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Greenville, Texas

Greenville, Texas
Flag of Greenville, Texas
Motto: "Rich Heritage, Vibrant Future"[1]
Location of Greenville, Texas
Location of Greenville, Texas
Country United States
State Texas
County Hunt
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor David Dreiling
Place 1 Jerry Ransom
Place 2 James Evans
Place 3 Jeff Dailey
Place 4 Holly Gotcher
Place 5 Brent Money
Place 6 Cedric Dean[2]
 • City Manager Massoud Ebrahim[3]
 • Total 34.7 sq mi (89.9 km2)
 • Land 33.9 sq mi (87.8 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
Elevation 541 ft (165 m)
Population (2010 Census)[4]
 • Total 25,557
 • Estimate (2013)[4] 25,917
 • Density 764.5/sq mi (295.18/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75401-75404
Area code(s) 903, 430
FIPS code 48-30920[5]
GNIS feature ID 1377755[6]

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.[7] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,557.

Greenville was named for Thomas J. Green,[8] a general in the Texas Army during the war for independence from Mexico.[9]


  • Geography 1
    • Climate 1.1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Education 4
  • Government 5
    • Local government 5.1
    • State government 5.2
    • Federal government 5.3
  • Economy 6
  • Transportation 7
    • Roads 7.1
      • Interstate 30 7.1.1
      • U.S. Highways 7.1.2
      • State Highways 7.1.3
      • Farm-to-Market Roads 7.1.4
    • Airports 7.2
  • Notable people 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


Greenville is located at (33.126004, −96.109703).[10] Greenville is situated in the heart of the Texas Blackland Prairies, 45 minutes northeast of Dallas, and about 50 minutes south of the Texas/Oklahoma border on the eastern edge of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.7 square miles (90 km2), of which, 33.9 square miles (88 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (2.30%) is water.


Greenville is considered to be a part of the humid subtropical region. The temperature is typically 5 degrees lower on average due to its location on the north Texas prairies and the climate is typically windy.


City in 1886
Cotton scene, public square, Greenville, Texas (postcard, circa 1908)

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.[11]

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.[12] An image of the sign was available as a postcard.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

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,[16] but the owners disagree.[17]


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 23,960 people, 9,156 households, and 6,171 families residing in the city. The population density was 706.5 people per square mile (272.8/km²). There were 9,977 housing units at an average density of 294.2 per square mile (113.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.71% White, 18.86% African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 8.19% from other races, and 2.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.65% of the population.

There were 9,156 households out of which 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 non-families. 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 spread out with 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 the median income 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.


Primary and secondary education of Greenville is serviced by Greenville ISD and postsecondary education is offered through Paris Junior College-Greenville Center. Also Texas A&M University-Commerce, a major university of over 13,000 students is located in the neighboring city of Commerce, just 20 minutes Northeast of Greenville.


Local government

The City of Greenville Police & 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.[19]

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[20]

Department Director
City Manager Massoud Ebrahim
City Attorney Daniel Ray
City Secretary Debra Newell
Police Chief Daniel J. Busken
Fire Chief Doug Caison
City Planner OPEN
Main Street Coordinator Doyle Dick
Finance Director Cliff Copeland
Human Resources Director Jaynice Porter-Brathwaite
Public Works Director John Wright
Library Director Tracy Luscombe
Parks & Recreation Director Kimber Patterson (Interim)

The city of Greenville is a voluntary member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments association, 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

Greenville is represented in the Texas Senate by Republican Bob Hall, District 2,[21] and in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Dan Flynn, District 2.[22]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Greenville District Parole Office in Greenville.[23]

Federal government

At the Federal level, the two U.S. Senators from Texas are Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Greenville is part of Texas' US Congressional 4th District, which is currently represented by Republican John Ratcliffe.

The United States Postal Service operates the Greenville,[24] Greenville Finance,[25] and Rolling Hills post offices.[26]


The Hunt County cotton exhibit at the Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum
The Northeast Texas Farmers Co-op Sabine Valley Feeds feed 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 L-3 Missions Integration (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 (opening Spring 2016) 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 saddle making industry.

According to the City's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[27] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 L-3 Communications 6,400
2 Greenville Independent School District 702
3 Hunt Regional Medical Center 600
4 McKesson 500
5 Hunt County 400
6 Cytec Engineered Materials 350
7 Wal-Mart Supercenter 300
8 Weatherford International 225
9 Raytheon 200
10 Masonite International 195
Greenville Municipal Auditorium in August 2015

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 is 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, 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

Interstate 30 is a major route through Greenville. To the west, Interstate 30 goes through Rockwall, Dallas, and 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. Highways

U.S. Highway 67 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 -- Heads west out of Greenville through Farmersville, McKinney, and Denton. U.S. 380 is a four-lane divided highway.

Business U.S. 69 -- Follows several local streets which serve the northern, downtown, and southern areas of the city. 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

Texas Highway 34 (Wesley Street, Wolfe City Drive) -- Serves as a primary north-south route through Greenville and 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 city towards Commerce and Cooper.

Texas Highway Spur 302 (Lee Street / Washington Street) -- Serves as an east-west route through Greenville. Starts at U.S. 69 / U.S. 380 at the west end and ends at Interstate 30 at the east end. The route, mostly known as "Lee Street", goes through downtown as a couplet, where Lee Street goes eastbound and Washington Street goes westbound.

Farm-to-Market Roads

Farm Road 1570 (Jack Finney Boulevard) -- Serves the southern parts of the city, particularly the L-3 facility / Majors Field Airport.


