Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

October 5, 2012

Dedication of 1934 U.S. Constitution Thursday at county Courthouse

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — The dedication of a 40 inch by 52 inch lithograph of the U.S. Constitution was held Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Appanoose County Courthouse steps.

The lithograph will be a part of the Appanoose County Courthouse and hang on the ground floor near the north side of the building.

Several military veterans, Appanoose County Board of Supervisors Dean Kaster and Jody McDanel, Appanoose County Veterans Affairs director Lisa Owens, commissioners and representatives from the V.F.W. and American Legion were on hand for the presentation and were instrumental in getting the Lithograph to Appanoose County.

Gary Stephenson, of Webster County, has been on a mission to have the 1934 Leoni Illuminated Constitution Lithograph hang in every Iowa county Courthouse.

He began his mission in 2009 and now 53 Iowa county Courthouses have the Lithograph on display.

Stephenson is following in his father Daniel's footsteps, who was able to bring Lithographs to 25 Iowa county Courthouses before his death.

Stephenson said he has 14 counties to go and includes a large chunk of counties in eastern Iowa, Polk, Sioux and Woodbury counties.

"What I am trying to do is have the finished Constitution donated to the county by sponsorships in the form of recognition on a small plaque, but have the actual framed print presented to the county's board by the local veterans groups," Stephenson said. "This is to honor all veterans."

The lithograph is framed in ornate gold with blue matting. The exterior depicts scenes of historical significance and the attached plaque reads: "Dedicated to: All of the Counties VFW's, American Legions, AMVETS, Sons of American Legion, all auxiliary members, Iowa National Guard, and honoring all citizens in Appanoose County."