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The Ezra Greene House, 206 Division St., East Greenwich, carries the name of a Civil War veteran who served in a company of volunteers that included men from the Kentish Guards.

In 1846, Eleanor Eldredge, widow of Dr. Charles Eldredge and daughter of Thomas and Hannah (Spink) Fry, sold a large lot of land on the corner of Division Street and Kenyon Avenue to Lawton Greene. This large lot actually included the land where the house next door at 178 Division St. is now located.

Lawton Greene was a seventh-generation descendant of John Greene of Quidnessett, an early 17th century settler in North Kingstown, and from a totally different family than that of Surgeon John Greene, one of the first settlers of Warwick, who was the ancestor of Gen. Nathanael and Gov. William Greene. Lawton Greene, who was a house carpenter, died in 1861, and left the land to his widow, Sarah A. (Card) Greene. In 1875, Sarah (who by then had married Jeremiah S. Slocum) sold the corner lot to her son, Ezra Greene, also a house carpenter, who built this large and prominent house at 206 Division St.

Ezra Greene was a Civil War veteran, having served in Company H of the 2nd R.I. Volunteers, which was made up of men from the Kentish Guards. This unit saw major action, and was involved in 14 battles. He served as a private from June 1861 to February 1862, when he was transferred to the Western Gun Boat service. When Ezra died in 1889, his widow, Phebe, and their married daughters, Hattie, 42, and Jennie, 40, transferred the house back to Ezra’s remarried mother, Sarah A. Slocum. Sarah turned right around and transferred the house to Lillian E. (Andrews) Greene, the wife of another of her sons, William R. Greene. William and Lillian moved here from Providence, and lived in the house until 1902. At that time, they sold it to Margaret F. (Lewis) Greene, the wife of still another brother, George C. Greene, who also was a Civil War veteran, serving as a private in the 1st Light Battery, R.I. Volunteers, May through August 1861.

In 1910, Margaret and George Greene sold the house to Eugene Andrews Eddy, who owned Eddy Machinery Co. in Providence, a manufacturer of jewelry machinery. He “was liked for his happy and cheerful disposition, and his good fellowship.” He was commodore of the East Greenwich Yacht Club in 1922. He and his wife, Rosanna (Roberts) Eddy, had four children: Eugene, born in 1917; Nancy, 1919; Robert, 1920; and Rosanna, 1924. He died in 1924, just seven months after the birth of their fourth child. Rosanna married Daniel Ray Arnold, a World War I veteran. His 1917 draft card shows that he was 30, born in 1887 in Putnam, Connecticut; he was a manager at Warwick Coal Co., and was tall with brown eyes and hair. Rosanna and Ray remained in the house until 1930.

In 1930, Mary Alice Dunn, the wife of A. Girard Dunn, bought the house. They had previously lived next door at 178 Division St., continuing the tradition of the Greenes moving between these two houses. Mr. Dunn was a World War I veteran. His 1917 draft card shows that he was born in 1895 in Boston, and was a manager for Swift-McNutt Construction Co. of Providence. He was described as being tall with a medium build, blue eyes and brown hair, and was listed as “slightly deaf.” Dunn was a building contractor. His best-known project locally was the old Almacs plaza on Main Street, where CVS is now located, but he had a number of projects that changed the look of Main Street. The Dunns lived here with their three children – Gerard, born in 1923; Alice, 1924; and Mary, 1927 – and a servant, 62-year-old Swedish immigrant Charles Inglund.

In 1935, the Dunns sold the house to John E. and Alice J. Smith. John was a real estate agent, and they lived here for 16 years with their children – Alice, born in 1929; and John, 1934 – and Helen Gadoury, a 33-year-old maid. In 1951, the Smiths sold the house to T. Dexter and Anne H. Clarke of Providence. Their three children were David, born in 1942; Catherine, 1944; and Richard, 1948. Mr. Clarke was well known in the state as an attorney and president of Narragansett Electric Co. The Clarkes lived here for 32 years.

In 1983, the new owners were Donald and Suzanne Carcieri, both well known in town even before Don’s term as governor from 2003-2011. As they owned this house from 1983 to 2000, it missed being Rhode Island’s “executive mansion” by just a few years. This is one of at least four houses in the village where the Carcieris have lived – the others being on Marion Street, Pearl Street and Kenyon Avenue.

The Carcieris sold this house in 2000 to Dr. Edward and Martha (better known as Marcy) Feldman. In June 2010, the Feldmans sold the house to Alexander and Jill Millard, who have been working hard to continue the tradition of caring for this imposing 3,500-square-foot home, which due to its location on a busy corner, draws the admiring glances of all those who drive by.

Bruce MacGunnigle is East Greenwich's town historian. He can be reached at greenwich1677@gmail.com.

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