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Joseph James Greathead (1)
Sarah Dunstall
William Sands
Alice Richards
Arthur William Greathead
Rachel Sands

Ernest Edward Greathead


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Helen A. Turner

Ernest Edward Greathead 73

  • Born: 24 Feb 1864, Barnstable, Devon, England 13,73,287
  • Marriage: Helen A. Turner on 20 Oct 1897 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 285,286
  • Died: 9 Sep 1957, Oakland, CA at age 93 73,262

bullet  General Notes:

Married to Helen Turner. No children. Master Mason. Great uncle of Richard Perry Radcliffe.

Earnest was listed as a salesman in haberdashery (Ancestry, T625 - 1920 US census, T625 Roll 342 page 6A Enumeration District 1468 Image 805.)

Written by Alice Nelson McCoy to Sally Packard:

"Ernie had a "speckled career," met his second wife Helen Turner, in Chicago, then moved to Oakland, Calif. "

Written by Sally Packard: Ernie emigrated to the U.S. with his mother Rachel Sands Greathead in 1870. On the way here, "Ernie fell down a hatchway on the ship and knocked his baby teeth out. When his permanent teeth came in they were all black, so he had false teeth all his life. It didn't keep him from eating. He was a great tea drinker and smoked cigars. He said that when they rode the train from New York to Michigan they looked out the windows and saw corn growing. They decided that it must be tobacco. His cousins in Michigan were named Chick and Joe. He called them "the girls." One of them had been a secretary at Kellogg cereal. He claimed that once a freight train derailed on the way to Battle Creek. A box car split open and was found to be full of peanut shells. He asked Chick if that is what cornflakes are made of. She said, "I cannot answer any questions. He was a Scottish Rite Mason. He would rent a car from one of his lodge brothers to drive to Battle Creek, putting his age on the application, '65+' "

From Sally Packard letter 12-17-2005:

"Earnest Greathead sold his apartment building on Magnolia Street on the north side and moved to California to live with Aunt Sadie about 1955. I still have some of his furniture including 4 little pine kitchen chairs. His story about them was that they belonged to his father-in-law whom he called Old Man Turner. He was a carpenter and a house builder and when the Chicago Fire broke out in 1871 he lived on Adams St., but had a house under construction on Ellis, about 3500 south. He moved in a big hurry. According to Ernie, he "carried those chairs on his back." Ernie attended Preston Bradley's church on the north side, People's Church. "Very fine man, Dr. Bradley." (Ernie always liked to brag about the important people he had known.) He looked on the doings at our house with tolerant amusement. He was a tolerant person, more broad-minded in his views than most of his generation. He had been in the men's furnishings business and had worked most of his life with Jews and always spoke well of them. (When he was surprised he would life both hands and say "Ai-yi-yi") He deplored the expulsion of the Japanese from California. At one time he was the oldest man in California to have a driver's license. He never flew in a plane; took the Spirit of San Francisco to California every time.

We own a letter on Coit-Ramsey Hotel stationery from Ernie to Alice G. Radcliffe. It reads:
Dec. 4th [1953]
My Dear Alice --
I am sending you today a package by Registered Mail of three rings. The large one for yourself. The one with the blue stone and two diamonds for Sally, and the baby ring I have only one it is up to you who to give it to as there are three little girls and I am not saying which one to give it to have had them here in the safety vault for a long time and it is time I passed them along. We are going along as usual even to San Jose for Thanksgiving dinner. There were 19 Greatheads at the Table including the inlaws. These rings were all Helen's and have had them in the valut ever since she died. I suppose Sally is all settled in her new home by this time Western Springs is a very nice place not far out I have been there many times. Hello to Laura and Rich Uncle Ernie"

Uncle Ernie went to noon meal every Sunday at Alice Radcliffe's house when he lived in Chicago. Source: Sally Packard. Also from Sally, she said that Ernie owned a flat building in Chicago.


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Immigration, 1855. 13 He was naturalized, according to the 1910 census.

Residence, 7 Jun 1880, Hanover Street, Marshall, Calhoun, MI. 25 Living here are Rachel Greathead as head of house, Frederick, Sarah J., Alfred J., and Ernest E. Greathead.

Military Service: Inter Ocean Newspaper, 30 Nov 1886, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 288 "Governor Oglesby Wednesday approved the finding of the court-martial in the case of Private Ernest Greathead, of Chicago, for desertion during the Packington strike." Prior to this news article, on 11-13 of the same year, the headlines in the Inter Ocean read, "Evidence in the Greathead Court Martial -- The Boys in Blue Improving Daily." I suppose this court martial is what made Alice Nelson McCoy say that Uncle Ernie had a "speckled" career!

