A high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph will be presented to the Jasper County Courthouse on Thursday, September 13. The unveiling ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. in the courthouse, 100 West Jourdan Street, Newton. The event is open to the public.
The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.
The permanent installation is made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association (IJA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and their respective foundations – the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation. Printed on canvas, the image of the beardless Lincoln is encased in a richly stained wood frame and measures 30-inches wide by 40-inches tall.
The four organizations are partnering with the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS), which owns the glass-plate positives of Hesler’s Lincoln portrait. The ISHS is leading a statewide campaign to place a framed copy in a courthouse in each of Illinois’ 102 counties in commemoration of the state’s bicentennial this year.
“We are thrilled to be part of this historic project honoring one of Illinois’ greatest lawyers during the state’s bicentennial,” said Kimberly Koester, chief judge of the 4th Judicial Circuit. “This image portrays Lincoln as he prepares to transition from trial lawyer to presidential candidate.”
"The people of Jasper County are proud to have this Abraham Lincoln portrait installed in our courthouse in honor of this great president from Illinois," said Daniel Hartigan, resident circuit judge of Jasper County.