THOMAS JEFFERSON GREENWOOD. Substantially identified with cotton raising and ginning in Montague county is the gentleman named in the introduction to this biographical notice. For nearly thirty years he has been adding his mite to the work of development in the rural vicinity about Sunset where he is now universally recognized as one of the leading citizens.
December 4, 1876, Mr. Greenwood settled on a small farm in Lake valley where he was employed for a half dozen years in its cultivation and improvement. Selling that, he bought a tract two miles east of Sunset, and from 1882 until 1890 his efforts were directed toward the material development and successful cultivation of this farm also. From 1890 to 1898 he devoted his efforts to the bringing of a third farm in the same locality, under subjection to the plow, and when he disposed of this, in 1898, he purchased the old Perkins homestead and gin where he now resides. His present farm is one of the old-settled places on the waters of Brushy creek, and since the erection upon it of a gin in 1882, it has been one of the popular and widely known farms of the county. The farms have an area of one hundred and eighty acres, and when Mr. Greenwood took possession of it he remodeled and renewed the gin plant. It contains now three seventy saw stands with a daily capacity of about twenty bales and during the season of 1904-5 thirteen hundred and forty-one bales of cotton went through his plant.
Mr. Greenwood was born in or near Effingham, Illinois, February 7, 1854, and two years later his father, Thomas J. Greenwood, brought his family to Texas and settled in Delta county. The father was born in Kentucky and was a son of Joseph Greenwood, who founded the family at Effingham, Illinois, and died there on his farm. Grandfather Greenwood married Charity M. Hart, and was the father of Miles, Aaron, Thomas J., sons, and of nine daughters whose identity cannot now be given. Thomas J. was born about 1814 and died in 1864. He married Salina J. Murphy, who died in Hopkins county, Texas, in 1858, with issue as follows: Frances, wife of A. J. Blair, of Commerce, Texas; Sarah E., wife of W. C. Lee, of Greer county, Oklahoma; James, of Miller county, Missouri; Mary, who died in Montague county, was the wife of M. B. Smith; Thomas J., Jr.; Alice and Salina, who died in childhood. Mr. Greenwood, Sr., was married a second time, his wife being Mary Stafford, who bore children: Dora, wife of George Reeves, of Greer county, Oklahoma, and Amanda, who passed away in Louisiana.
At about ten years of age Thomas J. Greenwood, Jr., was deprived of his last parent, and he made his home among friends with relatives until he set up a home of his own. At first John Divinity had charge of him for a year, and then John Hart and Mrs. Paul each had his services and permitted him to learn the existence of a school. His last home was with his married sister, Mrs. Lee. His education was chiefly of the pick- up sort, and the years of his ‘teens were passed largely as a hired man on a farm. His first employer had the meanness to beat him out of his wages, but he sustained himself with credit by the muscles of his willing arms until he came into his legacy from his father’s estate. When he married he possessed a team, a small farm and a few cows, and with these as a nucleus his life career was begun.
November 26, 1874, Mr. Greenwood married Miss Nancy Lee, a daughter of W. G. and Mary (Jeffries) Lee, who came to Hunt county, Texas, from Missouri. Mrs. Greenwood was born in Hunt county, October 25, 1857, and is one of seven of her mother’s children. Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood’s children are: James,who is again at home after the loss of his wife, nee Rebecca Barjinbruch, in June, 1903. He has a daughter, Gladys; Melissa, wife of J. V. Huddleston, with children: Minnie, Nellie, Virgil and Thomas L.; Thomas C.; Mary, wife of Ed Hall, with children, Blanche and Edna; Frances, wife of R. L. Beattie, of Wise county; and Ollie, William J., Phebe, Miles and Dewey.
Mr. Greenwood has no interest in politics and his a Primitive Baptist.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 486-487.