Military Discharge: court marshalled, Dishonorable Discharge, 27 Nov 1886, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 173 "Private Greathead on Trial for Absence Without Leave.
A little, dark office across the yard from brigade headquarters was selected as the place of meeting for the garrison court-marshal, and at 10 o'clock Col. F.Q. Ball, the Judge Advocate, stood up before the assembled officers, soldiers, reporters, and an idle office clerk or two, and read the regular order for the holding of the court. Then he swore in Maj. Koch as its President, and Capt. Milce and Lieut. M. Millan as members, and the Major returned the compliment by swearing in Col. Ball as the Judge Advocate. Ernest Greathead had been given the liberty of the barracks and yard upon his parole, but at the call of the President he walked in accompanied by his employer, Mr. Scott. He did not appear at all at ease, and was anything but self-possessed throughout the entire proceedings. The charges against him in due form signed by the First-Lieutenant of his company, Adolph U. Annas, were read to him. They were two, with one detailed specification under each. The first that he was absent without leave, the time and place being set forth in the specifications, with the charge that he did not return until he was arrested. The second was disobedience of orders, and that he asked for leave of absence and was told that he must remain, and then went away.
Capt. Gordon H. Quinn, the commander of D Company, took the stand, and in response to questions by the Judge Advocate and the President of the court, made a statement to the effect that the accused had applied for leave of absence Tuesday on the plea that he wanted to come to the city and get a pair of pants. Under orders from Col. Knox he was told that he could not go, and if he wanted the clothing he could have it sent out to him. He had reported the absentee to the Colonel when it was learned that Greathead had gone, and he was ordered to get him, while a telephone message was sent to the armory to hold him if he put in an appearance there. After corroborative testimony the Judge Advocate submitted the case for the prosecution, and Mr. Scott took the stand to give Greathead the best possible recommendation.
Greathead was then sworn and told that this was his opportunity to make a statement. The gist of his statement was that he was not well, and thought more of getting home and donning warm, dry clothing than of his orders. He intended going back to the yards. There was a good deal of talk about company affairs of no interest to the general public and some rebutting testimony by Capt. Quinn.
At the conclusion of the taking of evidence the great court-martial of the Stock-Yards campaign proceeded to lock itself in to digest the testimony and reach a finding. This will be kept secret, as well as the sentence until Gen. Fitz-Simmons has passed upon it and forwarded it to the Governor, who will publish the finding in orders with his approval, if it meets with it. There is some hope that the result of the matter may be known in a week, and there is the greatest reason for thinking that under the State law the punishment cannot go farther than a dishonorable discharge." Chi. Tribune, 11-13-1886, p. 1
From the Biennial Report of the Adjutant-General's office, 1885-1886:
"To Brigadier General Chaeles Fitz Simons. Commanding First Brigade, I.N.G.
General -- I have the honor to report that upon the tour of duty at the Union Stock Yards in Cook county, from Nov. 8, 1886 to Nov. 18, 1886, the only matter coming within my department as Judge Advocate, was the trial of Private Ernest E. Greathead, of Co. D. 1st Regiment. I.N.G. for absence without leave and disobedience of orders. The court made its findings November 12, 1886, and the record thereof was handed to the Adjutant General upon the following day. The entire command is entitled to great praise for attention to orders and promptness in every duty during that tour, with the above exception. Respectfully submitted, Farlin Q. Ball, Lieutenant Colonel and Judge Advocate.

"The court marshall recently engaged investigating the case of Cadet Greathead, who deserted his company while on duty at Packington during the strike, has made known its decision. The sentence of the court, approved by the commander-in-chief, is to the effect that the accused shall forfeit all pay due to the amount of one month's pay; to be discharged from the service and to be debarred from holding any position in the military service of the state for the period of three years from November 12, 1886." Decatur Daily Review
The Encyclopedia of Chicago, it says, "In 1886, Chicago was the center for another labor upheaval. Approximately 88,000 workers in 307 separate strikes demanded the eight-hour day that year, most of them on May 1. Industry was paralyzed, and the city 'assumed a sabbath like appearance." I might guess that the Packington strike was one of those 307 strikes, one in the meat packing area but not the major bomb-throwing affair known as the Haymarket Riot.

Naturalization, 27 Mar 1891, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 289 In Circuit Court. There is an X in the row labeled Date and port of arrival in U.S., probably because he came as a minor.

Residence, 1896-1897, boards at the Hyde Park Hotel. 85 Regarding the Hyde Park Hotel from Wikipedia:

at 53rd Street and Lake Michigan. The hotel became the focal point of the community and drew affluent guests with leisure time and discretionary income. This site is now occupied by the Hampton House. The hotel also helped others to envision a thriving affluent community in the area. By 1861, the residents petitioned the Illinois General Assembly to create the Hyde Park Township. See photo box.

