DeWitt County receives Lincoln portrait as part of Illinois Bicentennial project

DeWitt County recently received its Abraham Lincoln portrait as part of an Illinois Bicentennial project. Left to right, retired Appellate Judge Carol Pope, Circuit Judge Karle Koritz, DeWitt County Museum director Joey Woolridge and DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker.

CLINTON — Representatives of DeWitt County recently accepted a copy of an Abraham Lincoln portrait by famed photographer Alexander Hesler.  Hesler took the photo in Springfield on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s presidential campaign.

The presentation was part of an Illinois Bicentennial project to place one of the portraits in every Illinois county.

“We are excited to be part of this historic project honoring one of Illinois’ greatest lawyers during the state’s bicentennial,” said Circuit Judge Karle Koritz.  “This image portrays Lincoln as he prepares to transition from trial lawyer to presidential candidate.”

The glass-plate positive used to create the portraits is owned by the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS).

“Today, even though we did not live in those times, we, too, still look to Lincoln as an inspiration, cherish the memories of Lincoln that those who knew him passed on to us and take pride that such a great man is a part of DeWitt County’s history and heritage,” said DeWitt County Museum director Joey Woolridge. 

Donations from the Illinois Judges Association and the Illinois State Bar Association made the portrait project possible.  Hesler’s Lincoln portrait is considered one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.


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