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Greenville City

Greenville City Hall is located at 2821 Washington Street, Greenville, TX 75403; phone: 903-457-3116.

Beginnings [1]

In 1846 the City of Greenville and Hunt County were established by an act of the Texas legislature. The City was named after General Thomas Green who served in the Texas Army. Residents of the County selected the town site, which was 640 acres donated by McQuinney Howell Wright, a local landowner. On January 15, 1847, a land auction was held and sites around the proposed town square were bought and sold. This event marked the beginning of development in Greenville. With the funds received from land auctions, the first County courthouse was built. In the same year, 1847, Greenville received its first post office and a private primary school, the Greenville Institute, which opened inside the new courthouse.

The City incorporated on February 15, 1852. By this time, Greenville had already experienced development and was becoming a notable community. Businesses such as general stores, taverns, grocery stores, and hotels were developed around the town square. Also, social groups like the Masons organized lodges in the area. The City grew in the following years, however, the rural nature of the area and lack of transportation limited growth. With no railroads or navigable waterways, all commerce had to be hauled by ox cart to and from Jefferson, a community that is 120 miles to the east.

After the Civil War, Greenville was a site for federal military forces. In 1872, Greenville progressively sought to educate children ages eight to fourteen. The City paid for the tuition of local students to attend any one of Greenville's private schools. The first school for African-Americans opened in 1881. Greenville began operating a school system in 1884, and two school buildings were built in 1885.

In 1884, with a population of 3,000 Greenville supported two weekly newspapers and fifteen businesses consisting of banks, cotton gins, and flourmills. The City also boasted an opera house with an 800-person seating capacity. In the 1880's Greenville became a center for railroad transportation. By 1887, the City was a leading cotton marketing location. The following is a time line of the arrival of different railroads in the City.

  1. City of Greenville, Texas, Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, prepared by Dunkin, Sefko & Associates, Inc., Comprehensive Plan 2025, 2004, www.ci.greenville.tx.us, accessed July, 2013.
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