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ALHAMBRA HISTORY - (Taken from the Alhambra Centennial Souvenir Book, 1949)
Alhambra was laid out in 1849 by Dr. Louis Sheppard who came here from the East and bought considerable land in this section. Upon first coming here, the Sheppards made their home with the Levi Harnsberger family. Mrs. Harnsberger and Mrs. Sheppard had been reading Washington Irving’s book, “The Alhambra,” and suggested that the town be given that name. The Alhambra is a Moorish castle in Spain. The word, Alhambra, means “The Red Castle,” and was so named because of its red-tiled exterior. Mr. Sheppard arrived here on a bright moonlight night and being enchanted with the beauty of the scene, thought the name, Alhambra, very fitting. Thus this name was selected.
The history of Alhambra is not altogether serene. On October 19, 1859, another site was chosen and platted by Levi Harnsberger, W.S. Handle, Henry Harnsberger and Captain J. Thornburg, on the corners of sections ten, eleven and fourteen which they called Greencastle. There was great rivalry between the two villages and really hard feelings at times. But time heals all wounds, and so it did the feelings which existed between the two settlements.
The idea of incorporating the village of Alhambra was growing among the many civic-minded people, but evidently there was some opposition as an item taken from a newspaper clipping reads as follows: “The Plank Walk” – The sidewalk is not completed as far west as the residence of R. D. Utiger, and is two feet wide, and is appreciated by our school children. In fact, everybody and those that did such terrible kicking last spring when we wanted to incorporate, now have nothing to say and won’t even walk in the middle of the road as they promised.”
The villages of Greencastle and Alhambra were united and incorporated on April 5, 1884.