Early Greathouse was born on October 4, 1810 in Clarke County, Georgia to parents Abraham and Sarah Curley Greathouse. The family later migrated down to Newton in Baker County, Georgia where Early married Susan Elizabeth Talley on June 11, 1831.
Early and Susan made their home in Newton County for a time following their marriage, later migrating to Troup County in western Georgia. Early converted to the Baptist faith in 1838 and he and his family attended Troup County Line Baptist Church. In 1846 he was ordained as a minister of the gospel and later served as pastor at various churches. Early was also a farmer and slave owner; in 1840 he owned five. In 1856 Early and his family migrated to Tallapoosa County, Alabama, settling on a thousand acre farm near present day Lake Martin.
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