Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

Madison County Courthouse unveils Abraham Lincoln portrait


By Charmaine Little | Jun 22, 2018

From left: Judge David Dugan, Justice David Overstreet, IJA President Judge John Coady, ISBA 3rd VP Dennis Orsey, to the right: Chief Judge David Hylla, Judge Barbara Crowder, Judge Sarah Smith, Justice Tom Welch and Judge Andreas Matoesian. | Courtesy of Office of the Chief Judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit

EDWARDSVILLE – A canvas portrait of Abraham Lincoln can now be seen in the lobby of the Madison County Courthouse in Edwardsville.

The portrait was unveiled at the courthouse May 21.

Chief Judge David Hylla did the honors of unveiling the portrait at a special ceremony and officiated the service that featured the portrait. Illinois State Historical Board Member Cindy Reinhardt and Illinois Judges Association President John Coady also made appearances at the event and said a few words about the portrait.

The portrait was a gift to the county in recognition of the state’s bicentennial celebration after successful initiatives headed by official state organizations such as the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois State Historical Society. The groups have a goal of placing one Lincoln portrait in every county courthouse by Dec. 3.

The portrait measures 30 inches by 40 inches and was taken by photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860. In it, Lincoln wears a dark suit coat, a matching vest and a bowtie. Other details of the portrait include a cord that sat across Lincoln’s shirt and was connected to his reading glasses.

Hesler was born in Canada in 1823 and died in Evanston in 1895, according to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Lincoln was a fan of the work and said, “That looks better and expresses me better than any I have ever seen; if it pleases people I am satisfied," according to a press release issued by the Office of the Chief Judge of the 3rd Judicial District.

A certificate of authenticity is displayed underneath the portrait. The certificate also recognizes and salutes the organizations that donated the portrait to the county.

The portrait is available for viewing from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the northwest side of the first floor.  

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Organizations in this Story

Illinois Judges Association Madison County Circuit Court

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