Photo Details

I believe this is a photo of Robert Russell Greene, judging from the hairstyle, taken in the 1890's in Salem MO. He was a jewelry store owner and his store is on the historic building tour in Salem. He was the brother of my great-grandfather. I would love to hear from any people related to Robert.
in Salem, Missouri United States of America

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Melinda Blackman Robert Russell Greene was my paternal great grandfather. His daughter Maggie Hildred married Ross Belew and their son Leland Belew was my father. My sister and I have had a great interest in the Greene family and were delighted to find your pictures and posts. We share a relationship with Wylie Bridges Greene, who was a most interesting character and also what some would term a "rascal" and others would perhaps use stronger language. It is our understanding that he had several families around the states and that our family tree is much broader than formal history might dictate. Maggie Virginia Curren Greene, his wife, was long suffering as was Temperance Laura. We have come to understand that it was not that unusual for men to have more than one family in what was considered at that time as the edge of the territories. Wylie came from a family that was quite well off. The Green's from the Revolutionary war were rewarded with around 46,000 acres of land in the territories in the southern portion of the United States. When Wylie inherited his portion, he made a series of poor investments that lost most of his money. Maggie was a good business woman and was instrumental in the opening of the jewelry store in Salem run by Robert. She also invested in properties in the area. During the civil war, Wylie smuggled quinine into the country and we think he distributed it to both sides. There was a family apothecary in Nashville, Tennessee where they resided and it was the only pharmacy to consistently have quinine during the war. Quinine was the wonder drug of the age. Maggie developed malaria one summer when they did not retreat to the mountains. Wylie's father owned homes in several locations in the south. He was a doctor as well and had inherited money from the family. Wylie was considered a good doctor and was well liked and respected for that part of his life. It was no secret to the citizens of Salem about his philandering ways. He would be gone for long periods of time and in Maggie's diary she would always note when Doctor Greene arrived for a visit and left. It was thought that he doted on his daughter Ruby and that she had a reputation for being mean. When Wylie was practicing on the Indian reservation in Oklahome, he brought grown daughter Ruby there with him. She met a man also working there and they were married. She had to have known of her father's indiscretions as he had an Indian "wife" there. The Greene family left Kentucky after Maggie could no longer take his reputation and women started calling at their home asking for him. They moved to Indiana after that. Maggie made a visit to one paramour during that stay.
Feb 01 · Reply
Mary Vail I'm very excited to hear from you. It has been frustrating trying to find info on this branch of the family. My understanding is that during and after the Civil War, many records were destroyed or lost to posterity. A little of the history as I know it: My grandmother was Lyndall Ellis (Greene) Maddux. She was born to Dr. Frank Ellis and Laura Dickson Ellis in 1900 in the Oklahoma Territory. She married Vincent Maddux in 1923.
Feb 02 · Reply
Mary Vail Somehow, this sent the message before I was done. To continue, Lyndall's father was Dr. Frank Ellis. He changed his name from Frank Greene in early 1890. His father was Wylie Bridges Greene and his mother was Maggie Greene. Therefore, his brother was Robert Greene. I have copies of parts of Maggie's diary which are so interesting to read...from the time she first became acquainted with Wiley til they married, had children, wandered all over the country, chasing rainbows, to the difficult life she had with no money except the stipend given her by her sons. One excerpt mentions a visit from Frank Ellis and his new wife, Laura. According to my Grandmother's stories, her father was involved in a duel in Kentucky, shot a man and was whisked off to the port of New Orleans by his father who sent him on a sailing ship to South Africa. I also have his ticket for the passage. During the years he was gone, he changed his name and finally came back to the states as Frank Ellis. He went to medical school and became a doctor. He was hired by the Department of Indian Affairs to attend to the needs of the Indians on various reservations throughout the Midwest and West. His last assignment was in Arizona. My Grandmother remembers the trip down the Colorado River on a raft or canoe when they moved there. She was six years old at the time, 1906. My Mother was his first grandchild and she loved him beyond all else. They all lived together in Kansas City MO where my mother and her brother were born. Unfortunately, in the early 1930's, Frank died from a heart attack one night. Equally unfortunate, my grandfather, Vincent Maddux, was shot in the head by a robber at the bus terminal where he worked. While he didn't die from his injuries, he was disabled thereafter. The Old Soldier's Home in Kansas City had to ask they to vacate the doctor's residence after Frank died. So, the family lost both bread winners and their home. With the small amount of money they had between them, Laura, Lyndall, Vince and the two kids moved here to California. They purchased a lovely old Craftsman house in Monterey Park in 1936. They lived there until the late 1960's when they sold it to move into a smaller house in the same city. Grandpa Vince died in 1973 and Lyndall in 1989. My mother, Betty, died in 2011 and her brother, Bill, in 2012. If you are interested in any of the pictures of the family, including Maggie, Frank, Laura, etc. and pictures of the Greene Jewelry store from, what appears to be, around 1910, I'll be very happy to share what I have with you. These may all be things you already have, but you might want to check them out. Some of the pictures I have made an educated guess at who they are based on what I know, uniforms and clothing. I'm fairly confident it is largely correct but would love to have other eyes looking at the stuff. I have a considerable number of letters between Frank and his children as well as a controversy he and the other doctors working for Indian Affairs had with the government. Also, there is a museum in Arizona who has the contract signed by Frank for his service in Arizona along with some pictures of him and his family on the desolate reservation.
