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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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[Courthouse Shrine Opened To Public 1 Restored Shrine Opened To Public Sunday, Feb. 16, 39 February 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 Joe Snyder Was Spearhead In Securing Shrine 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. to viSit the shrine and had their A fine group of interested first view of the state's newest citizens were present to help memorial to Abraham Lincoln. get the project under way, and Many Mount Pulaskians who had[ from the enthusiasm shown, it followed the progress of the]is bur a matter of a definite or. restoration from the sidelineslganization pushing the matter made their first trip to the build-land keeping a* it until the Job ing and were very much pleased is completed. " with the completeness with! which the state had restored the Joe Snyder, who has been do- building. 1Iumbered among the visitors were several who had attended school in the courthouse before the first combined grade and high 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 here 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 I 1840's in Massachusettes, Penn-I sylvania, Maine and Illinois, by] Daniel H. Davidson, a surveyor! from Woodford county. A record-i ing instrument on the large J wheel of the device which looks like a glorified wheelbarrow, ! mg 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 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 the grounds was an expression of the interest of the South Side Club. Frank B. Snyder told of the ar- rangement and appearance of the original court house as far LINCOLN MEMORIAL COURT HOUSE SHRINE TODAY, reijters the distance. [ The original gavel used by Sudge David Davis, who held I court here in the courthouse days between 1848 and 1852, is en- shrined on the 3udge's desk in the court room on the second floor of the Mt. Pulaski Shrine. Sudge Davis was later appointed to the Supreme Court of the Unit- ed States. as he was able to ascertain from having talked with a number of old settlers the past few years. Centennial year in 1936 is an added incentive at the time to complete this 'Lincoln Shrine that has been talked of for years, but lacked leadership to push it through to a reality. City Had Sold Courthouse To State For $1.00 RESTORATION OF COURTHOUSE AS LINCOLN SHRINE IN 1936 !liant attorneys broadened his facilities and acquired the tech- 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- Making a Lincoln Shrine out cant monument to the pioneer of this building in which Abra-]lawyers. It was this Court House ham Lincoln practiced law is] and in the others in me old 8th the biggest asset the city ofICircuit, that Lincoln in his as- Mount Pulaski can hope to se-]sociations and combats with cure, and it is up to every citiz-]Douglas, Stuart, McDougall, "Ed- en to back the project to the lira-]wards, Lamborn, Ble.dsoe..and it. t others of Illinois coterie ol orii- noted New York photographer, and resident of Mount Pulaski. a former' i nical training he lacked as a youth. I The first Logan county court i house was at Postville, now the city of Lincoln. There the court held sessions between 1840 and 1848, when the booming town of Mr. 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 1853 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 Mr. Pulaski for one dollar and re- storation work was begun. Restonb Old Stcdzwt 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 John 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 OF OBIGINIJ. coumllou11 ;made in 1942 by the late Donald C. Beidler, 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 , et, 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 to first on a SORT: groomed himself, later and trying cases territory that took in ties of Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Vermillion Ch Moultrie, Shelby, Edgar, att. Historians agree years at Mt. and other towns on this much to do with his ness. The State of preserved for all Pulaski a building an important role life. The Mount PulasJd At the time of the the county seat, was a part of the Judicial district, the circuit itinerary Lincoln, the lawyer. Davis of Bloomin presiding judge at There were two ei'reuit court each ning the last and October, early court terms few days, rarely more Abraham Lincoln practically at every Mount Pulaski court. Other lawyers from and other adjacent attended the Mr. They usually Pulaski Hotel, place in court coln, however, quently a guest at Jabez Capps. The two leading ensed lawyers at the court were Lionel P. Samuel C. Park Mr. Pulaski from (Continued on