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GREENVILLE, TEXAS

Hunt County Seat, North Central Texas

I-30
45 miles East of Dallas
Population: 26,076 (2010) 23,960 (2000)

Book Hotel Here > Greenville Hotels

Greenville Texas Germany-Babb House
The 1886 Second Empire style Germany-Babb House on Lee Street just west of downtown. A Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.
Photo courtesy Milton Babb, December 2006
Greenville by Milton Babb

The town of Greenville became the county seat when the first Texas legislature created
Hunt County in 1846. Greenville was named for Republic of Texas Congressman Thomas J. Green, a freedom fighter in the Lone Star's war for independence from Mexico.

With the arrival of the railroads in the 1880s, founders soon envisioned Greenville not as a settlement, but as a city. Cotton flourished in the blackland prairie, creating an economic engine that soon transformed the town. The "cotton capital of the world" soon boasted the world's largest inland cotton compress, a population of several thousand, and six railway lines. First-class hotels, an electric streetcar line and a thriving business community gave leaders a vision for the future. Fortunately, much of the Victorian-era architecture remains to give Greenville an identity quite apart from typical suburbia.
US Post Office, Greenville Texas
Greenville Texas post office
Greenville's 1909 Beaux Art style U.S. Post Office
Photos courtesy Milton Babb, December 2006

Greenville Today

Today, downtown Greenville offers visitors a step back in time. The Greenville Railroad Museum is housed in the 1895 Katy Depot. Antique emporiums and specialty shops line Lee Street and Washington Street (the original northern boundary of Mercer's Colony). The Hunt County Heritage Garden is a delight to the senses and a learning experience of which plants do well in native Texas soil.

Concerts in the 1938 Art Deco Municipal Auditorium range from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to Ray Wylie Hubbard. Elvis played there in 1955.

A self-guided historical walking tour informs visitors how the Greenville Majors beat the New York Yankees, why early civic leaders shot a stream of water over the courthouse and why acts from John Philip Sousa to the Marx Brothers to Houdini came to Greenville in early days. - Milton Babb, December 1006
Greenville Texas Beckham Hotel Annex  column detail
Greenville Texas Texan Theater neon sign
 
L - Detail of the 1902 Beckham Hotel Annex.
R - "The 1930s 1930s Texan Theater now houses a home decor and custom quilt shop."
- Photos courtesy Milton Babb, December 2006

Greenville Attractions / Landmarks

  • Hunt County Courthouse
  • The Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum: 600 I-30 East 903-450-4502 Exhibits and artifacts from local history, including cotton growing and processing equipment, and Audie Murphy memorabilia from WWII's most decorated soldier. A bronze statue of Audie Murphy is the centerpiece of the veterans memorial on the museum grounds.
  • The Genealogy Room at W. Walworth Harrison Public Library houses an extensive collection of records for family researchers. In Ja-Lu Park off Stonewall Street. 903-457-2997
  • Victorian and turn-of-the-century homes in the older residential area
  • Peace Garden sculpture garden in Forest Park Cemetery, Bus. Hwy 69 S.

    Nearby Destinations

    Less than 30 miles away are Lake Lavon and Lake Ray Hubbard to the east, and Lake Tawakoni to the south.
    Greenville Tourist Information
    Greenville Chamber of Commerce: 903-455-1510
    2713 Stonewall St.
    Chamber website:www.greenville-chamber.org/
    City website: www.ci.greenville.tx.us

    Greenville Hotels - Book Here
  • Gargoyle
    Morgan and Gotcher Building on Stonewall Street in Greenville.

    Photo courtesy Milton Babb, December 2006
    Gargoyle
    1925 Stringer Mortuary Building on Stonewall Street

    Photo courtesy Milton Babb, December 2006
    Carnegie Library in Greenville, Texas
     
    The 1903 Carnegie Library in Greenville. Razed in 1953
    Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    Railroad Interlocking Tower 64, Greenville, Texas 1930

    "The original Tower 64 around 1930. The track straight ahead is looking toward Commerce, Texas on the St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt). Track to the left is the Missouri, Kansas and Texas toward Denison. Structure that can be seen in the distance is the MKT Hunt Yard office in Greenville, Texas."
    - Photo courtesy Katy Railroad Historical Society

    Greenville Stories
  • Grin and Bear It by Milton Babb
    "There's nothing worse than a drunken bear in a department store..."
  • The Power We Longed For
    In the years just before and during World War II two unpaved roads led south from Saltillo. Those of us who lived on the road that started from the east side of town used kerosene lamps and wood-burning heaters and cook stoves. Those who lived on the road that ran from the west side had the benefit of power supplied by an Rural Electric Administration co-operative in Greenville...
  • Greenville TX downtown street scene postcard
    Greenville street scene
    Lee Street looking east

    TE old postcard
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