This is a great to be interested in Illinois History. With
President Elect Obama’s campaign starting in Springfield on the steps of the Old
State Capitol, there is a great deal to learn from what Abraham Lincoln did as
he left Springfield for the White House in 1861. Another Illinois leader to
learn from in these times is Henry Horner who served as Governor of Illinois
during the Depression from 1933 until 1940.
In my tenure as a trustee of the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency from 1985 to 1991, I was able to plan an event to call attention to
Governor Horner’s career and also to the Horner State Memorial, which is several
miles due east of Eli’s on Montrose Avenue in Horner Park. The event had great
personal significance for me as Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, a participant in
the original dedication ceremony in 1948 participated as did James R. Thompson,
then the Governor of Illinois, and a long time friend of Eli and my
We were fortuante to have Helga Sandburg, the daughter of the
great American poet, Carl Sandburg, attend the rededication ceremony to read the
remarks that her father had delivered at the dedication in 1948. Horner was a
student of Abraham Lincoln, like Judge Marovitz, and as noted above, came to
office “in an hour when doubt and fear gripped the Nation” and he was able to
“restore fath in the American way of life.”
The Governor Horner State Memorial is at the corner of Montrose
and California in Henry Horner Park and was rededicated on October 4, 1990 to
mark the 50th Anniversary of Horner’s death. The sculpture designed by John
Brcin stands 22 feet tall and weighs 60 tons. It was dedicated in Grant Park in
1948 and moved to Horner Park in the mid 1950′s.
Governor James R. Thompson, State Senator Howard Carroll and
Marc Schulman, then a trustee of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency hold
a replica of the placque that was added ot the monument celebrating the
Marc Schulman welcomes the public to the rededication ceremony.
In back of the speakers is the Horner Park Jazz Band, always a regular
participant in Eli’s events.
Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz (with Alderman Pat O’Connor and
Governor James R. Thompson to the left) recites the remarks that he delivered at
the dedication in 1948. Judge Marovitz was a dear friend to Eli and our
family.Judge Marovitz passed away in 2001 and was so happy to have participated
in the rededication event.