Greenridge, Nilwood Township, Macoupin County IL
Greenridge Macoupin Co IL History
Contributed by Carolyn Jones Bettis
1985 Reunion Picture and Names Contributed by Wanda Mayernick Bober
Picture of some houses which were but no longer in Greenridge
James Bullough Lansing was born James Martini on January 14, 1902, in Greenridge, Nilwood Township, Macoupin County, Illinois.
1985 Reunion of former Greenridge residents - contributed by Wanda Maynerick Bober
Greenridge was located north of Nilwood about two miles on Route 4.
According to the book Illinois Place Names, Greenridge Post Office was established 24 Aug 1896 and disbanded 23 Jun 1898. It was reestablished 4 Mar 1899 and disbanded 31 Jan 1919. The book says "now Green Ridge."
Unless you know where Greenridge was located, you could not find it today. The community was built at the turn of the century and was gone by the 1920's. A bustling little community with the green houses built by a mining company, Greenridge was located between Nilwood and Girard on Route #4. The community was mostly located on the west side of Route #4 and the mine was located on the east side "apiece" from Route #4.
Copy of a letter that Cecil Rutherford, Girard High School teacher and owner of land formerly called Greenridge, wrote to Sam Molen on June 13, 1941, when Sam asked him for info on Greenridge.
"Your letter received and hasten to answer same as best I can - and with happy remembrance of "School Days".
Just across the road from the farm I own, the first house was staked off at 9 o'clock, October 22, 1894, just one hour before the first accident at the mine, death of Rollin McGhee, who fell into the pit while hoisting coal. The village of 65 houses was built and all painted green as was a very large store and the place was named "Green Ridge". About 325 people, miners and their families, "lived, loved and died" for a period of about thirty years. And, many properous people yet remember it as the place of their birth.
Because of financial difficulties, consolidation and capitalistic manipulations, the mine with such a rich vein of coal, was closed in 1923. The last pay was said to be over $20,000 for labor.
There were many and varied events to happen here, pleasant and otherwise scattered along and thru to its short history from love storeis to two first degree murders. The ax story is true except the wife killed her stepson to spite the husband and father.
When I bought all the land which composed Green Ridge, there were 49 houses remaining, many having been destroyed by fire, etc. There were several families remaining, but one by one they vacated, the houses were salvaged and the "tall corn grows and whispers the Indian Legend or sings with Whittier The Corn Song in mindfull of an eventful past.
Green Ridge has contributed its coal to furnaces of the past and is now helping to furnish food and meat to the nations' food problem.
Post office, store, schools all have vanished and memory only remains, as the story of its past is told over and over by those who return to take fond view at the site of their early remembrances.
As a young beginning teacher, I labored here with 65 to 70 pupils of various nationalities and languages, also teaching a night school for the men so they could advance in their work and am rewarded by living to see several very successful citizens who attended school at Green Ridge when I taught those few years here.
The mine tipple and all burned in August, 1930, and the hole was filled up the summer of 1942. A new hard road is to be built thru Green Ridge this summer.
Hope this fills the bill.
Yours as ever, C.E. Rutherford"
Written permission to copy letter given by:
Sam Molen, 11 Aug 1997
Robert H Rutherford, 17 Aug 1997 (son of Cecil Rutherford)
Cecil was born in 1877 and died in 1958. His son became a medical doctor and his daughter a history teacher. They both are in their 80's and still living.
The murders referenced were:
A Mrs. Harmon who lived east of the C & A RR, killed her stepson, who was in his 20's, while the husband was at work in the mine. She buried the body underneath the floor boards of the porch sprinkling it with lime. Worried of the impending odor, so buried it in the coal shed and ordered delivery of coal despite warm weather. Worried again of the odor, and dug the body up again and wrapped it in a blanket containing bricks and dropped it in a well east of their residence in the briars and bushes. Two berry pickers, one a Joe Wallis, smelled a horrible odor and followed it to the well, where the body had surfaced. Berry Funeral Home of Girard stated it was one of the worst situations they ever had to handle. She was arrested and jailed, but soon discovered she was pregnant, and in the 1920's, they would not incarcerate a pregnant lady, so she was released and they later moved from the area. When we held the 1985 Reunion, Mrs. Harmon was still living and in her 90's. The gossip was that the stepson was molesting her and that's the reason she killed him, but Mr. Rutherford's letter indicates it was to spite her husband.
The other murder was a Lewis Klun was shot allegedly by his wife as he was a heavy drinker and abused her and their many children. Some say one of the older children actually did the shooting in an attempt to stop the father from physically abusing the mother.
contributed by Carolynn Jones Bettis
The following is a list of individuals who at one time resided in the now extinct village of Greenridge:
Ader, Allen, Arelio, Armstrong,
Barberi, Bardulis, Bartosik, Beam, Beck, Biancho, Blachut, Bohannon, Bono, Brado, Brock, Brown, Bruno, Bunsy, Bunk, Burton, Butler,
Cain, Case, Cargnino, Castagano, Cervi, Chentofolsky, Chere, Cheers, Clark, Clarkson, Clevenger, Close, Coginsky, Collins, Conlee, Coolens, Cornwell, Corwin, Crowder,
Davidson, Davis, Dee, Dennis, DeVoric, Dickout, Dickson, Drake,
Eades, Elliott, Elsperman, Evans,
Fenogletto, Ferguson, Fifer,
Gasko, Garcher, Gerham, Girardo, Giriskis, Grableck, Graham, Griffiths, Goodman, Gooseman,
Haider, Hall, Harmon, Harrison, Hatch, Hogan, Hudson, Hughes, Hunter,
Jacobs, Jakubauskas, Jajanc, Jerdan, Jiacoma, Jones, Jynello,
Katzmarc, Kinski, Klmasy, Klun, Kokos, Kochis, Kolar, Kolschinsky, Kucak, Kussack,
Lachney, Larcher, Leroy, Light, Lisko, Little, Loider,
Martin, McBride, McChere, McClure, McCrea, McGerk, McGinnis, McGist, McGrain, McLean, Machelli, Martin, Miller, Mike, Missourek, Mitchell, Morgan,
Nance, Nassels, Mewman, Niesen, Novak,
Pajanc, Pauls, Patran, Payne, Parnell, Punnell, Perona, Pinkham, Pinkus, Piper, Potler, Powers, Prescott,
Randolph, Rebecauskas, Rebekowski, Recetelli, Rena, Renelds, Rose, Rosenbush, Royal, Rutherford, Rychel,
Samrok, Scremen, Senalik, Shall, Shaw, Shoemaker, Shores, Skager, Skaisgir, Skibenski, Skinner, Skolski, Smith, Southerland, Sponsky, Strank, Straus, Stuver, Sumski,
Terosky, Thomas, Thorton, Tiona, Trainer, Trionis, Tucker,
Wallis, Whalen, White, Whitehead, Whitis, Williams,
Yachtis, Yasko, Yem, Yowell,
Zafs, Zazanc, Zions.
These were obtained from Rental, School & Church records, plus oral info provided by former residents still residing in Macoupin County.
Picture of Greenridge houses provided by Carolynn Jones Bettis. All rights reserved.
Reunion July 21, 1985
Wanda Maynerick Bober contributed the reunion picture and names.
"One of the women in the picture (Olga Kaztmarek) married my uncle. Charles Mayernick, in 1921. She and my Mother use to walk to Greenridge to see her family The short cut was by walking down the railroad track. They were living in Virden at the time."
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