Calendar | Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County

Public invited to 'Cast Iron Tombstone Trial' this weekend          Send a link to a friend

[SEPT. 7, 2006]  MOUNT PULASKI -- It's 1854 and this weekend you are invited to join Abraham Lincoln and Judge David Davis in Mount Pulaski in sorting out the differences between a couple of businessmen.

Young lawyer A. Lincoln was riding the 8th Judicial Circuit, covering 420 miles, when he tried what has been coined the "Cast Iron Tombstone Trial" in the Mount Pulaski Courthouse.

Judge David Davis of McLean County presided over the court hearings.

President Abraham Lincoln later appointed Judge Davis to the Supreme Court in 1862.

This particular case involves the strange case between Henry K. Flinchbaugh of Lancaster County, Pa., and Reuben Miller from Chicago. They owned the patent rights for a cast-iron tombstone. The rights were apparently sold to Nathaniel M. Whitaker of Mount Pulaski. 

These tombstones still exist in several cemeteries around Logan County. 

The first Logan County Courthouse was in Postville, on the site where the replica now stands on Fifth Street in Lincoln. A new courthouse was built in Mount Pulaski, and court business was conducted there from the years 1848 to 1855. That courthouse has been maintained and is the site of the re-enactment.

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When the city of Lincoln became the county seat, a new courthouse was built on the site where the current (second) courthouse stands today.

Trials and numerous court documents were lost in an 1857 fire at the Lincoln courthouse. Due to the loss of information in that fire, this case is one of only four known trials that were held in the Mount Pulaski Courthouse.

The premiere production will be presented in the Mount Pulaski Courthouse. The dramatization will take place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 11 a.m. and again at 4 p.m., following the parade at the Mount Pulaski Fall Festival

The cast will be in period costumes.

Donations will be accepted at the entrance of the courthouse. All proceeds will benefit the Mount Pulaski Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Committee to plan activities and events leading up to A. Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009 for a "to life" trial re-enactment.

[News release; LDN]



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