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Harris Taylor Green


Harris Taylor Green




In Fayette County on the rural route No. 5 between Schulenburg and Weimar is the fine country home and ranch of Harris Taylor Green, who has spent the greater part of sixty years in this one locality. His success as a farmer is above the ordinary, and while his life has been a part of this section of developing Texas for so many years his name also suggests some interesting family relationships and influences that have been steadily exerted for better things morally and socially.

There is authentic information concerning only three generations of the family, but tradition is that Mr. Green's ancestors took an active part in the Revolutionary war. The grandfather, Jesse Green, Sr., was during the first half of the nineteenth century a planter and slaveholder in Alabama and later in Choctaw County, Mississippi. He married Jemimah Lee, daughter of Richard Lee of Virginia. Both of them died in Mississippi, and their estate was divided before any of their children came to Texas. The first of their children was Rev. Lee Green, who entered the Baptist ministry and was engaged in preaching over Fayette, Lavaca and Colorado counties until he was ninety years old. After the war he was also a merchant at Hallettsville, and his last years were spent in Yoakum. His wife was Lucretia Middleton, and both are buried in the cemetery at Hallettsville. The children of Rev. Lee Green were: Jesse, who was a lawyer and died at Hallettsville; John M., district judge of the Victoria District; Judge Pleasant, county judge of Lavaca County; Holly, of San Antonio; Hicks, who died as a young man; Sarah, deceased wife of John M. Hatchett; Jemimah, who married Mr. Shoemaker and is deceased; Demarius, who died unmarried; Lula, deceased wife of Mr. Rogers. The second child of Jesse Green Sr. was Jesse Jr., whose career is taken up in a following paragraph; Harris, the third, died in Leon County leaving a family; Ananias spent his last years at Seven Rivers, New Mexico, and left a family; Betsy married Mr. McAdams and spent her life in Leon County; Jemimah married Charles Quinn and died at Plantersville, Texas, leaving some children.

Jesse Green, Jr., was born in the vicinity of Selma, Alabama, in 1820, and grew up in that locality. About the time he reached his majority he moved to Choctaw County, Mississippi, and took possession of a new plantation purchased by his father. He was a man of good education for his time, and gave his active years to farming, with the aid of slaves, which he brought with him to Texas. He came from Mississippi to the Lone Star State in 1850, making the journey overland in the familiar fashion of the time, his wife and children riding in the old "carry-all,'' and that and other vehicles were drawn by mules and ox teams. They crossed the Mississippi at Rodney. The chief incidents of the trip that have been handed on to the present generations concerned the difficulties of bad roads, since the good road movement had not yet dawned. It is possible that the Rev. Lee Green preceded this caravan on his way to Texas. Jesse Green joined a little settlement at Black Jack Spring at the head of West Navidad in Fayette County, where he purchased land and lived with his family until 1854. In that year he paid $1,500 for about 1,100 acres of the James Sergeant league, where his son, Harris, now lives. His death occurred the year following, in 1855. However, he had taken an active part in the pioneer life of this section.. He was a justice of the peace; was church clerk of the Missionary Baptist Church at Black Jack Springs, having donated five acres of land for schoolhouse purposes and the Baptists holding their meetings in the school building. In the same locality he also built a gin operated by horsepower, probably the only one in a great expanse of country at that time and evidences of this old landmark could be seen even in recent years.

Jesse Green married Mary Spencer. Her father, William Spencer, who married a Miss Lang, of Pennsylvania German stock, was a wealthy farmer and owner of many slaves in Choctaw County, Mississippi, where both he and his wife died. The Spencer children were: James, who was killed as a Confederate soldier; Mrs. Green; Dr. Henry, who practiced medicine at old Terryville in Dewitt County and at Independence, where he educated his children, and then located in Falls County, where he died; Mrs. Benjamin Moore, Mrs. Vance, Mrs. Berson, Marion and Albert, all of whom lived in Mississippi. The children of Jesse Green and wife were: William W., who died soon after the war as a result of the hardships of his life as a soldier; Jesse Clinton, who died at the age of twelve; Harris T.; James A., of Karnes County; and Sarah Jemimah, wife of George Williams, of Schulenburg. The mother of these children, who died April 1, 1874, having been left a widow subsequently married John S. Black, and her daughter by that union, Frances, married Lewis Porter. Mr. Black died in 1885.

