The Rockport Democrat, Centennial Anniversary Edition, February 11, 1955

Article was typed as it was worded in the newspaper.

S. Honig Planing Mill and Furniture

Honig Planing Mill on 5th Street in Rockport

Letters To The Editor

Jan. 20, 1955

The Rockport Democrat

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Patmore:

I am ordering 20 extra copies of your special edition and I am sure it will be an extremely interesting one.

My father, Simon Honig, was one of Rockport's pioneer business leaders from the time Royal S. Hicks founded the Rockport Democrat.

He was one of the first Rockport citizens to read that paper as he came to Rockport in July 1, 1854 and also attended the first Spencer county fair with my mother Mary Killian that year. She was age 16 and father age 19.

They also attended the founding of The St. Meinrad Academy in 1854 and in 1857 they were married there.

Simon Honig was born in Bretten, Baden, Germany July 28, 1835 the year Halle's Comet ushered him in. Mark Twain came too with that Comet. Simon's mother passed away when he was three, his father died when he was 13 in the year 1848. In 1851 his stepmother died. On May 1, 1852 ath the age of 17 with a diploma as a finished cabinet maker, he landed in New York City. At 18 he was an American citizen. By 1854 he had saved $400 in twenty dollar gold pieces and determined to have his own shop making furniture.

At that time, Rockport had three shops making furniture. John Kerstiens, father of Henry Kerstiens, Sr., Charles Knapp and William Kiesel. Knapp offered Simon a job who arrived here in time for Mr. Hick's first published newspaper, and also to hear that Evansville, Rockport's rival, had taken away from our city, the railway to Chicago etc. That year Indiana University was founded, the Moores Hill College which is now Evansville Collece, etc. All over the United States, that year of 1854 was a great year for centennial celebrations.

William Kiesel bought out Charles Knapp and shortly thereafter he sold a half interest to Simon Honig in 1863. In 1865 he purchased Kiesel's half interest and on Nov. 1, 1869 a partnership was formed as HONIG, KILLIAN & KERSTIENS. In 1860 to 1865, Simon served in the home guards with Kerstiens guarding the covered bridge on the Grandview road. Simon also served as treasurer for 25 years of the "Building Load Association." He retired from business in 1904 and died in 1929. Mary Killian Honig died in 1922.


Geo. H. Honig