to ascertain from having talked with a number Daniel H. Davidson, a surveyor of old settlers the past few years. from Woodford county. A record-I .......... lng instrument on the large] enenmai.year lnS.mm n wheel of the device which looks l adaea zncem.lve, a.t me u e like a glorified wheelbarrow, lcomplete thin ..Lincoln Shrine re.Kisters the distance ]that has oeen talKea oz mr years, e ori-inal -avel us ^" t.. but lacked leadership to push it  cu uy I through to a reality Sudge David Davis, who held court here in the courthouse days Making a Lincoln Shrine out between 1848 and 1852, is en- shrined on the Judge's desk in the court room on the second floor of the Mt. Pulaski Shrine. Judge Davis was later appointed to the Supreme Court of the Unit- ed States. of this building in which Abra- ham Lincoln practiced law is the biggest asset the city of Mount Pulaski can hope to se- cure, and it is up to every citiz- en to back the project to the lim- it. CitF Had Sold Courthouse To State For $1.00 Closely associated with Lincoln the Circuit-Rider, the Mt. Pulaski Court House in Logan county is an excellent survival of early. day architecture and a signifi- cant monument to the pioneer lawyers. It was this Court House and in the others in the old 8th Circuit, that Lincoln in his as- sociations and combats with Douglas, Stuart, McDougall, "Ed- wards, Lamborn, Bledsoe and others of Illinois coterie of bril- noted New York photographer, and resident of Mount Pulaski. OF OmlGINAL ODUmTIOUSE made in 1942 by the late Donald C Beidler, liant attorneys broadened his facilities and acquired the tech- nical training he lacked as a youth. The first Logan county court house was at Postville, now the city of Lincoln. There the court held sessions between 1840 and 1848, when the booming town of Mt Pulaski offered a business block and a new building as an inducement to the electors of the county to move the county seat. Mt. Pulaski backers won the election, and the citizens raised $2,700.00 toward building the new two-story brick capitol. The court house, which is 70 percent intact today, served until 18,53 when the county seat by legisla- tion was moved to Lincoln, a thriving new community named for the Springfield lawyer who was the trusted friend and at- torney of the town's founder. The Mt. Pulaski court house was used as a schoolhouse until 1878, then as a city hall and jail and finally as a postoffice and headquarters for various town officials. In 1936, it was acquired by the State from the city of Mt. Pulaski for one dollar and re. storation work was begun. Rutom Old Stxw The stairway at the east end of the main corridor was restor- ed and the offices of the circuit clerk, county clerk, county judge and treasurer, all on the first floor, have been arranged as they were in the '40's and '50's. On the second story, when the or- iginal floor was uncovered seat- ings of newels and balusters of the jury box and judge's stand were found and served as mark- ers in recreating the old Eighth Circuit courtroom. This courtroom saw much of Abraham Lincoln who for nearly a quarter of a century rode the Eighth Circuit, first as a partner of $ohn T. Stuart, later as an associate of Stephen T. Logan, and finally as the senior mem- ber of the firm of Lincoln and Herndon, a partnership dissolved by the bullet of the assassin Booth. By turns moody and ebullient, cracking Jokes and fraternizing or sitting alone and dripping gloom, Lincoln was one | , I I I | ! = II ! i I I ! I | i | of the most popular erant company of traveled the circuit. tire area, which at took in one-fifth of the Illinois, his was a ure. Gaunt, tall, with ionately long legs large hands and little for personal but was recognized for knowledge, his and his endless store During most of hiS the bar Lincoln spent his time away from riding from county to first on a sort3 groomed himself, and trying cases territory that took in ties of Logan, McLeal DeWitt, Vermillion Moultrie, Shelby, a%istorians aLrree st_ years at Mt. Pulaski, _,teJ and other towns on thiS -b, much to do with his ly The State of II' I ness. i preserved for all tim.'w--, i Pulaski a building whiCn,, an important role in t'- life. The Mount Pulmdd At the time of the the county seat, was a part of the Judicial district, the circuit itinerary Lincoln, the lawyer. i Davis of I presiding judge at There were two circuit court each ning the last and October, early court terms few days, rarely Abraham Lincoln practically at every Mount Pulaski cottrL Other lawyers and other ad attended the Mr. They usually Pulaski Hotel, place in court coln, however, quently a guest Sabez Capps. The two ensed lawyers at court were Samuel C. parks. Mr. Pulaski from (Continued on