County Board approves installing “In God we Trust” sign on/in courthouse

March 6, 2019

The Colfax County Board of Commissioners during its recent meeting unanimously approved the installation of “In God We Trust” lettering on the interior and exterior of the Colfax County Courthouse.

The project was brought before the board by members of the Schuyler chapter of the Knights of Columbus.

“We do all kinds of charitable things,” member Jerold Kracl said. “We donate to all sorts of things, we give scholarships to seniors and support the seminary.”

The project, which is being fully funded by the group, is expected to take shape in the spring once the weather turns, Knights of Columbus member Lumir Jedlicka noted. Jedlicka said group members have been speaking for about the past three months about how they believe it’s a good, necessary undertaking.

With the courthouse recently undergoing extensive refurbishment, the original idea was to have “In God We Trust” etched into a portion of the facility’s terracotta exterior, or to perhaps have the phrase engraved on a cornerstone piece.

“But that didn’t work out, so now after the fact we are trying to get it at the front door,” Jedlicka said.

With approval, “In God We Trust” will now be displayed at the entryway exterior/exit of the Colfax County Courthouse so that people entering and exiting will have a good view of the phrase.

“I believe that there is a power of righteousness, that people when they see a statement like that they understand that we are trying to be righteous,” Jedlicka said. “And as you go in and out, you will hopefully have that same thought.”

In recent years there have been several courthouses undergoing similar projects. Some in larger counties have been met with resistance from residents who believe there should be a clear cut line between church and state not only in schools but also at local levels of government.

Jedlicka, though, said that he really hasn’t heard any kind of negative talk or feedback regarding “In God We Trust” being displayed.

“We have not in this community,” he said of people in opposition. “The people that I have talked with are supporting this 100 percent.

“I guess maybe I hang around the wrong crowd,” he said, with a laugh.

Kracl noted that he believes the lettering is important because, in his mind, it’s the core ideal that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they were forming America in its infancy.

“It’s a powerful statement, I mean, our country was founded on it,” Kracl said.

Carl Grotelueschen, chairman of the Colfax County Board of Commissioners, said that he also hasn’t heard any negative feedback regarding the wording. However, he noted that there isn’t a whole lot of knowledge currently out in the public relating to the “In God We Trust” lettering.

“No negative feedback,” he said. “I don’t think it’s been out in the community much ... I will say that I haven’t heard any push-back on it, but I have had a few positive comments from people who are glad about it.”

Sam Pimper is the news editor of the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.