Remembering Lincoln’s Assasination: Clay County Courthouse Displays Replica Casket April 16-18

Image source: NBC News (Library of Congress)

This coming week marks the 154th anniversary of the death and beginning of funeral honors for President Abraham Lincoln. John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. the night of April 14, 1865, and he died the following morning. Following formal funeral services at the nation’s capital, Lincoln was placed on a funeral train, which left Washington on April 21 for a journey back to Springfield, Illinois. The train stopped at major cities for funeral observances witnessed by an estimated seven million people before he was laid to rest on May 4, 1865, at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, ending 20 days of national mourning.

Several replica Lincoln caskets were created by Batesville Casket Company and have been on tour across the United States for several decades. The full-size replicas were crafted with painstaking research and detail from records and a single 1865 photograph of President Lincoln shown lying in state.

One of the replica caskets will be on display for the final time in Clay County next week. On Monday and Friday, April 15 & 19, in the West Room of Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., AND Tuesday through Thursday, April 16-18 at the Clay County Courthouse in Louisville during regular courthouse hours.

The Lincoln replica caskets are being retired from touring the country in May 2019, and this is your last opportunity to see one locally. One of the replica caskets has already been donated to the permanent collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

President Lincoln’s coffin was elaborate and costly for the time. His coffin was constructed of solid walnut and fully covered in expensive black cloth. It was 6 feet, 6 inches long and was decorated with sterling silver handles and sterling silver studs extending the entire length of its sides. Though the coffin appears rather simple compared to modern caskets, the original was quickly custom made for the president and featured a removable two-part top and a lead lining. The replica does not contain lead. The distinction between a coffin and a casket is that a coffin has six sides (diamond shaped) and a casket has four sides.

Please contact Ryan Muskopf or Robert Bruns at Frank & Bright Funeral Home for more information at (618) 662-2141. List Ta