In December of 2008, a fierce wind and chilling temperatures
brought the granite Civil War soldier statue on the Logan County
Courthouse grounds tumbling to the ground. The statue had been a
landmark of the courthouse square for more than a century.
Soon afterward, a committee was formed, starting with members of
the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society, to raise the
money to erect a new soldier statue on the courthouse lawn.
In April of 2011 the committee's hard work was realized as they
held a special dedication ceremony and officially unveiled a new
bronze version of the Civil War soldier.
Later, the committee would hold another service, laying to rest
the remains of the old soldier in a proper grave with marker in
Postville Park, which is across the street from the site of the
first courthouse in Logan County, the Postville Courthouse, where
Abraham Lincoln once practiced law.
With the work on the project completed, the committee decided
that rather than disband, they would enter into a new project, a
bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, modeled after a painting depicting
his great speech on the courthouse steps in Lincoln in October of
In February the committee hosted a meeting with the sculptor who
would create the new statue. David Seagraves spent an evening at the
historical society storefront on Chicago Street. He brought with him
a clay model of the statue that he will eventually sculpt for the
During that evening, Seagraves, who also did the Civil War statue
and worked on restoration of the Indian mother statue on the south
lawn of the courthouse, talked about how he created the model.
Guests that night marveled at the tremendous detail that had gone
into the model and were assured that the life-size project would be
Last week, the committee announced that they were going to sell a
limited number of bronze sculptures, exact replicas of the clay
model introduced in February.
To date two of the sculptures have been purchased. The first one
was bought by Joe Mintjal, who is a member of the committee and a
serious collector of Lincoln art. The second statue was purchased by
the State Bank of Lincoln.
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Monday morning, as part of the unveiling, Paul Gleason of the
committee spoke briefly about how the statue came to be. Steve
Aughenbaugh, State Bank president, spoke briefly, saying that with
the vast collection of Lincoln art at the bank, it seemed only
reasonable that the bank would be among the first to purchase this
new, limited edition piece. He congratulated the committee on their
work and commitment to the statue project, and he wished them good
luck in their efforts.
Asked where the 22-inch statue would be placed, Aughenbaugh said
that was yet to be determined, but the options would be explored and
the piece given a permanent home in the very near future.
The statue is signed by the artist and numbered. There is also a
small plaque that will be attached to the base, noting that it is a
depiction of Lincoln during that 1858 speech on the Logan County
The small statues are being sold as a part of the fundraising
efforts for the completion of the larger one for the courthouse
lawn. The cost of the full-size statue will run approximately
$45,000. Anyone who wishes to purchase one of the special edition
pieces can do so by contacting the historical society.
[By NILA SMITH]
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