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
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
These tombstones still exist in several cemeteries around Logan
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
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
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]