Among the well to do and successful agriculturists of Williams county, who have accumulated a competency through
their own exertions and economy, is the subject of this biographical notice, whose fine farm of eighty acres is
conveniently located in Mill Creek township, one mile and a half east of the village of Kunkle. On locating there,
it was all wild land, covered with a heavy growth of timber, and his first home was a log cabin, which has long
since given place to a comfortable frame residence, surrounded by good barns and outbuildings, while the land is
now under a high state of cultivation.
In Richland county, Ohio, Mr. Greek was born January 12, 1844, a son of Frederick and Margaret (Brubaker) Greek,
who were born, reared and married in Pennsylvania, where the paternal grandfather located on coming from Germany
- his native land During his youth Frederick Greek learned the carpenter's trade, at which he continued to work
after his removal to Ohio in 1840, for two years in Richland county and eight years in Hancock county. On coming
to Williams county in 1850, however, he purchased land in Madison township and turned his attention to its improvement
and cultivation. During his more active business life he bought and sold several other tracts of land, but always
lived on his first purchase, where he died in 1895, at the age of eighty four. His wife passed away in 1882, in
the faith of the Dunkard Church, to which both belonged.
In the family of this worthy couple were fourteen children, forty five grandchildren and seventy great grandchildren.
Of the fourteen children, two died in infancy, and the others are as follows: John, who was a Union soldier in
the Civil war; Mrs. Elizabeth Conley; Mrs. Fanny Hendrix, who died leaving seven children; Mrs. Nancy Burkholder;
Joseph (our subject); George, who was a Union soldier, and is now a resident of Nebraska; Wesley B., a teacher
living in Alabama; Elias, a farmer of Williams county; Mrs. Martha Gill; Mrs. Jane Throne; William F., who was
formerly in the elevator and gristmill business, and is now a farmer; and Mrs. Margaret Oxinger.
At the age of ten years Joseph Greek accompanied his parents on their removal to their new home in Williams county,
where he grew to manhood, assisting his father on the farm and at the carpenter's bench. In 1862, at the age of
eighteen, he enlisted in Company F, Thirty eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the army of the
Tennessee. He saw much hard service, participating in nineteen skirmishes, and on the expiration of his term of
enlistment he was honorably discharged and returned home. In 1863, however, he reenlisted, this time becoming a
member of Company H, Sixty eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which also belonged to the army of the Tennessee, and
with his command took part in many important engagements, was with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea,
and was stationed at Raleigh, North Carolina, at the time of Lee's surrender. During his service he often suffered
from lack of food, but fortunately was never wounded nor taken prisoner. After participating in the grand review,
at Washington, D. C., the command was sent to Louisville. Kentucky, where Mr. Greek was finally discharged. Returning
home with an honorable war record, he resumed carpenter work, and by contracting and building he secured a start
in life. Since his marriage, in 1867, he has principally engaged in farming with the exception of the years 1887
and 1888, when he traveled for Daso Brothers in the elevator business, his territory taking in all of the large
cities of the United States.
On October 15, 1867, Mr. Greek married Miss Malissa M. West, a native of Stark county, Ohio, whose parents removed
to Williams county about 1863. Here her father followed farming until his death. Her mother died October 20, 1867;
she was a consistent member of the Church of God. They had eight children: Eliza, Susan, Mary, Malissa M., Addie,
Sarah, Amanda and Fremont. To Mr. and Mrs. Greek were born five children, namely: Mrs. Ada M. Volcot; Mrs. Amanda
J. Weidner; Emerson C. and Arthur J. (both at home); and Carrie L., who died at the age of two years. The mother
of these children was a true Christian woman, a member of the Evangelical Church, and died in that faith January
Mr. Greek was again married in September, 1888, his second union being with Miss Sarah J. Drum, who was born in
1858 in Pennsylvania, whence when two years old she was brought by her parents to Williams county, Ohio. Her father
purchased a partially improved farm in Brady township, and to its further development and cultivation he has since
devoted his energies. He is a radical Republican, has served as township trustee and in other local offices, and
is a member of the German Methodist Church, to which his wife also belongs. Their children are Jacob; Mrs. Rosa
Bruns; Sarah J.; Mrs. Elizabeth Money; Mrs. Cassie Shillings; Edward, a merchant of Stryker, Williams county; Mrs.
Anna Wolverton; Mrs. Elva Geesy; and Mrs. Edith Stype. The family is of German descent. By his second marriage
Mr. Greek has two children: Carl E., born February 3, 1890; and Glen D., born September 23, 1894.
For two years Mr. Greek engaged to some extent in bridge building, but in 1880 retired altogether from carpenter
work, and is now successfully engaged in farming. All that he has achieved in life has been due to his own unaided
efforts, and for his success he deserves great credit. The Republican party finds in him a stanch supporter, and
although he has never aspired to office, he was elected county commissioner in 1882, and for three years served
with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. He is an active and prominent member of the
Evangelical Church, to which his wife also belongs, and has served as trustee, class leader and treasurer in the
same. As a public spirited, enterprising citizen, he has done much to promote the public welfare, and has made
for himself a place among the honored and valued residents of Mill Creek township.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Northwestern, Ohio Biographies
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