By Don Schmidt
Abraham Lincoln, as portrayed by Fritz Klein, will appear in Stark County on Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27.
Sharon Perkins, president of the Stark County Genealogical Society (SCGS), said her entire SCGS Board has worked very hard for more than six months to complete the arrangements for Stark County Day in Toulon, including the appearance of Klein.
Klein, a professional actor from Springfield, has played Lincoln in 43 states and several foreign countries. He often appears at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and in numerous schools across Illinois and throughout the Midwest. |
As an actor, speaker and entertainer, Klein often conducts workshops and gives keynote speeches at luncheons, banquets and seminars.
Klein bears a striking physical resemblance to Lincoln. His programs are thoroughly researched and historically accurate. He blends Lincoln’s humor with his great humanity.
Klein has said that his audience will walk away with new insight into Lincoln the man.
According to Klein, people who see him perform often say they get a genuine sense that they have been with Lincoln himself.
Klein has done numerous documentaries and feature films for National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, C-Span and the History Channel including “Stealing Lincoln’s Body”, “Lincoln’s Secret Killer,” and “American Mastermind.” He has also been the central lead in the recreations of important events of Lincoln’s life – his trip to Washington, his inaugural addresses, the Gettysburg address and the funeral train home to Illinois.
In Toulon on Saturday morning, Oct. 27, Klein (hereafter called “Lincoln”) will ride in a horse and buggy at the end of an 1858-style campaign parade and rally. He will walk to the stage east of the courthouse to open the program.
Lincoln will mix with the crowd throughout the morning. He will participate in the unveiling of the new historical marker on the courthouse lawn.
The marker, approved by the Illinois State Historical Society, highlights the significance of the Stark County courthouse in Illinois’ 200-year history.
Lincoln will participate in a public viewing of the Pioneer Monument that memorializes the visits of Lincoln and his opponent, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, during the most famous Senatorial campaign in the history of the United States.
Master stone carvers recently corrected the monument by chiseling in the proper dates when Lincoln and Douglas appeared in Toulon. The dates on the monument erected in 1912 had been in error.
SCGS is particularly pleased that Lincoln is appearing at the Stark County schools on Friday, Oct. 26. Students at the Stark County Junior High School will get to hear Lincoln in a morning assembly and students at the Stark County Elementary School in Wyoming will host Lincoln in the afternoon.