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Susan Williams Greene


Unknown Newspaper - WCHS files

Mrs. Susan W. Greene

Memorial read at meeting of Newport W.C.T. U. June 9, 1903 [Women's Christian Temperance Union]


Susan Williams Greene, wife of William H. Greene was born in Marietta, Ohio, March 22, 1822; died in Pueblo, Colorado, May 25, 1903, in her eighty-second year.


At the beginning of the nineteenth century an octogenarian lived under about the same conditions that existed in his youth. In domestic life, in manufacture, in methods of travel and communication, there were in use the same primitive means that had existed a thousand years before, and time gave practice and experience along the line of his early training; but one rounding out his four score years at the close of the nineteenth century is often reminded that "the older order change, yielding place to new."


The greatest changes of any period in the world's history have occurred within his recollection. He has seen a very large proportion of all the progress in civilization made by the race. Those acquainted with Mrs. Greene know well her life spanned this great chasm of change. Fulton's steamboat had made its trial trip up the Hudson only a few years before her birth. There were no ocean steamships, no railroads, no telegraph, no friction matches. Ohio was then in the backwoods district of the United States, and its citizens endured much of hardship and privation. Her early educational advances were diligently improved by Mrs. Greene, and she became a teacher in early womanhood. Her "education was never finished” and she continued a student throughout her long life. After her marriage in 1848, her home was in Newport six years. In 1854, with her three children, she accompanied her invalid husband, in his quest for health to Iowa, the then "far west," making the journey by slow stages in a private conveyance. Years after, she crossed the same prairies and on to the Rockies in an elegant railway carriage, with every modern convenience and comfort at her service. After her husband's death, in 1856, she returned to Marietta with a courageous purpose to give her children the best advantages of education and culture with in her power. In 1865, broken health compelled her to resign the position she had filled fro eight years as a teacher in the Marietta public schools, and from that time her children assumed her support. The death of her youngest son, Will B. in 1885 was a sorrow whose shadow was never entirely lifted from her heart.


Order and system were marked traits of character. She could not do anything in a careless, superficial manner, and always had a plan of work. She had good, executive ability, and her clear foresight, decision, energy, industry and economy, all united in that rare gift, good management, in which she had few equals.


While she was in harmony with the spirit of the new generation, she cherished early associations. For this reason she kept her church membership with the Marietta Baptist church - her church home for more than fifty years - although her residence was in Colorado the last twelve years of her life. Because of told associations and kindred ties, she had her membership in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, at Newport. She was one of the little band of crusaders who inaugurated the greatest reform movement of Modern times, and her death severs the last link connecting our union with he crusade. Missionary work and all forms of applied Christianity received her hearty support.


She was always able to help someone. Her gifts were the truest index of genuine interest, because they so often involved the personal effort and time of the donor. Sometimes it was an invitation to an out-of-town friend to attend a lecture or a meeting of unusual interest, or a birthday, or a Christmas letter to a shut-in. Frequently it was the passing around of a new book or late periodicals to those unable to buy them.


To have so well fitted herself for positions of usefulness from the meager advantage of pioneer life, to have been an inspiration and an aid to others in an like holy ambition, to have trained her children for positions of trust and honor,, to have devoted her energies an time to "things worth while" both for time and eternity are such achievements as come only of high conceptions of life. "Her own works praise her."