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Milam County, Texas

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Joseph P. Greenlees

SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 363-365.

Joseph P. Greenlees - The subject of this sketch is the son of John and Isabella Greenlees, who were natives of Ireland, born about the first year of this century. His parents were married in their native country and emigrated some time in the 1830s to the United States, settling first in Greene county, Alabama, whence they moved later to Sumter county, of that State, where they spent the remainder of their lives. The father was a planter, a man of some means, a plain and unassuming citizen. He was a type of his race, quick-witted, genial and fond of sports, being a trained athlete and a boxer of wide repute in early and middle life. In later life he became an active and consistent member of the Presbyterian Church, whose ordinances and customs, he observed rigidly from that date until his death. He was a strong Democrat and held the usual number of local offices. He died in August 1855, aged fifty-nine. His wife, whose maiden name was Isabella Dixon, was a strict Presbyterian. She survived her husband four years, dying in 1859, in the sixty-third year of her age. The issue of their marriage was ten children, four girls and six boys, namely; William, who died unmarried; Jane, who was married to John C. Campbell, and is now deceased; Hugh, who lives in Sumter county, Alabama; Isabella, who was married to Joseph Eakens, of Lauderdale county, Mississippi; Margaret, who was married to Absalom Burton, and lived in Kemper county, Mississippi; Mary, who was married to George Calvert and lives in Kemper county, Mississippi; John, who resides in Lauderdale county, Mississippi; David, who was killed at the battle of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1864, in the Confederate army; Joseph P., the subject; and Charles, who died at the age of five years.

Joseph P. Greenlees was born in Sumter county, Alabama, December 9, 1838. He was raised in that county and received the rudiments of a common English education in the schools of the same.

In April 1861, he entered the Confederate army, enlisting in Company E, Captain Robert Blount, Fifth Alabama Infantry, commanded by Colonel R. S. Rhodes. Being mustered in at Pensacola, Florida, he went with his command to the army then forming in Virginia. He was at the first battle of Bull Run, his command reaching the field in time to throw a few shells and witness the rout that has rendered that engagement famous in the history of the late war. Falling back from Bull Run under Early, he missed the Seven Pines fight, where he was on detail duty. He took part in the engagements at Gaine’s Mill, and Mavern Hill of the Seven Day’s fight. His command was left at Hanover Junction to watch Burnside, and did not join Lee until after the second Manassas. Entering the Maryland campaign, Mr. Greenless was in the engagements at Boonesboro mountains, and later at Sharpsburg. He missed the engagement at Antietam, but rejoined his command and took part in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. In the last named engagement he lost his right arm and was disabled from further service. Being left on the field, he was taken prisoner by the Federals, and held in field hospital about two weeks, when he was transferred to Baltimore and thence to David’s island, New York, where he was kept in prison till September 16, 1863. At that date he was exchanged at Akins Landing on James river and returned home.

In the fall of 1865, Mr. Greenlees left Alabama and went to Mississippi, locating in Lauderdale county, where he held the position of Deputy Sheriff for three years. Entering a commercial college at New Orleans, at the end of this time he took a commercial course, and later embarked in the insurance business, which he followed in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas for four years. In 1873 he came to Texas, and, settling at Waco, continued in the same line for about four years. Having married, he settled on a farm on the edge of the Brazos bottom, in Milam county, and here he has since resided, and has been actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. March 18, 1877, Mr. Greenlees married Mrs. Sallie Stoneham, widow of Henry B. Stoneham, a daughter of Grey and Elizabeth Manning, who were natives of Florida. Mrs. Greenlees’ parents emigrated from their native State to Butler county, Alabama, soon after marriage. They subsequently moved to Clark county, Arkansas, and came thence to Texas. The father lost his life by accident in Milam county while on a visit here. His family, consisting of his widow and four children, shortly afterward moved to Texas. Mrs. Manning died in Calvert, Robertson county, in 1884. The father and mother were members of the Baptist Church. The stock from which they descended was of Scotch-Irish origin, the progenitors settling in this county at an early date. Mrs. Greenlees is one of thirteen children, two of whom died in infancy, the remainder reaching maturity. These are: William, who died in Arkansas, leaving one child; Lorena, who was married to Isaac Stewart and died in Bowie county, Texas, leaving five children; Elizabeth, who married to Young Taylor and lives at Lott, Falls county, Texas; Sallie (Mrs. Greenlees); Hilery, who lives in Clark county, Arkansas; Lydia, who was married to George White and is now deceased; Wiley, who died in Collin county, Texas; Martha, who was married to William Stephens and lives in northwest Texas; Georgie, who was married to George White and is now deceased; Etta and Grey, who reside at Clavert, Robertson county. Mrs. Greenlees was born in Clark county, Arkansas, where she was also reared. She was married to Henry B. Stoneham, of that county, in 1865, and by this union had five children; Joseph; Etta, now Mrs. W. J. Brewington, of Hill county, Texas; Henry; John, who died at the age of nineteen; and Charles. Mr. And Mrs. Greenlees have had three children; Harry Lee, Albert Sidney, and Walter Eugene, the last two being twins. The religious connection of the family is with the Baptist Church, their membership being in the Caddo Church, near Baileyville. In politics Mr. Greenlees is Democrat, having cast his first presidential vote for John C. Breckenridge in 1860.

We must say a special thank you to Vanessa Deshazer of Menifee, CA, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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Created on 27 Nov 2003 and last revised on ____________