Can you imagine going into business with your brother? Well, that’s exactly what these two men did. William O. Green (b. 1851-d. 1927) and Frederick A. Greene (b. 1857-d. 1936) – Leelanau County Surveyors.
They were two of 4 children born to Jonathon P. Greene and Amanda (Keyes) Greene of Northport, MI. William married Zella E. Bates, November 1871 in Northport, MI. They had 4 children together. Zella died in July of 1894. According to census records it appears that Fred never married.
The 1881 plat map of Leelanau Township shows J.P. Greene, their father, as owning 40 acres with a residence just south of the Omena Village on what we now call M-22. Their father passed away in May of 1900 and the 1900 plat map reflects that the ownership of the land transferred to the two Greene Brothers. Th family burial plot is at the Omena Hillcrest Cemetery.
Utilizing the recently digitized Leelanau Enterprises through CMU, we were able to locate advertisements and other small-town news that helped paint us a picture of their involvement with their community, their travels, and their work as surveyors in Leelanau County, MI. Like this posting in 1919 listing Fred Greene as the County Surveyor along with other county officers. Or this excerpt from an 1905 issue about William surveying for E.E. Chandler of Leland. We encourage you to explore the newspapers for yourself at https://digmichnews.cmich.edu/. (Issues from 1880-1927 are currently available – more years are in the works!)
Even more intriguing to discover was the assortment of personal journals in our archives hand written by William. In cursive, he would report on the day’s weather, what boats were coming and going. He recorded his daily activities around the farm, interactions with neighbors, and his brother Fred. He also kept meticulous notes about his surveying jobs, whether they were for a Leelanau County resident, or jobs over in Petoskey, MI.