Greenville, Illinois

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Greenville, Illinois
City
BondCountyCourthouse GreenvilleIL.jpg
Bond County Courthouse is located in Greenville's public square. The Bond County Soldiers and Sailors Monument is located on the courthouse grounds.
CountryUnited States
StateIllinois
CountyBond
Elevation500 ft (152 m)
Coordinates38°53′N 89°24′W / 38.883°N 89.400°W / 38.883; -89.400
Area6.19 sq mi (16 km2)
 - land6.19 sq mi (16 km2)
 - water0.00 sq mi (0 km2)
Population7,000 (2010)
Density1,130.9 / sq mi (437 / km2)
FoundedMunicipal corporation, 1872
MayorAlan Gaffner
TimezoneCST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code62246
Area code618
Location of Greenville within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Greenville, Illinois
Website: www.greenvilleillinois.com
 
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Coordinates: 38°53′N 89°24′W / 38.883°N 89.400°W / 38.883; -89.400
Greenville, Illinois
City
BondCountyCourthouse GreenvilleIL.jpg
Bond County Courthouse is located in Greenville's public square. The Bond County Soldiers and Sailors Monument is located on the courthouse grounds.
CountryUnited States
StateIllinois
CountyBond
Elevation500 ft (152 m)
Coordinates38°53′N 89°24′W / 38.883°N 89.400°W / 38.883; -89.400
Area6.19 sq mi (16 km2)
 - land6.19 sq mi (16 km2)
 - water0.00 sq mi (0 km2)
Population7,000 (2010)
Density1,130.9 / sq mi (437 / km2)
FoundedMunicipal corporation, 1872
MayorAlan Gaffner
TimezoneCST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code62246
Area code618
Location of Greenville within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Greenville, Illinois
Website: www.greenvilleillinois.com

Greenville is a city in Bond County, Illinois, United States, 49 miles (79 km) east of St. Louis. The population as of the 2010 census was 7,000.[1] It is the county seat of Bond County.[2]

Greenville is part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3] It is also considered part of the Metro East region of Illinois.

Greenville is home to Greenville College, a private Free Methodist college.

History[edit]

Greenville was founded in 1815 by George Davidson when he purchased 160 acres (65 ha) along the bluff overlooking Little Shoal Creek. He built a tavern near the present-day intersection of Main and Sixth streets, and by 1816 he was selling individual lots.[4] Greenville had its first federal post office in 1819. It was incorporated as a town in 1855 and as a city in 1872. At one time, it had neighborhoods called New Jerusalem, Piety Hill, Cobtown, and Buzzard Roost.[5] A few possible reasons have been put forth for the naming of the town. Some think the town was named after Greenville, North Carolina, which had been named after Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. Others say that Greenville was named by early settler Thomas White because it was "so green and nice". A third possibility is that Greenville was named after Green P. Rice, the town's first merchant.[5]

Greenville became the county seat of Bond County in 1821. The earlier seat of Perryville was annexed into Fayette County when it was formed from part of Bond County, requiring the naming of a new seat. George Davidson offered to give the county government land around the present-day town square. His offer was accepted, and a courthouse was built in 1821 on the site of the current courthouse.[4]

During the 1840s, some Bond County residents conducted slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.[6] Slaves were often spirited from Missouri, sometimes through Carlyle to Bond County.[6] Rev. John Leeper was able to disguise his Underground Railroad activities due to his milling business.[6] Dr. Henry Perrine practiced medicine near Greenville and helped with the secret railroad activities.[6] Rev. George Denny's house was found in the 1930s to conceal a secret chamber that had been used in the Railroad.[6]

Greenville College was founded as Almira College in 1855. In 1941, college president H.J. Long "declared the founding of Almira and Greenville ran parallel, for both were founded on prayer."[5]

When Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas gave speeches in Greenville in 1858 during a campaign for the United States Senate, Douglas said: "Ladies and gentlemen it gives me great and supreme gratification and pleasure to see this vast concourse of people assembled to hear me upon this my first visit to Old Bond."[5] The Illinois State Register reported of the occasion: "I've seen many gatherings in Old Bond county but I never saw anything equal to this and I never expect to."[5]

On November 21, 1915, the Liberty Bell passed through Greenville on its nationwide tour returning to Pennsylvania from the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. After that trip, the Liberty Bell returned to Pennsylvania and will not be moved again.[5][7]

The Greenville Public Library was established as a Carnegie library and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Hogue Hall at Greenville College also appeared on the National Register (it was demolished in 2008).[5]

On April 18, 1934, during the Great Depression, a group of 500 protesters marched to the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission to lodge complaints about the delivery of emergency supplies from the state and federal governments.[5]

Ronald Reagan visited Greenville on the campaign trail in 1980 and gave a speech on the street in front of the courthouse; his visit is commemorated by a plaque.[8] Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois elected as President in November 2008, visited Greenville while campaigning for his Senate seat in 2004, in a visit hosted by the Bond County Democrats.[9] Women in Bond County could vote for the first time in 1914.[5]

On one of his tours across America in his motorhome, sportscaster John Madden stopped in Greenville and enjoyed his time at a truck stop so much that he declared it the "John Madden Hall of Fame." The truck stop has since been torn down.[citation needed]

Geography[edit]

Greenville is located near the center of Bond County at 38°53′N 89°24′W / 38.883°N 89.400°W / 38.883; -89.400 (38.8895, -89.4036).[10] U.S. Route 40 and Interstate 70 pass to the south of downtown, both highways leading west 49 miles (79 km) to St. Louis and east 19 miles (31 km) to Vandalia.

