|Mary S Taylor
Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Location: Fresno, CA
|Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:39 pm Post subject: Greene, Harry Ashland c1852-1933
|Monterey Peninsula Herald, CA Nov 13, 1933
Harry A. Greene Near Death Today
Harry A. Greene, beloved peninsula resident known as the “Father of Monterey,” was critically ill at his New Monterey home today. Stricken with a severe heart attack last Friday the 81 year old man has failed to rally and Dr. J.P. Sandholdt, attending physician, said this afternoon that he may not live through the night. Mr. Greene has been in a coma since this morning. His wife and son, Harry Greene Jr., San Francisco, are at the bedside.
Monterey Peninsula Herald, CA Nov 14, 1933
H.A. Greene Mourned by Community
Pioneer Local Businessman and Civic Leader Had useful Career
Death, Late Monday, Result of Heart Attack – Funeral Rites Tomorrow
Monterey today mourned one of its most prominent and valuable citizens, Harry Ashland Greene, who passed away late yesterday from the effects of a heart attack suffered several days ago. Known as the “Father of Monterey, he was credited with having devoted more time and money for the advancement of the old capital than any other individual since the time of Father Serra. A man of Vision and foresight, Greene in the early days almost alone was aware of Monterey’s destiny and probably more than anyone else helped to bring it toward fulfillment. From 1871 until his death 62 years later, his life was practically dedicated to the advancement of Monterey. During that time he lost several fortunes and made others by sponsoring projects, designed not as money making schemes, but planned to influence the growth of Monterey. Headed Many Projects. It was Greene who led Monterey’s first breakwater campaign. It was he who gave time and thought and $17,000 of his personal funds in an effort to construct a Monterey-Fresno railroad. Greene was the man who organized the old Bank of Monterey, built the first modern hotel building here. He was one of the leaders in bringing electricity to the peninsula and ultimately was forced to buy all of the stock in the pioneer power company to make it a success. Greene was managing director of Monterey’s old street railroad and at one time all of its stock stood in his name as trustee. The Monterey Hotel on Alvarado stands as a monument to his vision and courage. When the building, the first modern structure in Monterey, was erected, Greene’s fellow townsmen referred to it as “Greene’s folly.” The building, however, proved to be a wise investment and speeded up development of Monterey’s business district. This was the kind of man Monterey mourned today, a man whose passing filled everyone familiar with Monterey’s early development or personally acquainted with Harry Ashland Greene with a deep sense of loss. He loved Monterey and Monterey loved him. Of Notable Family. Born in San Francisco in 1852, Greene was 81 years old. A member of a pioneer American family, he was also a descendant of a great English military leader, General William Greene. William Green, father of Harry Ashland Greene, was a grandson of General Greene and a pioneer New Orleans and San Francisco business man. In the southern city he operated a large line of merchant ships and a lithographing establishment. He was a member of the first board of aldermen in San Francisco and associated in business with such men as Lick and Geary. Greene street is named for him. Educated in early life by private tutors and in the public schools, Harry Ashland Greene also attended City College in San Francisco, Santa Clara University, and the Military Institute at Pughkeepsie, N.Y. In 1870 he went to Paris for further study and returned to San Francisco the following year after also visiting England. Successful in Business. Launching his business career in the bay city he achieved outstanding success, while still in his twenties. HE was a vice president of the San Francisco stock exchange and with his brother, Clay M. Greene, noted playwright who died several months ago, operated the brokerage firm of Greene & Co. The business was closed in 1890 and at the time ws the oldest San Francisco brokerage firm that had not been bankrupt in the panic that swept over the country during the late 80’s. Although he was engaged in business in San Francisco, Greene started booming Monterey in bay city newspapers as early as 1871. In 1879 he established his summer home here and in 1886 made Monterey his permanent residence, building the house at 361 Lighthouse avenue in which he died yesterday. In addition to campaigning for a breakwater, the Monterey-Fresno railroad and many other projects, Greene during his entire life in Monterey took an active interest in civic affairs. Active Civic Leader. He was a founder of the Old Capital club and an officer for many years, and one of the organizers of the Monterey Progressive association. He also took an active interest in sports, having been captain of the first bicycle club organized in San Francisco. One of the first to recognize the historic importance of Monterey’s landmarks, Greene in the 90’s practically single handed prevented destruction of Colton hall, Monterey’s present city hall and courthouse in which California’s constitution was framed. Then used as a schoolhouse, Colton hall proved inadequate for the growing city and lands were made to tear down the historic building and replace it with a larger structure. Greene immediately started a drive for funds for another school site and raised sufficient money by popular subscription to purchase the grammar school property on Pacific street. The Cans Brought Fame. Of late years poor health had forced him to curtail his business activities but his interest in civic and economic affairs never dimmed. He was a member of the Monterey parks and playground commission at the time of his death and originated the plan for establishment of a bird refuge at El Estero. He was also actively interest in the Pacific Grove museum. For many years he had been an ethusiastic horticulturist and because of his early interest in reforestation, earned the sobriquet “Tin Can” Greene. He was given the nickname more than 20 years ago when he launched a reforestation campaign, urging that small tress be planted in old cans and later transplanted. He grew and donated to the state thousands of trees which now line highways in all parts of California and many Monterey Peninsula roads. Other trees he sent to many foreign countries, including England, Japan, Australia and China. Greene’s favorite was the redwood and he was a recognized authority on sequoida gigantean. One of the founders of the California Fuchsia society, which has headquarters in Berkeley, he was honorary president of the organization. Service Tomorrow. Relative sand friends will pay a final tribute to Greene tomorrow afternoon when they gather at the Dorney Funeral chapel for funeral services which will be in charge of the local Elks lodge. Native Sons have been invited to participate in the services. Greene was a leader in the Elks and Native Sons lodges for many years. The services, which will start at 2 o’clock, will be followed by cremation. The pioneer Montereyan is survived by his widow, Mrs. Isabel Greene of Monterey; two sons, Harry Ashland Greene Jr. of San Francisco, and William Greene of Canada, and a daughter, Mrs. Houghton Sawyer of Piedmont. A nephew, William A. Greene, has been making his home here during his uncle’s last illness.
Friends Pay Tribute to H.A. Greene
Tributes to the memory of Harry Ashland Greene, pioneer business and civic leader who died yesterday, came spontaneously today from scores of friends of the man who greatly influenced development of Monterey. Edward Berwick, another well known pioneer and a friend of Greene for more than a half century said. “California has ‘lost’ one of its most public spirited citizens and the city of Monterey its most devoted champion and benefactor. For many, many years the welfare and advancement of this city have been first, last and all the time the ruling passion of his life but not to the exclusion of wider interests of national concern, for, in the 90s, when the speaker of the house of congress would not give a day to consider the matter, Harry A. Greene dis his bit in working for the construction of an Isthmian canal. He not only gave time and thought but very hard cash, to the tune of $17,000 in his efforts to get the Monterey-Fresno railroad built. For the breakwater he worked long and hard, with final success after years of effort. Among his other benefactions was the growing of thousands of trees which he gave to shade and decorate many miles of California’s highways, and byways. As a very live member of the Neighbors’ club he was ever ready to do more than his full share in their activities in beautifying this peninsula and nurturing a spirit of real neighborliness. May the increase of that spirit long serve to adequately commemorate the worth and work of Harry Ashland Greene.” Officials to Pay Tribute. Mayor J.L. Steward of Monterey said “We have all appreciated Harry Greene and what he did for Monterey. He will be hard to replace.” “In the passing of Harry Greene the community has suffered the loss of a great and public spirited citizen,” said R.M. Orton, city manager. “He always gave generously of time and money toward every movement of benefit to the city of Monterey. I feel it was a privilege and an honor for me to have known him and to have been associated with him in efforts of the city to secure federal appropriations for construction of our breakwater.” Fire Chief W.E. parker, friend of Greene for many years, said, “Harry has always been recognized as one of Monterey’s outstanding citizens and was one of the real leaders in development of the city. We are all going to miss him a lot.”
Monterey Peninsula Herald, CA Nov 15, 1933
Last Rites Held for H.A. Greene
Relatives and friends of Harry Ashland Greene paid the Monterey pioneer a final tribute this afternoon at funeral services held at the Dorney funeral chapel. Scores of men and women from all walks of life, many from distant sections of the state, attended the services which were under the direction of the local Elks lodge. The impressive rites ritual was led by Dr. James D. Finley, exalted ruler, and other officers. Greene died late Monday afternoon from the effects of a heart attack suffered several days previous. He was born in San Francisco 81 years ago. A resident of Monterey since 1886, Greene influenced the development of the old capital probably more than any other individual. He fought many years for a breakwater, spent time and money in an attempt to build a Monterey-Fresno railroad, erected the city’s first modern building, helped give Monterey it’s first electric lights, operated the old street railroad and was always a leader in civic and business affairs that would advance the interests of Monterey. Following the funeral services, Greene’s remains were taken to Santa Cruz for cremation.
Copyright (c) 2017 The Monterey County Herald
Greene, Harry A., married I., age 81, died in Monterey County on Nov. 13, 1933