The Paul T. Billups Memorial Park is named in honor of a former Mayor of Ceredo who served for twenty years from 1947-1967 and also operated a horse pasture on this property. The land was later acquired by the town of Ceredo and was developed in stages during the 1970s and 1980s. The park is made up of six acres and includes a walking trail, picnic tables, baseball field, basketball courts and tennis ball courts. It is also home to the Ceredo War Veterans Memorial and the Jeremy Shoemaker Amphitheater. Today the park is the center of outdoor recreational activities for the town of Ceredo. It hosts events such as youth baseball games, concerts, and an annual Memorial Day ceremony.
For many years a large plot of land on High Street in
the south end of Ceredo was owned by Paul T. Billups and his family. Billups
operated a horse and pony farm on the property, which was popular with local
children. In 1947 he was elected Mayor of Ceredo, a position he held for twenty
years. Billups oversaw a period of modernization for the town; most of the
streets were paved, a city water treatment plant was constructed, and the
police department was expanded to operate twenty-four hours a day. He ended his
career as Mayor in 1967 and also closed his horse business around the same
time. Paul Billups passed away in 1978.
By the late 1970s the land that had previously
Billups’ horse pasture was acquired by the town of Ceredo; it was subsequently
divided into several different uses. Ceredo-Kenova Middle School and Ceredo
Manor, a high-rise senior citizen apartment building organized by the National Church
Residence Organization, were each built on the land in 1980. Basketball and
tennis courts were installed around this time as well. The remaining six acres
of the property were set aside to serve as a town park; it included a walking
path, picnic tables, and a baseball field. It was eventually named the Paul T.
Billups Memorial Park in honor of the former mayor.
In 1986 the town created the Ceredo War Veterans Memorial on the southeast corner of the park. This simple monument consists of
a brick circle with five granite blocks surrounding an illuminated flag pole.
Inscribed on the blocks are the names of around 500 residents who have served
in every war since World War I. In 2000 the Jeremy Shoemaker Amphitheater was
built with donations and volunteer labor contributed in part from the faculty and friends of Ceredo-Kenova Middle
School. It was dedicated to the memory of Jeremy Shoemaker, a twelve-year-old
boy who died in 1993 and was known for his love of music.