Ernest M. Green

July 10, 1905 ~ March 21, 2001

 

At the time of Ernest M. Green’s birth, July 10, 1905, his family was living in the eastern Sierra-Nevada gold-mining town of Bodie, California, now a California State Park. His father was in charge of the cyanide process at the Standard Mill, extracting the gold from the crushed rock in which the gold was found. Because of the mill owner’s liking for the Green family, he provided a wagon and team of horses to transport Ernest’s mother the approximately 90 miles to Bishop for the birth. Ernest became the third of four boys the couple would have, the previous two having been born in Virginia City, Nevada. With the mining dying down in Bodie, the family moved to Bishop where they settled on the Nine-Mile Ranch.

 
At a very early age the family’s doctor advised the Greens that Ernest was a sickly child who would probably not live long. Though he did not exhibit any particular symptoms, Ernest’s mother decided to keep him close to home where she could dote on him, hoping to make whatever time he had as pleasant as possible. After several years with no hint of health problems his mother turned him over to his brothers to be introduced to the great outdoors in what was then a lush valley, full of rivers, plants and animals before the diversion of the area’s water to southern California.

 
Ernest graduated from Bishop High School in three years, following older brother Roswald over the Sierras to Sonora, California, where Ros was a pharmacist. Ernest, then a teenager, began working as a delivery boy for Wolfe Drug in Sonora. At the age of 21, Ernest passed the California State Pharmacy exam.

 
In the late 1920s he moved down the hill from Sonora to Merced, taking a job at the Valley Drug Company on Main at “M” Street where County Bank is now located, eventually becoming a partner in the ownership of the store and managing it until his retirement in 1970. He married Helen Virginia Norris in 1936, and in 1939 they bought the house on “O” Street they would occupy the rest of their lives. They had two children, Carol Virginia in 1941, and Donald Edwin in 1944.

 
After retirement, Mr. Green donated his time to the restoration of the Merced County Court House and served on the County Planning Commission. He died in 2001 at the age of 94. Not bad for a sickly child

 

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