Greenville is also located on Illinois Route 127, which is a major north-south route connecting Southern Illinois to Springfield.

The National Road passes through Greenville. East of Greenville it follows Illinois Route 140, and west it follows U.S. Route 40. Its route west of town was the source of an historic controversy. Original plans were to connect Greenville to St. Louis. However, the State Legislature prefered a route to Alton in order to favor an Illinois city on the Mississippi River. When Federal money for the road ran out in 1840 at Vandalia, 19 miles east of Greenville, the State Legislature refused to fund it further. Residents of Greenville, Highland, Troy, and Collinsville paid to complete the road to East St. Louis. The "State Policy" of favoring Alton over St. Louis remained a major political issue in Illinois until the Civil War.[11]

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 6.19 square miles (16.0 km2), all land.[12]

Greenville Municipal Airport is located 3 mi south of downtown at 38° 50′ 10″ N, 89° 22′ 42″ W

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 6,955 people, 2,019 households, and 1,280 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,337.0 people per square mile (516.4/km²). There were 2,171 housing units at an average density of 417.3 per square mile (161.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.40 percent White, 15.44 percent African American, 0.62 percent Native American, 0.47 percent Asian, 0.37 percent from other races, and 0.69 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.46 percent of the population.

There were 2,019 households out of which 30.0 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7 percent were married couples living together, 10.0 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6 percent were non-families. 33.4 percent of all households were made up of individuals[clarification needed] and 17.7 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.9 percent under the age of 18, 18.1 percent from 18 to 24, 32.7 percent from 25 to 44, 18.7 percent from 45 to 64, and 14.6 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 143.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 152.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,650, and the median income for a family was $45,557. Males had a median income of $26,105 versus $20,889 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,326. About 8.8 percent of families and 11.8 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0 percent of those under age 18 and 9.9 percent of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

In addition to Greenville College, Greenville is home to Bond County Community Unit #2 High School (usually known as Greenville High School), home of the Comets. Since 2007 the Football Comets have made it to the Final Four in the IHSA Class 3A state football playoffs four times; in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. In 2007 they fell to Columbia, in 2011 they fell to Mount Carmel, and in both 2009 and 2012 they fell to Tolono Unity. Students from the neighboring towns of Pocahontas and Sorento attend high school in Greenville.

Greenville Junior High, home of the Bluejays, and Greenville Elementary School, home of the Rockets, round out Greenville's local schools. As of the 2006 school year, Greenville Elementary was selected as a NASA Explorer school. 2010 Bluejays baseball team won 2nd place in the Class 3A State Baseball championship finishing the season with a 24-3 record.

From 2004 to 2007, Greenville also had a private Christian school, Greenville Christian Academy, run by Smith Grove Baptist Church.[14] However, the school closed due to lack of enrollment in May 2007.[14] Other nearby private school alternatives are Vandalia Christian Academy and Mater Dei in Breese.[14]

Historical businesses[edit]

Historic Greenville businesses include the Helvetia Milk Condensing Company, which later became the Pet Milk Company. The condensing plant, built in 1899, was the oldest in the world for many years until it was torn down in the early 1990s. Pet also maintained in Greenville its research and testing center. Many products including Instant Pet, Pet-Ritz pies, Sego diet foods, and Old El Paso products were developed there along with the first use of food irradiation to increase the vitamin D content of milk. The remaining research buildings and warehouses were sold to Mallinckrodt Chemical in the 1990s, which continues to operate there today.

Other historic business include shoe manufacturer Mayer and Bannister, cigar manufacturers Thomas D. Scheske and H.H. Wirz, and glove factory the Greenville Glove Manufacturing Co.[5] In the early 1900s, Greenville had its own power company, Greenville Electric Gas and Power Company, which later was bought by Illinois Power and Light Service.[5]

The Watson family operated a pharmacy in Greenville for over 125 years, since 1881; it was sold in 2006, but still maintains the name Watson's Drug Store.

Greenville once had a silent movie theatre, the Lyric, and now has a first-run movie theatre, the Globe.[5]

While Greenville once hosted three newspapers, The Item, The Sun, and The Advocate, it now has only the twice-weekly Advocate.

