Ivy Wild Cemetery

Ivy Wild cemetery, Wythe Township, Hancock County, Illinois

Ivy Wild Cemetery is a front yard burying ground at what was once the much publicized Western Illinois country home near Hamilton called Ivy Wild.  The House has been moved from the grounds in recent years and all that is left now are a couple of the dilapidated out buildings.  The grounds are grown to weeds or are littered with junk.  Two large concrete urns five feet tall and a jungle of vines mark nthe site  of the garden.

No stones were ever put up at these front yard graves, is said.  But several of the people of the Green family owned the Ivy Wild farm and the American painter George Upp are known to be buried there.  Their names constitute this burial list.

Probably the best ivy Wild ride up on record is the one in the Quincy, Illinois Herald Whig (page 4 Section C) of Sunday July 4, 1965.  Quotations from and will be used here mostly.

"A new generation of Hancock County people has come into being since artistic people came from distances to see the paintings of George Upp and wandered through the house where the live birds and mingled with stuffed ones, stuffed animals graced the rooms and a huge mirror occupied one wall; where Alice Green conducted seances with the spirit world and the picnic suppers were spread on the large bluegrass lawns.

Situated in Wythe Township about 2 mi. south and a mile east of Hamilton, the farm was originally owned by the Rockwell family.  Miss Alice Rockwell married Augustus Green and during the 1920's when it was known as Ivy Wild, it was the Green farm.  After the death of Mrs. Green, the last of the group who lived in this strange rendezvous, the farm was partitioned and the site of the rambling ivy covered house is now the property of Mr. and Mrs. Pete Van Ausdal.

Augustus and Alice Green had a son, Harry, who visited an art exhibit at Keokuk, Iowa, shortly after World War l, and there became acquainted with a painter, George Upp, who was an the midst of family troubles.  Young Green invited Upp to accompany him home and Upp remained with the Greens the rest of his life.

Shortly after this, another professional man, Edwin Johnson, a school teacher, was said to have a drinking problem.  He was invited to join the Greens and Mr. Upp.  He too spend the rest of his life at Ivy Wild.

Harry Green married one of  Upp's daughters, Laura, Green died of cancer in his early 30's.  Laura Green later remarried and left the area.  Upp died in the 1930's.

Mrs. Green who was most responsible for the weird furniture, was well educated and gave readings at the slightest provocation.  She also played the guitar, and conducted seances in the dimly candle lit surroundings.  It was probably her promotion that made Ivy Wild a noted picnic area for 15 or 20 years.

Tables were installed and the numerous trees and heavy vegetation made it an ideal setting for summer picnics.  Picnickers were always interested in a tour through the House.  Mrs. Green's husband, who was older than she, died during the early 1920's.  Mrs. Green played the role of hostess to visitors and anyone who visited Ivy Wild usually has a vivid recollection of the strange woman.

This visitor visited ivy Wild in 1931 and remembers Mrs. Green and the strains of weird music being played on a music saw and vibrations of the tines on a pitchfork in the dimly lighted room filled with animated snakes, stuffed animals and the gutteral raspings of a live parrot.

In the tourist activity of ivy Wild, Edwin Johnson played a minor role.  He was an active partner and raised many dahlias, some of unusual strain.  He also did truck farming, which, with the income from Upp's paintings, maintain the place economically.  Johnson was also a musician and played several strange instruments.

The House itself which stood at the head of the lane leading north from the main road, got its name from the heavy growth of ivy that covered the east and south walls.  Beyond the outbuildings were several acres of orchard and the heavy trees and bushes made the second half of the name, "Wild" most appropriate.

Johnson died soon after Upp.  Mrs. Green, aged and mentally ill, died about 1940 shortly after Johnson's death"

Keith Wilkey, a Herald Whig Staff writer, prepared the right up.

Warren L. Van Dine talk with Pete Van Ausdal November 3, 1965 and he stated he thought 3 people were buried at ivy Wild, but 4 are listed in the Herald Whig right up.  They are listed and identified in their attached burial list.

Augustus Green who married Alice Rockwell to set the Green House that Ivy Wild
died March 1, 1915 Aged 72 yrs 11 days
His wife, Alice Rockwell Green, is buried in  Oakland Cemetery in Hamilton

 Harry Green, who was a son of the above couple

George Upp, American painter and father-in-law of Harry Green

Edwin P. Johnston, Born in Kentucky February 17, 1879 a former school teacher who lived at Ivy Wild and died February 27, 1933