Amos Piatt Helphenstine
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The Helpenstine Building
The building to the right was built by Amos Helphenstine and completed in 1891. It was originally a hardware store and in the 1970's was a dry goods a/k/a clothing store. The brick was fired in kiln in Greenfield and the stonework was hewn in South Greenfield. The metal front was manufactured by Mesker Brother's of St. Louis.

Amos Piatt Helphenstine

Amos Piatt Helphenstine was born was born 10 May 1837, in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania and was the son of William Alexander and Elizabeth Piatt Helphenstine.


In 1851 he began to learn the coppersmiths and tinners trade.  In August 1858, he returned to Waynesburg to attend Waynesburg College.  In July 1862 he enlisted in Company F, Eighth Pennsylvania Reserve Corps and was discharged in August 1864, at Baltimore, Maryland.  He came to Greenfield, Missouri, from Oskaloosa, Iowa, in 1867, and engaged in the hardware business.  On 10 March 1868, he married Miss Sarah Jane Newton in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and they returned to Greenfield.  They would have two daughters: Mary Elizabeth born 2 August 1869 and Anna Annie Laurie, born 29 October 1879.  There would be no more children and neither daughter married, thus ending the legacy of Amos Helphenstineexcept for two things, the Helphenstine building and the house he built by the elementary school on the corner of Montgomery and Garret Street.

Greenfield Vedette, February 19, 1914


Amos Helphenstine was Active Greenfield Business Man for 44 Years


             Amos Helphenstine, for nearly a half-century a resident of Greenfield, and for 44 years one of its best known business men, died at the family home in this city last Friday night.  His illness had been of but a few weeks' duration, and until almost the last day had not been considered of a dangerous nature by his family and friends, and the news of his death was entirely unexpected.

             Mr. Helphenstine came to Greenfield in 1867, engaging in the hardware business, in which he continued until the fall of 1911, when a desire to retire from the affairs of an active business life prompted him to dispose of stock.  Thereafter he enjoyed life exactly as he found it, mixing most with the friends whom he had formed in the earlier days of his business career.  He possessed a vast store of native wit, was a close student of the news of the day and found his greatest delight in entangling argumentative friends in the meshes of their own statements.

             His going will be the cause of sincere and lasting sorrow to many friends, not the least of these being the number of needy and deserving people upon whom, in his quiet and unostentatious way, he bestowed charities and kindnesses unknown to save those closest to him.

             Mr. Helphenstine was born May 10th, 1837, in Waynesburg, Pa., the son of William Alexander and Elizabeth Piatt Helphenstine.  On his father's side he was of German descent and of French descent on his mother's side.  Both his father's and mother's people have been citizens of this country since colonial times.  Peter Helphenstine, his grandfather was a major in the Revolutionary army, and his mother's grandfather was on Washington's staff.

             His father was a native of Winchester, Va.  There were eight children in the parental home, six sons and two daughters, and and of those Amos was the oldest.  In his early manhood he entered Waynesburg college, but in 1855 he returned to Waynesburg college, but before graduating the civil war broke out, and as the patriotic descendant of Revolutionary ancestors, he, too, offered his services to his country.  He enlisted May 28th, 1861, in Company F., Eighth Pennsylvania Reserves, and was discharged August 8th, 1864 at the expiration of his term of enlistment.

             After the war he went to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and in 1867 came to Greenfield.  Since coming here he was continuously engaged in the hardware business until October two years ago when he retired from active work.  During his business career in Greenfield, he not only erected the building on the northwest corner of the square in which he was carrying on his business at the time of his retirement, but several other substantial buildings on the square now used as stores.

             Mr. Helphenstine had a fondness for music had given much attention to its study.  In his time he had done considerable instruction in band music, and was once the instructor of the best band in the state.

             In 1883 he became a member of the Greenfield Post of the G.A.R. and was the official post commander two terms and that of quartermaster three terms.

             Mr. Helphenstine was married Feb. 10th, 1868, in Crawfordsville, Ind., to Miss Sarah Newton, who died July 5, 1910.  His last sickness was of comparatively sort duration though his health had been somewhat impaired for the past year.  On the night of Feb. 13th, 1914, he quietly fell asleep.  He is survived by his two daughters, Mary and Annie, and by two brothers and two sisters, living in Waynesburg, Pa., and a brother living in Washington, D.C.      

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