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Abraham Lincoln miniature collector statues, ornaments, postcards and children's art auction to aid statue fundraising

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[November 07, 2013]  Tuesday 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 U.S. Senate.

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 commission.

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 work changed.

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 institute.

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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 statue.

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.


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