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BIOS-Past & Present of Bureau Co. 1906 > Alfred R. Greenwood

Past & Present of Bureau Co. 1906
22 Nov 2006

Alfred R. Greenwood, deceased, was one of the most prominent attorneys of Bureau county and of this part of the state and in addition to his large law pratice he was interested in the drug business, in banking and in mining, and the extent and importance of his practice contributed in substantial measure to the material growth and prospertiy of various sections of the county as well as to his individual success. He was a man who bore an unassailable reputation in business circles and who owned his success to the exercise of his native and acquirted talents. The great philosopher, Francis Bacon, has  said, "Every man owes a debt to his profession," and the debt Mr. Greenwood fully discharged, for the business which yeilded him an income and gave him place with the substantial residents of the county found in him also an ornament to the profession, his entire career reflecting credit and honor upon his business associations.

Mr. Greenwood was a native of Burlington, Iowa, born on the 6th of July, 1847. His parents were Stott J. and Eliza Greenwood, the former a native of England and the latter of the Hawkeye state. In early life, Stott J. Greenwood came from his native country to America and settled in Burlington, Iowa, where he was married and began the study of law. Subsequently he entered upon the active practie of his profession in Burlington, where he remained for several years, after which he removed with his family to LaSalle, Illinois, where he established a drug store, conducting business there with a fair measure of prosperity for several years. Eventually he retired from connection with commercial interests, but he made his home in La Salle for many years, later removing to Pecatonica, where his death occurred, while his wife died in La Salle.

Alfred R. Greenwood was but a young lad when his parents removed to La Salled after having spent his earlier years in St. Louis. He attended the public schools of La Salle and at the age of eighteen years started in business thre on his own account, opeing a drug store. He had become somewhat familiar with the trade in his father's store, but the two establishments were entirely separte. Alfred R. Greenwood opened a drug business and maintained an interest therein throughout the remainder of his days.

Like his father, Mr. Greenwood desired to become a member of the bar and when a young man he entered upon the study of law in the office of Judge Locey, of La Salle, who directed his reading for a few years, subsequent to which time he was admitted to the bar at Chicago in 1882. He returned to La Salle, where he began practive. Like all young lawyers he had to make a start and demonstrate his ability.  Advancement in the law is proverbally slow but as time passed Mr. Greenwood established his righ to rank with the able practitioners and in the course of years was accorded a liberal patronage. In the early days of his connection with the profession, however, he was also identified with other business concerns. In 1882 a vein of coal was discovered at Spring Valley in Hall township, Bureau county, and Mr. Greenwood early went to the new city, the town site being laid out under his supervision. He became much interested in mining operations in that locality and did  much toward the development of its rich mineral resources, whereby the growth and prosperity of the community were largely augmented. In 1889 he removed with his family to Spring Valley in order to better superintend his legal business there, having already invested quite largely in the coal district. He also continued in the practice of law and his clientele became a very extensive and important one. He was paarticularly well informed concerening coprporation law and was attorney for the Spring Valley Coal Company, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company, and the Illiniois Third Vein Coal Company. After three years Mr. Greenwood took his family to Princeton and established his home there in order that his children might enjoy better educational priveleges but he continued in the active practice of law until his demise. He also served as city attorney of Spring Vally for two terms. His prfessional services there were in continual demand and his clientage became large and of a distinctively representative character.

On the 13th of November, 1878, occurred the marriage of Alfred R. Greenwood and Miss Edith C. Ward, whom he wedded in La Salle. She was born a daughter of Thomas and Daphne A. Brown (Cole) Ward, the former a native of West Virginia and the latter of Vermont. The year 1852 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Ward in La Salle county, where he became one of the largest stock-raisers in this part of the state. He purchased a farm north of the town of La Salle and there engaged in general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising for many years. During that time he also purchased large farms in North Dakota, where he also conducted a stock-raising enterpirse. He was likewise interested in the Union stockyards in Chicago and during his later years he wold largely spend his summers in North Dakota and the winter months at the stockyards in Chicago. In 1872 he removed his family to the town of La Salle, where he made his home until his death, although he passed away in Chicago. His wife died in La Salle. Mr. Ward became very well-to-do in the stock business, the extent of his operations making him a successful dealer.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood were born five children: Ward A., who married Miss Exia Peterson, of Princeton, and now resides in Noreth Dakota, where he is engaged in farming and stock-raising; Cecelia, who is living with her mother in Princeton; Malcolm and Lillian, both deceased; and Mabel, living in Princeton with their mother.

Following his removal to Princeton Mr. Greenwood developed a very extensive practice here and in the state supreme and United States appellate courts. At the same time he maintaineda law office in Spring Valley and at the bar displayed keen insight into the political problems introduced, together with a strong, analytical mind and logical reasoning. He was so well acquainted with the fundamental principles of law that he was seldom, if ever, at error in quoting the law applicable to his cause and his capability made him widely known throughout this part of the state. In 1902, in company with I.. Norris, he incorporated the Spring Valley City Bank, of which he became a large stockholder, and he remained in the business up to the time of his death.

It was owing to the diligence and enterprise with which he applied himself to his business interests that Mr. Greenwood's health became impaired, remaining so for two years prior to his death. He spent one sumer in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Four months were passed there, in which he seemed greatly benefited. He afterward visited an Indiana health resort and subsequently went to North Dakota, where he spent several weeks, but no benefit which he recived remained permanent and, returning to his home in Princeton, he here passed away on the 25th of November, 1904.

In his political views Mr. Greenwood had been a stalwart republican and was very much interested in the growth and success of his party, which benefited by his efforts in its behalf. In his business affairs he had prospered and he became the owner of much valuable property in Spring Valley and Princeton, opening the Greenwood addition to Spring Valley. Owing to his prosperity he was enabled to leave his family in comfortable circumstances and Mrs. Greenwood now owns a large and beautiful residence at No. 126 East Peru street in Princeton, where she and her daughters reside. She is prominent in social circles there and, like her husband, has many warm friends all over the county.

In his funeral address the Rev. Mr. Slaughter said, "We are here today because the life lived was dedicated to all that was true and right and honorable in every relation with fellowmen. I know nothing (except by report) of his spirit, temperment, and character. The very hihg estimate that has come to me concerning Mr. Greenwood is this: He was a good citizen, a highly and obliging neighbor, a good and thoughtful friend, a tender, loving husband. He was faitherly, brotherly, friendly. This means much. As a good citizen he was a man of splendid habits; diligent in his professional obligations; rugged in honesty; pubic spirited; respected and esteemed by all the members of the bar; a close student; with careful research and thoughtful deliberation he generally reached correct conclusions. This made him a safe and successful lawyer. As you knew him better he grew more and more in your respect. He was persistent, a hard work,er. With his ability as lawyer he had what every lawyer does not have, good business judgment, and this gave him the business confidence of the citizens of this county. And this confidence led to his enorsement by the county as a man worthy of nomination as a member of congress. If this county had had the controlling vote, he would have been nominated. As a neighbor, he was greatly beloved; loved by the young people; always pleasant to everybody; unselfish. A neighbor said to me, 'I never knew any one to dislike him.' As husband and father, his life was dedicated to all that was beautiful and lovely in the domestic circle. Mr. Greenwood by his strength of mind and heart rose to excellence in his chosen profession, and became a man of some extended influence. We are not gathered here to do honor to his memory because he was rich, or had gained any eminence among men, but because he lived a good life among us. He was a part of the life of the bar; of every citizen; of every neighbor; of this community."


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