Calhoun County

1891 Biography - Francis Greathouse

HON. FRANCIS M. GREATHOUSE. This name will be recognized by the greater number of our readers as that of an honored resident of Hardin, Calhoun County. He has been a valued public servant and is one of the most eminent lawyers in the county. Besides his knowledge of his profession, he gained much literary culture during his younger years and laid the foundation for the extended information he now possesses. He has ever manifested an interest in those movements which would advance the material prosperity or elevate the intellectual and moral status of the community, and his influence has ever been on the side of right and justice.

The father of our subject, Bonaparte Greathouse, was born in Henderson County, Ky., and there reared to manhood. He went to Indiana and in Mt. Vernon, Posey County, married Nancy, daughter of Donahue and Jane Williams, who was a native of the same county as himself. About 1828 Mr. and Mrs. Greathouse removed to Pike County, this State, and took up the duties of pioneer life. At that time Atlas was the county seat and where the flourishing city of Pittsfield now stands there was no village. Mr. Greathouse bought a tract of land, partly timber and partly prairie, and built thereon the log house in which our subject was born. Being industrious and possessed of good judgment he prospered and acquired a landed estate of about six hundred acres. He died in 1850 at the age of forty-five years, but his widow survived until 1872. Mr. Grealhouse was an old-line Whig and was one of the early Commissioners of Pike County.

Our subject, who is one of seven children, was born in Milton, Pike County, March 26, 1839. He received his education in the public schools of his native place and Pittsfield, and at the age of nineteen years began his legal studies with W. R. Archer, in the latter town. He continued his study of the law under N. M. Knapp, of Winchester and T. G. C. Davis, of St. Louis. He was admitted to the bar in the latter city in 1865 and five years later took up his permanent residence in Hardin. He is well versed in the principles of law and equity, skillful in the presentation of cases to judge and jury, and wise in his counsels to those who seek his advice. He has therefore gained a high standing among the professional men of this county and has become known in the surrounding territory as an able lawyer.

At the bride's home March 11, 1859, the rites of wedlock were celebrated between Mr. Greathouse and Miss Belle Morris. This lady was born in Milton, Pike County, her parents being Berry and Sytha Morris. She is a lady of intelligence, of cordial, friendly spirit, and possesses much wisdom regarding home duties and those she owes to society. The marriage has been blest by the birth of six children, three of whom are now living, viz: Henry C., Clara M. and Lulu B. Henry married Elizabeth Buerger and Clara became the wife of Charles A. Watson, both families living in Hardin. Lulu B. is a teacher, capable and respected.

The Hon. F. M. Greathouse belongs to the Democratic party. He was elected County Judge in 1877 and served one term. In 1882 he was sent to the State Legislature. He has also been Master of Chancery one term and has served as State's Attorney nine years. He has been a member of the Village Guard of Trustees and in his private capacity has exhibited the same wisdom and energy as in public life. He belongs to Calhoun Lodge No. 729 F. & A. M., and to Calhoun Lodge No. 444 I. O. O. F.

Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 466-469


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