- Greenville, Texas
official_name = Greenville, Texas
mapsize1 = 250px
unit_pref = Imperial
area_total_km2 = 89.9
area_land_km2 = 87.8
area_water_km2 = 2.1
area_total_sq_mi = 34.7
area_land_sq_mi = 33.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.8
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 23960
population_density_km2 = 272.8
population_density_sq_mi = 706.5
timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_m = 165
elevation_ft = 541
latd = 33 |latm = 7 |lats = 34 |latNS = N
longd = 96 |longm = 6 |longs = 35 |longEW = W
Greenville is the
county seatof Hunt CountyGR|6, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 23,960.
Greenville was named for Thomas J. Green, a general in the Texas Army in the war for independence from
Mexico. 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.
Greenville is located at coor dms|33|7|34|N|96|6|35|W|city (33.126004, -96.109703).GR|1
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.7 square miles (89.9 km²), of which, 33.9 square miles (87.8 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²) of it (2.30%) is water.
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, a bowling alley and year-round celebrations and special events offer additional entertainment.
Greenville was founded in 1846. The town was famous (or infamous) for a sign that hung over Lee Street, the main street in the downtown district, between the train station and the bus station from the 1920s to 1960s. The banner read "Welcome to Greenville, The Blackest Land, The Whitest People". [http://www.amazon.com/dp/1425944248] The same sentiment was also printed on the city water tower. [http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2005/08/a_texas_town_ne.php] An image of the sign was available as a postcard. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30177-2004May15.html] From the 1960s to the 1970s the sign was replaced by one that read "The Blackest Land, The Greatest People". Subsequently the sign was taken down entirely. The banner is now displayed in the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum.
Greenville legend tells of a local traveling insurance salesman of the 1920's, who spent much of his time riding trains from coast-to-coast. On his business cards he wanted some catchy slogan that would speak of the extreme blackness of the soil in the Texas Blackland Prairie (where Greenville is located), which was so rich, it made for the perfect ground to raise cotton. Cotton was still king in parts of Texas and none more than Greenville. The salesman's idea was to show one extreme against another. The most extreme opposite of black was white. On one hand, his use of the descriptive 'white' in relation to the people of his hometown was actually meant as a term of purity. But it is also important to point out that this was 40 years before desegregation, and the salesman and later the city fathers, gave no thought of the African-Americans one way or the other, when considering the use of the word 'white'. During a trip to Washington D.C., the salesman met and conversed with a gentleman who worked in The White House for President Calvin Coolidge. He presented the gentleman with one of his business cards, which was shown to the president upon the man's return to The White House. President Coolidge was said to be so impressed with the 'clever' play on words, that he invited the local salesman to have lunch with him on a later trip to Washington. This happening to a Greenville resident in the 1920's was big news, and the city chose to adopt as its city slogan "The Blackest Land and The Whitest People" in honor of the man's accomplishment. It was said that, for better or worse (depending on the moment in history) a person could mention they lived in Greenville, Texas nearly anywhere in the U.S. and they would be asked if that wasn't the town with the 'sign'.
Cotton brought the railroads to Greenville and with them growth and prosperity. The “cotton capital of the world,” Greenville soon boasted the world’s largest inland cotton compress, a population of several thousand and six railway lines. During the harvest season, cotton brought a “snowfall” to the downtown square as tufts of white pulled from bales for examination by cotton buyers floated into drifts around the courthouse.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 23,960 people, 9,156 households, and 6,171 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 706.5 people per square mile (272.8/km²). There were 9,977 housing units at an average density of 294.2/sq mi (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 incomefor 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.
In early years,
Hunt Countywas known as the cottoncapital of the world. The world's largest inland cotton compresswas located in Greenville until it was destroyed by fire in the mid-1900s.
Currently, the largest industry is L3 Communications Integrated Systems, formerly Esystems, Raytheon company, then to L3 Communications Integrated Systems, 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-47Thunderbolt fighter pilots in World War II, and since then has served as a focal point for economic growth in Greenville. Greenville is known internationally for its saddle making industry.
Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of World War II, spent many of his early years in Greenville. The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum contains memorabilia related to both Audie Murphy and the history of the cotton industry in Texas in and around Hunt County.
Monty Stratton, a famous major league baseball pitcher from the 1930s portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the movie "The Stratton Story".
Robert Neyland, Hall of Fame football coach at Tennessee and decorated officer in the U.S. Army .
Ben Kweller, American rock musician
* Wade Wilson, Former NFL and Dallas Cowboys quarterback and assistant coach.
Bart Millard, Lead singer and founder of the contemporary Christian band MercyMe.
Collin Raye, an American country music singer.
Mack Harrell, noted operatic baritone; father of world-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell
John Boles, noted movie and stage actor of the early 20th Century.
Fletcher Warren, a former United States Ambassador to Nicaragua, Paraguay, Venezuela and Turkey.
*Romero, Simon. [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/national/21church.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ei=5059&en=976212dc1b8f07b0&ex=1125288000&partner=AOL "A Texas Town Nervously Awaits a New Neighbor"] , "New York Times",
August 21, 2005.
*Huey, Brenda. (2006). "The Blackest Land The Whitest People". Bloomington: AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1425944247
* [http://www.ci.greenville.tx.us/ City of Greenville] – Official site.
* [http://www.greenville-chamber.org/ Greenville Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.greenville-texas.com Friends of Main Street]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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