Painting by Platt R. Spencer dedicated to the County Courthouse | New

JEFFERSON — A painting honoring Platt R. Spencer was dedicated to Ashtabula County Thursday afternoon in the commissioners’ meeting room.

Spencer, who named a Geneva elementary school after him, was honored for his work in creating Spencerian handwriting, which provided Americans with a new way to communicate, said Michael Sull, who taught classes on the unique handwriting technique for decades.

Spencer, who was born in 1800 and died in 1864, spent much of his later life in Ashtabula County and was renowned for his commitment to a writing style that left room for individual creativity, Sull said. .

More than 25 people, including elected officials, attended the event.

“I came to Geneva in 1984 to do research for my book,” Sull said.

He said his goal was to bring back the Spencerian script.

Sull said English writing was the best-known form of handwriting in the 1800s, and the disciplined technique did not allow for much creativity.

Spencer decided to change that.

Sull taught a week-long course at Geneva-on-the-Lake for 26 years from 1987. He said he wanted to have a painting of Spencer that he wouldn’t have to borrow from a university and the mentioned in one of his lectures. .

“It’s an honor to present this painting to County. It’s been in my studio for 20 years,” Sull said.

The painting was born in a very unique way when a student said her husband was an artist and he should paint Spencer for Sull.

Sull said he didn’t have a lot of money and didn’t give it much thought until the man, Michael Del Priore, called him.

Del Priore was a nationally known portrait painter who normally charged $20,000 for a painting and had worked on portraits of President Ronald Reagan, governors, and many other famous people.

Del Priore made a deal with Sull to create the painting for $5,000 and would deduct his wife’s course fees and book fees, then settle in after that.

Bill Peters, an Ashtabula County historian, featured Sull wearing a vintage top hat.

Ashtabula County Commissioner Casey Kozlowski said Sull approached the county to present the painting. He said it will be displayed in a hallway at the Ashtabula County Courthouse and will be presented with specialized lighting.

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