The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Hancock County Prepares For A Historic Celebration

Artist May Be Knocking On Your Door

David Badger of Havana, a Graphic Artist who does drawings of historic Architecture, has spent 25 years traveling around the state working with communities, capturing historic places with his pen and ink.

He has now been commissioned by the Hancock County Courthouse Centennial Committee to do two books. One with historical sites in Hancock County as it relates to the early development of the community in which it stands.

And the other, 40 pages for text and pictures about the courthouse. He will do a total of 10 drawings for this book.

The books are part of the committee's plan to help celebrate the Hancock County Courthouse's 100th anniversary on October 8th.

Badger notes that this is a major publication for the county that will capture structures within Hancock county around the turn of the century.

"This gives me a great opportunity to meet a lot of people," Badger said.

Badger will be going to businesses throughout the county to seek support for the book. For a fee, businesses will receive one framed drawing that he will do of their business, six finished books, and the picture of their business will appear on the left-side of a page of this keepsake. The business will supply up to 250 words of history about his business.

The second book of the Hancock Courthouse will include photos and text provided by the committee sponsors.

Badger will provide 10 drawings and there will be 20 pages set aside for photos.

Badger, a very interesting man to talk to, said he was the son of a much older father who he said, reminisced about how things were when he was young.

"I listened to the stories and became very interested in the past," he explained.

Badger works alongside his wife Rita, a recently retired school teacher who helps him promote, organize and print his works.

"She pulls it all together," he said, and helps David keep me on a time-line."

David is a self publisher, printing the covers for his books, punching the holes putting the binding on while his wife assembles.

He can publish a series of 6 books over a 2 yr. period.

Who can be in the book?

Badger says a person will be going around to select the historic sites looking for 1860-1940 architecture. The cost will be $256 for their business to be drawn into a pen and ink portrait and placed in the book. The price includes a framed drawing and 6 signed copies of the finished books which retail at $35 each.

Badger said a book signing on the celebration of the 100th Anniversary will benefit the centennial committee's research.

Badger will start meeting business people January 21st and will have 8 weeks to solicit prospective clients. Between now and the March deadline, Badger will be drawing all the time.

I usually work soliciting on Wednesday, Thursdays and Friday on the road and then take Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday to draw.

"I always like to keep my head in my business," Badger said to avoid the Monday feeling. "It's just better to keep going and stay focused,"

Badger has recently done work locally for Monmouth College and is presently doing three commissioned jobs for the City of Alton.

A self-taught artist, he attended Jr. College in upper Iowa at Fayette.

"I started to draw professionally in the spring of 1982. I developed my skills by reading about drawing, studying pen and ink drawings through books and magazines. In my youth, I worked with father during the summer buildings houses, so I was naturally attracted to architecture.

"I am amazed by the skill and craftsmanship of early carpenters," Badger said.

All of Badgers brothers entered the trade, but he took on a more visual sense.

"I used to watch my father, with pencil in hand, lay out his plans for his spring projects. This is when my love of drawing began.

"I remember designing my own "future home" and showing it to my father. He would look it over carefully, point out what was good and what would not work. He would even laugh at a strangely designed roof or room and inform me of its impracticality.

"My father died when I was seventeen. He never knew that I was laying the groundwork for a career in drawing. A career that would have me, at this point in time, create over 7,000 drawings of Illinois Architecture. He will never know that I have published over 30 books of community architecture throughout Illinois. He will never know that for 12 years I published a magazine, The Illinois Review.

Badger has been influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright who penned over 20,000 original drawings and has set that as his goal.

Badger often arrives early at his destination, taking time to wander through communities to check out the architecture in communities.

He says he loves to drive through and see what they have to offer.

"I hardly ever leave without finding interesting architecture.....I look at neighborhoods as my museum."

The criteria for selecting sites to be used in the publication is both of historical and of architectural value and will be chosen as it relates to the period previous to circa 1940. Minor adaption are accepted but will be noted for their architectural integrity. Structures closer to the original design should be given higher priority. Styles within the period are:

Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Prairie, and Tudor.