The Evansville Courier, May 5, 1962

George Honig, 87, Ex-Sculptor, Dies

George Honig at 87 Years of Age

George H. Honig, 87, creator of Lincoln Pioneer Village at Rockport, Ind., died at 4:00 a.m. Friday at Newton Rest Home after an illness of several years.

For 33 years he had worked to build Southern Indiana into a historical mecca around Abraham Lincoln. His dream was not totally in vain, for while he failed to turn the Tri-State into a Lincoln paradise, he did much to preserve the story of Lincoln's Indiana boyhood.

A native of Rockport, Honig said at the dedication of Lincoln Village in 1935 that he hoped to see the whole city of Rockport become a shrine that would attract 500,000 visitors a year.

"The area is one of the pioneer cradles of western democracy," Honig stated in a talk at the dedication of the village's new museum in 1951. In the speech he outlined in detail his plan to create his historical wonderland.

First he wanted to mark Rockport's little known historic spots with sculptured signs elevated on concrete post so motorists could easily read them. He also pointed out the need for two more buildings in the village. One was the huge log store that Thomas Lincoln built. The other was to be a replica of the first sawmill in Indiana, built in 1816. The sawmill, according to Honig, stimulated Lincoln's inventive mind and taught him how technology can take the load off the backs of men.

During his lifetime of collecting facts about Lincoln he wrote a still unpublished book on Lincoln's life.

Honig's best known works in Evansville are the two bronze war memorial groups at the Coliseum, the memorial at the site of the old Erie Canal on the Courthouse lawn, and the plaque on the grave of General Robert Morgan Evans, for whom Evansville was named.

Other early pioneers of the Tri-State inspired the series of bronze tablets honoring Kentucky pioneers at the Henderson County, Ky., Courthouse. Some of his other works were the Dress Plaza flagpole, the Audubon Memorial in Henderson's Sunset Park, the Rotary Civic Award tablet at the Museum, and the tablet at Fourth and Oak streets marking the birthplace of comedian Joe Cook.

Honig also created hundreds of paintings in his life time and in 1957 as named the first honorary member of the Evansville College chapter of Kappa Pi, national art fraternity.

His wife, the former Alda McCoy of Evansville, died in 1955. She was a well-known pianist here and gave piano lesson for many years.

Honig had been in the rest home more than a year recovering from a fractured pelvis received when he tried to leave another rest home here.

Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. H. H. John of Tucson, Ariz., and Mrs. Rose Anderson of Checotah, Okla., and a nephew, Dr. Stephen L. Johnson of Evansville.

Friends may call after 6 p.m. Saturday at Alexander Funeral Home East Chapel.