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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Greenup

Illinois

Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
Sign?
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990 1616
2000 1532 1512 1
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Police or Other Official Action
  • Zoning

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

“There was a black family whose car broke down, and they couldn’t stay in the hotels or motels in Greenup. So they let them stay at the fairgrounds” at the edge of town. Probably in one of those little buildings where they exhibit pies and things in the summer. It had a coal stove. This was winter. “They brought food to them, because they couldn’t eat in a restaurant in Greenup back then.” “They stayed there 2 or 3 days, while their car was repaired.” My father-in-law was asked to give the father a haircut, which he did. “He went out to the fairgrounds, but he had to do it at night, because his other customers wouldn’t have ever walked into his shop again if they knew he was using scissors and comb that had touched a black man’s head. (Local worker claimed this incident happened between 1945-1965)

The fairgrounds were deliberately left out of Greenup because blacks stayed there. Black people coming to the fair or working in the fair could stay at the fairgrounds but not in Greenup. There was a sign outside the hotel, no blacks allowed. “We grew up knowing that it was against the law” for blacks to spend the night in Greenup. (Local resident)