Beaucoup Once Largest Town in County
Following closely upon the Lively Massacre near Covington, the settling of Washington County took on considerable speed. the most rapid growth
areas centered around Beaucoup, four miles east of Nashville, and in the Elkton-Oakdale area, in the southwestern part of the county.
According to old-time records, there was considerable rivalry between these two settlements, both as to size and in religion. In the Beaucoup area
the Methodists predominated. At Elkton, the Baptists had the plurality. At Oakdale, the first settlers were members of one or two branches of the
Presbyterian Church, the Scotch Coventers (the Reformed Church), or the United Presbyterian.
On the whole, this was a healthy cleavage, although there were times when denominational differences even influenced politics. For instance,
in the political campaign of 1826, the candidates were asked to declare themselves in advance, concerning the site for the new county seat.
By the tiem Illinois was admitted as a State in 1818, Beaucoup probably was the largest community in the county, although there are no existing
records to prove it. Its roster is replete with such family names as White, Whittenburg, Livesay, Lyons, Henry, Anderson, Jack, Walker, and others.
Many of these names have come down through the history of the county to the present day.