Greenville, Texas

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Greenville, Texas
Lee Street in downtown Greenville
Lee Street in downtown Greenville
Flag of Greenville, Texas
"Rich Heritage, Vibrant Future"[1]
Location of Greenville, Texas
Location of Greenville, Texas
Hunt County Greenville.svg
Coordinates: 33°7′34″N 96°6′35″W / 33.12611°N 96.10972°W / 33.12611; -96.10972Coordinates: 33°7′34″N 96°6′35″W / 33.12611°N 96.10972°W / 33.12611; -96.10972
CountryUnited StatesUnited States
IncorporatedApril 13, 1852[2]
Named forThomas J. Green[3]
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Jerry Ransom
Place 1 Vacant
Place 2 Al Atkins
Place 3 Kristen Washington
Place 4 Tim Kruse
Place 5 Ben Collins
Place 6 Kenneth Freeman[4]
 • City ManagerSummer Spurlock[5]
 • Total33.11 sq mi (85.75 km2)
 • Land32.29 sq mi (83.62 km2)
 • Water0.82 sq mi (2.12 km2)
541 ft (165 m)
 • Total28,164
 • Density850/sq mi (330/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)903, 430
FIPS code48-30920[8]
GNIS feature ID1377755[9]

Greenville is a city in Hunt County, Texas, United States, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Dallas. It is the county seat and largest city of Hunt County.[10] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,557,[7] and in 2019, its estimated population was 28,827.[11] The town's slogan from 1921 to the 1960s was: "The blackest land, the whitest people."

Greenville was named for Thomas J. Green,[3] a significant contributor to the founding of the Texas Republic.[12]


Cotton scene, public square, Greenville, Texas (postcard, c. 1908)

Greenville was founded in 1846. The city was named after Thomas J. Green, a significant contributor to the establishment of the Texas Republic. He later became a member of the Congress of the Texas Republic.

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 and Hunt County is noted by a 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, as the local economy entered a period of transition.[13]

With a population of 12,384 in the 1920 census, the city was the 20th-largest city in Texas at the time.

In World War II, the Mexican Escuadrón 201 was stationed in Greenville while training at nearby Majors Field.

Greenville was notorious for a large sign, installed on July 7, 1921, over Lee Street, the main street in the downtown district, between the train station and the bus station in the 1920s to 1960s. The sign read: "Welcome to Greenville, The Blackest Land, The Whitest People."[14][15] According to history teacher Paul E. Sturdevant of Greenville, the original intent behind "the whitest people" was to define "the citizens of Greenville as friendly, trustworthy, and helpful was sincere, and it was meant to include all citizens, regardless of race."[15] In pre-civil rights America, the phrase "That's mighty White of you" meant that you were honest, not like suspect Blacks. The sign thus acquired racial overtones, and the original sign was taken down and placed into storage on April 13, 1965, possibly at the urging of Texas Governor John Connally, who had made a visit to the town weeks before.[15] In 1968, Greenville's Sybil Maddux had the sign reinstalled, with the wording modified to read "The Greatest People"; the original sign is in the collection of the Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum.[15]

In 1957, Greenville annexed the small town of Peniel, which had been founded in 1899 as a Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene community centered around Texas Holiness University. The annexation was approved by the citizens of Peniel, which at the time had a population around 157.[16]

On May 12, 2011, a white buffalo was born near Greenville during a thunderstorm on the ranch of Arby Littlesoldier, who identified himself as a great-great grandson of Sitting Bull. A public naming ceremony and dedication was held on June 29, 2011, during which the male calf was officially given the name "Lightning Medicine Cloud".[17] However, on August 21, 2012, Lightning Medicine Cloud died. The sheriff's department declared it had died from a bacterial infection,[18] but the owners disagree, claiming that the buffalo was allegedly skinned by an unknown party.[19]


Panoramic map of the city in 1886 with list of landmarks

Greenville is located in North Texas at 33°7′34″N 96°6′35″W / 33.12611°N 96.10972°W / 33.12611; -96.10972 (33.126004, −96.109703),[20] in central Hunt County, in the heart of the Texas blackland prairies, 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Dallas and about 45 miles (72 km) south of the Texas/Oklahoma border, on the eastern edge of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Greenville has a total area of 33.4 square miles (86.6 km2), of which 32.6 square miles (84.5 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 2.46%, is covered by water.[7] The Cowleech Fork of the Sabine River flows through the northeast part of the city.


Greenville has a humid subtropical climate. Due to its location on the North Texas prairies, its weather is typically humid with mild precipitation.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census
Greenville racial composition as of 2020[21]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 14,525 51.57%
Black or African American (NH) 3,892 13.82%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 142 0.5%
Asian (NH) 368 1.31%
Pacific Islander (NH) 40 0.14%
Some Other Race (NH) 108 0.38%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,207 4.29%
Hispanic or Latino 7,882 27.99%
Total 28,164

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 28,164 people, 10,454 households, and 6,602 families residing in the city.


