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Rankin Family History Project

James T. Greenwell


James T. Greenwell was born in St. Charles County, Mo., on January 29, 1849, and is a son of George F. Greenwell, a native of Perry County, Mo. born in 1824 of Scotch parentage. His grandfather, Robert Greenwell was born in Kentucky in 1794, and in 1828 immigrated to Perry County, Mo.

George F. Greenwell is a farmer by vocation and when a young man removed to St. Charles County where he married Catherine Drury. In 1860 he removed his family in Perry County, and located on the place of his birth, but three years later went to Alexander County, Ill., where he has since resided. His wife died in 1853, having borne two children of whom the subject of this sketch is the only one living.

James T. secured his education by twelve months attendance at the private and public schools of St. Charles and Perry Counties, and six months at St. Mary’s College, Perry County. At the age of eighteen years he left the parented roof and for the next three years was engaged as a laborer on a farm at $15 per month. He then engaged in the livery business at Perryville, and in 1871 became clerk in the probate judge’s office.

In 1873, he became a partner in the banking house of Greenwell, Cashion & Farrar, still continuing the mercantile business. In 1886, he was elected circuit clerk of Perry County, Mo., and is the present incumbent.

His marriage with Reubena Shelby was celebrated in 1871. She is a daughter of Dr. Reuben Shelby of Perryville, of which town she is a native, born in 1858.

Politically Mr. Greenwell has been a life long Democrat, casting his first vote for Horace Greeley. He is member of the A. O. U. W. His wife is a member of the Catholic Church.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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