Clarence N. Greer
Secretary of the Department of Public Safety
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Clarence Newcome Greer is no doubt one of the best known public officials of the Gem City. He is at present the popular Secretary of the Department of Public Safety. By virtue of his position as Secretary of this Department, he is also Secretary of the Board of Police Pension Fund Trustees, and guards the Pension Fund with as much interest as though it were of a personal benefit to himself.
Born in the city of Dayton, April 29, 1870, he has lived in his native city all his life, and received his education in its public schools. His father, the late John E. Greer was a member of the Bar, and a leading Democrat in this city at one time, and a strong defender of the principles of his party on the stump in the days when campaigns blazoned with oratorical enthusiasm. His mother, who is still in good health at the age of seventy-five, was Martha M. Newcome, a grand-daughter of Colonel William Newcome, the man who built the first house in Dayton, which is now located in Van Cleve Park on the banks of the Great Miami River, as a relic of pioneer days, and known as the old Newcome Tavern.
Never having identified himself in any way with commercial or manufacturing enterprises, he confined his entire efforts from the time he was twenty years old solely to political lines. He is in every sense of the word a politician and an uncompromising Democrat. His long political career, however, has been an honorable one, and he has always been thoroughly honest in the performance of his duty. This is best evidenced by the confidence that has been reposed to him from time to time by those who guided the destinies of the Democratic party in Dayton ad Montgomery County.
By his experience and close study of municipal conditions, he has become one of the best informed men in Dayton on public matters pertaining to local affairs. His public career dates beck to the year 1890. In that year he was appointed Deputy to John D. Turner, then Auditor of Montgomery County. Mr. Greer continued in said deputyship until the following April, when, at the age of twenty-one, he was elected assessor of personal property of what was then known as the Fifth Ward in the east end of the city. As the position of assessor required but a few months of his time, Mr. Greer took up duties in the County Treasurer's office under Colonel Frank T. Huffman, after he had filed the returns of his ward, and served until April 1 the following year, when he was again elected assessor of the same ward.
After completing his duties as assessor, he divided the balance of his time that year by serving as Deputy in the County Recorder's office under Jesse R. Lindemuth, Recorder, and with Thomas B. Minnich, County Treasurer. For a year thereafter, until February 1894, he occupied a position in the office of Honorable John W. Kreitzer, then Probate Judge. Following this he worked in the City Engineer's office until October of that year. Thereupon, he filled a few minor positions in different departments of the city administration temporarily, until June, 1896, when he as appointed to a permanent position in the City Water Works Department, and served in that department for nearly ten years.
On April 1, 1906, he entered upon the duties of Clerk of the Board of Public Safety, a new municipal department created by the Legislature in 1905, to take the place of the Police and Fire boards. Mr. Greer continued as Clerk of the Board until the present Department of Public Safety was created, and is now serving as Secretary to the Director thereof. He is also a member of the County Board of Deputy State Supervisors of Election, having served in that capacity for the last ten years. He has presided over the deliberations of the Board as Chief Deputy for the last three years.
In all these years, he has been an active political force in the Democratic party, and has always been found in the thickest of the fray during the annual battles between the two great parties for supremacy, whether it was municipal, county, state, or national election. For year Mr. Greer has served as a member of the City, as well as of the County Central Committee. He was secretary of the local Democratic organization for a number of years, and time and again was called upon to virtually assume management of the local campaigns for this party.
He has a natural tact for handling the many intricate problems that present themselves in a campaign. He is exceedingly resourceful, and his management is that of thorough discipline and of untiring energy. His great forte is his complete composure under the most trying circumstances and of handling men and adjusting differences with perfect equanimity. He is a powerful organizer. His mastery of details is perfect. He is practical, thoughtful, and far-seeing.
In his duties as Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and as Secretary of the Board of Police Pension Fund Trustees he is most thorough and painstaking. His books are neatly kept and are exact. His work as an office accountant always meets with the approval of the State Bureau of Accounting whenever inspections of the books under his supervision are made. No details are overlooked by him in the performance of his duties, and precision is prominent throughout all his work.
Clarence Greer is well liked by all who know him. He has a very congenial disposition, and always looks on the bright side of life. He is ever ready to help others, and makes many sacrifices in the interest of those who seek his intercession and assistance.
Mr. Greer is quite popular in a number of organizations, namely, the Elks, K. of P., Masons, Dayton Bicycle Club, Thurman Club, and the Gem City Democratic Club, of which he is looked upon as the guiding spirit.
His domestic life is most happy and pleasant, and his home, which is presided over by his genial and popular wife, who was Miss Minnie Neiderman before their marriage, is a frequent gathering place for many who pride themselves on being counted amount the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence N. Greer.