One of the Civil War veterans buried in the Dayton Cemetery is Jesse C. Green. He is buried there because he died unexpectedly while visiting his brother Basil, who lived in Dayton, but he lived his life elsewhere. He was born near Newark, Licking County, Ohio, November 20, 1832, to Isaac and Elizabeth (Brown) Green.
In 1847 he moved to Crawford County, Illinois, with his parents, where he farmed with his father and brothers. On August 25, 1852, he married Isabel Whitmer in Crawford County, Illinois. They had one son, Hamer Herschel Green, born December 21, 1854. Isabel died in 1856 and in February 1857 he married Anne E. Brown, also in Crawford County. They had two daughters, Ida and Lula.
He didn’t remain in Illinois, though, as he was in Mississippi in 1860. He appears to have taken up his calling as a minister at that time. As the war approached, he returned to Licking County, and there enlisted as a private in the 95th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. At that time he was 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light colored hair. He was married and a minister.
The Ohio 95th was mustered in for three years service in Columbus, Ohio, on August 19, 1862. The next day they moved to Lexington, Kentucky, and then made a rapid march to Richmond, arriving there about midnight one week before the battle at that place on August 29th and 30th. The men lay on the pavement or ground the rest of the night and the combination of over-exertion and exposure injured his health. He was sent to the Regimental hospital and was captured in the battle which followed. He was retained as a nurse to wounded men, but overworked and became ill again. After the exchange of prisoners on November 20, 1862, when ambulances arrived, he was sent home to recover his strength. He returned to the Regiment in very feeble condition and was never able to make a single march of any considerable distance afterward without being taken into the ambulance and being sick for days or weeks afterward. (This description was given by the regimental surgeon in testimony to support Jesse’s request for an invalid pension, so may be somewhat exaggerated.) He was discharged for promotion December 14th, 1864, in order to re-enlist as the chaplain. He was mustered out in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 14, 1865, and in later years received a pension for the stomach disability resulting from the forced march.
Following the war, he came back to Illinois and was admitted on trial as a Methodist minister in the Olney District in 1865, He was appointed to various Southern Illinois Conference churches in Macon, Richland, Edwards, Wayne & Fayette Counties, Illinois. In 1878 he moved to Oak Grove, Florida, but stayed only a year. Due to his ill health he moved frequently, always hoping for a better climate. He spent several years each in Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, and Georgia, finally settling in Sutherland, Florida in 1902, where he had a thriving real estate business.
On August 20, 1910, the Tampa Tribune noted that Rev. J. C. Green had gone to Illinois to visit a brother and other relatives. The brother was Basil Green, of Dayton, whom he had not seen for thirty years. During the visit a party celebrating the 80th birthdays of Rebecca Green Trumbo (September 8) and Basil (September 17) was held at Basil’s house. A group picture was taken at the party and one of the thirty-eight attendees was identified as Jesse C. Green (see picture above). Not long after, Jesse was taken ill and after several weeks of ill health he died October 9 and was buried in the Dayton Cemetery.
His obituary in the Tampa Tribune highlighted his association with Southern College:
Word has been received here of the death of Rev. J. C. Green in Illinois, where he had been visiting a brother. He was perhaps one of the oldest residents of Sutherland, having moved here just before Southern College was opened. Since he has been one of the most ardent supporters of the college and has likewise been a benefactor of almost every other institution of the church. He has been a liberal contributor to every religious movement and was always foremost in promoting anything tending to the spiritual welfare of the community.