Merchant Has Long Career
Perry Enterprise, November 12, 1942
by: Mary Beth Greening Kirtlink
M. Greening of Greening Bros. grocery, in this city, has lived a long and
active life, and has had many varied experiences not usually associated
with the career of a merchant in a small town.
long ago Mr. Greening told the story of his life to his good friend B. J.
Coil, who set these interesting facts down on paper and gave them to the
wonder how many 82 year old citizens in Perry have had as colorful a life
and at the age of 82 are still engaged in business.
Mace Greening was born near Stoutsville in 1860, the 5th child
in a family of 11 children, 6 boys and 5 girls. HE worked for his father
until he was 21 years old, then began working for Goss & Vandeventer
in 1881 at $10.00 per month without board, from August until March 1883.
He then went to Minnesota and worked on a farm for a short time and
returned home in November. He put all his money ($400) into a rail fence
“patent” and spent about a year trying to sell the “Right” and
lost all his money.
Greening worked on the farm for John Hurd for a short time then borrowed
$250.00 from Ben Utterback and rented 40 acres from John Vandeventer and
bought a span of mules, used old harness and plows to raise the crop. He
sold the corn in 1885 for $500. Then Hugh Hickman and Greening rented a
tract of land from Clarence Ragsdale, made a crop and sold out and
Greening went to Farber, Mo., for a short time. The wanderlust was in his
blood and he went to the state of Oregon remaining 2 years driving a stage
coach from Baker City to Cornucopis. Still not satisfied he returned and
went into business with his brother-in-law, J. W. Smith, in Farber, Mo.,
in Farber he married Ida Blaire Smith, daughter of S. B. Smith of Perry,
Mo., in 1892. This was the best move he ever made, for he had a helpmate
to guide him for 50 years. After a stay of several years in Farber he
engaged in the mercantile business in Paris, Mo. After 6 years in Paris he
and his wife went to Venita, Oklahoma in 1900. Then to Centralia where
they lived 17 years.
what we heard of these people in Oklahoma they lived a happy and useful
life. Both were leaders in the Christian Church, giving their time and
money, and the preacher found their home a pleasant place to stay. Mr.
Greening was an elder there, and is an elder here. He was in Oklahoma 27
years and returned to Perry 15 years ago to spend the remaining years of
his life. Mrs. Greening passed on the 29th of July, 1942 while
living in her father’s old home.
Greening has sold goods many years and has assisted many families in that
time by giving them credit and in many cases knowing he would never be
paid when goods were sold.
has been a member of the church for 56 years and an Odd Fellow for 38
He is 82 years old and is still selling goods on the corner with T. W., his younger brother, as a partner. Mr. Greening has invested his money in Perry and takes pleasure in keeping it in shape for those who use it. The city and country need more industrious men like him to keep business moving in the right way.