Monday, February 27, 2012

Lewis M. Green

Lewis M. Green, one time travelling clock salesman, notable Freemason and five-term mayor of Woodbury, made his eventual fortune from a handful of flowers. A sufferer of dyspepsia, Green was prescribed various herbal remedies that worked so well (not least to mention some of the ingredients being opium and alcohol, legal in those days), he purchased their formulas and went on to market, "Green's August Flower" and "Boschee's German Syrup". Green eventually sold the business, with an annual royalty agreement and stipulation that the enterprise need remain within Woodbury, to his son George Gill, who went on to become the city's first millionaire.

The Green family are largely identified with the general improvement of Woodbury during the Victorian era, adding to its growth and beauty by the erection of magnificent dwellings and places of business and entertainment. Lewis M. Green's own home is not exempt from this proud status. Once located at 255 South Broad St.,  on the NW corner of W. German St. (now Barber Ave.) and Broad St., the former site of this fine Italianate structure is now home to a drug store chain and large parking lot. It was torn down in 1944 for a gas station. Let that be a lesson to us. NOT ALL PROGRESS IS GOOD. Sigh... *

This fine home was built soon after the Civil War.
It stood for almost 75 years and was known for its
French plate glass and handsome ironwork.
circa 1886
circa 1883
Lewis M. Green was personally responsible for constructing the Second Empire style mansard roofed Green Castle Hotel which has been recently threatened to be razed. Another notable contribution was the establishing of the lovely Green Cemetery located on Barber Avenue. Carpenter and Carter (1937) write:

In the early spring Lewis M. Green had purchased 2000 trees and shrubs for transplanting in his cemetery enterprise out Glassboro avenue. They included European larch, curl leaf birch, many varieties of evergreens, the variegated althea which flowers early in the fall, and many other ornamental trees and shrubs. The cemetery was a favorite interest of Mr. Green, and in his last will he made ample provision for its permanency.

On a Tuesday evening, 2 Jan 1894, Lewis M. Green at age 77 died at his home. He was buried Saturday the 6th in Green's Cemetery. Happy to say his cemetery at least still exists today in 2012.

image: Walter Hellerman

image: Walter Hellerman

Carpenter, J. D., & Carter, B. F. (1937). History of Woodbury, New Jersey: From 1681 to 1936. Woodbury, NJ: Gloucester County Historical Society.
Cushing, T., & Shepard, C. E. (1883). History of the counties of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland New Jersey : With biographical sketches of their prominent citizens.Woodbury, NJ: Gloucester County Historical Society.
Woodbury (N.J.). (1971). Century of progress: Woodbury, N.J., 1871-1971. Woodbury, N.J: The Committee.
* this is what the site of the house looks like today:


Scott S. Drake said...

Great post and thanks for preserving this history on my great great great grandfather. I have not seen some of these images of Lewis Green's home. I think I shared with you the passage from one of the Woodbury history books that detailed the resignation of Lewis Green as Mayor b/c he was feed up with having to handle duties he felt like the sheriff or police should handle...yet the city council did not accept his resignation. Very cool great job.