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Historic figures return to life at UIU

(From left) Dr. Richard E. Bleil, dean of the UIU School of Science and Mathematics, and Chad Cook, UIU director of Military and Veteran Services, are catching up on their history lessons as they prepare to portray Dr. C.C. Parker and David B. Henderson at Fayette Campus on Tuesday, February 28. Professional Abraham Lincoln impersonator Kevin Wood of Oak Park, Illinois, will also participate in the public presentation.

With the help of three modern-day impersonators, the University Archives at Upper Iowa University welcomes Civil War era historic figures Abraham Lincoln, Dr. C.C. (Charles Coleman) Parker and David B. Henderson to its Fayette Campus on Tuesday, February 28. Lincoln will also provide a public presentation at Fayette Community Library on February 28.

The former U.S. President will be played by professional Lincoln impersonator Kevin Wood of Oak Park, Illinois. Meanwhile, Dr. Richard E. Bleil, dean of the UIU School of Science and Mathematics, and Chad Cook, UIU director of Military and Veteran Services, will portray Dr. Parker and Henderson, respectively.

Henderson attended UIU in 1861, but his pursuit of a college education soon ended when he joined the “University Recruits,” who served the Union Army as Company C of the 12th Iowa Voluntary Infantry Regiment. After being discharged in February 1863 as a result of wounds from multiple battles, Henderson studied law. The Clermont, Iowa, native was eventually elected as the first speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from west of the Mississippi.

Parker also joined the 12th Iowa Infantry Regiment (University Recruits) during the Civil War as a regimental surgeon.  In addition to serving as UIU’s first science faculty member and as a Board of Trustee member, he was Fayette’s first town doctor. According to family history, Dr. Parker served as an expert medical witness in Lincoln’s Almanac Trial. Descendants of Dr. Parker donated an extensive Civil War-era medical collection to the University Archives in May 2015.

Lincoln will join Dr. Parker and Henderson from 2:15-3:15 p.m. at the UIU Student Center ballrooms. He is also scheduled to visit the University Archives at David B. Henderson Library at UIU’s Fayette Campus, before attending his 6 p.m. presentation at Fayette Community Library. During “From a Birth of Freedom to a New Birth of Freedom” at the Fayette library, Lincoln will discuss his life and the history of the United States of America from the American War of Independence through the Civil War.

Additional information on Kevin Wood, can be viewed at http://www.MrLincoln.com.

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