The Hunt County cotton exhibit at the Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum
The Northeast Texas Farmers Co-op Sabine Valley Feeds mill in Greenville

In early years, Hunt County was known as the cotton capital of the world. The world's largest inland cotton compress was located in Greenville until it was destroyed by fire in the mid-1900s.

Currently, the largest industry is L3Harris[24] Mission Integration Division (MID, formerly L3, E-Systems, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems (RIIS, IIS)) a major U.S. defense contractor located at Majors Airport. This airport, created in 1942 and initially financed by the local Rotary Club, was used as a training base for P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilots in World War II, and since then has served as a focal point for economic growth in Greenville.

Tourism is playing an increasing role in the local economy, with attractions such as Splash Kingdom Water Park located on Interstate 30, and the redeveloping historic downtown featuring Landon Winery and the restored vintage Texan Theater, which opened in 2014. Tourism promotion has been under the wing of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Greenville, which took over CVB duties in 2014. Greenville is also known for its saddlemaking industry.[citation needed]

Greenville Municipal Auditorium in August 2015

According to the city's 2017–2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[25] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 L3Harris 6,500
2 Hunt Regional Medical Center 1,100
3 Greenville Independent School District 800
4 McKesson 500
4 Hunt County 500
6 Cytec Engineered Materials 350
6 Walmart Supercenter 350
8 Masonite International 300
8 Weatherford International 300
10 Raytheon 200
Hunt Regional Medical Center

Entertainment includes the Kenneth Threadgill Concert series, which brings well-known Texas performers to the Municipal Auditorium stage in three concerts per year; the Greenville Entertainment Series, a subscription concert series featuring artists from a variety of musical genres; the Symphony Festival Series, which brings the world-famous Dallas Symphony Orchestra to Greenville for three concerts and an additional children's concert per year; and the Greenville Follies, a musical review showcasing local talent every other year. Local clubs with musical entertainment, live theater in nearby Commerce, local art shows, a movie theater and a bowling alley offer year-round entertainment.

Tourism draws include the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum and the historic downtown area, which includes wineries, antique malls, public gardens, boutique shopping, and regular events at the 1,700-seat Greenville Municipal Auditorium. The vintage Texan Theater was slated for a grand re-opening in 2014. The Rally 'Round Greenville festival is held the third weekend each September and includes the Cotton Patch Challenge Bicycle Ride, an art show, a barbecue and chili cook-off, Texas Music Weekend, Kids Alley, and more. Backstreet Bash is held in March to celebrate the revitalization of the historic Main Street Area.

Greenville is also home to the Hunt Regional Medical Center.


KGVL radio station in Greenville

Greenville is served by Dallas/Fort Worth television stations on local cable and also regular programming.

KGVL radio serves the city of Greenville. KETR in Commerce also serves the city of Greenville due to the proximity of the two cities.

In addition to The Dallas Morning News, which serves the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area, Greenville is served by a local daily newspaper, the Herald-Banner.


Paris Junior College in Greenville

Primary and secondary education of Greenville is provided by Greenville Independent School District along with private institutions such as Greenville Christian School.

Postsecondary education is offered through Paris Junior College-Greenville Center. Texas A&M University-Commerce, a major university of over 12,000 students, is located 15 miles (24 km) northeast in Commerce.


Local government[edit]

Greenville Police and Courts building in August 2015

According to the city's most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Fund Financial Statements, the city's various funds had $19.9 million in revenues, $21.7 million in expenditures, $10.1 million in total assets, $1.8 million in total liabilities, and $1.4 million in investments.[26]

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[27]

Department Director
City manager Summer Spurlock
City attorney Daniel Ray
City secretary Carole Kuykendall
Police chief Scott Smith
Fire chief Jeremy Powell
Community development director Steve Methven
Main Street coordinator Doyle Dick
Finance director Talia Willner
Human resources director Sheri W. Wells
Public works director Press Tompkins
Library director Olivia Griggs
Parks and recreation director Brett Quarles

Greenville is a voluntary member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the purpose of which is to coordinate individual and collective local governments and facilitate regional solutions, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and enable joint decisions.

State government[edit]

Greenville is represented in the Texas Senate by Republican Bob Hall, District 2,[28] and in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Bryan Slaton District 2.[29]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Greenville District Parole Office in Greenville.[30]

Federal government[edit]

Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are Texas’s U. S. Senators. Since 2021 Republican Pat Fallon has represented Texas's 4th congressional district, including Greenville. (John Ratcliffe’s 2020 appointment as Director of National Intelligence had left the seat vacant.)

The United States Postal Service operates the Greenville,[31] Greenville Finance,[32] and Rolling Hills post offices.[33]



Interstate 30[edit]

Commercial and residential developments line the interstate from Monty Stratton Parkway through Lamar Street. The frontage roads have recently been converted to one-way for safety due to increased traffic.

