The Evansville Press, June 30, 1935

Article was typed as it was worded in the newspaper.

Spencer County Turns Back a Century

Descendants of Early Settlers To Re-enact Tasks of 1816-1830

Special Correspondence

ROCKPORT, Ind,. June 29.—

Descendants of "those who knew Lincoln" will don ancient coonskin caps and shawls to re-live early Spencer County history July 4.

Background for this pageant of frontier days in which 175 will take part, will be the Lincoln Pioneer Village, 11 log cabins linked together in the City Park by a forbidding stockade of sharp pointed logs.

The village was built by relief labor under sponsorship of the Spencer County Historical Society. 1816, will welcome the visitors at George Honig, sculptor, designed it and superintended construction.

In the log cabin church, modeled after the old Pigeon Baptist Church where Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lincoln and young Abe worshiped, old-fashioned services will be held at intervals thruout the day. Rev. Karl Kramer, Rockport, will be the minister.

Hymns that those sturdy builders of America sang will be repeated by the Mothers Chorus groups of Grandview composed of Mesdames Madeline Kinney, Ethel Sibrel, Lula Mae Thorpe, Terila Hammond, Getrude Baker, Mary Weaver, Flora Gabert, E. N. Johnston, Esther Towles, Melba Hall, Ross Wibbeler, Nora Freschley, Walker Painter, Katie Scherer, Stella Niles, Rose Himmelheber and Bertha Luckado.

In Judge John Pitcher’s law office, where Lincoln trudged 17 miles to borrow a law book, John Edgar Houston, Rockport, will play the role of the backwoods judge.

Abe Lincoln (Millard Huffman, Huffman Mills, Perry County) woo wait on customers in the Jones store while Colonel William Jones (Edgar Shrode, Rockport) will yarn with the men-folks around an old cracker barrel.

At the Daniel Grass Store, the first one in Rockport, Miss Laura Wright will take the role of her grandmother, Mrs. Daniel Grass.

Gentry Homecoming

The descendants of James Gentry will hold a "homecoming" at the Gentry Mansion, a log cabin donated to the village by Mr. and Mrs. William Selzer, Midway, Ind.

There will be Elizabeth Bullock, Grant Gentry, Margaret Smith, Anna Gentry, Ada Rhoades, Helen Trobaugh, Frances Gentry, Anna Boultinghouse, Birk Gentry, Mr. and Mrs. Roby Gentry, Jeanette Gentry, and Sissie Haines.

Mrs. Fred Heuring, as Mrs. Dorsey in her best bib and tucker of Azel Dorsey’s log cabin.

This cabin, donated by Henry Hoch, originally stood three miles east of Rockport and was the scene of the first Spencer County court. Dorsey was one of Lincoln’s teachers.

The Rockport Garden Club has landscaped the old-fashioned garden where Mrs. Heuring will preside.

August Sarver, Chrisney, Ind., will be the stern-visaged schoolmaster who’ll try to thump in some book learnin’ about the three R’s to a group of pig-tailed and bare-footed Chrisney pupils.

Over at Rueben Grisby’s home, you’ll find Mr. and Mrs. Eli Grisby, Gentryville, to welcome you with, perhaps, a spot of sassafras tea. Here the Silverdale Home Economics Club will enact pioneer tasks.

Of course there’ll be a committee at the blockhouse armed with flintlocks to keep the pesky Indians away.

War Relics Exhibited

In the administration building, there will be an exhibit of war relics with Myler Shrode, commander Jenkins Post, American Legion, in charge. In another room of the log structure, Legion Auxiliary members will live for a day as pioneer women.

At Browns Inn Park souvenirs will be made and sold, and the Trinity Lutheran Ladies’ Aid will hold a quilting bee. Mrs. J. C. Jolly, Mrs. Kate Lashbrook, Mrs. Rose Thurman and Mrs. John Hart will demonstrate spinning and weaving.

Mrs. Elizabeth Harris will weave rag rugs. The Catholic Church Guild, and Baptist and United Brethren Ladies’ Aid societies will knit and sell handwork.

Another souvenir of the park will be a booklet written by Mrs. Bess Ehrmann, president of the Spencer County Historical Society.

You’ll even be able to send your friends postcards of the village from the Lincoln Post Office at the inn.

When completed, the village, which takes up a corner of the big City Park, will consist of 22 buildings, and duplicating the cabins, stores, public buildings, churches and schools that stood in Spencer County between 1816 and 1830, the years that the Lincoln lived there.

Only materials available to early settlers are used in reconstruction the village.

For instance there are no iron hinges on the heavy stockade gate. Instead, it is swung on a pivot pole with wood bearings. Peg hinges have been painstakingly carved out for the cabin doors and wooden pegs are used instead of nails.

Cabin chimneys are part stone. The rest is made of small branches, mud plastered. Handcut clapboard shingles were used as roofing.

When construction started workmen had a hard job getting acquainted with the primitive tools, but by the time one log cabin was up they were handling the adz and drawknife expertly.





National Memorial to Abraham Lincoln


A new national memorial to Abraham Lincoln, to be dedicated July 4, is this Lincoln pioneer village, erected in the city park of Rockport, Ind., near the place where the emancipator lived from his seventh to twenty-first year. The community as it was in the days of Lincoln’s boyhood has been faithfully reproduced, with cabins, stockade, primitive furniture, and an oxcart.