The Evansville Press, July 5, 1935

Article was typed as it was worded in the newspaper.


Weather Fails To Hamper Dedication of Lincoln Pioneer Village

Special Correspondence

ROCKPORT, Ind., July 5—The Tri-State came to Rockport Thursday to help dedicate the Lincolon Pioneer Village. Ten thousand strong, the Tri-State sweltered under a blistering morning sun and hid from afternoon rains, and liked it.

The all-day program provided such a crowd as Rockport seldom has seen.

There were 700 McGuffeyites organizing the Southern Indiana McGuffey Club, made up of persons who had studied the famous McGuffey readers in schools of years ago. There were visitors from more than a dozen states, meeting friends and turning the affair into a giant reunion.

The happiest man in the crowd was George Honig, sculptor who dreamed a dream and yesterday saw it in reality.

He conceived the idea of a replica of Rockport in 1816 to 1830, and directed the building of the 11 log cabins by relief workers.

He hopes the Tri-State will help complete the original 22 buildings.

Speaks at Dedication

Honig, speaking at the dedication exercises, said: "We dedicate this village to Abraham Lincoln and the pioneers of Spencer County, and hope that it will be an everlasting memorial by constant building."

His wife, who had aided in making the plans, stood by Honig’s side to receive a great ovation.

Mrs. Bess V. Ehrmann, Spencer County Historical Society president, presided.

Atty. Gen. Lutz, one of the speakers, declared that "the world will make a path to this memorial" and urged that the Tri-State add another memorial to Lincoln in the form of a hospital, university or foundation.

Judge Roscoe Kiper of Boonville, a Lincoln historian, recounted the life of the emancipator in Spencer County, where he lived from the time he was seven until he was 21.

Other speakers were Harold Van Orman, Evansville, and J. Roy Strickland, who was elected president of the McGuffey Club.

Unable To Attend

Senator Minton and Congressman Boehne, invited to the celebration, sent their regrets, declaring congressional affairs made it impossible for them to attend.

The invocation was made by Rev. L. S. Jarrett, Rockport M. E. Church, and the benediction by Rev. Wilbur M. Allen, Trinity Lutheran Church, Rockport.

Mayor Harvey Chinn, Rockport, made the address of welcome.

A parade of floats featured the morning program. Adjudged best was a replica of Sandy Beach Landing. The float was entered by Grandview. The Village Committee’s float, depicting a covered wagon, was second, and a collection of old-fashioned farm implements, entered from Rockport, was third.

At the McGuffey Club meeting, held in front of the log cabin schools, on the village buildings, the first to register was Nellie Wells 61, Rockport. The oldest McGuffeyite present was Major G. W. Kimball, 92, of Mt. Vernon.

Besides Strickland, officers are Alldore C. Huffman, Tell City, secretary, and Dr. Claude Lomax, Dale, vice president.

Talks were made by Huffman, Joseph R. Haines of Rockport and Rev. J. F. Rake, Evansville.

Contests staged as part of the celebration were won by: Paul Hamilton, Rockport, mule race; William Welsch, Rockport, fat men’s race; Mrs. Russell Laird, Rockport, husband-calling contest; J. C. Lloyd Richland, race for boys under 14; Alfred Dassel, Rockport, boys’ bicycle race; Dorothy Goldman, girls’ bicycle race; E. G. Gentry, Rockport, hog-calling contest.

Sharon Fay Ehmer, Rockport, prettiest baby; Caroline Bugby, Owensboro, Ky., prettiest girl; Dorothy Goldman, doll contest, and running races, Denby Marshall and Lewis Frank, Rockport.