IAGenWeb Join Our Team

This page was last

updated on 11/23/2011


Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1065~


Hon. Thomas L. Green

The student interested in the history of Fayette county does not have to carry his investigations far into its annals before learning that Thomas L. Green has long been an active and leading representative citizen and one of the most influential men of West Union, his labors having proven to be a potent force in the upbuilding of this locality along many lines. The biographies of such men of success are instructive as guides and incentives to those whose careers are yet to be achieved. The examples they furnish of patient and consecutive endeavor strongly illustrate what is in the power of each to accomplish if his energies are persistently and conscientiously applied. Mr. Green is a conspicuous example of one who has lived to good purpose and achieved a definite degree of success in the various spheres to which his talents and energies have been devoted, and notwithstanding the fact that he has outstripped many of the less persistent plodders on life’s highway and of the unquestioned good he has accomplished, he is conservative and unassuming, a true type of the genteel, self-made American gentleman, whom to know is to respect and admire.

Mr. Green was born at Hamilton, Canada , September 11, 1847, and is the son of Thomas and Ann (Stevens) Green, both natives of Ireland, the father having been born there in 1815 and died in America in 1904, and the mother’s birth occurred in 1824 and her death in 1910.

Thomas Green, Sr., whose sketch appears in full on another page of this work, served three years and three months in Company F, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, with a commission of Sergeant, having charge of the horseshoeing, farrier and repair department on the frontier. While in the service he was injured, as a result of which he was remembered by his country with a pension of twenty-four dollars per month. He returned home in 1866 and, with his son, Thomas L. of this review, engaged in the manufacture of wagons, buggies and blacksmithing, the father having served an apprenticeship at the above line of work for seven years in Ireland, then went to Scotland where he worked in the shipyards of Glasgow, later in the Highlands, where he learned to talk the Gaelic language, and while there became a lover of the poetry of Burns and Scottish literature, and he was noted as a great reader all his life. During the more than sixty years of married life, during which time he and his wife reared a family of eight children, they were among the most highly respected and best citizens in the community. The elder Green enjoyed his work and made the “hours flit by on angels’ wings,” to quote from his Bard of Ayr, by giving vent to his effervescent spirit in song and stories of good cheer. His wife, too, a gracious and good woman, although ever active with her family, found time to share the joys and sorrows of her neighbors, being always with them in their troubles to serve and comfort.

Thomas L. Green came to Fayette county, Iowa when a child and here he was educated in the common schools and at Upper Iowa University, where he spent one year. He has always been a student and has kept well informed on current events, topics of interest in the political, social and scientific world and is an interesting man to converse with. He started in life for himself as a wagonmaker, in which line he was an expert and which he followed successfully for period of ten years. He then launched into the real estate business, which he continued with very satisfactory results for a period of twenty years. During the past twelve years he has very ably and creditably filled the position as postmaster at West Union, giving satisfaction in every respect both to the department and to everyone who patronized the local office, his long service in this connection being a criterion of his fidelity to duty and his genuine worth as a public servant. He is now living in honorable retirement, spending a part of his time with his family in Los Angeles, California, where his daughters, Gladys and Florence, are attending the University of Southern California. During the period noted above, Mr. Green served in a very praiseworthy manner as mayor of West Union for two terms, during which incumbency he was instrumental in securing the city water works, superintending the entire construction, devoting nearly a year of almost daily service to the work of procuring buildings and overseeing the construction of the plant, which is one of the best in the country. For this meritorious service he received the compensation of twelve dollars. He was also largely instrumental in securing the town clock. Being interested in local public schools, he served as a member of the school board for a period of thirteen years, being president of the same during the last six years, and he takes just pride in the fact that the city has one of the best high schools in the state, He also took a leading part in securing macadam streets for West Union and in innumerable ways has contributed to the material prosperity and moral and intellectual growth of this community.

Thomas L. Green proved his loyalty to the stars and stripes during the nation’s dark hours of trial by enlisting as a private in Company C, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, on March 9, 1864, and he served very faithfully in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. He was orderly to the provost marshal at Selma and Montgomery, Alabama. He was mustered out of service at Selma in October, 1865.

Politically, Mr. Green is a Republican. He was county chairman for a period of six years, and a member of the Republican state central committee for the fourth district of Iowa for two years. He has been active and influential in politics and he belongs with the progressive Republicans of Iowa. During the past twenty-five years he has devoted much of his energies and the best years of his life, as well as given freely of his means, in conducting a campaign of education along temperance lines and he is proud to note the efforts of himself and others who have worked against prejudice and bitter opposition, bringing good results in the better condition of our county, state and nation, and he hopes for the final overthrow of what he considers the greatest evil that confronts our civilization. He has defeated different county petitions for the saloon, having gone to the supreme court to get his counter remonstrance, maintained in the case of Green and the State of Iowa against Smith, and in retiring he hopes that the younger element will continue to fight the great evils to the death.

He is a member of the H. A. L. Club, a literary society of wide note, and for twenty years has enjoyed the study and discussions. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He has been president of the Anti-Horse Stealing Society of the county, and he has been president of the Anti-Saloon League of Fayette county for many years and active in the enforcement of the prohibition laws. Also he was president of the Fayette County Law and Order League long before the Anti-Saloon League came on the scene.

On October 30, 1876, Mr. Green married Ella Sherwood, daughter of Phil and Trephena (Yale) Sherwood, of Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania. She is a lady of fine attributes and comes of an excellent family. This union has resulted in the birth of the following children: Louise died in infancy; Lottie died when six years old; Laura M., now Mrs. Dr. E. T. Lawler, of Amarillo, Texas; Alfred N. died in infancy; Lillian S., now Mrs. P. E. Magee, lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Gladys and Florence are with their parents and attending school. Mrs. Green belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and has long been an active and earnest worker in the same, also in charities. She has been a helpmeet indeed, a true wife and mother, and a good neighbor whom all who knew respected.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Ann Borden


back to Fayette Home