Feb 02 · Reply
Mary Vail My email address is [contact link]. Will be happy to hear from you
Feb 02 · Reply
Melinda Blackman Greetings, cousin. I have quite a bit of information about the family and am trying to compile it in a more orderly fashion. For some reason, my grandfather Robert went to South Africa to be with Wylie/Ellis. I find it very interesting that I had a great grandfather who actually visited South Africa that long ago when few probably would have made that trip. I have information about the Greene family that traces our direct heritage back to John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of the famed poem "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Yes, we are direct descendants of passengers of the Mayflower. We also have quite a printing legacy. There are a ton of Greens who were in the publishing and printing business. Timothy Green printed money during the beginning of our nation and the Revolution. There were Greens in newspaper and book printing up and down New England for generations. One of our ancestors started the first newspaper in Canada. Timothy Green was the first one to publish the Declaration of Independence and in 1781 he published an account of Benedict Arnold's assault on New London and a month later the account of the battle at Yorktown. Greens purchased the only printing press in America in the 1600's. Greens taught Benjamin and James Franklin the printing trade. It makes me feel closer to these historical people to know of our family history in it all. Our Great Great Grandfather Wylie Green was a very respected surgeon and was known for his fast amputation skills on the battle field during the Civil War. Too bad he was not a more respected family man and and too bad he was often bad in monetary investments. He should have consulted his wife, more often. I copied a picture off the internet of the trip down the Colorado River. It looked like they were using dugout canoes. Now that would have been quite an adventure. There seems to be a family connection with treating people on reservations as Ellis's father ended up in Kansas on a reservation with his daughter Ruby. I wonder if that is how Ellis got started with it. I wish I knew more about the other families that Ellis's father started. I was told that they seemed quite happy with him and that one son reported that they had a great relationship with him. I don't know how he managed so many relationships. I wonder if the women had to manage on their own like Maggie Virginia had to do. I have discovered this multi-family practice on another side of the family from early days so I think it must not have been so uncommon. Women had a difficult time finding jobs and perhaps it was the only way. Also, after war time, there would have been a shortage of marriageable men. I think the jewelry store did a good business and she ran it. It's a good thing she had the acumen to do it. I remember going into the store when her son Charles (Uncle Charlie) ran it. I looked much like it must have in the day. There was jewelry still in the cases from many, many years before. Uncle Charlie was a skilled watch repairman and I think that was what he enjoyed most. My parents bought my sister and I antique rings from early childhood and I treasure them. I remember the thrill of trying them on and trying to decide which one to select. They were always gold with a stone like a ruby, amethyst, topaz and the like. Uncle Charlie was quite a character and could really tell a story and keep your attention. He had a very interesting view of life. His wife had to be committed early on with mental illness and he never divorced her to remarry. He always had an old mutt at his side that went everywhere he did. During the depression, he hopped freight trains and came home with incredible stories to share with his niece and nephews. Pictures? Would I like pictures? ABSOLUTELY! My sister and I love information about the family and were just talking about Robert and Ellis a couple of nights ago. I was looking at pictures I had saved on my computer. Robert lost his hearing and was quite deaf. My Aunt Sarah, his granddaughter went deaf early as well and had to wear hearing aids in both ears. My Dad and uncles lost hearing in later years, but Dad's was the best. My grandmother Maggie Hildred, she went by Hildred, loved her father and was devastated by his death. I think he was more of a nurturer than his wife. She had a favorite child, Dolly. She was the daughter of a successful farmer in the area who was well respected in Dent County. After her husband's death, she had the responsibility of raising all the children, perhaps that influenced her temperament. She was known as a penny pincer, except towards her favorite daughter. Oops, my daughter just came in and wants us to go to the lake with her. I need to get ready. I'll talk again later.
Jul 03 · Reply
Mary Vail Did you receive my reply? sometimes this website is hard to make sure information gets back and forth. If not, will you send me your email address so I can send pictures to you. I have quite a few you may be interested in, along with some letters, Frank's ticket to South Africa and excerpts from Maggie Virginia's diary, in case you don't have it. Let me know. My email address is lizvail(at)[external link].
Jul 05 · Reply
Mary Vail I agree about our family...the Ellis/Greene side is most fascinating. Robert and Frank both went to South Africa...I'm not sure if they travelled together or separately. One entry she made, while not naming Frank/James by name, mentioned that they, Robert and Frank, arrived safely in South Africa. I'm wondering if they travelled together. I know my Grandmother said his father, Wylie took him to the port of New Orleans and essentially smuggled him out of the country. I imagine it possible he sent both of them. I do have his ticket on the ship in the papers left to me. It is for one passenger, but each would have had their own. I'll see if I can get a copy for you. Also, I have some letters women in
South Africa wrote to Frank/James. Most were worried about his reputation. Such an interesting time in our history. If you send me your email address, I'll start forwarding pictures to you. I scanned them all a few years ago, so it will be fairly simple. Would love to hear more from you. My Grandmother, Lyndall Ellis Maddux, was special to me, and her father, Frank, was her hero. My Mother, Betty Maddux Lechtenberg, was absolutely crazy about her Grandfather, Frank. Grandma told so many stories about their life, and then I found some of it documented in pictures. It was quite a life for their family, at least until Frank died and they actually got to settle down a bit.
Jul 05 · Reply
Greg Horth Hello Melinda,

