HISTORY
OF
MENARD & MASON COUNTIES, ILLINOIS
1879

Chicago: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street
Chicago

VILLAGE OF GREENVIEW

Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.

Page 353

This little village is eligibly located in the midst of a fertile and productive region, on the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, about eight miles from Petersburg.

It is on Section 23, of Town 19 north, Range 6 west of the Third Principal Meridian, according to Government survey, and was laid out October 2, 1857, by William Engle, elsewhere mentioned as one of the pioneers of the county. The land upon which the village stands was originally owned by Charles L. Montgomery. The name of Greenview was given in honor of William G. Greene, a prominent citizen of Menard County, residing in the precinct of Tallula. The first dwelling-house erected in the village was put up by Robert McReynolds, soon after it was laid out, and very soon after this, James Stone erected a dwelling. The first brick house was built by John Wilkinson, and is now used as a hotel. One of the first business houses of importance was built by McReynolds, and afterward occupied by him as a store. There is some question at the present day as to whether McReynolds was the first merchant in the place, or whether Emanuel Meyer & Bro. deserve the honor. These were, probably, the two first stores in the village. Silas Beckman had a store here the fall the railroad was completed through the town. The first tavern was kept by John Wilkinson, and is still in existence (in the brick house mentioned above), but is now conducted by the widow of Mr. Wilkinson and their son. It is an excellent hotel for a village of the size of Greenview. The first blacksmith was Jacob Propst, who opened a shop soon after the laying-out of the village. The first physicians were Drs. Davis and Calloway. At present, the practioners of the place are Drs. S. T. Hurst and W. A. Mudd. A mill was built some years ago (the exact date we could not obtain), by McCormick Brothers. In January of the present year, it was burned to the ground. It was a frame building, two stories high, with two run of buhrs originally, but a third run was added at a later day, and the entire structure was erected at a cost of about $10,000. It has not been rebuilt, which leaves quite a large scope of country between Petersburg and Mason City without a mill. Harvey Yeaman was the first man who handled grain at this point. He built a part of the present grain elevator, and then sold out to Morse & Co., who raised the elevator and built another story under it. This seems to have been on the principle of the Irishman’s mode of building a chimney, viz,; “Laying down a brick and putting some others under it.” While it is quite common to build another story on a house, it is rarely we hear of one having a story built under it. They also added cribs, machinery and all modern improvements. It is now owned by Petrie & Co., who are the only grain buyers in the village.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Greenview in the fall of 1858. This Church was originally formed at New Market, but, upon the laying-out of the village, was moved, or rather re-organized with the corporation, and the church building erected the same year. It is a frame edifice and cost about $3,000. The present minister in charge is Rev. S. H. Martin, with an active membership of about twenty-five persons.

Its members have been greatly reduced in number by death and removals. About thirty-five children regularly attend the Sunday School, under the superintendence of Hugh Foster.

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in the village in 1858, or rather, was moved from the Knowles’ Schoolhouse in Indian Creek, and was originally organized in the now extinct village of New Market. The society erected a church edifice in Greenview in the year named above, which cost about $1,200, and is a substantial frame building. The first Trustees were Thomas Stone, Allen Knowles, Robert McReynolds and Luther Jenison. The congregation at present numbers about one hundred members, but has been much larger. A flourishing Sunday school is maintained. For the early history of this venerable Church, our readers are referred to Indian Creek Precinct.

The Baptist Church was built in 1868, and is occupied jointly by the Baptists and Christians, the latter denomination have no sanctuary of their own. The building cost about $2,000 and is a substantial frame. The Baptists have no regular pastor at present and their membership is rather small. The Christians organized their society in the fall of 1869, and have a membership at present of about sixty, under the ministerial charge of Elder D. T. Hughes. A union Sunday school of the Baptist and Christian denominations is carried on, under the superintendence of M. M. Engle, with a regular attendance of about forty children.

The Catholics have an organized Church society, which meets for worship in Hatch’s Hall, and has been ministered to by Father Sauer, of Petersburg. But, as he has very recently resigned the charge at the latter place, the society here is without a minister until other provisions are made for their spiritual welfare.

Greenview Lodge No. 653, A.F. & A.M. was organized under dispensation May 12, 1870, and chartered at the following session of the Grand Lodge. The charter members were F.E.Wilson, W.H. Crites, H.K. Rule, Charles Atterberry, W.S. Morse, J.A. Rule, Abner Engle, Jacob Propst, Jr., Fred Wilkinson, M.S. Eby, William Houston, D.A. Petrie, Robert Hornback, Jacob Killion, John Johnson, F. A. Craig, C.R. Pierce, R.B. Godby, A.H. Witney and Hosea Dockum, of whom the following were the first set of officers; F.E. Wilson, Master; William H. Crites, Senior Warden; H. K. Rule, Junior Warden; Charles Atterberry, Treasurer; W. S. Morse, Secretary; John A. Rule, Senior Deacon; F.A. Craig, Junior Deacon, and Jacob Propst, Tiler. The present officers are: W.H. Williamson, Master; H.K. Rule, Senior Warden; Edward Johnson, Junior Warden; Alexander Montgomery, Treasurer; E.D. Taylor, Secretary; D.A. Petrie, Senior Deacon; Samuel Rogers, Junior Deacon, and Thomas Robinson, Tiler. The roll contains the names of thirty-six members, but has greatly decreased by removals, as at one time the lodge numbered over sixty members. The hall is an elegant one for a country town, and is handsomely furnished, but the building does not belong to the fraternity. The Odd Fellows had a Lodge here at one time, but from some cause it has ceased to exist.

