Biography of James Madison Greathouse
Posey County, Indiana Biographies

James Madison Greathouse. - Great, indeed, have been the changes which time and man have wrought in Posey county since the birth of Mr. Greathouse in 1847, and no man has been more actively identified with the work of improvement in Point township than he. He is best known to the citizens of his native county through his service as township trustee, to which office he was elected in 1908, in the administration of which he has proven the possession of sound financial ability, marked executive talent and sound business judgment. To him the township is indebted for an extended school term, modern school buildings, greatly improved roads, substantial bridges and a financial policy which has wiped out a considerable indebtedness, replaced it with a comfortable cash balance, and this has all been accomplished without an increase in the tax rate. James M. Greathouse was born on his father's farm in Point township, on April 27, 1847, a son of John Tecumseh and Eliza (Browning) Greathouse. The father was a native of Union county, Kentucky. Little is known of his early life or occupations, except that he operated a grist mill on Highland creek, Union county, previous to his locating in Posey county, Indiana. In some manner he learned that relatives were living in the latter county and acting on an impulse to join them, he tied his belongings on a slab and, pushing it ahead of him, swam across the Ohio to the Indiana shore. In Point township he found three cousins, the sons of David Greathouse (see sketch of Frank M. Greathouse). During the year of his arrival in Posey county, 1844, he married Eliza Browning Greathouse, the widow of his cousin John. They became the parents of the following children: Aaron, born in 1845, a resident of Mt. Vernon and veteran of the Civil War; James Madison, our subject; William R., a traveling salesman; and Sarah Ann, the wife of James Dowell, a farmer of Black township. John Tecumseh Greathouse underwent the hard ships incident to the early life of the county, cleared and improved land and became a prosperous farmer. The first frame building in Point township, a school house, was built on his farm in 1872, and was named the Greathouse school. This building was replaced in 1913 by one of concrete, substantially finished and furnished and erected under the supervision of his son, James M., trustee of the township. Mr. Greathouse died in 1880. He was a charter member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Methodist church. His wife died in 1863. James Madison Greathouse was reared on his father's farm and received his education in the school bearing the family name. From boyhood his occupation has been that of a farmer. He is recognized as one of the progressive and successful men of his district; one who has always taken an active interest in public affairs and who has given generously of both time and money in assisting those movements which had the public good in view. He has been a lifelong Democrat. He was elected trustee of Point township in 1908. When he entered upon the duties of this office the affairs of the township were in a deplorable condition. The treasury was empty and an indebtedness totaling $17,000 had been incurred by previous incumbents of the office. During his administration of the affairs of the township its indebtedness has been reduced to $2,250; two modern school buildings have been built, one a graded school building of two rooms at a cost of $3,500, and the new Greathouse school, a one-room building costing $3,000. These buildings are modern in all respects. They are constructed of concrete and the interior finish and equipment are of the best. The roads of the township have been greatly improved and a number of substantial bridges have been built. The township treasury has about $4,000 in cash (1913). These improvements have been made and the debt reduced without increasing the levy of previous years and the levy for 1913 was cut four cents. The record made in the administration of the affairs of this office by Mr. Greathouse will probably stand as the high-water mark of efficiency and accomplishment for many years to come. Mr. Greathouse married on March 29, 1871, Miss Victoria Combs, a daughter of David Combs, a farmer of Black township. He was born in Kentucky in 1816 and died in 1876. His wife was Jane Thompson, also a native of Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Greathouse are the parents of the following children: Evaleen, born September 21, 1876, the wife of Edwin V. Spencer, Jr., a farmer of Black township; Flora May, born July 4, 1880, the wife of Edward Morlock, also of Black township; and Bessie, born March 10, 1889, residing with her parents. Three children died in infancy-David A., James C. and Ida Belle. Mr. Greathouse is in all respects a high type of the conservative American, diligent in his various duties and commercial affairs, and conscientious in all things. He is rich in the possession of a well earned popularity and the esteem which comes only from honorable living.

History of Posey County, Indiana
John C. Leffel, Editor
Standard Publishing Company
Chicago 1913.


Posey County

Online -



New York

Also see [ Railway Officials in America 1906 ] NEW

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012

Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies