Frank Lester Greene
Bain News Service photo, circa 1920–1925.
|United States Senator|
March 4, 1923 – December 17, 1930
|Preceded by||Carroll S. Page|
|Succeeded by||Frank C. Partridge|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Vermont's 1st district
July 30, 1912 – March 3, 1923
|Preceded by||David J. Foster|
|Succeeded by||Frederick G. Fleetwood|
|Born||February 10, 1870|
St. Albans, Vermont
|Died||December 17, 1930 (aged 60)|
St. Albans, Vermont
|Resting place||Greenwood Cemetery, St. Albans, Vermont|
|Spouse(s)||Jessie Emma Richardson (m. February 20, 1895)|
|Children||Richardson Lester Greene (b. March 27, 1896)|
Dorothy Greene (b. November 18, 1897)
Stuart Hoadley Greene (b. December 2, 1901)
|Branch/service|| Vermont Militia|
United States Army
|Years of service||1888–1900 (Militia)|
1898 (United States Army)
3rd Brigade, First Division, Third Army Corps
A native of St. Albans, Vermont, he was educated in St. Albans and Cleveland, Ohio, and began working as a teenager to help support his family after his father became disabled. he became a clerk for the Central Vermont Railway, and later became a journalist and editor of the St. Albans Messenger newspaper. Greene also served in the militia; enlisting as a private, by the time of the Spanish–American War he was a company commander with the rank of captain. He later served on the military staff of Governor Edward Curtis Smith, with the rank of colonel; Smith had been his employer at the Central Vermont Railway and St. Albans Messenger.
Long active in politics and government as a Republican, in 1912 he won a special election to complete the term of Congressman David J. Foster, who had died. He was reelected to a full term in November 1912, and won reelection to four more terms. In 1922, Greene was election to the United States Senate. He was reelected in 1928, and served until his death. In 1924, Greene was wounded when Prohibition agents attempting to apprehend the owners of a Washington, DC moonshine still accidentally shot him in the head. Greene never fully recovered, and was left partly paralyzed. He died as the result of surgical complications while being treated for a hernia, and was buried in St. Albans.
Frank Greene was born in St. Albans, Vermont on February 10, 1870. He attended the public schools in St. Albans and Cleveland, Ohio. The Greene family had relocated to Cleveland because Frank's father Lester had become Secretary/Treasurer of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. When Frank Greene was 13 his father became ill and could no longer work. The family returned to Vermont and Frank quit school to help support his family by taking a job as a messenger with the Central Vermont Railway. He remained with the railroad until 1891, learning shorthand and stenography and advancing to the position of chief clerk in the general freight department. Having worked part-time as a correspondent for The Boston Globe and other newspapers beginning in 1888, in 1891 Greene made journalism his full-time career, first as a reporter for and later as editor of the St. Albans Messenger. He was president of the Vermont Press Association from 1904 to 1905.
Greene served in the Vermont National Guard from 1888 to 1900. Enlisting as a private, during the Spanish–American War he commanded an infantry company as a captain. Greene later served as adjutant of 3rd Brigade, First Division, Third Army Corps, with duty at Camp Thomas, Georgia and Anniston, Alabama. After the war Greene was commissioned a colonel on the staff of Edward Curtis Smith, the Governor of Vermont, and Greene's former employer on the Central Vermont Railroad and the St. Albans Messenger.
Beginning of political career
A Republican, Greene was Chairman of Vermont's Young Men's Republican Club in the 1890s. He was Chairman of the St. Albans Republican Committee, and a Delegate to several county and state conventions. He was an Alternate to the 1904 Republican National Convention and a Delegate to the one in 1908.
Greene was elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives during the 62nd Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of David J. Foster. He was reelected every two years from 1912 to 1920, and served from July 30, 1912 to March 3, 1923. In 1914 he was chairman of the Vermont State Republican Convention. He was a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution from 1917 to 1923.
In 1922 Greene was elected to the U.S. Senate. While in the Senate, he was Chairman of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (69th through 71st Congresses). Greene was reelected in 1928  and served from March 4, 1923 until his death.