There was no school taught in the village until after the completion of the new school house in September, 1870. The following winter, Prof. Harris taught a school in the new building. Previous to the erection of this building, the children of the village patronized the district schoolhouse which stood just outside of the corporate limits. There was, we believe, a private or subscription school taught in the village, in a vacant building somewhere before the new building was erected, but of it we could learn nothing definite. The elegant brick schoolhouse which adorns the village was completed, as we have said, in 1870, and cost about $10,000. It is one of the finest school edifices in the county. The corps of teachers for the coming year is as follows, viz,: Prof. W. H. Williamson, Principal {his third year in that position}; Miss Feller, Intermediate Department, and Miss H.A. Maxfield, Primary Department. The average attendance during the school year is not far short of one hundred and twenty pupils.

Greenview was incorporated as a village, under special act of the Legislature, and its charter dated 6th of May, 1869. The first Board of Trustees was C.R. Pierce, G.W. Hatch, John Anderson, Fred Wilkerson and A.H. Bogardus. This was the Board upon organization under the charter, but as far back as March, 1868, the records show regular proceedings of a Board of Trustees, which were as follows: C.R. Pierce, J.W. Guyer, John Anderson, Fred Wilkerson, and A. H. Bogardus, and were sworn in by H.H. Marbold. Of the first Board under the charter, C.R. Pierce was President and W.S. Morse, Clerk. On the 7th of March, 1877, it was re-incorporated under the general law of the State. The following is the present Board of Trustees: T.C. Pend, J.D. Alkire, James A. Brucken, J.L. Knoles, P.J. Palmquest and M.M. Engle. T.C. Pond is President of the Board; A.P.Blanc, Clerk; A.A. Fickes, Police Magistrate; H.K. Rule, Treasurer, and George W. Chamberlain, Town Marshal.

It may be an object of interest to some of our readers to know that A.H. Bogardus, the champion shot, was once a resident of this little village. For a number of years, this was his home, and, as he moved about among the quiet citizens of the place, they appeared wholly ignorant of the fact that their town contained “more than Caesar and his fortunes.” For several years past, newspaper writers have made the world familiar with “Captain” Bogardus.

The village of Greenview is a flourishing place, containing some 500 or 600 inhabitants and, considering its proximity to Petersburg on one side and Mason City on the other, enjoys quite a large trade. Its business is about as follows: two dry-good stores with groceries added, one store of groceries exclusively, one drug store, one store of hardware and stoves, two blacksmith and wagon shops, one harness shop, one shoe shop, two saloons, two carpenter shops, one undertaker, one livery stable, one jeweler, one bank, two lumber yards, two physicians, one hotel, one butcher shop and one grain elevator. Marbold, Alkire & Co., carry on the banking business in all its details. A very handsome public square has been set apart in the center of the village and enclosed with a substantial fence. It is well set in trees and grass, and it is intended, we learn, to lay it out in walks, plant shrubbery and arrange rustle seats. When this is done, it will be a spot of which the citizens of Greenview may well feel proud.

A strange feature in the history of the village is the fact that it has no cemetery. Its dead are taken mostly to Petersburg for burial. There are also several burying-grounds in the immediate vicinity, where repose many of the early dead, and these cemeteries receive additions, now and then, from the village; but, as we said, most of its dead are taken to the cemetery at Petersburg. But the village, in our mind, should have a cemetery of its own. Such a place, kept as it should be, adds much to the interest of a town.

“A prophet is without honor in his own country,” has grown into a common saying, and often bears upon its face more truth than poetry. In proof of this, the little village of Greenview contains a genius, of whose existence its citizens seem almost wholly ignorant. We allude to the eminent lecturer, Miss Righter. She is a lady of commanding intellect, a lecturer of considerable note, and has a reputation in the lecture-field that is rapidly increasing. A graduate in the science of phrenology, she used to devote much time to the subject, but recently, we learn, has laid it aside, and is now giving her time and talents to the subjects of metaphysics and of temperance. She is well known in many portions of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa as a pleasing and fluent speaker. A feeling of pride in home talent should prompt the people of Menard County to highly cherish this gifted woman.


1879 Index

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