HISTORY AND GENEALOGY
Wells Feature at Greenup
Effingham Daily News,
Article By: Bobbie Claire
Goodman, Greenup Corr.
Photos By: Bill Wylde
Around the year 1866, Lemuel Leggett, one of Greenup's pioneer settlers, in prospecting for oil 4 blocks north of the public square, struck an artesian well at a depth of 670 ft. in solid ledges of pure white sandstone, 80 ft. thick.
This spring continued to flow from its underground cavern for 80 yrs., until the late 1940's. The quantity in the early days, per 24 hrs., was 1,200 to 1,400 gallons----depending upon the height of the pipe above the surface. Temperature of the water was 55 degrees F. The water was said to be one of the very best alkaline or vichy waters in this section of the Unites States and its medicinal qualities equal to any.
Legget, a surveyor on the Vandalia (Pennsy) Railroad walked from Terre Haute to Greenup with only a few dollars in his pocket and after beginning with a harness shop, became a farmer and owner, of all the property around the present I-70 interchange, Little League ballfields, and Haughton Park. Mr. Leggett contributed much time and money to digging the mineral well, & in a century, the property came full circle back to his heirs.
The site of the springs and its adjoining properties is due East of the Embarrass River bridge on Route 121, and runs parallel, on the South, of new I-70. It was originally part of 22 acres, more or less, plus a portion known as Block 46 at the northern village corporate limits. Between the yrs. 1831-1839, Joseph Barbour and A.J. and Richard Freeman acquired lands from the U.S. Government.
Barbour established a grist mill on the river and platted the town of approximately 12 blocks. The parcel containing Block 46 was conveyed in 1853 to James Ewart and James Austin who granted 40 acres to the original village. The mineral well tract, north of Block 46, after successive ownership's and land divisions, now consists of approximately 14 acres.
propagated commercially at the time, the springs were referred to in
1868 as a great warm weather evening resort opened by one of Greenup s
several physicians, a Dr. Lafayette Mintor. For years the efficacy
of the water was tested by hundreds of persons, but due to the
lack of facilities and accommodations, as well as to the title of its
ownership being clouded by conflicting claims, its merits were not
Perhaps the topography could best be described from a letter written by William Wylde, Cumberland County surveyor from 1872 to 1897, which appeared in the Terre Haute Evening Gazette , to Mr. Nicholas Katzenbach of that city, which commended not only the merits of the water but also the scenery: A beautiful canyon filled with a fine growth of timber and covered with blue grass sod. The forested hills remind one of the river where one can fish, swim, & boat ride. From the hill top the panorama is of the miles of rich river valley farm lands.
In 1890, Mr. Katzenbach was shipping 500 jugs daily and had several barrels sent in to be filled and shipped by railroad in all directions. The reservoir, or drinking tank, was delivered, posts acquired to fence in the grounds, a new road down the hill constructed, board walks and wooden bench seats, which encircled the large trees near the building, were installed and work begun on the grounds to make it a pleasure and health resort.
By spring, upwards of 400 person were visiting the site on Sunday afternoons. On the last day of school a grand picnic was held at the popular place by 260 pupils, and all teachers and parents, and excursions from Terre Haute and all points in between were being conducted on the Vandalia railroad. Round trip fare to Greenup and back was 90 cents.
Around the year 1866. Lemurl Leggett, one
of Greenup's pioneer settlers, in prospecting for oil four blocks norlh
of the public square, struck an artesian well at a depth of 670 feel in
solid ledges of pure while sandstone. 80 feel thick.
This spring continued to flow from its underground cavern for 80 tears, until the late 1940s.
The site of ihe springs and its adjoining properties is due east of the Embarrass River bridge on Route 121 and runs parallel, on the soulh, of new 1-70.
