Jarvis J. Green

JARVIS J. GREEN, a highly respected citizen of Pontiac, now living somewhat retired, after having been actively engaged in business in this city for some 30 years, was born on a farm in Farmington township, Oakland County, one and a half miles from Farmington, March 13, 1829, and is a son of Wardwell and Polly (Peabody) Green.

The Green family is an old one in Orleans County, New York, and there Wardwell Green was born, August 30, 1793, a son of James Green, who had a family of 13 children, namely: Polly, Lucinda, Naomi, Hopie, a daughter whose name is not given, Wardwell, Daniel, Champlin, Ray, Calvin, Chauncey, Horace and Luther, all of whom are deceased except Chauncey, who resides in Pontiac, aged about 88 years, and who for a long period was one of the ushers at the Eastern Michigan Asylum. Wardwell Green was married to his first wife in New York, where she died, leaving two children,--Cynthia Ann, who was born September 30, 1817, and died in advanced age at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Leland, who was born August 20, 1819, and died in Missouri. The second marriage of Wardwell Green was to Polly Peabody, who died February 27, 1886, the mother of these children: A babe born September 19, 1821, who died in infancy; Lucinda, born August 10, 1822, who married the late Gardurous Webster, and resides at Farmington, Oakland County; Emily, born January 17, 1824, deceased in July, 1900, who married William E. Kittridge, who died in 1902; Wardwell, born February 2, 1826, who was a farmer in Hillsdale County, Michigan, where he died November 26, 1898; Sidney, born July 25, 1827, who is a retired farmer, living at Mystic, Iowa; Jarvis J., of this sketch; Betsey, born September 28, 1830, who is the widow of Walter Kittridge, and resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cynthia Maria, born August 21, 1832, who died unmarried, March 15, 1857, at Waukesha, Wisconsin; Helen P., born April 11, 1834, who married E. U. Benedict, and resides at Aurora, Illinois; and Seneca M., born February 3, 1836, who for 35 years was a passenger conductor with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, and died in 1895 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 1823 Wardwell Green made his first trip to Oakland County, Michigan, where he took up a tract of 160 acres of land, and was the third resident of Farmington township, being preceded by Arthur Power and George Collins, the former settling in February, 1824, while Mr. Green and wife did not locate until the following May. There Mr. Green made his home and engaged in farming until his death December 9, 1836. In politics he was a stanch Whig, and was a fine type of the sturdy, hardy pioneer of the early settlement of this locality, a man strong of frame, of rigid morality and upright in all his dealings.

Jarvis J. Green was but 10 years of age when he summoned up the courage to strike out for himself. He made his home for a time with an uncle and attended the winter schools, becoming in this way competent to engage in teaching by the time he was 19, and this occupation he followed at various times for many years. In the agricultural regions, the summers are generally devoted to the necessary work on the farms, but the winter seasons find the youth of both sexes eager for instruction. Thus for some 12 years Mr. green was employed in Farmington township, but on May 20, 1857, in partnership with O. P. Hazard, he embarked in a mercantile business at Farmington, then quite a village, and continued with that gentleman three years, three months and 10 days. He then sold his interest to P. D. Warner in August, 1860, and in September accepted the position of teacher of the Farmington school, which he taught during the following year. During the next year he purchased a stock of goods and continued to teach, hiring assistants for the store, continuing in the mercantile business four and a half years, finally selling out to O. B. Smith.

After a residence of 36 years, Mr. Green then left Farmington township, removing to Pontiac in February, 1867, and on April 12, 1867, opened up a mercantile business, in which he continued in this city for almost 22 years, and became almost a landmark, located so long at No. 38 North Saginaw street. Mr. Green was a very successful business man, paying close attention to the needs of the trade, buying all his own stock and adopting methods which met with general approval. In 1889 he sold out the business to C. W. Horton. He then made a trip to Texas, and remained some seven or eight years in the South, but never gave up his home in Pontiac. Upon his return, in 1897, he bought the business again from Mr. Horton, taking in as partner John McGee, who died December 11, 1902. Mr. Green and Mr. McGee sold their interests in the business in March, 1902, to Beardslee, Herron & Beattie. Since that time he has been mainly engaged in looking after his private affairs and enjoying the ease and rest which is grateful after a long life of business activity.

On January 16, 1856, Mr. Green was married to Elizabeth Harger, who died January 26, 1901. She was born in Waterford township, Oakland County, Michigan, September 6, 1836, and was a daughter of Seeley Harger, who was an early resident in West Bloomfield and Waterford townships, coming to Michigan from New York. These children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Green: Ella M., born at Farmington, May 23, 1858, who resides with her father; Marcus J., born November 23, 1861, who died June 21, 1862; William Elbert, born October 11, 1863, who died May 4, 1869; and Gertrude May, born January 18, 1870, who died May 6, 1871. For some 31 years Mr. Green has resided at No. 191 North Saginaw street, after five years of residence in the adjoining house.

From preference, Mr. Green has kept out of politics, refusing to serve in almost all of the local offices, accepting but one term as alderman. In politics he is a Republican. Religiously he is identified with the Congregational Church. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge and the Good Templars. He has led an abstemious, orderly life, and at the age when many have put aside all worldly enjoyments on account of infirmity, he is hale and hearty, and in the retention of physical and mental faculties, relieved from business cares and surrounded by valued old friends, he can enjoy the ease and comfort which a well spent past brings. In these days it is rather remarkable to find a man of Mr. Green's years who has never indulged in either alcoholic beverages or tobacco, but such is his proud record.

Last Reviewed: 10/29/2020 MR