The Lincoln-Douglas Debate mural in Jonesboro. Photo provided.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate mural dedication planned in Jonesboro

Looking for Lincoln, in collaboration with the Anna-Jonesboro Looking for Lincoln working group, invites the community to attend the dedication of a new mural.

The dedication ceremony for the Lincoln-Douglas Debate mural in Jonesboro is set for 11 a.m. Friday, April 14, on the south side of the Jonesboro Square in Jonesboro. 

The mural is a section of a painting done by the late local artist, Maurice Metzger. 

The mural depicts the political debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas which was held at what is now the site of the Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds in Jonesboro on Sept. 15, 1858.  

Artist Kris Killman painted the mural last fall on the west side of the 500 Jonesboro Square building, which is owned by Ken Laster.

A reception is planned immediately following the dedication for all of those who attend the event.

The reception will be at the nearby PAST Heritage House Museum, which is located just south of the mural wall. The Heritage House Museum is located at 102 S. Main St. in Jonesboro.

In the event of rain, the event will be moved to theHeritage House Museum.

Looking for Lincoln worked with the Anna-Jonesboro Looking for Lincoln working group to create the mural and replace the Looking for Lincoln Wayside interpretive panel, Jonesboro Station in Anna, that stands across from the Anna Arts Center near the site of the old Anna depot. 

Gary Dahmer and Dori Bigler of the City of Anna were instrumental in that project. 

Both projects were made possible with funding provided by the Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative, a program administered by the National Park Service and Jefferson National Parks Association.

“Looking for Lincoln is excited to highlight the community of Jonesboro’s connection to Abraham Lincoln through the mural,” said Sarah Watson, executive director of Looking for Lincoln and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, in a news release.  

“We anticipate the mural will help bring awareness to this important piece of history and attract visitors to the community.” 

The Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition is the coordinating entity for the 43-county Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. 

The coalition is a partnership of organizations and individuals dedicated to enhancing the communities and landscapes of Central Illinois through recognition and support of their significant natural, cultural and historical legacies. 

The coalition noted that few individuals have so profoundly influenced American history as did Abraham Lincoln. 

Millions around the world are inspired by the story of Lincoln’s rise from humble beginnings to president of the United States, his qualities of integrity and courage and his decisive leadership – traits that carried a fragile nation through one of its most trying periods.

For more information about the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, vist

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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