Hon. Grant Green

by Edmund Starling, 1886

HON. GRANT GREEN was born in Henderson County on the third day of February, 1826. His ancestors immigrated from England and settled in Fauquier County, Virginia, in the year 1640. His grandfather raised a large family of children, many of whom held distinguished positions in the country's service. All of the male members, old enough at the time, joined the army of the revolution and fought for American Independence with distinguished credit to themselves and their country. His grandfather came to Kentucky with his family about the year 1815, and settled in this county. Mr. Green's mother was Martha Dixon, the daughter of Captain Henry Dixon, whose father was a Colonel in the Revolutionary War. She was born in Caswell County in the year 1804, and brought by her father to Henderson County in 1805. Mr. Green and Miss Dixon were married in 1820, and after nine years of happy wedded life he died, leaving to the care of his widow four children, of whom, the subject of this sketch was the second son. Falling heir to but little realty, and a scanty allowance of actual cash, Mrs. Green was necessarily greatly embarassed; yet, with superhuman endurance and self-denial, she most nobly met her allotted life, sacrificing all the pleasure thereof that her four children might be properly raised to a position in the social and business world, her devoted interest so justly claimed for them. She managed to give them such an education as was afforded at that time by county schools, and this, coupled with her own great and good example, sufficed to impress upon them the importance of determined effort. The subject of this sketch commenced business life by teaching a small country school-the same in which he had only a short time previous been a student-among whose pupils were numbered many of his old classmates equally of age with himself. he was a very successful teacher, giving more satisfaction perhaps to his patrons than his modesty allowed him to claim for himself. After teaching about one year and a half he reluctantly gave up his school to accept the position of deputy sheriff under his uncle, William Green, who was made Sheriff of the county in 1848. He rode deputy sheriff for two years, at the end of which time he was tendered a deputyship under William D. Allison, at that time Clerk of both the Circuit and County Courts, and Trustee of the Jury Fund. In Mr. Allison he found a fast friend, and his life with him was one continued sunshine. He appreciated his great worth and influence, and is no doubt more indebted to his training and general knowledge gained while in the office, for his success in life, than to all other sources combined. In 1851, Mr. Green's personal popularity gained fro him the Democratic nomination for Representative of this county. Inflexible in his political opinions, he was yet averse to taking an active part in politics, and only after much persuasion accepted the nomination thus the Democratic nominee for Governor, and Governor Archibald Dixon, a cousin of Mr. Green and the Whig nominee for the same office, and both of Henderson County. These were two of the most distinguished men of the State, and, of course, the contest was made warm throughout the entire Commonwealth, and particularly so in this county. Mr. Green was elected by a respectable majority, and took his seat at the beginning of the session of 1851-'52. This was the second session of the General Assembly after the adoption of the present Constitution, and as the laws then in existence had to be modified and new laws enacted in conformity tot he terms of the new Constitution, the work necessarily required the keenest foresight and unrestrained wisdom of the members. This Legislature was one of the ablest the State had ever had, and did its work in a most superior and satisfactory manner. After the adjournment of the Legislature, and on the twenty-sixth day of February, 1852, our subject was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Powell, and served in that capacity until the expiration of the Governor's term of office, September 3d, 1855. During this time he was a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. In 1855 he received the Democratic nomination for the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, but this was the year the "Know Nothing" party swept the State and the entire Democratic ticket, after a most gallant fight, was defeated. On the twenty-eighth day of February, 1855, Mr. Green was united in marriage with Miss Katie S. Overton, a most accomplished lady, and at the expiration of his term of office as Secretary of State, returned to Henderson, commenced the practice of law in partnership with the Hon. H. F. Turner, and continued to practice until the summer of 1858, when he was elected County Judge. In the year 1859 he received the Democratic nomination for the office of Auditor of Public Accounts, and at the August election was declared elected by a handsome majority. He then resigned the office of County Judge, returned to Frankfort, and on the first day of January 1860, entered upon the duties of his new and most important office, and served the State with most commendable fidelity and zeal for four years. During the trying times of the war, he managed the State's finances, so far as the same was to be controlled through his official position, with eminent ability, giving entire satisfaction to all parties. At the expiration of his term of office, and at his request, the Legislature appointed a Committee whose duty it was to give his office a thorough examination. This was done and a very complimentary report returned. he was re-nominated for a second term, and notwithstanding the interference of Federal troops in many of the counties of the State, he was defeated by a comparatively small vote. he then returned to Henderson in 1864, and engaged in the tobacco business for two years. At the expiration of that time, a co-partnership was formed by and between himself, W. J. Marshall and Edward Atkinson, under the firm name of Green, Marshall & Co., and engaged in the general banking business. . He continued in this firm until May, 1868, when he received the appointment as cashier of the Farmers' Bank (mother bank) of Kentucky, at Frankfort, and returned again to that city, and is to-day[sic] filling the same position. The stock of the bank when he was elected Cashier was worth only eighty-three cents on the dollar. At this time 122 has been offered and refused. The bank to-day stands in credit among the very best of the leading banks of the country.

     Mr. Green, many years ago, united with the Episcopal Church, and has proven a faithful, consistent member, always ready with his good advice and purse to advance its interests. His life has been a brilliant one, alternating between Henderson and Frankfort, his present home. his promptness in business, his integrity in action, and his clear judgment have been, and are yet, shining traits in his character, and by these has he been actuated throughout his entire business and social life.

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