Photo of The Month – May 2009
Fred & Nora
Picture contributor: Linda Webster Poteat
Fred and Nora Green in their garden reminds us of that famous painting, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, with a garden tiller replacing the pitchfork. The photo may have been made to accompany a story on their 50th wedding anniversary or the announcement of their retirement to their “Green Acres” out near Luckadoo Hill, that very steep slope on Highway 120.
There is much on this site about Nora and her family, the Campbell’s. Here’s a profile of Fred:
The son of John D. and Alice Simmons Green, Fred Davis Green was born on April 4, 1898. In the 1900 census the Green family is listed on Ladshaw Street in Henrietta. Fred, his Sisters Corrie and Reva, along with his mother’s brothers Stephen and Dewey Simmons complete the listing of the Green household.
Apparently Fred’s parents died or met with some other fate by 1910, for Fred and his siblings were living with his grandparents, John N. Green and Tempa Jane Simmons Green, in Number 2 Township of Cleveland County.
On June 5, 1918, Fred registered for the World War I Draft. He gave as his employer the Cliffside Mills, his date of birth as 4 September 1897, and his place of birth as Cleveland County. His home address was listed as Cliffside, NC. Fred named his sister Corrie Green of Cliffside as his next of kin. That information suggests that Fred’s parents and sister Reva were dead. (Their grave markers in the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Cemetery in Cleveland County, as listed by W. D. Floyd, have no inscriptions.)
Fred was drafted into the Army and served overseas in the Great War, and may have been gassed. Those who remember him say he had a noticeable breathing problem, often wheezing and gasping. Otherwise, he returned home safely. By 1920 he was living on Cliffside Street at his grandmother’s, Tempa Jane Simmons Green. He was 22 and a weaver in the mill.
Fred’s great grandparents, David H. and Nancy Hamrick Green, lived in an intensely challenging time. David died shortly after receiving wounds at the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. Somehow Nancy persevered during the Reconstruction period. Census records indicate she reared children Judea, Mary Elizabeth and John N. Green to maturity. John is Fred’s grandfather and played an important part in his life.
No doubt, while serving his country in World War I, Fred had time to think about the challenge his great grandfather Green experienced at Gettysburg. The pride he developed can be seen in his marching in the Veterans Parade in Cliffside on February 4, 1955.
Fred’s and Nora Campbell’s wedding was performed on February 2, 1921 by Baptist Minister D. J. Hunt, in the home of the bride in Cliffside. Witnesses were Mrs. J. S. Rudisill, R. R. James and James Blanton. The groom was 23 years old; the bride 26.
By the time the 1930 census was enumerated Fred and Nora were living on Railroad Street in Cliffside. Both were working in the mill. He was a loom fixer. She was a weaver. They may have kept these jobs for the rest of their working lives.
Fred’s uncle, Charlie Green, was the song leader at the Baptist Church and a foreman in the mill. In 1930 he lived on Cliffside Street with his wife Lofa Scruggs Green.
Sometime before 1935 Fred and Nora moved to West 1st Avenue, behind the Memorial Building, where they lived for several decades
Nora died on April 24, 1974. About five months later, on September 15, Fred was killed in an auto accident. We’ve posted both their obituaries here.
Editor’s note: One of Cliffside’s social dilemmas is knowing whether certain families—or individuals within a family—spell their name as “Green” or “Greene,” “Robison” or “Robinson,” “Crow” or “Crowe,” etc. On his census pages, and on his draft registration, Fred’s family name is spelled simply “Green.” Yet, in his obituary and on his tombstone, the “e” is added.
Our thanks to Judson O. (Bud) Crow for providing this information, along with Fred’s family tree.