"Rich Heritage, Vibrant Future"
|Incorporated||April 13, 1852|
|Named for||Thomas J. Green|
|• City Council||Mayor 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
|• City Manager||Summer Spurlock|
|• Total||33.11 sq mi (85.75 km2)|
|• Land||32.29 sq mi (83.62 km2)|
|• Water||0.82 sq mi (2.12 km2)|
|Elevation||541 ft (165 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||892.84/sq mi (344.73/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||903, 430|
|GNIS feature ID||1377755|
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. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,557, and in 2019, its estimated population was 28,827. The town's slogan from 1921 to the 1960s was: "The blackest land, the whitest people."
Greenville is located in North Texas at (33.126004, −96.109703), 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. 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.
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.
With a population of 12,384 in the 1920 census, the city was the 20th-largest city in Texas at the time.
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." 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." 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. 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.
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.
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". However, on August 21, 2012, Lightning Medicine Cloud died. The sheriff's department declared it had died from a bacterial infection, but the owners disagree, claiming that the buffalo was allegedly skinned by an unknown party.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, 23,960 people, 9,156 households, and 6,171 families were residing in the city. The population density was 706.5 people per square mile (272.8/km2). The 9,977 housing units averaged 294.2 per square mile (113.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.7% White, 18.9% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 8.2% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 14.65% of the population.
Of the 9,156 households, 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were not families. About 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56, and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city, the population was distributed as 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,606, and for a family was $41,808. Males had a median income of $31,556 versus $22,373 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,231. About 11.3% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.8% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.
Greenville is served by Dallas/Fort Worth television stations on local cable and also regular programming.
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.
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.
The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:
|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.
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.)
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 L3 Mission Integration Division (MID, formerly E-Systems, then 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 Collin Street Bakery and 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.
According to the city's 2017-2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||L3 Mission Integration Division||6,500|
|2||Hunt Regional Medical Center||1,100|
|3||Greenville Independent School District||800|
|6||Cytec Engineered Materials||350|
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, Collin Street Bakery, 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.
- Interstate 30 (Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway) is a major route through Greenville. To the west, Interstate 30 goes through Rockwall and Dallas to Fort Worth. To the east, Interstate 30 goes through Sulphur Springs, Mount Pleasant, and Texarkana.
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. Highway 67 (Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway) runs concurrent with Interstate 30 through Greenville.
- 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).
- 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 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).
- Texas Highway 34 (Wesley Street, Wolfe City Drive) serves as a primary north-south route through Greenville and is a main commercial corridor. Connects with Wolfe City to the north and Quinlan to the south.
- Texas Highway 66 (Old Dallas Highway) heads southwest out of the city towards Caddo Mills and Royse City.
- Texas Highway 224 (Commerce Drive) heads northeast out of the city towards Commerce and Cooper.
- Texas Highway Spur 302 (Lee Street / Washington Street) serves as an east-west route through Greenville. It starts at U.S. 69 / U.S. 380 at the west end and ends at Interstate 30 at the east end. The route, mostly on Lee Street, goes through downtown as a couplet, where Lee Street goes eastbound and Washington Street goes westbound.
- Farm Road 118 (Fannin Street) heads north out of Greenville from FM 499 towards Jacobia.
- Farm Road 499 (Forester Street) heads east out of Greenville from Spur 302 going through Campbell and Cumby.
- Farm Road 1569 heads west out of Greenville from a junction with highway 69 towards Merit.
- Farm Road 1570 (Jack Finney Boulevard) serves the southern parts of the city, particularly the L-3 facility / Majors Field Airport.
- Farm Road 2101 heads south out of Greenville from Majors Airport towards Boles Home in Quinlan.
"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.
- Byron Bell, player for NFL's Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys
- Yusuf Bey, Black Muslim activist, founder of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, California
- John Boles, movie and stage actor of the early 20th century
- Brandon Couts, athlete, Baylor University Hall of Famer who ran professionally and specialized in 400 meter dash
- Maud Crawford, first woman to practice law in Camden, Arkansas; disappeared in 1957 amid international attention; born in Greenville in 1891
- Kay Granger, a Republican politician representing Texas' 12th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives
- Dean E. Hallmark, pilot in the Doolittle Raid of April 18, 1942, on Tokyo; captured and executed by Japanese; member of first Greenville High School football team to reach state playoffs in 1931
- Mack Harrell, operatic baritone; father of cellist Lynn Harrell
- Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School; named "America's Best Theologian" by Time magazine;
- Burt Hooton, Major League Baseball pitcher who won 151 games with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers (1971–1985); pitched no-hitter in 1972; member of 1981 World Series champion Dodgers
- V. E. Howard, minister of Church of Christ who founded radio's International Gospel Hour; formerly a clergyman in Greenville
- Ben Kweller, rock musician
- Haldor Lillenas, prolific hymn writer and Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene from 1920 to 1923
- George Maddox, former NFL player
- Kimberly McCarthy, convicted murderer, 500th person executed in Texas since return of
- Bart Millard, lead singer and founder of contemporary Christian band MercyMe
- Robert Neyland, Hall of Fame football coach at Tennessee and decorated officer in U.S. Army
- Collin Raye, country music singer
- Monty Stratton, Major League Baseball pitcher from the 1930s; portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in The Stratton Story
- Earl Thomas, former wide receiver of NFL's Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals, and Houston Oilers
- Jimmy Thomas, former running back of NFL's San Francisco 49ers
- Mike Thomas, NFL running back for the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers; won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1975 and went to Pro Bowl after 1976 NFL season
- Francia White, opera singer, radio and television personality during 1930s and 1940s
- Buzz Williams, head coach of men's basketball team at Texas A&M University
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