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Geving v. Fitzpatrick

OPINION FILED JANUARY 6, 1978.

HENRY GEVING ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,

v.

J.R. FITZPATRICK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. RICHARD CADAGIN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied February 7, 1978.

The A. Lincoln Wax Museum.

Like a modern-day Madame Tussaud, the sculpting of figures from wax was a unique and gifted talent that was nurtured and developed by a certain Henry Geving.

Furthermore, he researched the possibility of a wax museum in Springfield dedicated to the Lincoln heritage. However, he and his wife lacked sufficient capital to organize such a venture. It was not until they introduced their plan to J.R. Fitzpatrick, who had previously tried to build a wax museum in Springfield, that the idea began to take form.

The Gevings and Fitzpatrick agreed in essence that Fitzpatrick would supply the capital and a lease to real estate located near the Lincoln Home site and the Gevins would create the figures and tableaux and direct the remodeling of the building to accommodate the museum. The Gevings were to be employed (before and after the museum was opened) at a specified weekly salary.

The business was to be incorporated with the Gevings and Fitzpatrick each receiving 50 percent of the issued shares of the proposed corporation. This understanding was reduced to writing by defendant's attorney in an agreement entitled "Abraham Lincoln Wax Museum, Inc. Subscription Agreement." The agreement, in part, stated that:

"* * * In consideration of their mutual promises the parties hereto agree to purchase in the manner hereinafter specified the issued shares of Abraham Lincoln Wax Museum, Inc. * * *.

J.R. Fitzpatrick in payment of his share shall do the following:

(a) Procure a lease to the premises * * *.

(b) Remodel, renovate and improve the aforesaid premises * * *.

(c) Loan to Henry G. Geving and Andrea C. Geving * * *.

(d) Cancel the indebtedness * * * upon the incorporation of Abraham Lincoln Wax Museum, Inc. and the full performance of the duties of Henry G. Geving ...


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