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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Green, Thomas Alexander

by A. T. Dill, 1986

25 June 1846–17 July 1932

Thomas Alexander Green, leading private banker and supporter of public school education in the postbellum years, was born in New Bern, the son of Thomas Green, a shipmaster, and Annie M. Curtis Green. He was the grandson of Captain Joseph Green, a Continental line commissary officer. Young Green was apprenticed to a carpenter and later paid out of his earnings for his own private schooling. In 1868, he entered the grocery business and married Harriett Howard Meadows of New Bern. He helped to found the New Bern Cotton Exchange in 1879. At this period he was interested in shipping and in the cottonseed oil business. In 1885 he joined Claude E. Foy, Clement Manley, and the later U.S. Senator F. M. Simmons in the banking house Green, Foy & Company; Green remained an officer in the successor banks of subsequent years. Three years before, with his election to the board of the New Bern Academy, he began a lifelong interest (for most of these years as chairman of the academy) in support of public school development.

In 1882, Green joined the Methodist church, which he served in many capacities. About this time he became a member and master of St. John's Lodge No. 3, A.F. & A.M., of which he would be master many times. He also was elected to the board of the Oxford Orphanage, a position he held until his death. He served a brief term on the New Bern board of aldermen and was the first captain of the old Atlantic Steam Fire Engine Company. From 1891 to 1893 he served as one of the early presidents of the North Carolina Firemen's Association. He and Mrs. Green, whose daughter Clara Maria married a New Bern mayor, A. T. Dill, were among the first patrons of the New Bern Library Association. Green continued most of his public duties until his last illness. He died in New Bern at age eighty-five and was buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery.


Samuel A. Ashe, Cyclopedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas of the Nineteenth Century (1892).

Information on Green in the Minutes of St. John's Lodge No. 3, A.F. & A. M., and in the records of the New Bern Public Schools, Methodist Church, and Oxford Orphanage.

Oxford Orphan's Friend and Masonic Journal 57 (1 Aug. 1932).

Raleigh News and Observer, 18 July 1932.

Additional Resources:

History of North Carolina Vol. VI: North Carolina biography. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co. 1919. 268. (accessed March 25, 2014).

"Thomas A. Green." Prominent people of North Carolina: brief biographies of leading people for ready reference purposes. Asheville, N.C. [N.C.]: Evening News Pub. Co., 1906. 114. (accessed March 25, 2014).

Thorne, Barbara Maxine Howard. The Heritage of Craven County, North Carolina, Volume 1. Eastern North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1984. 88, 149-150. (accessed March 25, 2014).

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