When he decided to turn his attention toward writing a history of Greenup County, he called on Dwight Cropper of South Portsmouth for some information on a chapter concerning Native Americans.
Cropper, an amateur anthropologist and archeologist, has become a sought-after authority on not only the Shawnee and Cherokee, but also the ancient peoples who inhabited this part of the Ohio River Valley long before the white man and his courthouses were even thought of.
Nicholls, a retired judge from the circuit courts in Greenup and Lewis counties who still works as a special judge throughout eastern Kentucky, said Cropper “was filling in the gaps for me and I thought, ‘Hey, he’s the one who should be writing this chapter, not me.’”
Cropper agreed to do so and then went a step farther by suggesting the writing of a Greenup County history involve a number of people who would be interested in the project, some to research and some to write.
“Get a group of people who are really interested working together on a sizable project like a county history and you can prevent getting bogged down or overwhelmed by the task,” Cropper said.
Cropper then called on several other people for their expertise and help.
Those agreeing to work on the project so far include, in addition to Cropper and Nicholls, Annelle McMullen, Gaylord Cooper, Roland Burns, Kathleen Virgin-Kenney and Tom Heaberlin.
The group held its organizational meeting Wednesday at the Short Stop Restaurant in South Shore.
“Our next meeting will involve putting together an outline. Then we can start assigning particular chapters to those who will write them,” Cropper said.
Nicholls said he saw a need for the book because “A History of Greenup County, Kentucky,” written by the late Nina Mitchell Biggs and Mable Lee Mackoy, while starting with the county’s founding in 1803, ends with the 1950s.
Both Burns and Cooper said the book should be written with an audience in mind that would include middle school and high school students in the county’s four school districts.
Nicholls said the history group should query the University Press of Kentucky in hopes that it might be interested in publishing the book.