U.S. highways[edit]

  • US 67.svg U.S. Highway 67 (Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway)[34] runs concurrent with Interstate 30 through Greenville.
  • US 69.svg U.S. 69 (Joe Ramsey Boulevard) serves as a partial loop through Greenville. It connects with Celeste, Leonard, and Denison to the north and with Lone Oak, Mineola, and Tyler to the south. U.S. 69 is a four-lane divided highway from U.S. 380 / Texas Highway 302 to just past Business U.S. 69 (Moulton Street).
  • US 380.svg U.S. 380 (Joe Ramsey Boulevard/Lee Street) heads west out of Greenville through Farmersville, McKinney, and Denton. U.S. 380 is a four-lane divided highway. Within Greenville city limits it runs mostly concurrent with U.S. 69 along Joe Ramsey Boulevard.
  • Business plate.svg
    US 69.svg Business U.S. 69 follows several local streets which serve the northern, downtown, and southern areas of the city. It starts and ends at U.S. 69. The local street names are Rees Street (through Peniel), Sockwell Street (north of downtown), Stonewall Street / Johnson Street (couplet through downtown, where Stonewall is southbound and Johnson is northbound), Park Street (east of downtown), and Moulton Street (south of downtown and over Interstate 30).

State highways[edit]

Farm-to-Market roads[edit]


The nearest airports with passenger air service are Dallas Love Field (55.4 miles)[35] and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (70.0 miles).[36]

Majors Airport is a municipal airport located in Greenville.[37]

Public transportation[edit]

A Connection bus in Greenville

"The Connection" serves Greenville and all of Hunt County. The transit system operates Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. Reservations have to be made one day in advance. The charge is $2 ($4 round trip) if the passenger is traveling to a place within the same community or city, and $3 ($6 round trip) if the passenger is traveling from one city or community to another within Hunt County. The Connection will take Hunt County residents to Dallas, on a round-trip only basis: passengers are charged $34, and a minimum of three passengers is required.[38]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Photo Gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[22][23]


  1. ^ "City of Greenville Texas". City of Greenville Texas. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "Demographics | Greenville, TX - Official Website". Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  3. ^ a b "GREEN, THOMAS JEFFERSON | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  4. ^ "Mayor and City Council | Greenville, TX - Official Website". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  5. ^ "City Manager | Greenville, TX - Official Website". Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  6. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Greenville city, Texas". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  11. ^ "State and County Quick Facts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  12. ^ "GREENVILLE, TX (HUNT COUNTY) | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". 1984-01-09. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  13. ^ "Greenville, Texas" Archived 2012-06-16 at the Wayback Machine, found in the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities
  14. ^ Peter Carlson, "In a Bethesda Bookstore, the Prints of Propaganda", Washington Post (May 16, 2004), D01.
  15. ^ a b c d Paul E. Sturdevant, "Black and White With Shades of Gray: The Greenville Sign", East Texas Historical Journal, Vol. 42, Iss. 1, pp. 25–33.
  16. ^ Brian Hart, Peniel, TX, in Handbook of Texas Online (uploaded June 2010).
  17. ^ Heinz, Frank (2012-08-21). "New Details in the Death of Rare White Buffalo | NBC 5 Dallas–Fort Worth". Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  18. ^ Davies, Maura (2012-08-21). "Authorities say white buffalo died of natural causes | Dallas – Fort Worth". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  19. ^ "Welcome to Lakota Ranch, Home of Lightning Medicine Cloud". 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  20. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  21. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2022-05-22.
  22. ^[not specific enough to verify]
  23. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  24. ^ "L3Harris Technologies Merger Successfully Completed; Board of Directors, Leadership and Organization Structure Announced | L3Harris™ Fast. Forward". Retrieved 2022-11-04.
  25. ^ "COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT". City of Greenville. 2019-03-29. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  26. ^ City of Greenville 2009 CAFR Retrieved 2010-11-16
  27. ^ City of Greenville website Retrieved 2010-11-16
  28. ^ "Senator Bob Hall: District 2". Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  29. ^ "Texas House Member". Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  30. ^ "Parole Division Region I Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  31. ^ "Post Office Location – GREENVILLE Archived 2012-06-09 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  32. ^ "Post Office Location – GREENVILLE FINANCE[permanent dead link]." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  33. ^ "Post Office Location – ROLLING HILLS Archived 2012-06-09 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  34. ^ a b "New name for Interstate 30 to be unveiled". Herald-Banner. 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  35. ^ "Greenville to Dallas Love Field Airport". Greenville to Dallas Love Field Airport.
  36. ^ "Greenville to DFW International Airport". Greenville to DFW International Airport.
  37. ^ "Greenville Municipal Airport - Majors Field | Greenville, TX - Official Website".
  38. ^ "SCRPT - Transportation". Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  39. ^ "Maud Robinson Crawford (1891–1957)". Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  40. ^ "Verna Elisha Howard (1911–2000)". Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • Babb, Milton. (2010). "Hunt County, An Illustrated History." Historical Publishing Network. ISBN 978-1-935377-16-0
  • Huey, Brenda. (2006). The Blackest Land The Whitest People. Bloomington: AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4259-4424-7
  • Mathews, Paul. (2001). I Remember... Personal Reflections on Greenville and Hunt County, Texas. Henington Publishing. ISBN 0-9709068-0-3

External links[edit]