The Superior Express -

The Greene Family

Jewell –"We've A Story to Tell"


Kinley Greene (left) and Sadie Greene are the eighth generation of their family to live on land homesteaded in the 1870s by James F. Rowe and Smith Hann. Rowe is the girls' great-great-great- great-grandfather and Hann their great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. Cattle have been an important facet of the operations of all eight generations of the family. 

Yes, it is a story – with many starting places. Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia and Cornwall, England to name a few.

One beginning was in 1867, when Civil War Veteran Ogden Norman Greene left Oswego County, New York and headed west to Iowa. He had already seen the southern part of the United States during the war. His unit, Company F of the 110th New York Infantry, had been sent to New Orleans and spent the war in Louisiana and Florida.

The George family had headed west from New Hampshire more than 50 years earlier. They were settled in Ohio in 1820. Milo George moved his family on to Iowa before 1870. On Aug. 3, 1871, at Dallas, Iowa, the two families joined - Ogden Norman Greene married Mary Amelia George.

The couple immediately headed west, arriving in Lincoln County, Kan., that same year. Their homestead was in Section 8, Town 12 South Range 7 West in Lincoln County. Ogden (O.N.) was a farmer and carpenter. In 1872, he built the first mill in Lincoln County at Rocky Hill.

Their first child, Clinton Norman, was born in 1872. They had five more children, three boys and two girls. The rest of their lives were spent on their homestead, "Evergreen Farm." Mary died in 1905 and Ogden in 1923. They are buried side by side in the Lincoln Cemetery.

Clinton Greene was the farmer and stockman in his generation. In 1898, according to the Lincoln Sentinel, Greene went to Jamestown to "take charge of 150 cattle being fed there." He was there more than four months not returning to Lincoln until late June. The Sentinel of May 23, 1905, tells of him shipping "a car load of fine calves to the Kansas City Market...some he had fed."

Greene had also worked in the Bridgeport area near Kansas City. He worked with livestock, fattening cattle. Norman Greene, Jewell, has heard the stories about his grandfather. When it was time to take the cattle to the Kansas City Stockyards, if the Missouri River was low, the cattle were driven through the river. If the river was high, the trip to market was made at night and the cattle driven across the trolley bridge. Clinton Greene was a cattleman all his life.

Nov. 22, 1903, in Lincoln County, Greene married the "well-respected" teacher, Lulu J. Painter. They were married in the community of Beverly, just east of Lincoln. Both spent the rest of their lives there, raising six children, three boys and three girls. Lulu died in 1934, Clinton in 1972. One of the sons they reared was Niles Norman Greene.

Another strand of this story began in Huntington, Penn., sometime in the 1870s. William T. and Mary Smith Chilcott headed west with their five sons and one daughter. The couple homesteaded in Section 32 of Holmwood Township, Jewell County. They had another daughter before Mary died in 1894. Later, William married Mary Ann Goodman with whom he had one son.

Of William's eight children, two moved to California, three moved to Montana and one returned to Pennsylvania. Only two made Jewell County their home, Oscar Miles (O.M.) Chilcott was one of them.

Smith Hann's part of the story begins with his birth in 1807 in Virginia. His wife, Sarah Ashford, was born there in 1804. They married about 1830 and began a series of moves west. First to Ohio, then on to Indiana, further on to Iowa, and another move to Missouri.

Nearing and past 70 years of age, they made a final move to Jewell County. They were homesteading in Section 32 of Buffalo Township by 1875. Sarah died in 1880 and didn't live to see the land patent granted in 1882. Smith died in 1894. Both are buried in Wallace Cemetery

During their approximately 50-year marriage, in and around their several moves, they had at least six children. One of their daughters was Mary Hann.

Mary did not make the move to Kansas with them. During the time the family was in Nodaway County, Mo., she met James F. Rowe. His journey had started in Cornwall, England. He was born there in 1835. When he was seven years old, he and his family emigrated to Canada.

Rowe came to Michigan, when he was 17 years old. He served in the 17th Michigan Infantry for about 15 months during the Civil War. He was mustered out of the army in 1865 and by 1870 was in Nodaway County, Mo.

James and Mary were married on March 27, 1870, in Marysville, Mo. Their first move was to Concordia where their first child, Ernest, was born. The baby was purportedly the first white child born in Concordia.

Their stay in Concordia was short; they moved to Jewell in 1872. There are two homesteads recorded for James F. Rowe. One in Section 32 of Buffalo Township next to Mary's father, Smith Hann. The other south of Jewell in Brown's Creek Township, Section 3.

J. F. Rowe was a well-known "carpenter and joiner." He had shop in Concordia and then one in Jewell. He and Mary had one other child; a daughter Anna. She was born in their sod house on the Brown's Creek homestead. James died in 1913.

Mary Hann Rowe died in 1948, after living a life of 106 years, 10 months and 24 days. Much respected and admired, she was a charter member of the Christian Church in Jewell and a pioneer of both Cloud and Jewell County. She and James are buried in the Wallace Cemetery.

The stage is now set to join the Rowe and Chilcott families. Anna Rowe was the daughter of J. F. and Mary Hann Rowe. She graduated from Jewell High School in 1892. Rowe completed the training and examinations required to teach. She taught for ten years in schools in the Jewell area. Her last school was in Concordia where she taught for two years.

O.M. Chilcott was also involved in education. He was a former principal in the Randall Schools and for two years Jewell County superintendent of schools. The couple was married on June 10, 1904, at the home of the bride's parents in Jewell. Several area newspapers carried items about the wedding and extended good wishes to an admired and respected couple.

