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 William Francis Greene

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William Francis Greene

Birth
New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death
23 Dec 1897 (aged 60)
Fort Calhoun, Washington County, Nebraska, USA
Burial
Fort Calhoun, Washington County, Nebraska, USA
Plot
Section A, Block 125, Grave
Memorial ID
18175512 View Source

Bill said he was born in New York City. We have varying dates for his birth, but we think it was on 1 Jan 1837 or 1840. On his marriage application to Jenny Pollard dated 1873, he stated he was 33 years old, which would make his birth date 1840. In 1850 he said he was 15. We have not been able to locate his parents and it seems likely Bill did not know his birth date.

On 22 Oct 1862, Bill enlisted in the Civil War. He was a farmer, six feet tall. He said he was born in New York City, NY and was 25 years old. He enlisted in the Nebraska 2nd Calvary as a private but was quickly promoted to saddler. The 2nd Calvary was formed for service against the Indians. He was involved in the Battle of Whitestone Hill on 3 Sep 1863, 45 mi. NW of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Family stories say that after the Civil War, he worked hauling freight with oxen teams between Omaha, NE and Denver, CO. About 1867, Bill bought homestead rights from Michael Meany, who had homesteaded the 160 acres from the government in 1860. With DeWitt Beam, Bill broke the "first prairie" (30 acres) with an ox team on Walnut Hill by the Freeman School house near Reed Cherry's barn. This made 3 parcels, all of which were homesteaded, per Mrs. John (Emma) Batchelder. On the 1870 US Census, he and John Batchelder were farming outside Fort Calhoun, NE. On 18 Mar 1873, he and Mary Jane (Jennie) Pollard were married in Tekemah, NE. He and Jennie had eight children. Bill died of pneumonia unexpectedly during a particularly bad winter.

The following written by Mary Lou (Harnett) Montez:
In celebration of Nebraska's pioneer families, it is appropriate that William Francis Greene, an early settler in Fort Calhoun, be remembered. He was a public spirited man and made important contributions to his new home in Nebraska. Willliam, or Bill as he was sometimes called, was born early in 1837 in New York City; by 1850 he was living on his uncle's farm in Wisconsin. Bill arrived in Nebraska shortly after 1860 and helped homestead a farm near Tekamah, owned by settlers from the Freeman and Batchelder families. He was eventually to buy the homestead rights for the Greene farm near Fort Calhoun in 1867 from the Meany family, who had owned it since 1860. Greene family descendants have lived on this farm ever since.

Bill Greene became involved in contributing to and supporting the frontier town and the citizens of Washington County right from the time he arrived. He served in the Civil War with the 2nd Nebraska Cavalry, enlisting in 1862 in Florence, and taking part in the Battle of Whitestone Hill in the Dakotas. Maybe this experience had an effect on him, causing him to become an Indian agent; he had seen firsthand that Indian problems would be a continuing issue for early settlers. His wife told the story of an Indian appearing at their home, announcing he wanted to buy a particular rooster in her flock of chickens. When she refused, saying the bird wasn't for sale, he muttered, "Then tonight we will steal it." The chicken was sold to him for 25 cents. Bill also hauled freight from Omaha to Denver by oxen wagons before buying the farm. He must have saved his money all those years, coming to the decision that Nebraska was going to be his home.

William Greene married Mary Jane Pollard in 1873, a settler who had come from Michigan with her cousins, and raised a family of eight children on the farm. Perhaps his four boys and four girls made him aware of the need for a school for families in the immediate area. Bill visited all the farms in the neighborhood and collected donations, which became instrumental in the 1884 construction of what came to be known as the Greene School.

Besides farming the land and raising livestock, the Greenes have always been interested in the many types of trees and shrubs on their property. Early on they practiced water management, along with natural conservation. Bill was devoted to the farm's livestock; in the winter of 1897, while caring for a sick calf, he contracted pneumonia. He died on December 23.

