An American Family History

Mary Fox Green

"She encountered the hardships and discomforts of pioneer life, devoting herself
unreservedly to the rearing of her children and helping her husband."

Washington County, Pennsylvania, was created from Westmoreland and Fayette Counties in 1781. Originally it was a part of Virginia. Washington County split into Allegheny, Greene and Beaver Counties.

Elizabeth Green Auld

James Green
Captain James Green

jesse brewer
Jesse Brewer
Photo courtesy of William Griffing

Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

Mary Fox Green was born in 1798 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Bonham and Temperance Fox.

She married Eli Green on March 21, 1822 in Butler County, Ohio. They were married by the Reverend John Durbin.  According to A History and Biographical Cyclopedia of Butler County, Ohio, Eli Green and his wife were among the first members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Butler County. 

Eli was born in 1798 in Kentucky according to the 1850 mortality schedule for St. Clair township. His son wrote

Father had a nice farm and was well off, but he signed the note of a friend and lost everything. He then moved to Muncie, Indiana, then back to Roseville which was on the other side of he Miami River from Hamilton. A long covered bridge with a toll house at the end connected the two towns.

Father was six feet tall and weighed 200 pounds. He was a fine sight as he carried the flag in his military company.

Mary and Eli's children were:
Elizabeth Anna Green Auld (1823, married A. E. Auld),
Ruth Green Whitney (1825, married Richard Clark Whitney),
Anne Eliza Green White (1830, married Stephen Beveridge White),
Captain James Harvey Green (1833, married Jane Rachel Hervey), and
Ernestine Green Brewer (1841, married Jesse Brewer).

Eli appeared in the 1830 census in Middletown. The household at that time consisted of a man, a woman and four girls (Eli, Mary, James, Anne, Eliza, Elizabeth, unknown).

In 1840 the family was living in Rossville Township, Butler County, Ohio. The household consisted of six members: a man and a woman, one boy and three girls: Eli, Mary, James, Anne, Eliza and Elizabeth. 

Ohio 1840
From an Ohio newspaper in 1840.

Eli died in September, 1849 when he was 51 of cholera in St. Clair Township.

Mary Green appeared in the 1850 census in Rossville, St. Clair Township, Butler County. The household consisted of Mary age 31, Ann age 21, James age 17, Ernestine age 9, and Anna Fox age 21.

After 1850 Mary moved her family to Pawnee/Ogden, Kansas.  She built one of the first houses and ran a hostelry for soldiers and teamsters. 

Her daughter, Anna Eliza, wrote in "My First Days in Kansas"

Our mother kept house for him [James], and one day she saw a large snake upon the log just behind the clock, which stood on a rude shelf. She couldn't strike it without injuring the clock, and she said that clocks were too scarce to be broken for a snake, so she caught it by the tail, and with a quick and strong jerk dashed its head on the carpetless floor; it didn't hurt the floor but it killed the snake.

William Griffing passed on the story of when Ernestine met her husband, Jesse:

. . . [while living near the territorial state capitol,] Ernestine Greene met Jesse Brewer-- a freighter on the military trail -- who stopped there for food and water. Mention was made of shooting buffalo. After their marriage, they preempted a farm between Three and Seven Mile Creeks in Riley County, Kansas. Jesse built a log house (later used as a granary), then a stone one. A porch was added later. Soon after his marriage, he went to the Civil War. Afterward he farmed, but he contracted tuberculosis and gradually grew weaker. He hired John C. Frey to help him on the farm. John Frey married Jesse's daughter, Eliza. Jesse eventually moved to Arizona for his health and died there.

In 1861, James enlisted as a captain in the Union army. He enlisted because of the Union defeat at Bull Run. He detailed his time in the army in his autobiography.

At the time of the 1870 census she was living with her daughter Ernestine Brewer in Ogden Township, Riley County, Kansas

She died on September 29, 1887 in Kansas City after suffering a paralytic stroke.
Children of Temperance
and Bonham Fox
  • Levi Fox, Sr.
  • Mary Fox Green
  • Christina Fox Riley
  • David Fox
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Isaac P. Fox
  • Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine. It can be mild, but one in 20 infected persons experiences rapid loss of body fluids leading to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

    Ernestine Green Brewer
    Photo courtesy of William Griffing

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a common and often deadly infectious disease. It was called consumption. It usually attacks the lungs and the symptoms are coughing blood, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.

    Kentucky was originally a Virginia county and included the lands west of the Appalachians. In 1780, it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Kentucky officially became a state on June 1, 1792.




    The first Europeans settled in the Northwest Territory in 1788. Migrants came from New York and New England. Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th state on March 1, 1803.

    Died. In Kansas City, Mo., Thursday morning, Sept. 29, 1887, Mrs. Mary Greene, mother of the editor of the Gazette, aged 88 years. She was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., her maiden name being Fox. 

    Her father's family moved to Ohio while she was young. They went down the Ohio River on a flat-boat, with their stock and household goods. On the way, her father was taken sick and her mother, unaided, managed the boat and took care of the young children and stock, landing below Cincinnati. In passing the site of that city, she was offered a hundred acres of land along the river, where the city is now built, for a barrel of whiskey, but declined the trade. The family settled on the Miami River near Hamilton, Butler County. 

    When Mary was eighteen years old, she was married to Eli Green, who lived in Middletown, that county; and after the wedding, they rode on one horse to his home. They lived in Middletown for eight or ten years, and then moved to Hamilton, where they lived until Eli died in 1852 (sic), raising a family of five children, and losing four.

    In 1855, Mary moved to Kansas [Territory] with three daughters who were married. She made her home there ever since. At the time of her death she was visiting one of her daughters, Mrs. A. E. Auld, in Kansas City. She had been in poor health for a year or more, having had a stoke of paralysis recently, which partially destroyed her mind. 