In addition to being shipped to distilleries in barrels, the mineral water was sold in one-gallon bottles and five-gallon jugs, called demi-johns. Many householders had these wicker, swivel frames which held the bottles and would fill for easy pouring into a glass. Some of the larger wooden shipping casings were constructed in this manner. The water was delivered in spring wagons and regular home-delivery routes were established. Downtown stores slocked the "soda water" which could be purchased plain or charged with gas.
Greenup became known for a second mineral well springs., discovered in much the same manner in Ihe late 1900s. Though it did nol receive the nation-wide attention of the first, it was promoted and sold by local owners and known as
Lyon's Mineral Water Company. A concrete block building was constructed and featured tubs in which patrons could take health baths. Most agreed its taste was saltier than that of the first springs, but it quenched ihe thirst af many weary travelers as its location was on the Old National Trail (or old Route 40) across from the Cumberland County Fairgrounds.
A tourist lodge and log cabins were
established, a wishing well style Fountain erected around the mineral
water pipe, and it was the motel of its day. Known later as the Casa
Loma, it became a popular nightclub in the early 1930s.
In 1891, Mr.
Katzenbach journeyed to Chicago where he made arrangements for
formation of a company with the capital stock of $75.000 to erect
bottling works at the Springs to meet the ready market. Orders
were being received from all over the country, with three carloads
scheduled for delivery to Chicago. The well was producing
70 barrels daily and handling facilities were insufficient to meet the
demand. The potable became famous, was named Columbia Water and was
considered to be a gem in its promise of a fortune to its owners.
Analysis made by Professor William Noyes of the Rose Poly (now Hullman ) Technical Institute and R.W. Conzet of Greenup, consulting chemist and graduate of Northwestern University, showed its properties to be predominately sodium, calcium, and magnesium. It was ascribed as valuable in the treatment of rheumatism, chronic nephritis, cystitis, cataarhal conditions, hyperacidity, intestinal disorders, gout, incipient kidney and bladder ailments, debilitated stomach, dropsy, dyspepsia, torpid liver, diabetes, brick dust deposit, sore and weak eyes, and it was stated that its liberal use prevented typhoid and other malignant fevers.
In addition to being shipped to distilleries in barrels, the mineral water was sold in one gallon and five gallon jugs, called demi-johns. Many householders had these wicker, swivel frames which held the bottles and would tilt for easy pouring into a glass. Some of the larger wooden shipping casings were constructed in this manner. The water was delivered in spring wagon and regular home delivery routes were established. Downtown stores stocked the soda water which could be purchased plain, or charged with gas.
Nick Katzenbach moved from Terre Haute and lived in a home constructed in a picturesque grove on the flats. A concrete block business office was constructed on top of this hill, west of the residence. Following Nick s death in 1093, Arthur and other members of the family became officers on the Board of Directors and continued to operate the business.
George Dillier, whose father had purchased Legget land, surrounding the springs, married Lem Leggett s granddaughter, Lucille. In 1909, Mr. Dillier was employed by the company and the couple took up residence in the back quarters of the Katzembach home. Mrs. Dillier explained how her husband would wrap the pipe connections to prevent leakage, keep the water pure and assure its upward flow, with bed ticking filled with flax seed.
At one time the site
was endorsed by the national American Legion as the location for a U.S.
government veteran s hospital. Testimony, in letters dated between the
yrs. 1891-1915, as to medicinal qualities and curative powers, and
purity and pleasant taste as a table water, was given by chemists
and physicians from Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Casey, Effingham, and
Area physicians who endorsed and used it in their practice included: Dr. C. Gerstmeyer of Terre Haute, Drs.: J.C.R. Wettstein, urologist; C.C. Holman, pathologist; W.E. Lawrence roentologist, and F. Buckmaster, all of St. Anthony hospital in Effingham, and Dr. Nicholas J. Haughton of Greenup.
The hospital never materialized, nor is the mineral well springs known to have made any fortune for its owners, but the once acclaimed spot left one treasure, a wealth of unmatched memories. Introduce the topic Mineral Well at any gathering of people who spent their childhood in Greenup, pre 1950, and a conversation subject is created that can turn a coffee klatch into an all night session.
