Official Nebraska Goverment Website Nebraska State Historical Society

  Saving Memories   

 
Job and Eliza Green,
Homesteaders and Farmers

Job Green was born in Illinois in 1848. His father died when he was nine years old and he helped his mother run the family farm until 1865, when he joined the Illinois Infantry to fight in the Civil War. He returned to Illinois to farm and in 1869 married Eliza Knowlton of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1871, Job traveled to Boone County, Nebraska, where he homesteaded land two miles west of the present day town of Albion. In 1872, Eliza joined Job in Nebraska, where they farmed and Eliza taught school. Eliza died in 1923 and Job in 1933.


It is unclear whether the volume that became Job Green's travel journal was initially intended for that use, because its early pages are filled with verse by Eliza R. Knowlton, Job's future wife, on the purpose of an autograph album.

Dedication for an Album

"Here shall young Genius wing his eagle flight,
Rich dewdrops shaking from his plumes of light"

Far richer jewels, and mare valued gems
Than ever graced imperial diadems-
The choicest treasures of the human mind,
Within this casket oft a place shall find.

Here, fairer, lovelier, and more fragrant flowers
Than ever bloomed beneath Arcadian bowers-
The flowers of fancy, which all hearts engage,
Shall deck each spotless and unsullied page.

Full many a cherished and familiar name,
More dear to friendship even than to fame,
Around which memory will her garlands twine,
Shall have a place within this sacred shrine.

Here shall the purest thoughts and feelings flow,
Here shall the heart's sincere affections glow;
Here virtues precepts shall the store increase,
Here shall true wisdom point to paths of peace;
While lovely friendship, with her influence wide,
Shall o'er them all in harmony preside.

And when long, circling years have rolled away,
And friends departed who are here today-
When those whose names this treasured book contains,
Are widely scattered o'er earth's distant plains,
Then shall my mind each former scene unfold,
And with those friends a sweet communion hold.

Then still each offering shall its power posess,
The rough and rugged path of life to bless;
Still shall each thought be gentle or sublime
And live as lasting and as long as time

Eliza R. Knowlton
Oct. 22nd 1865
Milwaukee Wis

 


In the 1860s and 1870s, travel to and through the West could be difficult. Early journals and diaries, such as Job's, provide an accurate picture of those difficulties, along with the pleasures and excitement of travel.

April 12 1871
Started for Nebraska, passed through Hails corners toward Troy. camped 15 miles from city roads bad night rainy, supper at 7 played checkers til ten had company and retired.

May 7
Have been busy all day cleaning up. have turned the horses out on the prairie for the first time. 9 wagons & a drove of cattle & colts passed here If I don't like Neb. I will go to Kansas here goes 2 more wagons for the west. Big Charley left us this morning went farther north.

May 13, 1871
For the last few days we have had splendid roads & weather. And it is fun to travel then. For 2 days now we have been following the Boyer River, a very deep & narrow river, & crooked, with several Mills along its banks. The valley along the river is about one mile wide, & it is very deep & rich soil, being 6 or 8 feet deep, & it is settled up as well as the Miss. Valley. I find a great many Suckers here (Illi. chaps) but after you get out of the vally it is very high & rolling prairie, not very good. One old woman said she pittied us poor men that was going to Neb. that we could not raise anything there for they tried it there all last Winter & nearly starved out, some says one thing & some another.


Eliza's diaries record the life that she and Job shared in Nebraska, beginning almost fifty years after Job's account of his trip west and ending with her death in 1923. Her entries reveal a practical side to the woman who wrote flowery verse for her future husband's journal. These journals are filled with daily chores, news of the neighborhood, and special events such as attending a Chautauqua.
 
July 27 (1920)
Chautauqua commensed today. I went this afternoon, rode with Mrs. Casper, her daughter driving -- Mrs. A. B. Browder & Mrs. Dill went with us. Music by 4 Philippinos String Band & vocal music.-Went with them again this eve. Bob Seeds was the speaker, but I was too far away to hear good.


Eliza did not totally abandon her creative muse, for her 1922 diary includes numerous entries about a booster song that she wrote for the town of Albion and her efforts to have it published, sold, and sung.

June 22 (1922)
Job picked cherries this morning & Emma & I pitted them. Emma canned or preserved 12 qts of cherries today & then went to prayer meeting.-Mrs Browder came over this afternoon & played my Booster song Albion it is quite pretty. Mr. Moor brot the mail but missed the newspapers.


Eliza's 1923 diary ends on a sad note, for it marks her death.

March 12 (1923)
Emma washing-Job went downtown. I went to bed just after breakfast & stayed till noon. I can't eat I don't feel a bit well.
(this is the last Eliza wrote: Emma. I will continue it until after her death.)

Emma, Eliza and Job's daughter, completed her mother's diary with the news of her death on March 15 and an account of her funeral and burial.

NSHS Home
Exhibits

Introduction

Hide Paintings and
       Ledger Books

Diaries and Journals
  J.A. Hill, Civil War
  W. Richards, Surveyor
  J.S. Morton, Statesman
  Sara J. Price, Teacher
       & Homesteader
  W. Danley, Businessman

  J. & E. Green, Farmers        & Homesteaders
  S. Buck, Farm Wife

Autograph Albums
  S. & E. Allis, Missionaries
  E. & L. Correll, Suffragists
  W.J. Bryan, Orator
  Lucy Drexel, Student
  Viola Barnes, Student

Scrapbooks
  D. Canfield, Author
  Willa Cather, Author
  C. Calvert, Educator
  Fenton. B. Fleming,
       Businessman
  Myrtle Soulier, Student
  Verna Cort, Student
  Martha McKelvie,
       Movie Columnist
  Emogine Moor,
       Women's Army Corps
  Scrapbooking Today

Photograph Albums
  W. B. Watson, Porter
  Margaret and Edward
       Gehrke, Adventurers
  Nan Aspinwall,
       Entertainer
  Frances M. Creech,
       Musician

Quilts
  Edith Withers Meyers,
       Quilter
  Sierra Nevada Bunnell,
       Educator

Home Movies

Future Memories

 

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Last updated 13 April 2010  

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