    During her life and up to within the past year or so, she had almost uninterrupted good health. She was remarkably active in her old age, was bright and cheerful, and her mind was unimpaired and vigorous. In her youth she encountered the hardships and discomforts of pioneer life, devoting herself unreservedly to the rearing of her children and helping her husband. Energetic and industrious, hospitable and charitable, she was an influence for good and a helper for the poor and suffering in her neighborhood. From her youth she was an earnest and active Christian, a member of the Methodist Church, but as liberal in her sympathies as the Master after whose teachings she patterned her conduct of life. She rests in peace.

    The Methodist Episcopal Church was founded by John Wesley, began in 1784. It became the major component of the current United Methodist Church. At first, members were expected to seek the sacraments in the Anglican Church, but by the 1770s they had their own chapels. Circuit riders traveled by horseback to preach and establish churches. The earliest Episcopal Methodists in North America were drawn from middle-class trades and there were more women than men. Services were emotional and demonstrative.
    The Foxes are Mayflower descendants: Samuel Fuller, Hannah Fuller Bonham, Hezekiah Bonham , Amariah Bonham, Christian Bonham Fox, Bonham Fox, Levi Fox, John Newton Fox

    An Old Settler Gone
    Mary Green, generally known as Grandmother Green, was born in Pennsylvania in the year 1798, and died of paralysis at the home of her daughter Mrs. Auld in Kansas City, Kansas September 30, 1887, aged 89 years. When she was eight years of age, her father's family moved form Pennsylvania to Hamilton, Ohio where in the year 1820, she was united in marriage with Eli Green. She was the mother of nine children. Her husband died of cholera in 1849.

    Grandma Green is one of the earliest settlers in the Western part of Kansas having come to the then Territory in 1856, consequently having been here nearly thirty-one years. Great have been the changes since those days. The thinly settled territory has become a thickly populated state. Junction City, then un platted, has become a thrifty city of 4,000 inhabitants. Kansas Methodism then numbering a few hundred now numbers nearly 80,000. The home society not organized until 1865 now numbers nearly 2000 members.

    Her family consists of four children, twenty grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren. Her oldest child, Mrs. Elizabeth Auld, lives in Kansas City, Mrs. Eliza White, lives in Junction City.

    Mr. James H. Green lives in Media, Ohio, and Mrs. Ernestine Brewer lives near Junction City.

    Grandmother Green united with the M. E. Church the first time she had an invitation given, when she was about sixteen years of age. Her Christian life of over seventy-three years was one of extraordinary interest. Her faith was always strong, her spirit buoyant and her life consistent.

    Many poor sufferers to whom she lent a helping hand rise to call her blessed. She was faithful to all her Christian obligations. Her place in the church was very seldom vacant and the prayer and class meetings were her delight.  She was the oldest member of the N.E. Church in Junction City, being a member of the first society organized here. The church will feel lonesome without Grandma Green. Her life so fragrant, so full of good deeds, has blossomed into eternal life beyond. During her illness when asked how long she thought she would have to suffer, she said: "I am in the Lord's hands. He will do what is right." Her memory seemed to fail her but she said; "One thing I never forget, that is my Jesus."

    During her long life she was never confined to her bed with disease until she received a paralytic stroke the 17th of last July. Since then she suffered intensely until last Thursday at 10.40 a.m. when she passed to her last reward. Short services were conducted at the house of her daughter by Rev. George Winterbourn and in the absence of the pastor, Rev J. M. McClung conducted the funeral services at he N.E. Church in this city on Friday of last week. At the request of the friends a memorial service will be held next Sabbath morning at 11 o'clock.

    American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.



    When Kansas was officially opened to settlement in 1854, both abolitionists and pro-slavery settlers rushed to the territory to determine whether it would become a free or a slave state. It was admitted to the union as a slave-free state on January 29, 1861.

    Died in Junction City, Kansas, Sept. 29, after an illness of eleven weeks, Mrs. Mary Green, at the advanced age of 89 years and 6 months. She had a paralytic stroke of the left side, which rendered her helpless, but did not otherwise impair her faculties; so she delighted to the last in having the Herald read to her. That and the Bible have been her sole reading for years. She had been a subscriber to the paper for forty-three years or more, and was a member of the Methodist Church for seventy-five years. She lived an exemplary and Christian life, and died as she lived - in peace.

    The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.

    The Methodist Episcopal Church
    In 1818 a meeting-house was built in Hamilton. At that there time was no Methodist preaching or organized church.  The building was erected on Ludlow Street.  Among the first members of the Church were Eli Green and wife.  The Sunday-school began about the time the first church was built, in 1820. Among the workers in the school was Mrs. Green.

    The second building was built in 1833 and was a brick building capable of seating from seven to eight hundred persons. It cost about $4,800.

    The old building was a carpenter shop until the March 5, 1839, when both the new and the old church were burned. "The shop was filled with shavings as dry as powder, and when Mr. Myers arrived there in the morning he lighted a match to make a fire in the stove. Some of the fire fell among the shavings, and in less than a minute the whole was in flames. He took up a board and tried to knock out the fire, but without success, as each effort he made only served to scatter the flames, so that he could hardly get out without being himself burned. The alarm was given, but as there was no engine in town no effective resistance be offered, and the members and citizens stood helplessly by and saw the edifice which had cost them so much labor and toil burnt to the ground. There were two ministers on the ground, the preacher in charge, The Rev. David Rees, and the Rev. James B. Finley, who was staying at Mr. Reed's house. Mr. Finley was not disposed to see the fire gain so easy a conquest, and accordingly began throwing on water from a bucket, but soon desisted.

    Services were then held in the old Presbyterian Church in Rossville. Eli Green was a subscriber to building the third church. . .

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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