On the evening of February 15, 1924, Greene was walking with his wife near an alley on Capitol Hill when Prohibition agents were about to arrest several men unloading a still from their car. The bootleggers ran, the agents fired their guns, and Greene was struck in the head by a stray bullet. Greene was in critical condition for several weeks, and never fully recovered. His right arm was paralyzed, and his legs were severely weakened.
Death and burial
Civic and fraternal memberships
Greene was a member of the Vermont Historical Society, Vermont Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Military Order of Foreign Wars, United Spanish War Veterans, Masons (Knights Templar and Shriners), Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Grange, Order of Owls, National Press Club and Army and Navy Club.
In 1895 Greene married Jessie Emma Richardson (1873–1949). They were the parents of Richardson Lester Greene (March 27, 1896 – May 28, 1980); Dorothy Greene Alexander (November 18, 1897 – December 5, 1991); and Stuart Hoadley Greene (December 2, 1901 – December 15, 1973).
- Walter Anson Greene, Ella Louise Geib Greene, A Greene Family History, 1981, page 118
- William Richard Cutter, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Volume 4, 1914, page 2193
- Prentiss Cutler Dodge, Encyclopedia of Vermont Biography, 1912, page 78
- E.P. & G.S.Walton, Vermont Year Book, Formerly Walton's Register, 1907, page 21
- Walter J. Bigelow, Vermont, Its Government, 1920, page 10
- Consolidated Publishing, Who's Who in the Nation's Capital, 1921, page 156
- Vermont Year Book, page 201
- Dodd, Mead and Company, New International Encyclopaedia, 1929, page 682
- George Derby, James Terry White, The National Cyclopædia of American Biography, Volume 3, 1920, page 471
- New York Times, U.S. Senator Greene of Vermont Dead, December 17, 1930
- Marquis Who's Who, Who Was Who in American History: The Military, 1975, page 219
- New York Times, Congress Will Lose Many Noted Chiefs, March 3, 1923
- U.S. Senate Historian, Chairmen of Senate Standing Committees, 1789-Present, 2011, page 21
- New York Times, U.S. Senators Elected, November 8, 1928
- Associated Press, Milwaukee Journal, Franke Greene, Senator, Dies, December 18, 1930
- Atlanta Constitution, U.S. Senator Shot In Effort To Save Wife From Injury, February 16, 1924
- Hartford Courant, U.S. Senator Shot as "Dry" Officers Fight Bootleggers, February 16, 1924
- New York Times, Shot by Dry Agent Hits U.S. Senator, February 15, 1924
- Atlanta Constitution, Wounded Senator May Now Survive, February 22, 1924
- New York Times, Senator Greene Refuses $7,500 Voted to Him by Congress for Wounding by Dry Agent, March 15, 1927
- John J. Duffy, Samuel B. Hand, Ralph H. Orth, editors, The Vermont Encyclopedia, 2003, page 142
- Chicago Tribune, Frank Greene, Senator From Vermont, Dead, December 18, 1930
- Edward W. Pickard, Three Forks News, News Review of Current Events Around the World, January 8, 1931
- New York Times, Senator Greene Buried, December 21, 1930
- Boston Globe, Pay Last Tribute to Senator Greene, December 21, 1930
- Who's Who in the Nation's Capital, page 156
- William Arba Ellis, Norwich University, 1819-1911: Her History, Her Graduates, Her Roll of Honor, Volume 3, 1911, pages 529-530
- Bigelow, Vermont, Its Government, page 10
- United States Congress. "Frank L. Greene (id: G000425)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2009-5-19
- Inventory of the Frank Lester Greene Papers, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library
- Bootleggers In Washington
|U.S. House of Representatives|
David J. Foster
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's 1st congressional district
1912 – 1923
Frederick G. Fleetwood
Carroll S. Page
| U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Vermont
1923 – 1930
Served alongside: William P. Dillingham, Porter H. Dale
Frank C. Partridge