Thank you for the information. When I get a chance I'll pull out the paperwork and try to see how we are connected. My e-mail is [contact link] to e-mail me directly.


This is my line:

My Grandmother Florence (Marble) Oliver F. Claude Marble M. Ethel (Cook) Marble, F. John Cook - Sarah Greene - Lyman Greene W. Melissa Williams- Thomas Green W. Rebecca Lippitt - Benjamin Greene w. Ann Lowe.

Benjamin died ,strangely in South America, while serving our Country during the Revolution. The ladies of the family are in the DAR through his service.

John Cook and those before him are all in the book "The Greene Family" which is the Family's official record.


I have 3 direct descendants on the mayflower and 4 who served in the Revolution. So if a Greene descendant was on the Mayflower as well that would be 4 as well.


I live in the same town that Rebecca Lippitt did and there are many descendants of both family's here, as the Lippitt's and Greene's moved here after the Revolution.

Greg Horth
Jul 07 · Reply
Mary Vail Dear Greg: It appears that Melinda forwarded your email to me as well. We are probably connected somewhere in the family tree, just not sure where. The Greene line in my family stems from Wiley Bridges Greene and Maggie Virginia Curran in the Civil War era. Their son, James Greene (aka Dr.Frank Ellis) was my great grandfather. Melissa's great grandfather was another son of Wiley and Maggie. According to family records, that line goes back at least to the Revolutionary War and beyond. If you would like any other info or pictures, please let me know at [contact link].
Jul 08 · Reply
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