Bequest ensures courthouse clock maintenance

URBANA — A subcommittee of the Champaign County Board will meet Tuesday to accept a gift from a Champaign County woman who left a bequest valued from $75,000 to $100,000 for the clock and bell tower at the Champaign County Courthouse.

Mrs. Elva Greeson of Urbana, who died on April 2 at the age of 92, left 15 percent of her will to a citizens' committee that restored for the clock and bell tower at the courthouse.

Bruce Hannon, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois and chairman of the group that raised funds to rebuild and restore the courthouse tower in 2009, said Monday that the bequest likely would be used for maintenance of the clock.

"We've talked about setting it up for a clock maintenance fund, but $100,000 is more than we'll probably ever need," Hannon said, "especially if we can put it into an interest-bearing account. But for now that's all we're talking about, a clock maintenance fund.

"As I recall it, it was to the citizens' committee for the maintenance of the clock. So we may have the most well-endowed mechanical clock in history," he said.

His proposal, Hannon said, would be to have the keeper of the clock, now Alan Reinhart, the county's facilities director, oversee the fund.

"That's whose responsibility that should be," he said. "We'll decide on that (tonight), as to who will be the actual person."

The citizens' committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Putman meeting room at the Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., U.

Hannon said he had done minor repairs to Mrs. Greeson's clock on occasion.

"She was a nice little lady who would call me and I'd go out to her and maybe pull the weights up on her clock," he said.

He said he didn't know how Mrs. Greeson became acquainted with the clock tower or with his efforts to restore it.

"She never told me a thing about it," he said.

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