A famous 1860 photograph of Abraham Lincoln presented at the Madison County Courthouse on May 21st now hangs in the lobby of the building at 155 North Main Street in Edwardsville. The portrait was presented in a ceremony presided over by Chief Judge David Hylla. Cindy Reinhardt, a board member of the Illinois State Historical Society and Illinois Judges Association President John Coady spoke about the history of the amazing photograph.
The canvas portrait is 30 inches by 40 inches and was donated to Madison County as part of a project sponsored by the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Foundation, and the Illinois State Historical Society to commemorate the Illinois bicentennial. The organizations have a goal of placing one Lincoln portrait in a courthouse in each county of the state by the December 3, 2018 bicentennial date.
This portrait was taken by famed photographer Alexande Hesler on June 3, 1860. Lincoln said of the photograph, “That looks better and expresses me better than any I have ever seen; if it pleases people I am satisfied.”
Dressed in his typical dark suit coat, vest and bow tie, Lincoln is pictured with a solemn expression, peering slightly to his left past the camera lens. He has a cord across the front of his white shirt, which was attached to his reading glasses.
Framed underneath the Lincoln portrait is a certificate of authenticity that notes the organizations responsible for its donation. The public is encouraged to come and view the portrait on weekdays between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm in the northwest corner of the 1st floor.