Letter to the Editor

Information about Thebes courthouse

Thursday, August 3, 2006

To the editor:

In hopes of shedding some light on the story about the Thebes courthouse:

The Southern Illinois University professor, Mary McGuire, has not seen fit to accept my papers on Heinrich Arnholdt Barkhausen, the architect of the courthouse. He was my third great-grandfather. Had she, she would not be looking in the attic for information.

Barkhausen was an architect in Germany before coming to the U.S. in about 1835. He was living in Union County, Ill., when he was contacted about building the Thebes courthouse. He moved his wife and three sons to Thebes, where he lived until his death.

The Thebes courthouse is dear to my heart as part of my heritage. I have shared my information with the historical society, and Geneva Shafer, a historian there, knew all these facts.

A person from Thebes stated on TV that no one cares about the courthouse. Many people care. It is one of the oldest courthouses in Illinois that is still standing. This in itself should make the people of Thebes proud and want to preserve it. Mayor Scott Bomar and others have been trying to preserve the contents of the building and have it open for the public to see. These people need the support of the whole region.

I have some information on the courthouse and the Barkhausen family that I will be glad to share with anyone who is interested.

LOUISE P. OGG, Unity, Ill.