After their marriage, they moved to Copper County, Mont. Two sisters and one brother of O.M.'s lived in Montana. They were described in the Sept. 11, 1903, Western Advocate as having a farm, a cow and two stands of bees. Further they planned to spend the winter.

The Randall News of June 14, 1904, announced the birth of their daughter, Mary Chilcott, on June 4, 1904. Mother and baby came to visit family in Jewell later in the summer. Though others in the Chilcott family stayed in Montana, the O.M. Chilcott's returned to Jewell County.

It was reported in a February, 1907 Jewell County Republican, they were going into business with J. F. Rowe and Ernest Rowe. The business was cattle and farming. O.M. Chilcott bought into the business but his 240-acre pasture by Mankato was also part of the arrangement. The Rowe homestead and the old Hann homestead were now the headquarters for the Rowe and Chilcott partnership.

The Chilcotts had two sons besides their daughter Mary, Emerson Dwight and Ernest Iden. Iden Chilcott lived much of his life in Jewell County and was the John Deere dealer in Mankato. Dwight lived in several places, with Minnesota being his home at his death in 1990. O.M. and Anna Chilcott lived most of the rest of their lives in Jewell County. O. M. died in 1936 but Anna lived to celebrate her 100th birthday before she died in 1974.

Their daughter, Mary Chilcott, graduated with the Class of 1922 from Esbon High School. Then she and her family moved to Manhattan where she attended Kansas State Agricultural College She graduated in 1926.

She was teaching in Beverly, Kan., when she met and married Niles Norman Greene. They began their married life in Beverly and their first son, Norman Clinton Greene now of Jewell, was born there.

Yes, Norman said, "I do remember my grandmother." He was with his father and a team pulling a wagon of grain. They were going to his grandparent's farm to grind the grain. While the grinding was going on, Norman stayed with his grandmother in the house and remembers her carrying him to the wagon and handing him up to his father when it was time to go home. Not long after, Niles Greene moved his family to Jewell County.

The family moved onto the old Rowe-Hann homestead east of Jewell. There were always cattle. Norman Greene remembers the yearly cattle drive getting the animals to pasture in the spring. The pasture, north of U.S. 36 Highway, was the one O. M. Chillcott added to the family business when he joined it in 1907. There was a yearly cattle drive until 1949 when the Greene family purchased a truck.

Niles and Mary Greene's family had grown to include daughter, Marjorie, and son, Gerald. Marjorie was an registered nurse and finished her career with the U.S. Public Health Service. She was a commissioned officer in the service with a rank equivalent to a Navy captain. She died in 2006.

Gerald went to Kansas State University, eventually earning a PhD in entomology from Oregon State University. Much of his working career was in Garden City at the Garden City experiment station. He and his wife, Phyllis, recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They are retired and live in Newton, Kan.

Son Norman, graduated with the Class of 1948 from Jewell High School. Greene served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. On Oct. 28, 1951, he married Mary Ann Jarvis. Her family heritage included the Jarvis, Coffield, Muckey, Carr and Ball families. Those families came from Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Scotland.

When Norman and Mary Ann moved to the farm east of Jewell, they became the fifth generation to live, farm and work livestock on the Hann-Rowe homestead. The old homestead would eventually become the headquarters for Greene Family Farms.

Niles and Mary, Norman and Mary Ann, farmed, fattened cattle and ran a dairy. Niles fattened the cattle and Norman ran a Grade A Dairy. The dairy began because, as Norman said, "Everybody milked cows." But not everybody developed a Grade A Dairy. The dairy was in operation from the late 1950s until it was sold out in 1975. Niles was ready to retire and it was just time to sell.

By this time the sixth generation was making its presence known. Steve, Shirley, Susan and Scott Greene grew up on the family farm east of Jewell and graduated from Jewell High School. Steve joined the family operation and at one time, "had lots of hogs." Shirley Upschulte followed along the career path of her aunt Marjorie and is a nurse in the Kansas City area. Susan married Max Bean and is involved in agriculture in the Athens area. Scott Greene is part of the Mankato Livestock Commission Company.

The family, as all families do, grew with children and grandchildren as their older generations died. Mary Chilcott Greene died in 1993 and her husband, Niles, in 1997. They and Mary Ann Jarvis Greene, who died in 2000, are buried in Wallace Cemetery.

Ogdan Norman Greene left Oswego County, New York, and moved to Lincoln County, Kan., in 1871. His great-great-great-great-granddaughters, Sadie and Kinley Greene of rural Jewell are the eighth generation of the Greene family to be involved in agriculture in Kansas. The girls live on a farm homesteaded by another of their four great grandfathers, Smith Hann.

Steve and Susan Jones Greene are part of the Greene Family Farms. Their son, Jacob, lives in McFarland, Kan. Son, Nathan, is part of the family business. Nathan and Amber Wyatt Greene along with their two daughters, Sadie and Kinley, are the seventh and eighth generations of the family to live on the land that was homesteaded by Smith Hann and James Rowe.

In addition to Mankato Livestock, Scott Greene is part of Greene Family Farms. His wife, Janell Lange Greene, and son, Corbin Greene, are also. Corbin is another of the rather small group of seventh generation Jewell County farmers.

The Greene family threads came from England and Scotland, all along the eastern seaboard and then moved west through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. They come down through eight generations to Section 32 in Town 4 South, Range 7 West in Jewell County, Kan.

Thank you to Norman Green and his wife, Doris Winkle Slate Greene, for inviting me to their home and sharing family information and stories. Thanks also to Susan Jones Greene for facts and names. Other information for the article was found on and


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