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Martin White Greeson

Martin White Greeson’s father, Hartwell, migrated from Wayne County, Tennessee to Arkansas in 1851, traveling by covered wagon to Van Buren County. He was accompanied by the Harrison family, the daughter of which, Louisa, Hartwell married. Their union produced:


·         Martin White Greeson

·         Sarah H. (Greeson) Guthrie

·         Gertrude (Greeson) Garner

·         Luther Greeson (died in childhood)


Martin White Greeson was born November 7, 1866, on a farm near Clinton and, in 1867, the family moved into Clinton where he attended the Public Schools before graduating from the Clinton Academy in June of 1884. He taught school in Bee Branch Arkansas in 1885, in Morrilton, Arkansas in 1886-1887; took the Law Course in Cumberland University in Tennessee, graduating with the Degree L.L.B. in the Class of 1888.


Mr. Greeson was married to Carrie Tedford of Brookhaven, MS on Oct. 18, 1893 and was father to them six children: Hartwell, Gladys, Beulah, James Allen, Louise, Carolyn.


He was licensed to practice law in the state courts, and in November 1888 came to Prescott, Arkansas, joined the law firm of Atkinson & Tompkins. Mr. Atkinson became Attorney General of the state of Arkansas, moving to Little Rock, and in 1895 Mr. Tompkins, under federal appointment, went to Montana for four years, Mr. Greeson continued alone in the practice until 1900 when, due to other interests and the advice of his physician that he should spend more time outdoors, he formed a law partnership with Henry B. McKenzie which continued two years, before the closing out of his active practice of law. In 1913 Horace E. Rouse moved to Prescott, Arkansas for the practice of law and he and Martin formed a law partnership under the firm name of Greeson and Rouse. This, however, was largely a nominal partnership, as Mr. Greeson was not very active in the practice.


Martin devoted much of his time to many things, including farming, operating a railroad from Nashville to Murfreesboro, AR and oil and gas operations after his retirement.  The opening of the Nevada County oil field was due largely to his efforts


In the early history of Prescott, he was identified with municipal affairs, championing the first concrete sidewalks for the town, a municipal Water and Light plant, and a sewer system, all of which were municipally owned and free from debt. He built the first opera house and the first sanitarium in Prescott. He was a member of the Arkansas State Flood Control Commission, urging the development of the Little Missouri watershed, conserving the soils end controlling the water for beneficial purposes.


Martin was a member of the Methodist Church and had been on the Board of Stewards of the Prescott Church and president of the Board of Trustees of the Church for many years. He had also been active in Masonic circles, early taking all of York Rite Masonry, and at one point the senior living Past Grand Master of the state of Arkansas.


Martin White Greeson died Nov. 16, 1949


Information furnished by Beulah (Greeson) Hirst, daughter of Martin, in the year 1959.

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