Mineral Wells Feature at Greenup
Effingham Daily News, Wed., Sept. 20,1972

Article By: Bobbie Claire Goodman, Greenup Corr.
Photos By: Bill Wylde

Mineral Springs
Mineral Springs

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.


Although not 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 widely known.
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.

log cabin inn

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 Greenup.
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.

The favorite haunt of nature lovers motivated the careers of 2 Greenup s men: Delbert Easton, a relief keeper at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo and Dr. Phillip Bright, a professor of zoology at the University of Illinois. Bright, and a friend, Charles Goodman, hunted and trapped many varieties of snakes and wild animals near the springs which they displayed in the backyard zoo during summer vacations.
It was a short hike across a field to the Sand Bar , Greenup s most popular ole swimming hole .


The dilapidated old mineral well building is like a page from the past. Though some of the graffiti is obscured by many coats of paint, signatures from most area towns are still legible as well as some customary autographed hearts, carved into the wood, such as: Betty & Bud:; signs of a high school romance which blossomed into a silver wedding anniversary.
Greenup became known for a second mineral well springs, discovered in much the same manner in the late 1900 s. Though it did not 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 the thirst of many weary travelers as its location was on Old national Trail (or old Route 40) across from the Cumberland County Fairgrounds.
A tourist lodge and log cabins were established, a wishing well styled fountain erected around the mineral water pipe, and it was the motel of its days. Known later as the Casa Loma, it became popular night club in the early 1930 s. As with the first well, it has since been buried, however Mrs. Carrie Lyons Carson, owner at the time, states that in 1961, a suction pump was put into the well and water drawn out which tasted the same as always.  It is now owned by V.C. Chemical Co. of  St. Louis.
In 1914, the Katzenbach Company became insolvent and Wm. McPeak, a Wabash Avenue restaurant owner in Terre Haute, was put into possession. In 1939, the Dilliers purchased the properties from McPeak. Although the water still flowed freely, the building was in disrepair and a new one was constructed over the well.
Village youth earned spending money by delivering the water to their neighbors. The Dilliers charged the errand boys 5 cents a jug at first, but finally just gave the water to anyone who wanted it.  Mr. Dillier had purchased the site as a retirement investment, however died four years later. It therefore returned in 100 years time, to his widow and its discoverer s granddaughter, Mrs. Lucille Leggett Dillier.


Although the scenic spot continued to serve as a good site for Boy Scout campouts until the early 1960 s, the well and building eventually fell prey to vandalism and water ceased to flow. Now, an overgrowth  of brush has partially obscured the roads and trails, the creek has widened and changed its course in places and the landscape has returned to its original wilderness state.
In 1967-68, Mrs. Dillier sold the property, the Mineral Well tract to Kenneth Dooley of Janesville, Wisc.; (formerly of Greenup) and 5 acres to the village. The village had previously purchased an adjoining 5 acres, formerly Leggett land, from the Shadley heirs for a Little league ball diamond.
The added acreage gave space for another ball field, basketball, and tennis courts and a pavilion. The recreation site was named Haughton Park, in honor of Greenup s eldest physician, the late Dr. Nicholas Haughton. The 5 acre mineral well tract has since been sold by Dooley  to Jerry Jackson of Greenup.
Some work has been done by the city employees on grading the old wagon trail which winds down the hill from Haughton Park to the Mineral Well tract. Much discussion has been made in the past few years as to the site s historical value to the community.
Most think if repaired, the well would again flow and today s generation of youth could quench their thirst at the springs and taste the Columbia Water which once put Greenup on the map and hold memories for so many.



The medicinal values of this water have known to the physicians of Greenup and adjacent towns for many years. (See testimonials from Medical Profession). Cumberland Water is one of the very best Alkaline or Vichy waters in this section of the United States. The analysis of the water which was made by Wm. A. Noyes, professor of chemistry in the Rose Polytechnic Institute, of Terre Haute, IN. is as follows:

Grains to U.S. Gallons
Silica 0.950
Titanic Oxide Trace
Alumina 0.035
Iron Bicarbonate. . 0.180
Manganese Bicarbonate more than Trace
Strontium Bicarbonate.. Trace
Calcium Bicarbonate .. 9.968
Magnesium Bicarbonate 0.781
Lithiun Bicarbonate. . Trace
Potassium Bicarbonate. . 0.0659
Sodium Chloride 113.310
Sodium Bromide Trace
Sodium Iodide 3.517
Sodium Sulfate. .64.553
Sodium bicarbonate Trace
Borax more than .Trace
Sodium, Phosphate Trace
Sodium Nitrate. .Trace
Oregenic Matteras
Total 184.95

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 Cumberland water has these advantages over most waters that are now obtainable. It contains sufficient matter to make it very valuable.

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.


Dear Sirs:

Cumberland water is a great aid to other medicinal measures in many cases, such as Bright s disease, stomach and Rheumatic troubles, or Gout conditions. 

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.

                                                Sincerely yours,

                                                N.J. Haughton, M.D.

                                                Dec. 7, 1915

Dear Sirs;

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.

                                                            Greenup, Illinois

                                                            Dec. 7, 1915

Dear Sirs;

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.

                                                            Yours Truly,

                                                            J.C. Brook art, M.D.

Dear Sirs;

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.

                                                            Very Truly,

                                                            J.Paul Jones, Dentist

                                                            Greenup. Illinois

                                                            Dec. 1, 1915

Dear Sirs;

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.

                                                            Yours Truly,

                                                            R.W.Conzet, Consulting Chemist

                                                            Graduate St. Louis College

                                                            Post Graduate, Northwestern University

                                                            Chicago, Illinois

                                                            Greenup, Illinois

                                                            June 9, 1981


I desire to add my testimony to the many excellent qualities of your famous mineral Water. Having lived near it and tested it virtues for the past 20 years. I consider it par excellence for purity and healthfulness. I always recommend it in cases for weak and debilitated stomach, and in kidney and urinary troubles.  I would say to all: DRINK ONLY CUMBERLAND MINERAL WATER, and love long and happy lives.

                                                            Yours very truly,

                                                            N.G. James, M.F

Terre Haute, IN..

July 1, 1891


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.

                                                  Indianapolis, IN.

                                                  March 16, 1894

 Dear Sir,

It is with great pleasure that I endorse the medical properties of the Cumberland mineral water from Greenup, Illinois. I have used and tasted it sufficiently and according to the analysis made by Prof. W.A. Noyes, I have no doubt that it possess all the properties you claim for it.

                                                Respectfully yours,

                                                Emil Martin

                                                President Indianapolis    

                                                Chemical Company


The City of Greenup in view of the  analysis of the mineral well water in Greenup, Illinois, as a location for a Veteran's Hospital , has been endorsed by the National committee of American Legion and also by the County Organization of the American legion Cumberland County.

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