Some recall the days when carnivals were held. With merry-go-rounds set up in the valley and swings on the hillsides. A pit and fire was prepared to provide the hot air for the first balloon ascension held in Greenup as part of entertainment once common to the locale.
The spot was conducive to any kind of adventure the childhood imagination could invent. Natural grapevines, many of which are still present, made swings second only to Tarzan s jungle. A challenge for aspiring mountain climbers was attempting to scale in staggered stair step fashion, and overhanging trees and roots were used for leverage and assist to prevent falling into the creek below.
A sandy, hog backed type bluff, which once featured a cave, lent a western movie atmosphere and trails were worn through the woods by young cowboys in search of Indians.
Purple and white violets, Dutchman s breeches, buttercups and bluebells grew in profusion and after school, elementary students headed for the mineral well hills to pick wild flowers for their colored, construction paper baskets made in class. Ringing a neighbor s doorbell, running to hide, then watching the lady of the house to find her surprise bouquet was an anticipated annual May Day custom.
GREENUP AN IDEAL LOCATION FOR U. S. GOVERNMENT VETERANS HOSPITAL
The medicinal values of this water have
the physicians of Greenup and adjacent towns for many years. (See
testimonials from Medical Profession). Cumberland
Water is one of the very best Alkaline
|Iron Bicarbonate.||. 0.180|
|Manganese Bicarbonate more than||Trace|
|Calcium Bicarbonate||.. 9.968|
|Lithiun Bicarbonate.||. Trace|
|Potassium Bicarbonate.||. 0.0659|
|Borax more than||.Trace|
A comparison of the
above analysis with most any of the analysis of the other waters that
are widely advertised and used will readily convince anyone that this
water is the equal of many and superior to most of them in medicinal
value. Many of them are advertised as a Lithia water when, as a
matter of fact, they contain no more lithium than the Cumberland Water
which has only a trace. The
First---It has a pleasant and agreeable taste.
Second---It has no unpleasant odor.
Third---It can be retained by most delicate or irritable stomachs in cases where ordinary water cannot be retained.
Fourth---Its laxative effect is very mild, so much so, that I can be used constantly as a potable of table water.
I can freely recommend this water as one of the best in cases heretofore mentioned, and in all cases in which a good Alkaline water in indicated, or to those who desire a good, wholesome, pure water for drinking.
N.J. Haughton, M.D.
I have used the Cumberland Mineral Water for the last 18 years and I consider it to be very good water, being a great aid to the medical treatment of certain diseases of the stomach, kidneys, bladder.
It is very useful in the treatment of Rheumatism and Gout.
C.J. Hancock, M.D.
I have used and prescribed the Cumberland Mineral Water in my practice for 5 or more years and consider it one of the best waters, in aid to other medical measures in cases of Chronic Brights Disease, Cystitis, Catarrhal, or hyperacidic conditions of the stomach and also in Rheumatic or Gout conditions.
Concerning mineral waters I wish to say that I have experience in drinking such European waters as Contrexville, Apenta, Perrier , Appolinaris, and I find the Greenup Mineral Water to be the equal of any, which among the American waters I consider that it has no superior.
J.Paul Jones, Dentist
The results of analysis of Cumberland Mineral Water, I find the predominate properties present are Sodium, Calcium, magnesium, giving curative value for fevers and making this water one of the best table waters. Having been using this water for more than 14 years and know it is the best drinking water for my family.
R.W.Conzet, Consulting Chemist
Post Graduate, Northwestern University
Yours very truly,
N.G. James, M.F
I can cheerfully recommend the use of the Cumberland Mineral water. I know it certainly possesses medicinal qualities, as it has relieved patients to whom I had ordered.
L.J. Willien M.D.
It is with great
pleasure that I endorse the medical properties of the
The City of