The nearest airports with passenger air service are Dallas Love Field (55.4 miles)[28] and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (70.0 miles).[29]

The Majors Field Airport is a municipal airport located in Greenville.[30]

Notable people

  • Burt Hooton, Former MLB pitcher who won 151 games with the Cubs, Dodgers and Rangers (1971–1985)
  • Stanley Hauerwas, selected as America's Best Theologian by Time Magazine. He is also the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School.
  • Dick Hervey, mayor of College Station, 1971-1974; former executive secretary of the Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University; born in Greenville in 1920[31]
  • Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of World War II, lived near Greenville. The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum in Greenville contains memorabilia related to Audie Murphy.
  • Dean E. Hallmark, a pilot in Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo Raid of April 18, 1942. Captured and executed by the Japanese; member of the first ever Greenville High School football team to reach the state playoffs in 1931.
  • V. E. HowardChurch of Christ minister who founded the radio International Gospel Hour; was formerly a clergyman in Greenville.[32]
  • Robert Neyland, Hall of Fame football coach at Tennessee and decorated officer in the U.S. Army.
  • Ben Kweller, American rock musician
  • Monty Stratton, a famous major league baseball pitcher from the 1930s portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the movie "The Stratton Story".
  • Maud Crawford, an attorney and the first woman to practice law in Camden, Arkansas, disappeared in 1957 amid international attention. She was born in Greenville in 1891.[33]
  • Bart Millard, Lead singer and founder of the contemporary Christian band MercyMe.
  • Collin Raye, an American country music singer, who called Greenville home.
  • Mack Harrell, noted operatic baritone; father of world-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell
  • John Boles, noted movie and stage actor of the early 20th Century.
  • Haldor Lillenas, prolific hymnwriter and Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee, was pastor of the Church of the Nazarene from 1920 to 1923
  • Francia White, American opera singer and radio and television personality during the 1930s and 1940s.
  • George Maddox, Former NFL player.
  • Mike Thomas (American football),a former NFL running back of the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers who won the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1975 and went to the Pro Bowl after the 1976 NFL season.
  • Jimmy Thomas, a former professional American football running back of the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League.
  • Earl Thomas, a former professional American football wide receiver of the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals, and Houston Oilers in the National Football League.**
  • Buzz Williams, head coach of the men's basketball team of Marquette University.
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3rd basemen for the Boston Red Sox
  • Kimberly McCarthy convicted murderer, 500th person executed in Texas since the return of the death penalty
  • MercyMe is an American Christian rock band founded in Greenville, Texas. The band consists of vocalist Bart Millard, keyboardist James Bryson, percussionist Robby Shaffer, bassist Nathan Cochran and guitarists Michael Scheuchzer and Barry Graul.
  • Byron Bell, National Football league Carolina Panthers
  • Brandon Couts, is a Baylor University Hall of Famer who ran professionally and specialized in the 400 meter dash.

See also


  1. ^ "City of Greenville Texas". City of Greenville Texas. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "State and County Quick Facts".  
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  8. ^ "GREEN, THOMAS JEFFERSON | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  9. ^ "GREENVILLE, TX (HUNT COUNTY) | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". 1984-01-09. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  11. ^ "Greenville, Texas", found in the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities,
  12. ^
  13. ^ '"
  14. ^
  15. ^ Heinz, Frank (2012-08-21). "New Details in the Death of Rare White Buffalo | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth". Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  16. ^ Davies, Maura (2012-08-21). "Authorities say white buffalo died of natural causes | Dallas – Fort Worth". Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  17. ^ "Welcome To Lakota Ranch Home of Lightning Medicine Cloud". 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  18. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ City of Greenville 2009 CAFR Retrieved 2010-11-16
  20. ^ City of Greenville website Retrieved 2010-11-16
  21. ^ "Senator Bob Hall: District 2". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Texas House Member". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Parole Division Region I." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  24. ^ "Post Office Location – GREENVILLE." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  25. ^ "Post Office Location – GREENVILLE FINANCE." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  26. ^ "Post Office Location – ROLLING HILLS." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  27. ^ "City of Greenville, Texas Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". City of Greenville, Texas Finance Department. September 30, 2014. p. 115. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  28. ^,+Texas&daddr=Dallas+Love+Field+Airport,+Cedar+Springs+Road,+Dallas,+TX&hl=en&sll=44.900771,-89.56949&sspn=13.864618,23.90625&geocode=FRGn-QEdKXdF-inJLJmU2uJLhjGqd3a89WIFsA%3BFec49QEd-io6-iGGI7tQVxp06inREiOYNJxOhjGGI7tQVxp06g&oq=dallas+love+field&mra=ls&t=m&z=11
  29. ^,+Texas&daddr=32.9399634,-96.3733016+to:dallas+fort+worth+international+airport&hl=en&sll=32.95923,-96.470223&sspn=0.513335,0.74707&geocode=FRGn-QEdKXdF-inJLJmU2uJLhjGqd3a89WIFsA%3BFbuf9gEdy3VB-ikJKU3Mt_9LhjE8JAo1phlAAA%3BFeEC9gEdMUg3-iEcIH0GXj8ycymnKiINZipMhjEcIH0GXj8ycw&mra=ls&t=m&z=10&via=1
  30. ^
  31. ^ """Hervey, James "Dick.  
  32. ^ "Verna Elisha Howard (1911–2000)". Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Maud Robinson Crawford (1891–1957)". Retrieved January 14, 2011. 
  • Romero, Simon. "A Texas Town Nervously Awaits a New Neighbor", New York Times, August 21, 2005.

Further reading

  • 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

  • Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  • Friends of Main Street
  • City of Greenville – Official site.
  • Community's newspaper
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