Crawfordsville in Montgomery County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Howard Samuel “Howdy” Willcox, the winner of the 1919 Indianapolis 500, was born in Crawfordsville on June 24, 1889. Drawn to auto racing, “Howdy” became one of the brightest stars of the dynamic new sport. His intense talent, charismatic charm, and on-track heroics, made him a nationwide celebrity. When the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced the first 500 in 1911, it was no surprise that the Hoosier native son was an early favorite for the win.
“Howdy’s” Indianapolis accomplishments became an essential part of Speedway lore. He’s the only driver to have competed in the first 11 Indianapolis 500’s. He was the first to qualify at 100mph. His 1919 win was epic, leading 98 of the 200 laps, while battling Ralph dePalma and Louis Chevrolet. “Howdy’s” untimely demise on September 4, 123, left a void in the racing community, in the hearts of his family and his Crawfordsville friends and neighbors.
Erected 2018 by Indiana Racing Memorial Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment • Roads & Vehicles • Sports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1919.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Otto Schlemmer Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Montgomery County's Tribute to her Heroic Dead (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Federal Land Office (about 500 feet away); Cradle of Basketball (about 700 feet away); Saint John's Episcopal Church (about 700 feet away); Montgomery County Rotary Jail (about 800 feet away); The Elston Homestead (approx. 0.2 miles away); Crawfordsville (Indiana) Carnegie Library (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crawfordsville.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 24, 2021, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 24, 2021, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.