Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.Page 353
If the Garden of Eden was not in Sugar Grove Precinct, then we are inclined to believe that there was some mistake as to the place of its location. So must have thought the early comers to this land of “corn and wine and oil.” As they beheld.
“Earth’s unnumbered flowers
All turning up their gentle eyes to heaven;
The birds, with bright wings glancing in the sun,
Filling the air with rainbow miniatures,”
And combining to restore, in all its loveliness, “lost Eden’s faded glory,” No finer section of country should mortal crave than is embodied in this division of Menard County. Fine rolling prairie, rich in soil, with here and there a grove of timber, scattered over the broad plains like “the islands that slumber in the ocean,” is no untrue description of Sugar Grove precinct, and, but for the absence of the “apples and fig-leaves,” might have been mistaken for the original garden.
The hand of civilization has been laid upon it to improve, and not to destroy, its virgin beauty. It has but improved under the sway of man, as the productive fields and handsome residences abundantly show. The wild prairie grass and the myriads of wild flowers have given place to the corn and wheat, and to the shrubbery and cultivated flowers of men (or women, rather), and the orchards of luscious fruits are to be found on nearly every plantation. And so on, ad finem
Sugar Grove Precinct lies in the eastern part of Menard County, south of Greenview Precinct, east of Indian Creek, north of Athens and west of Logan County. By Government Survey, it is located in Townships 18 and 19 north, and Ranges 4, 5 and 6 west of the Third Principal Meridian, and contains about thirty-five sections of land. Some three-fourths or perhaps four-fifths is prairie land, sufficiently rolling to need little artificial draining. The timber is principally in what is known as Sugar Grove and Irish Grove; the latter grove being about half in this precinct and the other half in Greenview. Sugar Grove Creek is the only water-course and is but a small stream the greater part of the year; but several fine springs are found here, which is a rare occurrence in this portion of Illinois. The name Sugar Grove is obtained from the little body of timber in the northwest part of the precinct, and in which the sugar-maple predominates. Formerly, Greenview as included in this precinct, and was called Sweetwater, after the little village by that name, but, being large in extent, a division was made about 1871-72 and Greenview created into a separate precinct. The name of this one was then changed to Sugar Grove. No railroads mar its sod, but the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Railroad comes so near its borders that it serves all the purposes of its people almost as well as if it ran through the center of the precinct. The village of Sweetwater is a small place in the edge of Sugar Grove timber, and is scarcely large enough to entitle it to the name of village.