On Saturday, the weather cooperated, and as a result, Postville
Courthouse was packed for a day of Abraham Lincoln birthday
Lincoln's Logan County Arts & Crafts Guild put on the
morning program at Postville, which included a presentation of the
colors by AMVETS and Logan County Interveterans Council, a
recitation of the Gettysburg Address by Zion Lutheran School
students, and a storytelling performance by Mike Anderson of
The afternoon events included music by Postville Express and
presentations by Bloomington attorney and author Guy Fraker, a
renowned Abraham Lincoln historian. Abraham Lincoln interpreter Greg
Bergschneider, a popular favorite at Postville, was on hand for the
Abraham Lincoln's favorite rocking chair was once again on
display at the courthouse. When Lincoln was riding the 8th Judicial
Circuit between Springfield and Charleston, he often stayed with his
friend Illinois state Sen. Maldon Jones. When there, Lincoln always
sat in the same rocking chair, the chair that was on display thanks
to Jones' great-great-grandson, Doug Mulikin and his wife.
Several local representatives were in attendance at the event,
including Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman; JoAnne Marlin, Logan
County Board secretary; Nancy Rollings Saul and John Sutton, current
and past presidents of the Arts & Crafts Guild; and Shirley
Bartelmay, Postville volunteer coordinator, along with several of
On Saturday evening, the Logan Railsplitting Association
rekindled an old tradition as John Sutton split half a log into
rails between the sophomore and varsity LCHS basketball games versus
Springfield. The crowd showed great enthusiasm as Sutton split the
rails, while Railsplitting Association President Darlene Begolka
narrated the event and threw railsplitting ball caps into the crowd.
The event was a promotion for the 38th annual Abraham Lincoln
National Railsplitting Contest & Crafts Festival, Sept. 12-14.
On Sunday afternoon a full house was on hand at the Mount Pulaski
Courthouse State Historic Site for the "Cast Iron Tombstone Trial"
re-enactment. Two tombstone trials actually took place during the
time that the courthouse was a part of the 8th Judicial Circuit. In
both trials, Mr. Lincoln was defense attorney and Judge David Davis
presided. Both verdicts were appealed to the Illinois State Supreme
Court, and President Lincoln learned of the result of his Mount
Pulaski court appeal in 1864, during the anguish and tribulations of
the Civil War. Copies of actual trial documents have been obtained
and further research of this case has been conducted.
The play was the brainchild of Phil Bertoni and Darrell Knauer,
both of Mount Pulaski Looking for Lincoln. Both men have recurring
roles in the play, with Knauer at the helm as Judge Davis. Tom
Martin, president of the Illinois Looking for Lincoln Heritage
Coalition, also had a recurring role as the prosecuting attorney,
and Jeff Clements of Mount Pulaski played the role of Abraham
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The re-enactment was also the debut of the Mount Pulaski Courthouse
banks. These banks were generously created and donated by
Weyerhaeuser in Lincoln and are in the shape of the Mount Pulaski
Courthouse. The banks will also be available Tuesday at the
courthouse open house, from noon to 4 p.m.
On Sunday evening, Main Street Lincoln, Lincoln College and Mount
Pulaski Looking for Lincoln teamed up to present the fourth annual
Logan County Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration at the Lincoln
College Student Center.
The event included remarks from Dr. Kristen Green-Morrow,
immediate past president of Main Street Lincoln; Lincoln Mayor Beth
Davis-Kavelman, Dr. John Hutchinson, president of Lincoln College;
Wanda Lee Rohlfs, executive director of Main Street Lincoln; Paul
Beaver, of Main Street Lincoln's Looking for Lincoln program; and
Phil Bertoni, of Mount Pulaski Looking for Lincoln.
Special awards were presented to Mount Pulaski Historical Museum
and Genealogical Research Center, Logan County Genealogical and
Historical Society, the Middletown Bicentennial Commission, and the
Knapp-Chesnut-Becker Historical Society.
The featured speaker was the renowned Dr. Wayne C. Temple, chief
deputy director of the Illinois State Archives and noted Abraham
Lincoln historian. Temple is the author of many Abraham Lincoln and
Civil War books and articles. His research includes an extensive
documentation of Abraham Lincoln's connection with the Stagecoach
Inn (also known as the Dunlap House) in Middletown, which was the
featured part of the presentation at the Sunday evening event.
Temple also took questions from the audience on a variety of topics
related to Abraham Lincoln.
Terry Steinhour, of the Middletown Bicentennial Commission,
concluded the evening by presenting Temple with a framed photograph
of Temple's christening of the Stagecoach Inn, which marked the
moving of the building back to Middletown and its dedication on July
These events are just the start of the Abraham Lincoln
Bicentennial activities over the next two years. For more
information on upcoming events, please contact the
Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of
Logan County at 217-732-8687.
[Text from file received from
Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau]