Mt. Vernon Register-News


April 24, 2008

State Supreme Court coming to town to celebrate Lincoln statue dedication

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MT. VERNON — As part of a ribbon-cutting celebration commemorating a new sculpture of Abraham Lincoln during his young attorney days, the Illinois Supreme Court will not only be in attendance for the event at the Appellate Courthouse here in September, but it will also hear at least one case prior to the ceremony.

And the judges will meet in the only active courtroom where Lincoln practiced and appeared, according to Mark Hassakis, Mt. Vernon Lincoln Bicentennial Committee Chairman.

“This may be the first of Supreme Court visits [to the Appellate Courthouses],” remarked Hassakis, who added that with discussion of plans to renovate the courthouse in Springfield, the justices may see this as an opportunity to visit all the appellate courthouses in the state. “We’re the first visit,” he said.

Following the hearing, the Supreme Court justices will adjourn to the ribbon cutting and are expected to make remarks regarding the sculpture, along with members of the 5th Appellate Court and Illinois Bar Association. Incoming IBA president Jack Carey of Belleville is also expected to comment, Hassakis said.

The statue will be erected on the northeast corner of the Appellate Courthouse in a manner which will not interfere with the aesthetics of the courthouse staircase.

Earlier this month it was reported more than $60,000 in pledges and donations has been received by the Mt. Vernon Lincoln Bicentennial Committee in its efforts to raise $90,000 to purchase the 9-foot-tall statue of Lincoln. Alan Cottrill of Ohio has been commissioned to create the bronze sculpture of a young Lincoln in his early days as an attorney, with his signature top hat and briefcase. Cottrill has been working on the full-size statue in his Ohio studio and was scheduled to send another series of pictures of progress of the sculpture.

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