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Alvin P. Hovey - Mt. Vernon, IN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 57.546 W 087° 53.799
16S E 421232 N 4201656
Quick Description: Politician, lawyer, involved in all areas of life
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 7/14/2016 3:47:34 AM
Waymark Code: WMRNT1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NCDaywalker
Views: 2

Long Description:

County of memorial: Posey County
Location of memorial: Location: Entrance to Bellefontaine Cemetery, 5500 Industrial Blvd, Mt. Vernon
Erected by: Indiana Historic Bureau
Date erected: 1968

Plaque Text:

1821 ~ 1891
Governor of Indiana, 1889 to death, November 23,1891. Born and educated in Mt. Vernon, he attained distinction as a lawyer, judge, Civil War general, diplomat and congressman. Buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Alvin Peterson Hovey
Twenty-first Governor

Alvin P. Hovey was born on September 6, 1821 in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Alvin’s father Abiel died when Alvin was two. Alvin’s mother, Frances, died in 1836 when Alvin was fifteen years old. When Alvin was a boy he worked in a small store and later learned to lay bricks. He was the youngest of Abiel and Francis Hovey, He acquired education in schools of his native town, Mt. Vernon.

Governor Hovey’s Middle Years
Alvin P. Hovey was determined when he was 18 to be a lawyer. He persuaded Judge John Pitcher to loan him some law books. Judge Pitcher found young Hovey so alert and interested that he took him into his office to "read law" until he passed the bar in 1843, at the age of 22. The following year General Hovey was married to Mary Anne James. He was elected delegate to the second Indiana Constitutional Convention. In 1851, he became judge of the fourth Circuit Court. In 1854, he became a member of the Indiana Supreme Court. In 1856, President Pierce appointed him as attorney for the District of Indiana. In 1864, Secretary Stanton appointed General Hovey to command the Military District of Indiana.

Later Years
President Johnson appointed General Hovey to be Ambassador to Peru in 1865-1870. He came back five years later to Mt. Vernon in 1870 to practice law. Then he became a Circuit Court Judge and a Congressman.

Alvin P. Hovey was elected as twenty-first governor in 1888. He was popular with the people because he was a general in the Civil War. The Republicans nominated him. When he was elected he had a very fancy Inaugural Ball similar to those held in Washington D.C.

The Weekly Sun, a Mt. Vernon newspaper, had the following to say about the ball: "what could keep the heart of Posey County Citizens from swelling with pride and joy as he remembered that all the pomp and glory was done in honor to a once poor lad who grew to manhood in our beloved Posey County."

As Indiana’s twenty-first Governor, Hovey helped to adopt "Australian" or secret ballot, made the State Board of Education responsible for choosing school text books, and established a State Board of Tax Commissioners.

The Death of Governor Hovey
He was governor of Indiana from 1889-1891. He died, at age 70, in Indianapolis on November 23, 1891. They brought Governor Hovey from Indianapolis to his home in Mt. Vernon. Viewing was held in his home from eight o’clock until noon, November 24, where most of the Mt. Vernon people took one last look at Alvin P. Hovey. Governor Hovey is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

The Hovey Home (now the Elk’s Home)
The original portion of the present Elk’s Home in Mt.Vernon, Indiana was built by Alvin Hovey in the mid 1800’s. It was during that period that Hovey and his family lived in the Home that he reached the zenith of his military career, his wife, Mary James, died here. The large two-story brick dwelling was one of the finest of its day at one time.

Hovey House (now a Masonic Temple)
Governor Hovey bought the house in 1871. The house is on the southeast corner of East Fourth and Walnut Streets in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Alvin added the front north section, with bay area, consisting of one large room down stairs and two rooms above. There were no more changes to the house until 1926. In 1921 the Masonic Lodge purchased the home, and in 1926 built an assembly hall, dining room, a kitchen on the first floor, and lodge room upstairs.

The Hovey Lake
Hovey Lake is unique to Indiana, in that it is generally recognized as the Northern-most range of the Cypress Swamps. Although there are a few smaller Cypress Swamps up in Knox County. The lake is filled with thousands of living Cypress trees, giving it the look of the woods that is flooded.

In 1870 General Alvin P. Hovey returned to Mt. Vernon and purchased and was granted 20,000 acres for one dollar an acre, which included Hovey.

In 1995 the Division acquired 520 acres approximately four miles west of the office building and dedicated it the Big Cypress Slough Unit of the Wabash Lowlands Wildlife Management Area. This area is in oxbow from the Wabash River that is also filled with Baled Cypress. The acquisition of Big Cypress greatly increased our woodland game (Squirrel, Deer, Turkey) hunting the opportunities and expanded our Duck hunting. (credit for the above information goes to Michael, Layna, Dustin and Maggie)

Alvin Peterson Hovey was a brevet major general of volunteers in the Union Army. Grant praised him for his role at Champion Hill. Brevetted major general in 1864, he resigned in 1865. After the war he was a diplomat in Peru for five years. He served two terms as a congressman and a partial term as governor, when he died in office. ~ University of Indiana

Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Cemetery Entrance

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