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Greenville Street Names
Source: "Historical stories: about Greenville and Bond County, IL"
Written in 2000, By Allan H. Keith, Published ©2002
Used with permission


Most people are not aware of the origins of many street names in Greenville.

The reasons for many of the street names are listed in the book "Tales, Trails and Breadcrumbs." This fact-packed volume, published in 1993, was written by Eleanor Wilson.

Some of the street origins are as follows. Alice Avenue was named by Judge Cicero Lindly for his wife Alice, who he married in 1881. She was the daughter of Abe McNeil, a banker.

The Lindly Addition was added to the city by him in 1909. Lindly was a member of the state House of Representatives, a judge and chairman of the Illinois Railroad Commission.

Allen Street was named in honor of Dr. William A. Allen, a former mayor of Greenville. He was a physician in the Union Army in the Civil War.

Beaumont Avenue means "beautiful mountain." First Street from West Oak Street to the Vandalia Road was renamed Beaumont Ave.

Charles, Clarence and White streets were named for members of the family of C. D. Hoiles, president of the State Bank of Hoiles and Sons. His wife was a daughter of the Rev. John Brown White, co-founder and first president of Almira College, founded in 1855.

DeMoulin Drive was named for the founders and operators of DeMoulin Brothers Co. -- Ed, U.S. and Erastus DeMoulin.

Durley Street was named for James Durley, county treasurer in 1821 and county clerk in 1830, according to Mrs. Wilson's book. Grigg Street was named for D. R. Grigg, a downtown merchant.

Harris Avenue was originally a private road on which C. D. Harris built his home. He was a city alderman for three terms. Idler Lane was so named because "the Idler house once stood in this area."

Killarney and Shannon streets are on land once owned by Irishman Lawrence McGinnes. He was a large landowner and an early promoter of a Catholic Church in Greenville.

LaDue Street was changed from Wells Street to LaDue in honor of John LaDue, who headed the Department of Theology at Greenville College for 32 years starting in 1894.

Louis Latzer Drive was named for the president of the Helvetia Milk Condensing Co., later called Pet Milk. McLain Street was named for W. A. McLain. The McLain and Cable grocery store was formed by W. A. McLain and F. J. Cable in 1898.

Monroe Street was named in honor of J. H. Monroe. Will C. Carson's 1905 history of Greenville says he was a member of the firm of Mulford and Monroe druggists.

Parent Street was named for Frank Parent, a baker and restaurant owner who arrived in Greenville in 1858 from Canada.

Prairie Street was so named because it was the first street east of First Street and was literally "out in the prairie." Mrs. Wilson's book says that land east of First was country land owned by Samuel White and Wyatt Stubblefield. William Wait owned the land south of South Street.

Stephen Street was named for members of both the Reid and Hoiles families. Ward and Robin streets were named for members of the Ward Reid family. Reid was circuit clerk, county clerk, secretary of the Greenville Building and Savings Association and was in the real estate and insurance business.

(Allan H. Keith, formerly of Greenville, is a free-lance writer and lives in Mattoon. allank@webtv.net)


1938 Home Movie of Greenville
Written by
Allan H. Keith
Used with permission

Home movie film of Greenville in 1938 brings back memories for some people and new insights into the past for others.

Video taped copies of the "Shea Family Video Album" have been viewed by many people since they were made available to the general public several years ago.

At that time I viewed the video a time or two and thought it was interesting.

However, I reviewed it again recently and became more aware of the many fascinating aspects of the tape.

Like most home movies of the time, it is a bit grainy and sometimes out of focus.

However, the film has a lot to offer as it shows viewers the various people and places of 65 years ago.

Among other things, the video includes some touches of humor.

An employee at the Sinclair Service Station is shown mugging for the camera by snuggling up to a life-sized promotional cutout of an attractive young woman. The promotion touts Sinclair oil products.

Another bit of humor comes when the cameraman visits the Advocate office, located where the First Bank parking lot is now.

Local citizens are seen looking at election returns posted on the newspaper's window.

Then, Advocate employees come outside to be photographed. Long-time Advocate publisher Will C. Carson holds up a "No Hunting" sign, possibly made in the Advocate's job printing plant.

