Lee County Courthouse to display new Lincoln reproduction


DIXON — The Lee County Courthouse recently received a high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph.

The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.

The permanent installation is made possibly by donations from the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and their respective foundations, the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation.

Printed on canvas, the image of the beardless Lincoln is encased in a richly stained wood frame and measures 30 inches wide by 40 inches tall.

The four organizations are partnering with the Illinois State Historical Society, which owns the glass-plate positives of Hesler’s Lincoln portrait. The ISHS is leading a statewide campaign to place a framed copy in a courthouse in each of Illinois’ 102 counties in commemoration of the state’s bicentennial this year.

“We are proud to be a part of this historic effort to honor one of our nation’s greatest leaders in the state he called home,” said Ronald Jacobson, judge of 15thJudicial Circuit. “It is particularly fitting that we commemorate this history event in the same city where Lincoln served in the Army.”