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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
George H. Greenman

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 196-200 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Portrait of George H. Greenman

Portrait: George H. Greenman

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George H. Greenman, a prominent factor in business circles of Oneida county for many years, has during the past decade been successfully engaged in the wholesale coal and coke business in Utica. He was born at Bridgewater, Oneida county, New York, on the 4th of May, 1865, his parents being William Sherman and Helen (Scott) Greenman of that place. The father passed away three months prior to the birth of his son George. "Deacon" William Greenman of Stephentown, New York, the great-great-grandfather of George H. Greenman, assisted in establishing American independence while acting in the capacity of enlisted man in Colonel Beekman's Regiment, Albany County Militia, Fourth Regiment. He was a lineal descendant of Edward Greenman, who was one of the purchasers of Misquamicut (Westerly), Rhode Island, and who died in 1688. His father, John Greenman, who lived in Westerly, Rhode Island, in 1638, was the first of his name known in America.

In the maternal line George H. Greenman traces his ancestry back to Edmund Scott, who was among the first settlers at Mattatuck (now Waterbury), Connecticut, and died before 1690. Garrett and Sally Ann (Herrick) Scott, the maternal grandparents of George H. Greenman, were among the pioneer settlers and old families of the Unadilla valley just below the village of Bridgewater, New York, in the town of Brookfield. Jonathan Pardee, the maternal grandfather of Garrett Scott, saw Revolutionary service, enlisting on the 23d of May, 1777, as a private in Captain Smith's company in the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Line Formation for three years, or until 1780. The regiment wintered at Valley Forge in 1777-78 and in June following was present at the battle of Monmouth, where Jonathan Pardee was wounded. The troops spent the winter of 1778-79 at Morristown, New Jersey, and in the summer of 1780 joined the main army on the Hudson. Jonathan Pardee was honorably discharged on May 23, 1780.

Sally Ann (Herrick) Scott, the grandmother of George H. Greenman in the maternal line, was a granddaughter of Rufus Herrick, lieutenant colonel of the Dutchess County (New York) Militia in the Revolutionary war and a lineal descendant of Sir William Herrick of Leicester, London and Beaumanor Park. The latter served as member of parliament from 1601 to 1630, was knighted in 1605, was ambassador from Queen Elizabeth to the Sublime Porte and held various lucrative offices in the treasury. His great-great-great-grandfather, Sir William Eyryk, Knight of Stretton, was commissioned to attend the Prince of Wales on his expedition into Gascony in 1355. Henry Eyryk, the great-grandfather of Sir William Eyryk, was a lineal descendant of Eric the Forester, who was seated at Great Stretton in the county of Leicester, England, at a very remote period.

George H. Greenman, whose name introduces this review, obtained his early education in a district school of Bridgewater and subsequently continued his studies in the Clinton Liberal Institute at Fort Plain, New York. Later he pursued a course in the Eastman National Business College at Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1881, when his educational training was completed, he began work for his brother, William Herrick Greenman, the proprietor of a general store at Bridgewater, which had been founded by William S. Greenman, the father of the boys. George H. Greenman purchased the establishment from his brother on the 26th of November, 1885, and continued its conduct successfully until 1892, when he sold out to Rising Brothers, who still carry on the business in Bridgewater. From 1894 until 1897 Mr. Greenman served as resident manager in Terre Haute, Indiana, for H. D. Pixley & Company of Utica. It was in 1897 that he bought the men's and boy's clothing store of Gibbs Brothers & Fitch in Johnstown, New York, which he conducted under his own name until the 1st of January, 1904. On the 17th of March following he formed a partnership with Charles W. Wicks as junior member of the firm of Wicks and Greenman, which established one of the finest clothing stores in Utica. At the end of about five years this business was sold to George M. Talbott of Boston, who took possession thereof on May 4, 1909. It is still conducted under the name of Wicks & Greenman but is now incorporated and is controlled by J. Middleton Smith and Charles C. Robbins. From 1910 until 1912 Mr. Greenman was actively connected as treasurer with the Utica Cutlery Company, of which he is still one of the directors. It was on the 1st of February, 1915, that he succeeded to the wholesale coal and coke business of Arthur H. Ballou and this he has successfully carried on to the present time, his well-directed activities in this connection being attended with excellent results. His connection with any undertaking insures a prosperous outcome of the same, for it is in his nature to carry forward to successful completion whatever he is associated with. He has earned for himself an enviable reputation as a careful man of business and in his dealings is known for his prompt and honorable methods, which have won him the deserved and unbounded confidence of his fellowmen.

On the 24th of February, 1886, Mr. Greenman was united in marriage to Miss Florence Tower Montgomery, daughter of Julius Henry and Marietta (Benedict) Montgomery of Waterville, New York. On the paternal side Mrs. Greenman is a lineal descendant of Oliver Barrett of Westford, Massachusetts, who assisted in establishing American independence while acting as a Minute Man and later enlisted in the company of Captain Philip Thomas, Tenth Massachusetts Continental Regiment, under General Gates. He met his death in the battle of Stillwater, which finally resulted in the surrender of the British army commanded by General Burgoyne to General Gates at Saratoga, New York. Oliver Isaac Benedict, the great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Greenman in the maternal line, enlisted in the Revolutionary army at the age of twelve and served his country seven years. He wintered at Valley Forge and fought in the last battle of the Revolution at Oriskany. Thomas Benedict, the great-great-grandfather of Oliver Isaac Benedict, was chosen by the town of Jamaica, Long Island, as lieutenant in Captain Bryan Newton's Foot Company. He filled the position of magistrate under the Dutch governor, Peter Stuyvesant, and held the office of commissioner when Governor Stuyvesant surrendered New York and its dependencies to the English under Colonel Richard Nichols. He was a member of the first colonial legislature of New York and also a member of the general assembly of New York.

Mrs. Greenman belongs to the New Century Club and to Oneida Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Utica. She is also an honorary member of General Richard Montgomery Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at Gloversville, New York, and was a charter member and the first corresponding secretary of Johnstown Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at Johnstown, New York.

Politically Mr. Greenman is a stalwart democrat, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church. He is a member of Western Star Lodge No. 15, F. & A. M., of Bridgewater, New York, and the Fort Schuyler Club of Utica, also an honorary member of the Colonial Club of Johnstown. Mr. Greenman's activity in business has not only contributed to his individual success but has also been an active factor in the development of the community. As a business man he has been conspicuous among his associates not only for his success but for his probity, fairness and honorable methods.

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