Charlie Greene is a worthy representative of German-American citizenship in Hanover township, where he owns and operates two hundred and eighty acres of finely improved land. He was born in Illinois October 5, 1867, a son of William and Dora (Messenbrink) Greene. The parents were natives of Hanover, Germany, where they were reared and married, after which they emigrated to the United States, first locating near Chicago, Illinois. They both worked in the employ of others for a year after their arrival in the new world and in this way gained their start in life.
Mr. Greene then rented a small tract of land, which he operated for a few years. He carefully managed his business affairs and worked diligently and persistently, so that he was eventually able to purchase land, becoming the owner of one hundred acres.
After a few years he sold that tract and invested his money in another tract of one hundred and sixty acres, which remained in his possession for a few years, when he disposed of his property in Illinois and, seeking the broader opportunities of Iowa, located in Crawford county. He here purchased four hundred and eighty acres of improved land and for ten years operated the same. He was successful in his undertakings and at the end of a decade had secured a competency that enabled him to retire from business cares, and since that time he has made his home with his children, having now reached the advanced age of eighty three years.
His wife, however, has departed this life, her death occurring on Christmas day of 1891. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Greene were born eight children, but five of the number are deceased, two having died prior to the emigration of the family to this country, and two died in the United States during their infancy, while Emma passed away at the age of seven years. Those living are: Louis, who follows farming near Charter Oak, Iowa; Charlie, of this review; and August, who is now living retired in Sioux City, Iowa.
Charlie Greene spent his early boyhood and youth upon the home farm in Illinois and accompanied his parents on their removal to Crawford county, Iowa. He acquired his education in the common schools and remained under the parental roof until he had reached the age of twenty-four years, when he started out to make his own way in the world by renting a part of the old homestead. After a year, however, his father deeded to him one hundred and sixty acres of his land, to which he has since added by purchase, his possessions now embracing two hundred and eighty acres.
His land lies in Hanover township, and all has been placed under a high state of cultivation, so that he annually gathers good crops as a reward for the care and labor which he bestows upon it. In addition to his farming he raises stock to a considerable extent, black polled cattle being his specialty. He raises and feeds from one to two carloads of cattle each year and always realizes a good profit in the city markets.
It was on the 11th of June, 1891, that Mr. Greene was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Neddermeyer, who was born in Charter Oak, Crawford county, a daughter of Christ and Katrina (Kunze) Neddermeyer, both natives of Hanover, Germany. The father came as a young man to the United States and for a few years after his arrival worked in New York. He then came to Iowa, locating in Jackson county, where his marriage to Miss Kunze occurred.
They have become the parents of ten children, but two of the number are now deceased. Those living are: Sophia, now Mrs. Greene; Marvin, who follows farming near Charter Oak; Julius, who also engages in farming near Charter Oak; Rosa, the wife of Robert Pautsch, a farmer residing near Johnson, Minnesota; Annie, of Mitchell, South Dakota; Emma, the wife of Henry Ricket, also of Mitchell; Adolph and Elsie, at home. Those deceased are Otto and Christ.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Greene have been born four sons, namely: William, who was born on Christmas day of 1895, and has just completed his education in the common schools and who can read, write and speak the German as well as the English language; Herbert, who was born July 5, 1901, and is now in school; Erwin, born May 29, 1905; and Clarence, who was born October 19, 1909.
Mr. Greene supports the men and measures of the republican party, but is not an active worker in political circles. He and his family attend and support the German Lutheran church. It is true he had better advantages than many a young man starting out in life, but he has since improved each and every opportunity that has come to him and his diligence and perseverance have .gained him the success that now gives him rank among the leading farmers and stockraisers of Hanover township and Crawford county. He is well known, too, for his fair and honorable dealing, and all who know him speak of him in terms of praise and commendation.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.