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On Saturday, August 16, more than 1,400 years of Illinois history was recognized at the Illinois State Historical Society’s 30th annual Centennial Awards luncheon, held in historic Leclaire, just inside the city limits of Edwardsville in Madison County.
Some of the 13 Centennial Award recipients are well known in the state and around the world. Wrigley Field (1914), home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, Naval State Great Lakes (1911), boot camp and training for the United States Navy, and Heath Brothers Confectionery (1914), the little candy company from Robinson, Illinois, that conquered the world of English toffee—each had touched the lives of millions around the globe and have earned a place in the social and economic history of our Prairie State.
Other 100-year-old institutions have given much to their communities but are not so well known outside their regional boundaries. The Illinois Valley Community Hospital (1914), has saved countless lives and brought hundreds if not thousands of children into the world; Oliver C. Joseph Dodge in Belleville (1914) is the old Dodge dealership in the world; the Illinois School for the Deaf (1839, Jacksonville), is the oldest state-run facility in Illinois still operating out of its original building; the Metropolis, Wyoming, and Winchester pubic libraries have been teaching literacy and shaping the souls of their respective communities for generations, all three from the help of the Carnegie Foundation, who made funds available to build new libraries around the nation more than 100 years ago.
The Adams County law firm of Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu and Mitchell (LLP) is the oldest law firm within 100 miles of Quincy, and United Community Bank of Bunker Hill has been helping farmers, merchants, and schoolteachers fulfill their dreams since April 20, 1914.
“Centennial Awards remind us that business and commerce are the lifeblood of every community, and that the pulse of any community gets stronger whenever a new ‘open for business’ sign goes in a shop window,” said William Furry, ISHS executive director. “These businesses and not-for-profit organizations, government institutions, banks, and mom-and-pop enterprises have built and shaped our economic and cultural histories, and it is fitting that we recognize their achievement.”
Each of this year’s Centennial Award winners received a certificate or plaque inscribed with the signatures of Illinois governor Pat Quinn and ISHS president Russell Lewis, who presided over Saturday’s luncheon event in the village of Leclaire.
Mike Bickhaus was recently elected to the Board of Directors of a local bank. “We are very pleased Mike has joined our Board,” said the President and CEO of Mercantile Bank. “He possesses a wealth of legal knowledge, especially with regard to banking law, and he is a very active member of the community, which is very important to us.” Mike is a key member of Schmiedeskamp’s large and growing banking practice. Said Bickhaus, “I look forward to this new role as a director, and to helping them continue to invest in the success of the Quincy community as both of our firms have done for more than a century.
Quincy Attorney James A. Rapp was a featured speaker at the Financial Planning Workshop “Road to Financial Freedom,” co-sponsored by the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City held in Lenexa, Kanas, May 5, 2014. Rapp’s presentation was “IRA Retirement Estate Planning – Are You on Solid Footing on a Glass Floor?” The program considered the increasing importance of IRAs in estate planning, benefit distribution rules, use of rollover and stretch IRAs, beneficiary designation pitfalls and opportunities, naming trusts as IRA beneficiaries, and other estate planning issues related to IRAs such as creditor protection and planning issues for second or subsequent marriages. The Workshop included CPAs, financial planners, and attorneys from Kansas and Missouri. Rapp is a partner in Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell LLP where will, trust, and estate planning are a primary part of his practice.
Schmiedeskamp is pleased to announce that Ted Niemann was recently named an Illinois leading lawyer for 2014 by Leading Lawyers magazine. Additionally, Ted earned recognition by the same publication as one of the Top 100 real estate lawyers in ‘down-state’ Illinois. Ted’s excellent reputation in real estate and other fields is obviously being recognized throughout the state.
Brett Gorman has been re-appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as chairperson of its standing Rules Committee.
Gorman has served by appointment on the Supreme Court Rules Committee since 2008, and has chaired the Committee since January 2013. The twenty member panel includes appellate court justices, trial court judges, and lawyers from each of the state’s five appellate court districts.
The Committee’s focus is the rules applied by Illinois courts throughout the state’s judicial system. The Committee studies, formulates, and recommends to the Illinois Supreme Court both new rules and amendments to existing rules to facilitate the effective administration of justice.
Jim Rapp was among those interviewed for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Oral History of the Illinois Community College System. Jim has served as attorney for John Wood Community College since 1974, the year the college was established, likely the longest serving attorney to any community college in Illinois. The Oral History Program is dedicated to preserving the stories and memories of Illinois citizens in key areas, education among them.
The entire collection is available at:
Jim’s interview is at
We are pleased to announce that the firm has hired Jeffrey L. Terry as our newest associate with the firm. Additionally, Jeff successfully passed the February, 2014 Illinois bar exam and will be sworn in the practice of law in Illinois on May 1, 2014. Please join us in congratulating Jeff!
Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell participated in the 2014 Quincy Family YMCA Corporate Challenge which concluded on March 1, 2014. Support staff and attorneys participated in numerous athletic events, finishing third overall in the competition. The competition promotes physical fitness among employees and raises money to fund YMCA youth sports programs. The following persons competed on behalf of the firm: Mike Bickhaus, Jim Hansen, Jenny Johnson, Ted Niemann, Hal Oakley, Marilyn O’Dear, Joe Ott, David Penn, Chris Pratt, Celeste Taylor and Chris Webb.
Schmiedeskamp Robertson Neu & Mitchell LLP
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