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Vigo County courthouse murals reflect 200 years of county history

There are four large murals in the atrium of the courthouse. Local artist Bill Wolfe painted them. Historians reached out to him about putting the county's history in the spotlight.

Posted: Jan. 25, 2018 7:25 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Linda Jefferies has worked in the Vigo County courthouse for 26 years but she also has received another title while working here as the courthouse historian.

"How I ended up here I have no idea but it's just a passion for the building and for what all have going on in the building," said Jefferies.

For years she has given tours to those wishing to learn about the building's history but one detail in the courthouse breaks down the county's history. In the form of art.

"Why'll we know all these things, actually seeing them come alive brings a deeper understanding and a new sense in which we can learn," said Jefferies.

There are four large murals in the atrium of the courthouse. Local artist Bill Wolfe painted them. Historians reached out to him about putting the county's history in the spotlight.

"Then to realize how much I’m interested in history now, especially local history. It's perfect, so it worked out perfect," said Wolfe.

The first reflects on Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her influence in the valley. The next is Sir Francis Vigo, whom the county is named after. The third highlights the crossroads of America, showing how the county got its nickname.

Last is a wall of 53 faces who had called Vigo County home. Those individuals made an impact in Vigo County and around the world. Of the four murals, Wolfe hopes this one will inspire others to dream big.

"They realize they can make a difference in this world because of a lot of the people that lived here some of them made not just a local impact but an impact on the world," said Wolfe.

Combined the murals recap 200 years of history. You're likely to notice new details every time you look at them. It's one of the reasons Jefferies wants to continue educating others.

"As long as I can. Every tour is new, every tour is fresh and I get as much out of it as the students that come,” said Jefferies.

This is the first story part of News 10’s new bicentennial series. Each month we'll share with you a story focusing in on one of Vigo County’s twelve townships.

If you have a great history story about your Vigo County township you would like to share feel free to call us at (812)232-4953 or email us at news10@wthitv.com

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