Jefferson County Historical Society

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Michael W. Greene, general merchant and farmer at Sulphur Springs Landing, 
is a native of Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland, born in 1830, and after 
receiving a fair common school education, remained on a farm until eighteen 
years of age (1848), at which date he came to the United States landing at 
Quebec, and went from there to New York four months later.  He then spent 
about three years as day laborer on railroads, in stone quarries, etc., 
after which he came West in search of land, and after traveling through 
Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, finally, in 1855, became foreman of the 
construction of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railraod, which 
occupied his time for four years.  In 1859 he married Miss Catherine, 
daughter of Daniel Gorman, who was from the same county in Ireland, but 
who was living in St. Louis at the time of Mr. Greene's marriage.  Mrs. 
Greene died the same year, and in 1860 he married Miss Mary McGrath, of 
St. Louis, who bore him ten children, six now living: Margaret, a book 
keeper in the McCormick works at St. Louis for four years; Daniel, 
railroad operator at Denver, Colo.; Ella; Blanche, with her sister in St. 
Louis; Joseph and Ethel.  Soon after marriage Mr. Greene began 
merchandising at Sulphur Springs Landing, at which place he has since 
carried on a successful business, being perhaps, the oldest merchant in 
Jefferson County, as well as one of the most successful, energetic and 
wealthy citizens.  He at one time owned considerable property in St. 
Louis and Illinois, and now has about 1,000 acres of land, most in 
Jefferson County, but some in Wayne and Crawford Counties.  In 1860 he 
built a flouring mill at Sulphur Springs which he operated for about 
three years and then sold out.  For the last twenty years he has been 
more or less engaged in farming and dealing in real estate.  During 
Lincoln's first administration he was made postmaster at Sulphur Springs 
Landing, and held the office continuously until 1882.  A Democrat 
politically, his first presidential vote was cast for Pierce, in 1852.  
He is a member of the Catholic Church.  Mr. Greene has always taken a 
great interest in educational work and has spared no pains in endeavoring 
to school his children.  Two of his children have graduated from the Normal 
School at St. Louis.  He is the son of Daniel and Madigan Greene; the 
former was a carpenter, and at the age of about fifty left Ireland and came 
to the United States, but three years later returned to his native Isle, 
where he died about 1840. The mother came to the United States about 1853, 
and died at Sulphur Springs about 1857.