Green Up Town house
Genealogy Trails


 
THE STORY OF GREENUP
Bobbie Claire Goodman

In 1806 a road was planned
To unite the frontier with Maryland,
Work, begun by an Engineer's Corp,
Had reached Terre Haute by '34.
Illinois was a fledgling state,
And, when  pioneers started to populate.
Our Fathers brought forth their strength and will
To start a settlement named "Roseville" .
Just a couple of cabins, a store, and a still,
Some folks called it "Natchez Under The Hill",
Then, "Embarrass", or "Ambraw", but,  that was until
A William C. Greenup built his Grist Mill
With old Joseph Barbour, whose Inn and Stage Stop
Were located east, up on the hill top.
A decision was reached on a permanent name,
Ewart and Austin each added a claim
Of government lands that these gentlemen got
At Palestine,  known then as Fort Lamotte.
So, duly recorded, a plat was laid down
And that's how our Greenup became a town.
The lay of the land was both timber and slough.
And we still had a few roving Kickapoo.
Behind every tree fear and danger might sprout,
But the traveling preachers kept folks devout.
The Cumberland Road was soon paving the way
To Vandalia, State Capitol of the day.
The farmers would gather from miles around
To help build log cabins and clear the ground.
Their leisure hours were short and few,
But fisticuffs and home-made brew
Kept men engaged in good horseplay
While Ma raised kids and slaved away
Sweeping floors with an old hearth broom,
Spinning her wool on a creaky loom.
Brewing herbs to keep folks well,
Not much time to "set a spell".
Measles and cholera took their toll,
Claiming the life of many a soul.
Motherless youngins' added to strife.
So father married the neighbor's wife.
Abe Lincoln's fame was, as yet, unknown
When he built a well from our native stone,
Then, later, returned as a Lawyer, to face
Defeat, when he lost the Zig Lustre case.
Hotels developed from old Stage Coach Stops,
Awnings and hitching posts fronted the shops,
Far-sighted citizens realized goals
When Cumberland County parted from Coles.
Railroads arrived and our favorite dell
Became a Park, with a Mineral Well
Whose fame put Greenup on all of the maps.
We stored all the buckskins and raccoon caps.
We were civilized; thus we ended gun duels
As we modernized with Churches and Schools.
Frame houses had pot bellied stoves for our heat,
The boardwalks and dirt roads gave way to concrete.
With electric lights, we could work overtime,
The "Big Kettle's" water meant no pumps to prime,
At the ring of a bell, gossip grew on the vine
As we listened in on the "party line."
Theaters, Lodges, Ballrooms and Bands,
Tent Shows and Fairs, all made their demands
For pleasure, and trips had a greater appeal
If one could afFord a new automobile.
Though depression, disasters and wars have deprived,
Our little village has always survived,
And balconies hanging along our .Main Street
Tell stories historians love to repeat
Of the facts, and the fiction, of "way back when,"
As we yearn to bring "good old days" back, once again
Our minds, like an attic, can store souvenirs
With thoughts of our genesis, and by-gone years.
No one can predict what the future will hold,
But the memories won't die, and if they're retold
By each generation, with love of our lore,
THE STORY OF GREENUP will live evermore.

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