Harris Taylor Green, whose ancestry has thus been traced, was born in Mississippi July 29, 1849, and was an infant member of the caravan whose journey has been described. The great Civil war was in progress during his teens, and while in school at old Lyons a company of youths was formed and drilled in the expectation that in time their services would be required by the South, but he made no real effort to get into the scenes of active hostilities. Most of his education was acquired in the old Baylor University when it was located at Independence while Dr. William Carey Grain was its chief executive. In 1869 he drove cattle over the old Chisholm trail to Abilene, Kansas, and invested the proceeds of that work in college tuition. He spent two years at Baylor, lacking eight months of graduation. He also did some teaching there, as assistant in the branches of grammar and arithmetic. When he left school he was in poor health, and anticipated that he might be in the early stages of pulmonary disease, but with the active outdoor life of the farm he quickly mended and has become physically stronger until today he is as robust as possible for his frame.

Farming has been his career and profession. His first home in Texas was a log house both at Black Jack Springs and on his present farm. Soon after his father's death his mother erected a plank house of cedar lumber which came from cedar brakes owned by the family on Buckner's Creek in Fayette County. An old log house with "stack" chimney stands on his farm, erected long before the war and still used for one of his tenants. His present residence was erected in the fall of 1873. Although the old homestead was divided among the heirs, Mr. Green has since purchased some of the interests and owns over 500 acres originally belonging to his father, and his total holdings aggregate 900 acres, partly in Fayette and partly in Colorado County. His revenues have come from cotton, corn and stock, and while he was a cattle feeder in former years, he has lately devoted much attention to mules. Mr. Green is a member of the Baptist Church. During the existence of the Weimar Institute he was at one time president of the board.

December 18, 1873, he married Miss Mary M. Black, a daughter of John S. Black, who as already mentioned married Mr. Green's mother. Mrs. Green, who was born December 6,1850, and died September 1,1883, had children as follows: Jesse T., who is a rural mail carrier at Weimar and by his marriage to Emma Frazier has William, John, Charles and Mary Emma; Milton A., who practiced law at [Yoakum] as partner of Judge John M. Green until his health broke, is now recovering his strength on a farm in Fayette County and by his marriage to Verna Burford has a son, Milton Burf ord.

After the death of his first wife Mr. Green married Miss Mary E. Morrow, a daughter of James and Mary V. (Armstrong) Morrow, Alabama people who came from Mississippi to Texas and were married here. Her mother is now Mrs. August Koltermann, whose parents were John and Sylvia (Land) Armstrong. Besides Mrs. Green the Morrow children were: Fannie, wife of William Black of Weimar; James of Mesa, Arizona; Martin, deceased;. Thomas, who died at Odessa, Texas; while of the Koltermann union there is a son, Frederick William, a farmer near Weimar.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Green are: Sallie E., wife of H. A. Philips of Quanah, Texas; Fannie Y., wife of C. C. Harris, a druggist at Houston; Harris T., who graduated in dentistry in Chicago and is now in practice at Thorndale; James M., who is a graduate dentist from the same school, married Miss Ruth Rylander and lives at Port Lavaca; Lee M., a graduate of the Texas A. & M. College, is a farmer at home; Ruth, who graduated from the San Marcos Normal, is Mrs. Mack Walker of Houston; Pearl is a student in the Normal at San Marcos; and Jennie, who is a student in the Weimar High School

(Note. The above article was written some sixteenyears ago.--Eds.)
Weimar Mercury, January 8, 1932

Harris Taylor Green died December 26, 1931 and is buried in Weimar Odd Fellows Cemetery.


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