New Effort To Erect Reagan Statue at State Capitol Underway

Dec 3, 2019

Eureka College is working with a state representative to erect a statue of Ronald Reagan at the state Capitol. 

Statues of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant already stand at the statehouse. Eureka College Senior Vice President Mike Murtaugh said Reagan, Illinois' only native-born president and a Eureka alumnus, rose from humble beginnings to become a famous movie star, the governor of California, and eventually, the Oval Office.

"He came from here. That's the opportunity. So this statue is the reflection of the opportunity all of us have, to some extent, in the United States to become the best reflection of ourselves," he said. 

Murtaugh says about $300,000 in private funds are needed to commission the statue, as well as approval from the Illinois General Assembly. Previous efforts to erect a Reagan statue on the capital grounds have come up short. 

He and state Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) are in talks with the new capitol architect, Andrea Aggertt. If approved by lawmakers, the group has asked Peoria sculptor Lonnie Stewart to create it.