Greenville is a North Texas city located in central Hunt County, approximately 45 miles from Dallas. It is the county seat and largest city of Hunt County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,557.
Greenville was named for Thomas J. Green, a general in the Texas Army during the war for independence from Mexico.
|Motto: "Rich Heritage, Vibrant Future"|
Location of Greenville, Texas
Greenville was founded in 1846. The city was named after Thomas J. Green, a significant contributor to the establishment of Texas as a Republic. He later became a member of the Congress of the Republic of Texas. The city was almost named “Pinckneyville” in honor of James Pinckney Henderson, the first Governor of Texas.
As the Civil War loomed, Greenville was divided over the issue of secession, as were several area towns and counties. Greenville attorney and State Senator Martin D. Hart was a prominent Unionist. He formed a company of men who fought for the Union in Arkansas, even as other Greenville residents fought for the Confederacy. The divided nature of Greenville, Hunt County and the State of Texas is noted by an historical marker in "The SPOT" Park at 2800 Lee Street in downtown Greenville. In the post-Civil War era, Greenville's economy became partly dependent on cotton, an industry which many local Jews helped develop within the city as the local economy entered a period of transition.
With a population of 12,384 in the 1920 census, the city, at one time, was the 20th largest in Texas.
In World War II, the Mexican Escuadrón 201 was stationed in Greenville while training at nearby Majors Field.
The town was also famous for a sign that hung over Lee Street, the main street in the downtown district, between the train station and the bus station in the 1920s to 1960s. The banner read "Welcome to Greenville, The Blackest Land, The Whitest People". The same sentiment was also printed on the city water tower. An image of the sign was available as a postcard. The slogan's original intent was to describe the richness of the area's soil along with the kindness of its citizens. However, the imputed racial overtones caused the later phrase to be modified to "the Greatest People" in the early 1970s.
In 1957 Greenville annexed Peniel, Texas, which had been founded in 1899 as a religious community.
On May 12, 2011, a white buffalo was born near Greenville, Texas during a thunderstorm on the ranch of Arby Littlesoldier, who identified himself as a great-great grandson of Sitting Bull. A naming ceremony and dedication was scheduled for June 29, 2011 during which the male calf was officially be given the title "Lightning Medicine Cloud." Public ceremonies were held.
On August 21, 2012, the white buffalo named 'Lightning Medicine Cloud' died, and was allegedly skinned by an unknown party. The Sheriff's department declared it had died from a bacterial infection, but the owners disagree.