Later, in response to the coaxing of Leo Reeves, publisher Carson shows off with an exaggerated and highly animated baseball pitch windup.

Throughout the film employees of various businesses and industries come outside to be photographed.

Often the camera also goes inside for some dimly-lit interior scenes.

Interior and exterior views are presented of various Greenville industries in 1938. Some of the manufacturing process is shown at the Model Glove Co., Pet Milk, DeMoulin Bros. and Co. and Coates Steel Products Co.

(One impressive aspect of the film is that ordinary working people are highlighted and are often shown in their work settings.)

Horses appear in several movie scenes. A horse-drawn wagon is being used at Greenville Elevator Co. Horses are used for excavating at a construction site. The contractor on the project was O. E. Wheeler and Sons.

Horses are used for riding at the Suburban Lodge Stables. A sign says, "Ride for health and pleasure," and several women are seen riding along a dirt path.

The Greenville Shells basketball team is shown in their uniforms outside the Shell dealership, the Greenville Service Co.

A parade of veterans takes place, apparently on Armistice Day, now called Veterans Day. Some of the World War I veterans wear their uniforms. They march to the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn, where a program and band concert is held.

The courthouse Civil War monument is shown, complete with cannon balls stacked in front.

A passenger train is shown stopping near the depot, and a man with a suitcase gets off.

I was struck by how happy and healthy most people, including children, look in the film.

Hundreds of people are photographed. A confident-looking Walter Joy appears several times. Father J. J. Enright, long-time priest at the St. Lawrence Catholic Church, is shown near the church. Pauline Watson cooperates with the cameraman by trying on headwear at a clothing store. S. W. Andrews, president of Model Glove, is at his desk. Raymon Genre shows ties to a customer at Wise-Genre Clothing Co. A boy carries a potted plant in each hand outside the Greenville Greenhouse, accompanied by his dog.

My father is shown driving a car and then walking across Main Street and his sister is seen drinking a Coke in the Busy Bee Cafe.

A great many people were impeccably well dressed, with men often wearing suits, ties, vests, as well as a hat.

Parishioners, as well as pastors, are seen leaving Sunday services at various churches.

Also, students are shown, along with their teachers, at schools, including Central and Inglis grade schools and at Greenville High School. A GHS school bus can be seen. Students at Inglis slide down the tubular metal fire escape. Playground activities are also shown.

It is interesting to note that black people are in at least four scenes in the film. African-American students can be seen at both grade schools and at GHS.

The film shows the city park and lake swimming area. Also, views of the old Rod and Gun Club north of town show the lake there, as well as a man holding two quail he had bagged.

The old airport landing strip north of town is pictured.

Children are seen leaving the Lyric Theater after a matinee showing of "Black Bandit" and "The Lone Ranger."

Other scenes show Greenville College, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camp north of Greenville, the Hoiles sunken garden, and the city water and sewerage plants. Also seen are the library, the post office, the mausoleum at Montrose Cemetery, a crowd of people at an oil well site, and also at an auction.

Greenville Cottages had 10 cottages available, with a sign promising "hot and cold showers."

City policemen and firemen are shown at the old city hall. Firefighters aboard fire trucks circle the block for the cameraman.

Many fine homes are shown, as well as downtown businesses in 1938.

Some of them are the Annex, Harper's Cleaners, F. P Joy and Co., Runells Furniture, Watson's and O'Neal's drug stores, Fox Hardware, the George V. Weise Co., Clementz Grocery, Blizzard's Market, Grigg's store, Maynard's, the Hoiles bank, and some auto dealerships.

Some other scenes include golfers and the old clubhouse at the Greenville Country Club, the Thomas House hotel, the Dewey and Bass funeral homes, many service stations, as well as the Busy Bee, Brietie's, Kopper Kettle and Purity restaurants.

Mouth-watering donuts are displayed in the window of Greenville Baking Co.

This video is a real prize. It is unfortunate that people don't do this sort of thing more often for the sake of posterity.

Someone or some group should have the prescience to consider making a similiar video today -- one that would have real historical significance 30 or 40 years from now.

(Allan H. Keith, formerly of Greenville, is a free-lance writer and lives in Mattoon. allank@webtv.net)


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