Lincoln Statues

 

The Melissa Goings statues arrives in Metamora

A crowd gathered for the event

 

 

Statues unveiled

Sculptor John McClarey and Shirley Adams

 

 

 

Lincoln Statues

    

UNVEILING THE “OUT of COURT” STATUES IN THE PARK

 

   Another attraction to our beautiful Village Square was added on Saturday, August 22, 2009 when life-sized bronze statues of Abraham Lincoln and

Melissa Goings were unveiled.  This concluded a fund raising effort by the Woodford County Historical Society.  A goal of $102,000 was reached and

the event in celebration of the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth was planned. The day began with the Farmers Market at 8 a.m. At noon the

Central Illinois Civil War Dance Society danced on the brick street before the historic Metamora Courthouse.   Live bluegrass music played from 1 to

2:30 p.m.  At 2:45 p.m. the American Legion Honor Guard assembled in the park. The Metamora High School Band with the Color Guard marched to

the bandstand and played a Sousa medley.  At 3 p.m. Woodford County Historical Society president James Fyke led the Pledge of Allegiance and

then introduced Jean Myers, Lincoln Statue Project chairperson.  Jean Myers introduced Curt and Anita Rowden who sang a medley of America the

Beautiful and God Bless America.  Guest speakers Senator Dale Risinger,  Representative David Leitch , Glenn Rauh, and Sculptor, John McClarey

spoke briefly followed by the MTHS Marching Band playing Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”.  At 3:30 p.m. WCHS President presented the

statues to Metamora Mayor William Belshaw.   Then another selection “Bach to the Future” was played by the MTHS Marching Band.  The unveiling of

the statues followed before a large crowd of people attending .  All assembled around the statues for a group photo.  This photograph will be placed

 in a time capsule later.   

     At 4:30 p.m. Max and Donna Daniels presented “An Evening with the Lincolns” in the courtroom of the Metamora Courthouse.  Beginning at

7 p.m. a period dance was held in the south gymnasium of the Metamora High School with live music from Banjolele and performances from the

Central Illinois Civil War Dance Society Performers. 

     The day’s event was planned with the cooperation of the Woodford County Historical Society Lincoln Statue Committee, the Village of Metamora

and the Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site.

       

     The Looking for Lincoln wayside station looking north pass the statues toward the Metamora Courthouse tells the story of the well known case of

Lincoln and Melissa Goings.  It reads: 

     Melissa Goings a 70 year old woman accused of killing her abusive husband, 77 year old Roswell, earlier that spring.  Roswell  died from a blow

to the back of his head, which Melissa was alleged to have inflected with a piece of firewood.  Town legend claims that many felt sorry for Melissa and

did not want to prosecute her.  While in the custody of the sheriff  though she somehow was able to escape.  A bailiff accused Lincoln of chasing her

off, but in one version of the story, he told the Judge, YOUR HONOR, I DID NOT RUN HER OFF.  SHE WANTED TO KNOW WHERE SHE COULD GET A

GOOD DRINK OF WATER, AND I TOLD HER THERE WAS MIGHTY GOOD WATER IN “TENNESSEE”.  No effort was made to bring her back. 

     This was the last case Lincoln tried on October 10, 1857 at the Metamora Courthouse.

     

History and photo submitted by Shirley A. Adams.

     

 
 
Send any old photos and related stories concerning Metamora History to Shirley A. Adams, PO Box 288, Metamora, IL 61548.

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