Occupation: "com. trav." at 248 Jackson, 1896. 85

Occupation: salesman, 1897, 248 Jackson, Chicago, Cook, IL. 85

Residence: boards at the Hotel Del Prado, 1898, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 85 From a 2001 article about the Del Prado: "Located on the southeast corner of 53rd and Hyde Park Boulevard, the legendary Del Prado building once housed the very elegant Del Prado Hotel and is now home to the prestigious Hyde Park Art School and Gallery and the Del Prado Apartments. The Del Prado was once known as "the" place to eat, meet and greet for the University of Chicago set as well as visitors to the Universitys internationally known cultural and academic institutions.

A short walk from the Del Prado, one can enjoy a visit to the Oriental Museum, which, due to some quite generous endowments, has become an extraordinary site for viewing a distinctive collection of ancient Near East and Egyptian artifacts."

Occupation: salesman, 1898, 230 Market. 85

Residence, 14 Jun 1900, Lake Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 34 He was a boarder here. His wife, Helen, isn't mentioned as living here with him. I find her living with her mother and two brothers on June 12, 1900. She's listed under her maiden name.

Occupation: clerk, 14 Jun 1900, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 34

Travel, 26 Aug 1902, Marshall, Calhoun County, MI. 290 "E.E. Greathead returned to Chicago Sunday night."

Travel, 10 Aug 1906, Marshall, Calhoun County, MI. 290 "E.G. (sic) Greathead representing a fire hose company of Chicago, is in town today. He formerly lived here."

Residence, 16 Apr 1910, 4609 Michigan Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 13 Living here are Carrie K. "Yuener" (Turner), her son Thomas, Helen Greathead (her daughter), and Helen's husband Earnest Greathead.

Occupation: Salesman at a Haberdashery firm, 16 Apr 1910, Chicago, Cook , IL, USA. 13

Organizations: Master Mason. 11

Residence, 1916, 843 Leland, Chicago, Cook, IL. 80 His phone # was Sunnyside 6134.

Residence, 1917-1920, 925 Leland, Chicago, Cook, IL. 80 Living here in 1920 are Joseph Hodek's family, Ernest E. as head, his wife Helen, and Helen's mother, Carrie K.

Occupation: Salesman in Haberdashery, 1920. 14

Residence, 1924, 4432 Prairie Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 80

Residence, 3 Apr 1930, 4834 Magnolia Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 3 Living here were Ernest E. Greathead, head and his wife Helen T. plus the Olson family of five.

Residence, 24 Apr 1940, 4834 Magnolia Ave., Chicago, Cook, IL. 6 Living here are Ernest E. Greathead and his brother-in-law Thomas Turner.

Alt. Death: Alameda, CA. 262,268

Obituary: Chicago Tribune, 1957. 31 Chicago Tribune (IL) - September 13, 1957
Deceased Name: Ernest E. Greathead
--Ernest E. Greathead, age 93, passed away in Oakland, Calif. on Sept. 9, 1957. Husband of the late Helen Greathead; brother of Mrs. Sarah G. Hammond; uncle of Arthur W., Leonard W. Sr.,and Kenneth S. Grethead, Mrs. Alice Radcliffe, Mrs. Esther Nelson, and Mrs. Louisa A. Carter. Member of Edgewater lodge No. 901, A. F. & A. M. of Chicago. Services were held Thursday, Sept. 12, at Truman's chapel, Oakland, Cal.
Chicago Tribune (IL)
Date: September 13, 1957
Edition: Chicago Tribune
Record Number: 19570913dn050
Copyright 1957, Chicago Tribune. For permission to reprint, contact Chicago Tribune.


Ernest married Helen A. Turner, daughter of Thomas M. Turner and Carrie H. Farmer, on 20 Oct 1897 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 285.,286 (Helen A. Turner was born about 1868 in Illinois 291 and died on 18 Oct 1938 in Chicago, Cook , IL, USA 54,292.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

The following is an excerpt from a Chicago Tribune article about why people were going to Milwaukee to get married. The article appeared in 1894. "The Whaleback is responsible for these cheap marriages. It costs $2 for a license in Chicago, while no licenses are required here. The $2 will pay for a wedding trip on the Whaleback. The Chicago young man who wants to get married can do so by coming to Milwaukee. The expenses are:

Round trip for two on steamer...$2.00
Splicing by Milwaukee Justice....2.00
Street car fare and incidentals..1.00

This is cheap and besides the young man has not to go to the expense of giving a reception and entertaining his friends at a big celebration.

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