The Indianapolis Star, January 29, 1928

Article was typed as it was worded in the newspaper.

Historical Markers

One to Be at Grandview the Other at New Hope--Tablets on Each Will Depict Historical Episodes Connected With Emancipator--VanOrman to Be Speaker

Special to The Indianapolis Star.

Evansville, Ind., Jan. 28-- Grandview and New Hope, which featured in the life of Abraham Lincoln during the residence of his father, Thomas Lincoln, and family in Spencer county, are soon to be appropriately marked to commemorate that honor. The markers, which are being designed by George Honig, Evansville sculptor, and are being erected under the auspices of the Lincoln Trail Club, will be unveiled Sunday afternoon, Feb. 12, with Lieutenant Governor F. Harold VanOrman, Evansville, as the principal speaker.

The marker at New Hope, which is located a mile and a half northeast of Grandview, will mark the site of the Taylor Basye store, which stood there from 1821 to 1826. It was here the Lincolns did the family trading. The marker will bear a bronze tablet inscribed with the history of the store and its $300 worth of merchandise. Taylor C. Basye, grandson of the merchant Lincoln knew is a resident of Rockport.

The Grandview marker, which will be erected in front of the library there, will carry in addition to the tablets shown in the pictures three others now being designed by the sculptor.

Depicts Story of Flatboat.

One of these will depict the story of the flatboat Joe Craig, from which all flatboats constructed by Joe Craig, who lived at Grandview and Rockport, were designed, and which boat was identical to that operated by Abe Lincoln between Rockport and New Orleans, La.

In all Craig built 146 flatboats, the Joe Craig being No. 144. The boats were 100 feet long, 20 feet wide and 10 feet high and were operated by long-arm sweeps, or oars. It required four men to man these oars, two to the oar. The fifth man acted as pilot.

Another tablet, yet to be designed, will carry data concerning William Smithers, known as "Bill Smithers," famous hunter and scout similar in reputation to Daniel Boone. Before 1800 Smithers had hunted all over Indiana and Illinois. He is vitally connected with the early history of Grandview, and what later became Spencer county, that he captured the Indian chief Set-Te-Down of the Shawnee tribe, whose villages were located at the present site of Boonville and near Yankeetown, after the Indian chief had murdered Atha Meeks, pioneer settler on Pigeon creek, near the present town of Richland.

Indian Slain.

After murdering the settler, the Indian chief moved north toward Jasper and was there overtaken by Smithers, captured and taken back to Grandview, where he was imprisoned in a log stronghold until he could be tried before Uriah Lamar, first squire of the territory, later to become Spencer county. However, while those assigned to guard the Indian went to a nearby creek for a drink of water, some unknown person shot the Indian through a crack in the door. The Indian, so the story goes, heard the click of the old flintlock, which fell once without setting off the powder, and remarked stoically, "Huh, white man kill Indian." With the second attempt the gun fired and the molded lead bullet, larger than an oversized pea, brought instant death.

The third tablet is to be the "athletic tablet," touching briefly the accomplishments of two men of the Grandview section with whom Abe Lincoln used to vie in sports.

A Match for Lincoln.

One of these was William Thurman, with whom Lincoln wrestled. It is said that while Lincoln was the acknowledged champion wrestler of Illinois he was never accredited with victory over Thurman and that it was nip and tuck between them.

Another of these men was Jonathan Prosser, champion broad jumper of Lincoln's day. It is said that Prosser could lay a ten-foot pole along the ground and with his toe at one end clear the entire length in one leap. He also taught school in the Grandview neighborhood and at Lincoln City. His wife was Catherine Simmons, whose father was an ax manufacturer at New York and later the founder of the Simmons Hardware Company of St. Louis, Mo.

Members of the Southwestern Indiana Historical Society declare that it is indeed fitting that George Honig should have been selected to design these markers since his grandparents were pioneer settlers of Spencer county territory and Honig himself was born at Rockport.

Sculptor's History.

He is the son of Simon Honig, 93 years old, who still lives at Rockport. The sculptor's maternal grandfather was Vitus Killian, who sold his laces and wines and other properties in the "old country" and , placing the $10,000 realized from the sale in a flat wooden trunk, set sail with his family for the new world. His wife, the sculptor's grandmother, was special guard of the family treasure and sat on the trunk all the way down the Ohio river by flatboat to Evansville, where they first settled. Honig's mother was then 8 years old.

Mr. Honig is a graduate of the Rockport high school, of Indiana university and of the National academy of New York. Among his prized possessions are two Suydan medals for superior work, one received in 1914, the other in 1915. His is a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Among his works of art most prominently mentioned is the bronze group in front of the Evansville Coliseum build and the fountain which graces the public square at Shelbyville.