Family Stories

Martin W. Greer, Schuyler County, Illinois

from Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties

Martin W. Greer

Martin W. Greer, a life-long resident of Rushville township, was born August 5, 1843, a son of James Greer, a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, born in the month of May, 1812.  Martin Greer, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was also a native of Ireland, but of Scotch ancestry; he was a farmer by occupation, and spent his entire life in his own country; he married Lucy Crosier, who after the death of her husband came to America with her children; she died at the residence of her son James in 1870, at the age of eighty-three years.  She was the mother of five children, all of whom came to this country:  George, James, Jane, Richard and Robert.  James Greer was a youth of eighteen years when he crossed the sea to America; he resided in the State of New York until 1836, and then came to Illinois, locating in Schuyler County.  After his marriage he bought a farm on which he passed the rest of his life; he died in 1875.  He was married in 1842, to Martha Wilson, a native of Nelson County, Kentucky, born October 15, 1818.  Martha Wilson was the daughter of Elijah M. Wilson, who was born in Prince William County, Virginia, a son of Henry Wilson, also a Virginian by birth; Henry Wilson married Sarah Melton, who was a native of Virginia; they removed to Kentucky and were among the pioneers of the Blue-Grass State.  Elijah M. Wilson married Jane Hawley, a native of Virginia and a daughter of Absalom and Martha (Field) Hawley.  He removed with his wife to Illinois, and entered a tract of government land four miles south of Rushville; at the end of five years he sold this place for $600, and removed to Littleton township, where he purchased a farm on which he lived until his death.  To them were born nine children:  Martin W., Elijah M., William J., George S., Samuel E., Lucy J., Mary E., Marie E. and Vietta.  Lucy married James Neill; Mary is the wife of Felix Jackson; Maria E. married Charles E. Lawler.  The parents were both devoted church members, the father having joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in his youth; the mother first united with the Baptist Church, but after her marriage was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Martin W. Greer passed his youth on his father’s farm, assisting in the labors of seed-time and harvest, and attending the district school a portion of each year.  At the age of twenty-one years he began to teach school, and was engaged in this profession for a period of six terms.  Aside from this experience he has been interested exclusively in agricultural pursuits, in which he has been more than ordinarily successful.  He introduced the first Berkshire hogs into the county, and has a fine herd of short-horn cattle; his horses are of excellent pedigree, and he takes great pride in elevating the standard of all classes of live stock.  At the time of his marriage Mr. Greer settled on the farm he now owns on section 34, Rushville township; he has good, substantial farm buildings, an orchard, and very attractive grounds surrounding his residence; in fact, the farm is one of the most desirable in the county.

He was married in April, 1867, to Susan H. Kruse, who was born in Rushville township, a daughter of Francis H. and Elizabeth Kruse, whose history appears on another page of this volume.  Mr. and Mrs. Greer are the parents of five children living:  Fred A., Luther M., Henry E., Millie M. and Owen J.  The father is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but the mother belongs to the Christian denomination.  Politically, Mr. Greer has always, until the past two years, been a Democrat, and has been School Treasurer of Rushville township for a period of sixteen years; he has always been loyal to home interests and home industries, and is one of the most highly respected men in the county.  For the past two years Mr. Greer has advocated the principles of the People’s party and was nominated for Congress on that ticket for the Eleventh district by the convention held at Bushnell, June 11, 1892.

Leave a Reply