By Floyd Ham
“Abraham Lincoln” will be visiting the Stark County CUSD No. 100 schools on Friday, Oct. 26, as part of the many activities being planned to celebrate the 160th Anniversary of his visit to Toulon during the famous 1858 senatorial campaign.
Stark County Elementary School principal Jenna Bibb said her teachers are excited and planning “special activities” to prepare the students for their meeting with Lincoln at a 1:30 all-school assembly in the gymnasium.
The third graders are preparing some special music for the courthouse program and permission slips have been sent home for approval.
Lamb said social studies classes will be discussing Lincoln and his significance. Lincoln will be at the Junior High at 10 a.m. Other details are still being developed.
In addition to the school visit, Schmidt outlined some of the courthouse activities – the 1858 campaign parade, the program and rally, the period music, the speakers, local talent, the courthouse displays and the dedication of the historical marker and the newly corrected Pioneer Monument.
Lincoln’s appearance at the Courthouse in Toulon is particularly significant because the Courthouse is one of very few throughout Illinois that is still in daily use and hosted Lincoln at any time during his career as a circuit riding lawyer, a state representative or a politician.
The fact that Judge and Senator Stephen A. Douglas had delivered a speech at the courthouse the day before Lincoln’s speech might make the Toulon courthouse the only one still in daily use that hosted both men.
Both Bibb and Lamb believe the events being planned for and around the Lincoln in Stark County Day affords a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to highlight the connection of current activities and local historical events.
Schmidt added that “our Lincoln – Fritz Klein” of Springfield is a nationally renowned and accomplished actor who has appeared in 43 states and schools all over the area in addition to on television in numerous documentaries about the life of Lincoln.