Monday, April 21, 2014

52 Ancestors: #14 John D. Green, M. D.

John D. Green
John D. Green was born in Arlington, Indiana on January 9, 1864.  He was the ninth child of Dr. James Wilkinson Green and Mary Jane Gowdy.  His parents did not give him a middle name, so he later assumed the middle initial D.  I guess his parents ran out of naming ideas after nine children, although they later had four more children (with middle names.)

John married Lavanche Emarine Trees, a native of Rush County, in Manilla, Indiana on August 2, 1893.  Shortly after he and Lavanche were married, his father-in-law, Cyrus Trees, asked why he had not become a doctor like his five brothers.  John was working as a telegrapher on the B & O Railroad at the time.  He replied to his father-in-law that he guessed his father had run out of money and could not send him to medical school.  Cyrus said he would send him and did so.

The residence of Dr. Green at Manilla

John left Rush County, Indiana and went to school at Louisville Medical College in Kentucky while my great-grandfather, James Cyrus Green, was just a baby. When the family first lived in Louisville, Little James Cyrus had to sleep in a dresser drawer set across two straight back chairs as a makeshift crib.  John graduated in 1896, then moved back home to Rush County to begin his practice.

John D. and Lavanche Green

Two more children were added to the family: Mary Catherine (1896), and Maurice Thomas (1903).  Mary died from the measles a month before her sixth birthday in 1902; she never met her brother Maurice.  Maurice struggled with asthma all his life and also died relatively young at the age of 26, from tuberculosis.

Dr. Green built up a large medical practice in Rush and Shelby Counties and also became involved in several fraternities and lodges.

After returning home one day from a house call, the doctor went outside to feed the chickens.  His wife found him in the yard, unable to get up.  He lost consciousness and died of a stroke the next morning, February 26, 1921. He was 57. 


  1. Wow! So interesting. I grew up in that house and have often wondered about its history. The town story is his brother built the other house in Manilla that looks similar. Do you know of any such link?

    1. I know that John D. Green's father-in-law Cyrus Trees built one of the largest houses in Manilla, perhaps that's the connection. I have a picture of Cyrus' house (which is still standing) in a blog post about him here:

      Thanks for reading!