The Rockport Journal, July 10, 1936

Article was typed as it was worded in the newspaper.


Final exercises in the Lincoln Country Summer Festival were all that the most enthusiastic could ask and one more celebration in the city of Rockport must be marked down as a decided success.

Last week we gave the doings up until Thursday, when the main event was the dedication of the Rockport City Park marker at 2:30 p. m., a gift to the city by Ex-Mayor L. F. Weiss. The marker is placed in the park near the northeast corner. The program as previously announced was carried out almost complete.

The marker has this inscription: "This park purchased for Rockport; May, 1926, for $10,000 by Mayor L. F. Weiss, City Council, Nora Rimstidt, R. A. Walker, C. F. (F. C.) Cochran, C. C. Ashcraft, Mel Swallow, City Clerk W. H. (H. J.) Vawter City Attorney J. A. Posey, Term of office Jan. 1, 1926, to Jan. 1, 1930."

Friday the only event was the play "Lincoln’s First Great Sorrow", a one-act play by Miss Alice Hebert, granddaughter of John Chewning, former editor of The Journal. The play portrayed events in the life of Lincoln in Indiana. The first scene was the store of Col. William Jones in 1818. Second scene, home of Thomas Lincoln in 1818 and third scene, forest near Lincoln’s home six years later, 1824. The play was well written and well rendered and gave the spectators a keener insight into the early life of Lincoln.

Other attractions: music, both vocal and instrumental by various individuals, and old time and modern dancing, Mrs. Bess Ehrman introduced the program and also introduced Miss Hebert. The program closed with music by the high school orchestra directed by Miss Helen Brother.

Saturday saw the final and principal day of the summer festival, the "glorious Fourth." The day was not ushered in by the blare of bugles or the booming of cannon; just like another day, but early there was activity, everyone hustling to see that his of her part of the program did not suffer.

By 9 o’clock a number of people had arrived and those who were to take part in the parade were hustling to the position which had been assigned for that particular representation. Each was given a number and a corresponding number on the sidewalk indicated the position. The head of the parade was at Main and Second streets and the foot of the parade was on Seminary street between Fifth and Sixth streets.

No parade in Rockport would be a parade without Loney Parsley as chief marshal. Loney had two orderlies, William Sallee and Jay Shourds, and they managed the affair so well that not a single hitch occurred. Mr. Parsley said in his forty years as director of marches and parades he had never secured better co-operation from the public and that he wished to thank all for their assistance.

The great cavalcade was on the move shortly after 10 o’clock. It moved down Main street to the north entrance of the park, to the race track and then around the track to the left and disbanded after passing the grandstand.

The parade was not so large as that of last year but it did have a number of floats that were gorgeous, and it must have bee no easy matter for the judges to decide. The first prize was given to the Kiwanis float, the second prize to the Rockport Democrat, and the third prize to the T. C. Basye float.

The afternoon was devoted to speech making, Robert Atkinson called attention by a cornet solo. Mrs. Bess Ehrman introduced A. P. Eberlin master of ceremonies. Welcome by Mayor Harvey Chinn. A number of speakers who were advertised sent regrets.

The first speaker of the afternoon was Prof. Ross Lockridge who talked upon "Educational Values of Historical Memories". The two speakers that all really wanted to hear were Lieut. Gov. Clifford Townsend and Judge Raymond Springer, Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor. Both made good impressions and delivered patriotic addresses, linking Lincoln and liberty as inseparable. Neither referred to politics in any way. Judge Springer was introduced by Mayor Chinn. Mr. Townsend talked from manuscript while Mr. Springer talked without notes.

Wayne Coy delivered the address dedicating the new buildings added to the Pioneer Village since last year.

A number of other persons were introduced including George Honig, the moving spirit in bringing about the erection of the Pioneer Village, and which is a monument to his achievements.

Music was furnished for the afternoon by the Rockport high school band.

The crowd was estimated at 8,000, about 2,000 admissions were paid to the Pioneer Village.

People from seventeen states and the District of Columbia were present.

Too much praise cannot be given to the committee including Mrs. Bess Ehrman, for their untiring efforts. They worked long and continually and are justly proud of the big way in which the whole affair went over with complete success.