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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Lord Wellington Greenwood

The building interests of Petaluma are well represented by a great many able men, but none are more worthy or possess more tact and ability than L. W. Greenwood. He was born in Todmorden, Lancashire, England, January 15, 1867, the son of William Greenwood, a prominent plasterer and Sarah Sunderland. She was the daughter of Lord Wellington Sunderland, who fought under the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo and was descended from the old Wellington family, while his wife was of the family of Fergus O'Connor, the fighters for the freedom of Ireland. In the parental family there were ten children, five of whom are living, L. W. Greenwood being the only one in the United States. His educational advantages were very limited and he is truly a self-made man. He was put to work at the age of seven in his father's casting shop, making himself useful and finding plenty to do, seemingly never idle a moment, and thus he learned the rudiments of the plasterer's trade. Being the oldest son of a plasterer it was not necessary for him to be bound apprentice, but applying himself steadily he learned the trade under his father and when twenty years of age became foreman, a position he filled with credit for different firms for seven years. He then began contract plastering, slate roofing, and tiling and in a few years had a large business extending all over England, his headquarters being at Nelson.

In August, 1903, Mr. Greenwood came to the United States, making the trip through Canada to Montana and on to the Pacific coast, but returned to Boston, Mass., where his wife joined him. He was employed as foreman in Boston until the fall of 1905, when he removed to Detroit and was foreman for the Concrete Steel and Tile Construction Company until August, 1906, when he located in Petaluma, Cal. Here he became foreman of the construction of the large concrete tanks at the Jacobi winery, lining them with glass and was engaged here for a period of nine months, when he started contract plastering in which he has been exceptionally successful, and among some of the many buildings he has completed we find the following: Gossage building, Baptist Church, Prince building, Wickersham building, McNear building, Cotati school, Wilson school, Parochial residence at Olema, Odd Fellows Hall in Sonoma, Farrell and Stratton residences in Petaluma and about four hundred other residences. He also built his own residence at No. 406 Eighth street, where he has his business headquarters.

Mr. Greenwood was married, in Burnley, Lancashire, England, July 22, 1895, to Mrs. Emma (Bailey) Shackelton, who was also born in Lancashire, the daughter of James and Margaret (Holland) Bailey, the father being a large general contractor. Her first marriage was to James Shackelton, a capitalist and speculator. Three children were born of this marriage: James, manager of a cotton mill in Rio Janeiro; Margaret, the wife of Fred Nauert, Jr., of Los Angeles; and Annie, the wife of Park Van Bebber, of Petaluma. Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood have only one child, May. They are both Episcopalians in their religious belief and support that denomination. Mrs. Greenwood is a woman of rare ability, having mastered moulding and casting and does all the ornamental work that her husband uses in his business. They both have already gained hosts of friends, whom they delight to welcome to their home.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011