Courthouse Replica "Banks"      
Feb. 12th give-away

Today, Feb. 12, 2008, replicas of the Mt. Pulaski Courthouse were given to all visitors to the Mt. Pulaski courthouse.  A tour of the courthouse, cookies, punch, hot cider and coffee were offered to help entice those a bit wary of the cold, snowy weather.  Bob McCue and Tom Romer handled the tours, while Barbara Stroud-Borth and Wally Kautz gave out the precious little courthouse "banks".

This free give-away was all made possible by the creation, production and donation of these Mt. Pulaski Courthouse replicas by Weyerhaeuser Corporation in Lincoln, IL.  Weyerhaeuser plant manager, Ed Riehl, approved the project, with Weyerhaeuser computer designer, Aaron Kodesh, providing the cardboard cutout design. 

Mt. Pulaski was the Logan County Seat from 1848 to 1854, when it was transferred by vote to the city of Lincoln, which now was situated on the commuter and freight train service from Chicago to Springfield and on to St. Louis.  Mt. Pulaski did not get its commuter and freight service until the 1870's.  The county seat of Lincoln began its courthouse proceedings in the spring of 1855.  The town of Mt. :Pulaski had been founded in 1836, while the town of Lincoln was not founded until 1853. 

The Mt. Pulaski Courthouse, located on the town square - 703 feet above sea level - is one of two remaining original courthouses of the 1840's and 1850's Illinois 8th Judicial Circuit.  Abraham Lincoln, along with Judge David Davis, members of the traveling judicial circuit, practiced law in the Mt. Pulaski courthouse:  Mr. Lincoln (1849-1854), Judge Davis (1848-1854).  Mr. Lincoln was in the Illinois state legislature in 1948.   Stephen A. Douglas also lawyered in the Mt. Pulaski courthouse.  Judge Davis was later appointed as an United States Supreme Court Justice by President Lincoln in 1862.

This project is part of the Mt. Pulaski Abraham Lincoln Bi-Centennial Celebration, which was kicked off in 2006 and will continue through 2009.  The Mt. Pulaski Township Historical Society is a member of the Bi-Centennial committee.  Historical Society President Jane DeWitt and its members came up with this project idea last October.   Jean Martin and Barbara Stroud-Borth communicated with the Weyerhaeuser Corporation, with Phil Bertoni providing the photographs of all sides of the courthouse. 

The colorful cardboard replica is an excellent rendition of the courthouse’s Greek Revival red and white design with its six distinctive chimneys. On one side of the replica's roof is printed “Mt. Pulaski Courthouse Served Logan County & 8th Judicial Circuit 1848-1855.  Mt. Pulaski, IL 175th Anniversary 1836-2011.”   Carol Schroth's grand-daughter was the first to receive a replica, given by Wally Kautz, Mt. Pulaski Courthouse Director.

Prior to the give-away, the courthouse replicas had to be neatly folded together.  Accomplishing this for over 200 replicas presented quite a challenge.  Rushing to the rescue were the VFW Veterans, VFW Women's Auxiliary and resident volunteers out at the Vonderleith Living Center.  Lisa McCoy, Vonderleith Activities Director, spearheaded the folding of 100 replicas. 

Courthouse replica - 1st recipient


Courthouse director, Wally Kautz,
looking on as a visitor signs the courthouse register

Lisa McCoy, Activities Director at the
Vonderleith Living Center

Stovetop hat cookies by Jane DeWitt -
cookie cutter design by Tom Stephens

Jerry Collier didn't want to disappoint his grandkids-
Barbara Stroud-Borth looking on

extra courthouse replicas waiting for their owners