evening, the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society Statue
Committee met for their monthly meeting and heard updates on various
fundraising activities that are underway.
The committee consists of Paul Gleason as chair, Chuck Conzo, Bill
Donath, JoAnne Marlin, Mary Ellen Martin, Roger Matson, Joe Mintjal,
Wanda Lee Rohlfs and John Sutton.
This is for the most part the
same group who led the community through replacing the fallen Civil
War soldier statue when the original was damaged beyond repair in a
winter storm in 2008.
The new Civil War statue was dedicated in April of 2011. In 2012
the committee requested that the remains of the old statue be given
a proper burial in Postville Park. It was shortly after that
ceremony that the group decided they wanted to go forward with
erecting another statue on the lawn of the Logan County Courthouse.
This one would be a depiction of Abraham Lincoln giving his historic
speech on the courthouse lawn in 1858 when he was a candidate for
At that speech, before Lincoln was president, he was coming off a
round of public debates and campaigns against his running rival,
Stephen Douglas. When the Logan County community heard that Lincoln
was coming to Lincoln, more than 5,000 people gathered at the
courthouse to hear him speak.
In 2008, the Main Street Lincoln organization commissioned a
painting of the speech as a commemorative of the 150th anniversary
of the gathering.
Early this year, the current committee unveiled the statue in
miniature form, which was created using that painting as the model
for Lincoln. Soon after, they announced that they would be selling
bronze miniatures as part of their fundraising efforts.
The miniatures, which stand a little over 20 inches tall, are
being sold to collectors at a cost of $2,000 each. The first person
to purchase a miniature statue was committee member Joe Mintjal, who
is an avid collector of Lincoln memorabilia and art. The second
statue was purchased by the State Bank of Lincoln.
The statues are numbered, and the committee has commissioned a
total of 30 to be made, with the mold to be broken at the end of the
Tuesday evening it was reported that to date, 11 statues have
been purchased. Mintjal said that he and Bill Donath had gone to
pick up statues in late October and placed their order for the next
10. He told the committee that it would be a good idea to go ahead
and get the last 10 ordered in the near future. He said that when
the agreement for the commission was made with the manufacturer, the
price was guaranteed for one year. He said they wanted to be sure to
have all 30 purchased before the year ran out and the price of the
Paul Gleason reported that he would be doing a one-hour class
presentation on Wednesday at West Lincoln-Broadwell School, and
Roger Matson discussed the fundraiser that the school will be doing
for the committee.
The fundraiser is scheduled for Nov. 23 at the Lincoln Art
Institute. Matson said Tony Newton is the history and art teacher at
WLB. Newton will assist his classes in creating Abraham Lincoln art
that will then be on display in a silent auction at the art
In addition to the public being able to bid on and purchase the
kids' artwork, the miniature bronze will be on display, and orders
will be taken for that art as well.
The committee has also ordered postcards of the statue,
and those should be available for purchase by then.
The show and auction at the art institute are tentatively
scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Saturday
event will also include punch and cookies as refreshments.
Wanda Lee Rohlfs showed the group drawings of a new Christmas
ornament showing the Lincoln statue. The ornament should be
available by the first of December. It is being made by the same
company and in the same style as the ornaments that used to be sold
by the Main Street organization.
Rohlfs said a total of 200 ornaments will be made, and they will
be numbered. The first 30 will be set aside and given to the 30
businesses or individuals who purchase the miniature bronzes.
Rohlfs said the ornaments will come in a hunter green box and
will include a certificate. She said she still needed to work on
what the certificate would say but will get that task completed in
the near future.
Matson said he would like to see something at the fundraiser
where people could order the ornament. He also noted that he had
talked to someone already who has spoken for six of them.
The group discussed for several minutes how the ornaments should
be priced. In the end, they decided to ask an even $20 per ornament.
It was reported that the leftover Main Street ornaments from
previous years are going for about that price. The committee felt
that asking $20 for a fundraising ornament would not be too much of
a stretch when the buyer realizes the money is going directly to the
In other business, Rohlfs shared printouts of local media
coverage of the Northwest School field day in October. That day,
students from Ms Marla Williams' history classes toured the State
Bank of Lincoln and visited the LCGHS.
Rohlfs also told the group that she had spoken with one of the
Northwest students regarding their penny drive fundraiser. The
student told her the school had collected over $300 for the statue
committee. Rohlfs said this was not official information, as she has
not yet spoken with Ms. Williams.
As their final act of business for the night, the committee
decided to forgo a December meeting due to the holidays, but they
said that if a special meeting was needed, one could be called.