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John Aloysius Green
Born December 10, 1844


JOHN A. GREEN, proprietor Champion Quarry, Sec. 6; P.O. Stone City; born December 13, 1843, in Ireland; August, 1852, he came to Massachusetts; in 1865, to Illinois and, in 1868, to his present locality; he also owns ninety acres of land; he opened this quarry in 1868, and has had it in operation since; he employs about sixty-five men during the season. Married Ellen Kane in February, 1875; she was born in New Jersey; came to Joliet, Ill., with her parents, when about 1 year old; they have three children—Mary, Anna and Joseph.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 558.

John Aloysius Green's ancestry came from that ancient stock to which history refers as "The Lost Tribe of Dan," one body of the Israelitish nation that, with other tribes disappeared as commonwealths and communities on the dissolution of the government composed of twelve tribes. The tribe of Dan, according to the only clews afforded by history, went first to Egypt and from that country emigrated to Spain. A part of these people left Spain in ships made of willow and covered with the hides of oxen, and landed on the west coast of Ireland, where their descendants are still to be found, their blood unadulterated by that of any other race, although the Normans, Saxons and other peoples over-ran the island. Throughout its history in Ireland, where so many conflicts have raged, the race has been so strong that it never has been conquered. Its people did not intermarry with the members of the neighboring tribes and can still be readily distinguished from their fellow countrymen.
Michael Green was born about 1695; his son, Denis Green, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in 1742 and died at the age of ninety-nine years. His second wife was Honor Lennon, and their third child, John, was born about 1800. He married Bridget Kenny, and their fifth child was John Aloysius. Bridget was the daughter of Patrick Kenny, son of Peter and Mary Canfield-Kenny. Patrick married Margaret Fallon for a second wife, and Bridget was their oldest child.
John Aloysius Green was born in the parish of Moore, County Roscommon, Ireland, December 10, 1844. His parents were John Green and Bridget (Kenny) Green, farmers, as were their parents before them, the family having resided for generations in the parish of Moore. Mr. Green came to Boston, Massachusetts, September 2, 1852, and attended the common schools of that city. In 1860 he learned the monumental trade and worked at it for ten years. Later he worked in granite, sandstone and last of all limestone.
Mr. Green came west in 1865, living for a time in Joliet, Illinois. In 1867 he worked at the Rock Island arsenal as a stone-cutter, and in the same year he went to Wyoming, where he cut stone for Union Pacific bridges, forty miles west of Cheyenne. He returned to Joliet in the winter of the same year. March 17, 1868, found him at his present location, then a lonely spot in the wilderness, now the site of Stone City, a prosperous community that has added great wealth to the state and to Jones county, built, as its name indicates, on the business inaugurated by Mr. Green when he opened the Champion quarries that are still in operation. He bestowed its name upon the place that will stand as a monument to his foresight and industry, In 1875 he married Ellen Green, of Joliet, Illinois, and to them were born a large family—Mary, Anna, Joseph, Ellen and James, twins, Leo, Rose, Agnes, Robert and Josephine, five of whom are living. They are Anna, now Mrs. Charles M. Cruikshank, John, Agnes, Robert and Josephine.
In addition to the Champion quarries, Mr. Green opened a quarry on the Buffalo river, worked the old state quarry on the Wapsipinicon for a time, a quarry at Wasioja, Minnesota, and one at Shuster, Missouri.
He was the first in the United States to employ hydraulic power for stripping quarries, and he was also the first to load large holes with several hundred pounds of black powder, to shake the hills and loosen thousands of tons of stone at one blast. Mr. Green owns a masons' material and supply yard at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, known as the Iowa Stone Company, and a sand pump in the same city, in the Cedar river. In this business of dredging sand for building purposes, an industry that has reached enormous proportions, he was a pioneer. He owns a large stock farm, where he has raised many fine horses, cattle, sheep and goats. His Iowa acres number more than one thousand.
Mr. Green has always been a democrat and so has sought little political preferment. The first political office held by him was that of township trustee, in 1873. In 1892, he was forced into the senatorial contest and was elected to the Iowa senate from the twenty-fourth senatorial district, a republican division comprising Jones and Cedar counties. He was an unsuccessful candidate for congressional honors in 1904, receiving, however, two thousand, seven hundred and sixty more votes than were given for the head of his ticket in the fifth congressional district of Iowa. At the age of sixty-five years he is still strong and hearty and actively engaged in business.
His biographer is loath to leave the subject of his sketch with the mere mention of material successes, that attest only the quality of his industry and illustrate the excellence of judgment. In all things, in every transaction, in every connection, Mr. Green as boy, youth and man, has held close to his high ideals, has kept his manhood and strengthened his belief. The world knows him as an example of integrity, as one who has made a success in life above the material success, which has been greater than that rewarding most men for their activities. He is a most pleasant companion, a man who appreciates the best in art and literature, a wide and intelligent traveler, and a progressive citizen along all lines.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 458.

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