Richard was born in the family homestead in Magnolia, on the 3rd of April, 1865, and he is indebted to the excellent public schools of this place for his early educational advantages, of which he duly availed himself, while his initial business experience, like that of his brothers, was received in connection with the pioneer mercantile establishment here conducted by their father.
At the age of eighteen years Mr. Greer became acting agent of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh division of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Magnolia, taking the place of his brother William H., and the subject remained incumbent of the position during the two years and four months his brother was in the west. At the expiration of this period he resumed his school work, attending during the winter term following, and on the 1st of September, 1887, he was tendered and accepted the position of bill clerk in the freight office of the same railroad company at East Liverpool, Columbiana county, later being promoted to the position of chief clerk and finally being transferred to the thriving town of Waynesburg, Stark county, as ticket and freight agent, an incumbency which he retained until April 1, 1890, his services having been faithful and able, as is evident from his retention in the important capacity.
He then resigned the agency and went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to accept the position of bill clerk in the offices of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad at that point. On the 1st of January, 1891, he resigned his position, by reason of the fact that a ten per cent reduction was made in the salary of every employee of the system and he did not feel it necessary to submit to the same. After a short visit with relatives in Iowa and Nebraska he returned to his home in Magnolia, and about two months later he entered upon a position to do extra work in the employment of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad, and thus continued until April 1, 1892, when he was appointed freight agent of this road at Bedford, Cuyahoga County, filling this position until January 1, 1894, when he was appointed extra agent, his duties being to serve as temporary agent at various points, in case of removals, illness or other contingencies.
In this important and exacting capacity he continued to efficiently serve until the 1st of December, 1898, when he came to the paternal home, in response to the earnest request of his venerable father, who was living alone with his only daughter at the time, and who, as the result of a small burglary which had been perpetrated in the home, felt the need of having his son with him; the subject resigned his position and resumed his place in the old homestead. After about four months the alarm felt by his father lost its insistency and our subject then resumed his association with railroading, in which his long and varied experience had made him a valued officer. At this time he became chief clerk in the executive office, in Wellsville, of the superintendent of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad, being called to fill the temporary vacancy caused by the illness of the regular incumbent.
Three months later Mr. Greer resumed his former position as special agent with the same road and continued in such until the 15th of October, 1899, when he resigned the office, and on the 19th of the same month was solemnized his marriage to Miss Winona Pickering, of Wellsville, Columbiana county, where she was born, being a daughter of Milton and Theresa Pickering, an influential family of that place. After a wedding tour extending to leading eastern cities Mr. Greer returned with his bride to Magnolia, and on the 23rd of November, 1899, the present banking firm of William H. Greer's Sons was organized and the Bank of Magnolia was established, and our subject became an executive officer in the same, assuming the position of cashier. The bank is further mentioned in the sketch of Clarence S. Greer, of the Greer-Beatty Clay Company, organized in April, 1902, William Beatty was made president and superintendent; Richard E. Greer, vice-president; and Clarence S. Greer, secretary and treasurer, and this enterprise, with its fine facilities, is certain to become one of the most prominent industrial concerns in this section.
In politics Mr. Greer is a stanch Republican and fraternally he is a member of Sandy Valley Lodge No. 725, Knights of Pythias, while he is popular is railroad, business and social circles, having a wife acquaintanceship throughout the state by reason of his long identification with railroading interests.