Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Walking through History Tour Points out Historic Sites Downtown

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Walking through History Tour Points out Historic Sites Downtown

Article excerpt

Three descendants of Evansville founder Hugh McGary Jr. joined a walking tour Sunday through Downtown that included a stop where Mary Polly McGary, Hugh McGary's wife, is said to be buried, as well as two of the couple's infant sons. About 60 people came to a stop at the Old Jail parking lot near Fourth and Vine streets. Leading the tour was city historic preservation officer Dennis Au, who said at least three McGary relatives are buried at that site, which used to be home to the German Methodist Church. The church had a cemetery at the site from 1816 to 1829. Earlier in the two- hour tour, Au noted that Hugh McGary was an adventurer who left the town he founded in 1827. His destination and his fate remain a mystery, Au said.

A desire to learn more about Polly McGary's final resting spot drew sisters Bonnie Tingley, 61, and Roxanne Heuring to the event. The two identified themselves as descendants of McGary - their maiden name - to Au, though they didn't know their specific relationship. Tingley's son, Joe, also came on the tour with the two women. The tour also included stopping by the site of McGary's home in Evansville, which now is occupied by WEVV-44 headquarters.

"We're proud of being McGarys, and we wanted to know more," said Heuring, 48.

Au said it's important to differentiate between the founder of Evansville and his father because the elder McGary is infamously known for ruthlessly fighting Native Americans.

But McGary wasn't the only famous Evansville figure highlighted on the tour. Au spent a lot of time talking about Gen. Robert Evans, the town's namesake, who was a much better organizer than McGary

"Why aren't we standing in McGaryville?" Au asked. "Robert Evans knew how to promote better."

Starting at the Pagoda, Au led the group past the Four Freedoms Monument down the Greenway, stopping at the McCurdy Hotel and then up Sycamore Street. That took the group past the Old Courthouse and the Old Post Office, two of the most beautiful buildings in the city, according to Au. …

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