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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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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 Railroad, 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, mostly 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.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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