We have William Greene, and other pioneer settlers like him, to thank for their many sacrifices and contributions to Washington County. We are proud of their hard work and persistence in helping to make Nebraska what it is today.

Bill said he was born in New York City. We have varying dates for his birth, but we think it was on 1 Jan 1837 or 1840. On his marriage application to Jenny Pollard dated 1873, he stated he was 33 years old, which would make his birth date 1840. In 1850 he said he was 15. We have not been able to locate his parents and it seems likely Bill did not know his birth date.

On 22 Oct 1862, Bill enlisted in the Civil War. He was a farmer, six feet tall. He said he was born in New York City, NY and was 25 years old. He enlisted in the Nebraska 2nd Calvary as a private but was quickly promoted to saddler. The 2nd Calvary was formed for service against the Indians. He was involved in the Battle of Whitestone Hill on 3 Sep 1863, 45 mi. NW of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Family stories say that after the Civil War, he worked hauling freight with oxen teams between Omaha, NE and Denver, CO. About 1867, Bill bought homestead rights from Michael Meany, who had homesteaded the 160 acres from the government in 1860. With DeWitt Beam, Bill broke the "first prairie" (30 acres) with an ox team on Walnut Hill by the Freeman School house near Reed Cherry's barn. This made 3 parcels, all of which were homesteaded, per Mrs. John (Emma) Batchelder. On the 1870 US Census, he and John Batchelder were farming outside Fort Calhoun, NE. On 18 Mar 1873, he and Mary Jane (Jennie) Pollard were married in Tekemah, NE. He and Jennie had eight children. Bill died of pneumonia unexpectedly during a particularly bad winter.

The following written by Mary Lou (Harnett) Montez:
In celebration of Nebraska's pioneer families, it is appropriate that William Francis Greene, an early settler in Fort Calhoun, be remembered. He was a public spirited man and made important contributions to his new home in Nebraska. Willliam, or Bill as he was sometimes called, was born early in 1837 in New York City; by 1850 he was living on his uncle's farm in Wisconsin. Bill arrived in Nebraska shortly after 1860 and helped homestead a farm near Tekamah, owned by settlers from the Freeman and Batchelder families. He was eventually to buy the homestead rights for the Greene farm near Fort Calhoun in 1867 from the Meany family, who had owned it since 1860. Greene family descendants have lived on this farm ever since.

Bill Greene became involved in contributing to and supporting the frontier town and the citizens of Washington County right from the time he arrived. He served in the Civil War with the 2nd Nebraska Cavalry, enlisting in 1862 in Florence, and taking part in the Battle of Whitestone Hill in the Dakotas. Maybe this experience had an effect on him, causing him to become an Indian agent; he had seen firsthand that Indian problems would be a continuing issue for early settlers. His wife told the story of an Indian appearing at their home, announcing he wanted to buy a particular rooster in her flock of chickens. When she refused, saying the bird wasn't for sale, he muttered, "Then tonight we will steal it." The chicken was sold to him for 25 cents. Bill also hauled freight from Omaha to Denver by oxen wagons before buying the farm. He must have saved his money all those years, coming to the decision that Nebraska was going to be his home.

William Greene married Mary Jane Pollard in 1873, a settler who had come from Michigan with her cousins, and raised a family of eight children on the farm. Perhaps his four boys and four girls made him aware of the need for a school for families in the immediate area. Bill visited all the farms in the neighborhood and collected donations, which became instrumental in the 1884 construction of what came to be known as the Greene School.

Besides farming the land and raising livestock, the Greenes have always been interested in the many types of trees and shrubs on their property. Early on they practiced water management, along with natural conservation. Bill was devoted to the farm's livestock; in the winter of 1897, while caring for a sick calf, he contracted pneumonia. He died on December 23.

We have William Greene, and other pioneer settlers like him, to thank for their many sacrifices and contributions to Washington County. We are proud of their hard work and persistence in helping to make Nebraska what it is today.

Gravesite Details

61 years,11months, 23 days


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