November 6, 2007


The Spencer County Historical Society met on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 in the Rockport Library Genealogy Room.


The meeting was called to order by the President Steve Sisley at 6:30 PM with 13 members present.


The minutes from the last meeting were read and approved.


The treasurer’s report was given.


Three notes of thanks had been sent to the following people for donating material to the Genealogy Room:

            1.  Cheryl Herrmann of Denver, Colorado -- “Herrmann Sesquicentennial”

            2.  Bill Petry of Forestville, California -- “The Descendants of Bernhard Hufnagel and 

                 Katherine Ullmer”

            3.  Bill Phillips of Santa Claus, Indiana – "Phillips Family History”


A letter was read from the City of Rockport Parks and Recreation Board thanking the Society for the monument that was erected honoring George H. Honig, the designer of the Lincoln Pioneer Village.


A letter was read from Rebecca Middleton informing the Society that she would be retiring as librarian in the Genealogy Room in January 2008 after being there for 18 years.  Rebecca has been collecting money, membership forms, and choosing books for the Historical Society for many years.


A motion was made by a member that this Christmas we give an amount of money to Rebecca as a combination Christmas and retirement gift.  The motion was seconded and motion carried.


The president introduced two members and asked them to tell about a project that one was working on. 


She said that George Honig, Bess Ehrmann, and Judge Igelhart, of Evansville, went around collecting stories about Lincoln.  George had started a manuscript of these stories.  It was his intention to get the stories, as well as his original watercolor drawings that went with the stories, published in a book.  He had a typist, Lena Gabbert, type the stories for him.  Before his death, he apparently asked her to continue with the book.


She would like to be able to get the material together (drawings and manuscript) and get it published.  As it was material about Lincoln and his life in Spencer County, with the Lincoln Bicentennial coming up, she thought it would be a fitting tribute to her Uncle George.


She asked the Society to help with her endeavor as she would like to see George Honig’s work preserved for posterity.


A member made a motion for the Society to help with this project.  The motion was seconded and carried.


A member mentioned the Nancy Hanks Lincoln doll that George Honig had made.  She said that Nancy Hanks Elementary School is trying to locate it.  Honig won several awards for the doll. 


The president read a letter from the Lincoln Bicentennial committee and they mentioned the events on which they were working.  They asked for the Society’s help with some of the events.


A member gave an update on the flatboat.  He stated that the 40,000 pound flatboat was going to have extra power installed for traveling downriver.  It was also going to have a sail and a cannon.  He couldn’t understand the need for a sail as flatboats didn’t have sails.   


The flatboat will run on its own power by hidden motors.  A professional team is going to document the trip.  The departure date is set for September 9, 2008.


The flatboat will be at the Comfort Inn near Rockport where it will be outfitted with the motors.  It will be moved to Grandview where it will be set into the Ohio River.


The committee has applied for grants to help with the cost of the trip, but they haven’t received any replies yet.


It was mentioned that the Society needs to inventory their supply of the book “Lincoln and His Neighbors” in case that book is given to the Boy Scouts on their Mother’s Day walk.


A member checked on a microfilm reader.  The one he has found was around $5,000.00.  After much discussion on the different types, a member made a motion to have the person continue research on microfilm readers with a coin box.  He should have quotes by the next meeting.  The motion was seconded and carried.


The Rockport Christian Church had given its records to the library and had hopes that they would reopen, but the church was going to be sold.  They wanted a permanent place to house the records.  A member made a motion that the Society houses the records.  The motion was seconded and carried.


It was mentioned that the church originally sat on the courthouse square, but was moved across the street.


A member brought up the newsletter and asked the county historian if he could do some research in local newspapers and find articles from 100 years ago for inclusion in the newsletters.  He also asked the members to give him any articles they might want to contribute.


At the next meeting we will discuss the Historian of the Year for 2008.  The president also mentioned the possibility of having a speaker.


A motion was made that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion was seconded and carried.  The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.


The next meeting will be December 4, 2007 at 6:30 PM.