Tornado history[edit]

On December 2, 1950, an EF3 tornado touched down at 4:00 near Highland, Illinois, and traveled 18.7 miles (30.1 km) into Greenville. It dissipated near the Greenville Country Club. It killed 2 people and injured 25 people.

On December 30, 2010, an EF-0 tornado caused damage in Greenville and northeast of the city. Tornado damage was first noted on the north side of Greenville near the intersection of North Hena and North Dewey streets. An agricultural building at the high school sustained roof damage with some additional minor roof and tree damage noticed at an adjacent house. Wind speeds in this area were estimated to be near 85 miles per hour (137 km/h). The tornado then moved northeast causing significant damage to a large tree on the north side of Illinois Route 140. Minor roof and siding damage was noted on several houses on Cloverfield Lane and North Idler Lane. The tornado continued northeast producing additional minor roof and tree damage on Country Club and Woburn roads before dissipating. The path length of the tornado was approximately 1.7 miles (2.7 km) with a maximum width of 100 yards (91 m).

Events[edit]

Greenville is the site of the annual Agape Music Festival, a Christian music festival. It also plays host to the World Powered Parachute Championships as "Chute-Out on the Prairie."

Greenville conducts the Bond County Fair every August. In 2008, the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Moving Wall visited Greenville to coincide with the fair activities.[15]—Ian H. Gentry 18:16, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Greenville College bands[edit]

Several bands formed by students at Greenville College have gone on to achieve fame, including:

Places of interest[edit]

Greenville is notable for its old-fashioned downtown and many antique shops.

A large stone and plaque placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution marks the location where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas made speeches while running for the United States Senate in 1858.[5] The city unsuccessfully applied for a grant from the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to buy the property on South Fifth Street where Lincoln spoke and to create there a small Lincoln park.[16] A statue dedicated to county veterans of the Civil War was dedicated on the courthouse lawn in 1903;[5] the courthouse lawn has a Veterans' Memorial in honor of all county veterans.

Many Sears Catalog Homes-houses made from kits bought from the Sears and Roebuck catalog-are dotted around the town.

Greenville College is home to the only museum dedicated to the sculptures of Richard Bock,[17] who was an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright and designed many of the sculptures for Wright-designed homes.

The American Farm Heritage Museum, a museum which aims to preserve agricultural history, is being built in Greenville.[18] The museum will feature exhibits of tractors and other farm-related memorabilia and held an Outhouse Festival and a Fall Festival in October 2006. It held its third annual Heritage Days and was the largest Oliver Corp. equipment show in America in 2007, as the national Oliver show was held outside the US.[19] In 2006, 500 tractors were on display for the event, and 5,000 people were in attendance.[20] In 2008, the show was the site of the Cockshutt international equipment show.[19] the AFHM also has a 15-inch-gage train going around it with approximately one mile of track.

Government[edit]

Greenville has had a mayor and city council form of government since 1957. The first mayor, James Bradford, was elected in 1873. He was the owner of Bradford and Son bank,[5] which is still in existence as Bradford National Bank. The current mayor of Greenville is Alan Gaffner.

During the first half of the 20th century, the Anti-Saloon Party was a player in local politics, with aldermen and mayors being elected from the ticket in 1911, 1913, 1917, and 1953.[8] After the 1953 election, a "city manager" style of government was voted in, which provided for non-partisan city council members.[8]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Greenville city, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ http://www.census.gov/popest/data/metro/totals/2009/index.html
  4. ^ a b Carson, Will (1905). Historical Souvenir of Greenville, Illinois. Effingham, IL: LeCrone Press. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Allan H. Keith, Historical Stories: About Greenville and Bond County, IL. Consulted on August 15, 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Several Stops On 'Underground Railroad' In Bond County". Greenville Advocate. November 11, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Liberty Bell Attracts Crowd in Greenville During 1915 Stop". Greenville Advocate. July 3, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b c "Our Readers Speak". Greenville Advocate. November 18, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Obama Visited Cafe in 2004". Greenville Advocate. November 11, 2008. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=4xE0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA140&dq=greenville+vandalia+illinois+mississippi+turnpike&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LK-BUqHNFeGt2QXp24DABA&ved=0CFoQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=greenville%20vandalia%20illinois%20mississippi%20turnpike&f=false
  12. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ a b c "Lack of Enrollment Results in Closing of GCA in May". Greenville Advocate. July 19, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Local AMVETS to Salute Wall". Greenville Advocate. July 17, 2007. 
  16. ^ "City Seeks Lincoln Grant to Draw Visitors to Site". Greenville Advocate. June 14, 2007. 
  17. ^ ~Historic~ Greenville Illinois - Bock Museum - Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ a b "Museum Readies for Third Show". Greenville Advocate. July 26, 2007. 
  20. ^ "Pleased with Heritage Days Results". Greenville Advocate. August 22, 2006. 
  21. ^ "Colorado Governor Job Adams Cooper". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  22. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1971,' Biographical Sketch of Gerald Greider, pg. 46

External links[edit]