Biography - William Greene

HON. WILLIAM L. GREENE ex-sheriff of Greene county, is a native of Coventry, Rhode Island. He was born December 10, 1810, and is the eldest of a family of five children of Robert and Phoebe Greene, who were lineally descended from the Puritan stock. Stephen Greene, the father of Robert, was a soldier in the army during the revolutionary war, and did some good service in assisting the cause of American liberty; he was also a relative of Gen. Nathaniel Greene, of revolutionary fame.
William L. Greene received his early education in the common schools of his native state. By careful attention and application, he succeeded in gaining a good, practical, business education. After leaving school, for about eleven years his time was employed in driving stage between Boston and Providence. In 1842 Mr. Greene removed to Illinois, locating in Greene county. His first employment after arriving here was chopping cord-wood at fifty cents a cord, and by that means he succeeded in getting together enough money to buy a farm, which he immediately after began to improve. Feeling desirous of taking a partner to assist in the business of life, he found the object of his search in the person of Miss Priscilla Wood, to whom he was married on the 25th of January, 1846. She was formerly from the state of Kentucky, through at that time a resident of this county. As the fruits of that union they had a family of five children, three of them are yet living (single) and residing with their parents. In 1849 Mr. Greene was elected justice of the peace, and, by re-election, held that office eight years. In 1855 he was elected assessor and treasurer of Greene county, and held that office six years. In 1861 he was elected sheriff, and filled that office one term, during the most troublesome period of Greene county's history, as it was at that time almost overrun by bushwhackers and other turbulent characters; yet Mr. Greene was not a man to swerve from any duty incumbent upon him, and it has been said that he made one of the most efficient sheriffs that Greene county ever had. After Carrollton became incorporated, Mr. Greene was elected mayor, and by re-election, held that office the first three years. The different political positions with which he has been honored will attest the high opinion in which he is held by his fellow-citizens.

In summing up the character of Mr. Greene, we find the motive and sanguine temperaments predominating, giving him energy, hopefulness, and persistence in his undertakings. Commencing life poor, and accomplishing what he has, by straightforward principles of honor and integrity, and at the same time manifesting a generosity so habitual to the man, he has won many warm friends. For many years he has been a consistent and worthy member of the masonic order. In his efforts industrial, political, and otherwise, he has achieved a well-merited success, and is comfortably situated to enjoy life. Very early he became a believer in, and a supporter of, the principles of the democratic party, and during the late rebellion was actively in favor of prosecuting the war to its legitimate conclusion. He is most emphatically a self-made man, and is now a partner in the large flouring mill at Carrollton, which is one of the best in the county. He is now residing at his home in Carrollton, enjoying the fruits of a well spent life.

Extracted 05 Jan 2017 & 06 Jun 2018 by Norma Hass from Atlas Map of Greene County Illinois, 1873, page 34.

Templates in Time