Main Births etc
Greenville, Mississippi
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The Heart & Soul Of The Delta
Motto: The Best Food, Shopping, & Entertainment In The South
Location of Greenville in Washington County
Coordinates: 33°23′55″N 91°2′54″W / 33.39861, -91.04833Coordinates: 33°23′55″N 91°2′54″W / 33.39861, -91.04833
Country United States
State Mississippi
County Washington
 • Type Municipal Government
 • Mayor John H. Cox III
 • City 27.757 sq mi (71.6 km2)
 • Land 26.9 sq mi (69.6 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.0 km2)
Elevation 131 ft (40 m)
Population (United States Census 2010)
 • City 34,400
 • Density 1,279/sq mi (793/km2)
 • Urban 34,400
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 38700–38799
Area code(s) 662
FIPS code 28-29180
GNIS feature ID 0670711

Greenville is a city in Washington County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 34,400 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Washington County.[1]


Greenville was founded in 1824 by William W. Blanton, who filed for land from the United States government who granted him section four, township eighteen, range eight west. This plot is now most of downtown Greenville.

The current city of Greenville is the third in the State to bear the name. The first, located down near Natchez, died aborning right after the American Revolution. The second is the parent city to the present one. It was named by its founders for General Nathanael Greene, beloved friend of George Washington, for whom the county was named. This second city was located three miles from the present site, where today stands Greenville’s Industrial fill. The second town was a thriving hamlet in the days before the Civil War. It formed the business and cultural center for the large cotton plantations that surrounded it. The town was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg when troops from a Union gunboat landed, and when fired upon, burned every building. The inhabitants took refuge in plantation homes of the area. When the war ended, veterans of Mississippi regiments found Greenville in a state of ruin.

For a time these men rested, but not for long. They had been defeated in battle but not in spirit. They met in twos and threes and finally en masse and decided to build again. The place chosen was the highest point on the Mississippi River between the towns of Vicksburg and Memphis. It belonged to the Roach and Blanton families; the major part of the area selected was on the property owned by Mrs. Harriet Blanton Theobald. She welcomed the idea of a new Greenville and gave land for schools and churches and public buildings, earning the name of the “Mother of Greenville”. Major Richard O’Hea, who planned the fortifications at Vicksburg, was hired to lay out the new town.

Greenville is named after American Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene.


Walnut Street, 1994

Greenville is located at 33°23′55″N 91°2′54″W / 33.39861, -91.04833 (33.398577, -91.048356), [2] on the eastern bank of Lake Ferguson, an oxbow lake left from an old channel of the Mississippi River. Two floating casinos are located on the lake near the downtown area, with a third just west of the city near the Greenville Bridge. Chicago Mill and Lumber Co. operated a lumber mill on the lake two-tenths of a mile south of the casino levee parking lot; the mill specialized in making hardwood boxes until it closed. The Winterville Mounds Historic Site, with museum and picnic area, is located just north of the town at 2415 Highway 1 N; the Indian mounds were built by a tribe that predated the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian tribes.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.7 square miles (72 km2), of which 26.9 square miles (70 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) (2.82%) is water.

Nelson Street[]

Nelson Street is a historic strip of blues clubs that drew crowds in the 1940s and 1950s to the flourishing club scene to hear Delta blues, big band, jump blues and jazz and where record companies looked for talent.[3] It was the equivalent of Beale Street in mid-1900s Memphis.[4]

The second historic marker designated by the Mississippi Blues Commission on the Mississippi Blues Trail was placed in front of the Southern Whispers Restaurant on Nelson Street in Greenville, a stop on the chitlin' circuit in the early days of the blues. The marker commemorates the importance of this site in the history of the development of the blues in Mississippi.[5][6]

Gamwyn Park Historic District, Bounded by Gamwyn Park Dr., N. Gamwyn Dr., E. Gamwyn Dr., S. Dr., and W. Gamwyn Dr. Greenville


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 760
1870 890 17.1%
1880 2,191 146.2%
1890 6,658 203.9%
1900 7,642 14.8%
1910 9,610 25.8%
1920 11,560 20.3%
1930 14,807 28.1%
1940 20,892 41.1%
1950 29,936 43.3%
1960 41,502 38.6%
1970 39,648 −4.5%
1980 40,613 2.4%
1990 45,226 11.4%
2000 41,633 −7.9%
2010 34,400 −17.4%
Est. 2012 33,418 −19.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2012 Estimate[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 41,633 people, 18,784 households, and 14,422 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,548.8 people per square mile (598.0/km²). There were 16,251 housing units at an average density of 604.6 per square mile (233.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 28.92% White, 69.60% Black, 0.07% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71% of the population.

There were 14,784 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 27.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. Of all households, 25.8% were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.4% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 85.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,928, and the median income for a family was $30,788. Males had a median income of $29,801 versus $20,707 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,992. About 25.7% of families and 29.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.2% of those under age 18 and 23.6% of those age 65 or over.

As of the 2010 Census, the racial composition of the city was:


Greenville Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge crossing the Mississippi River.


Greenville Mid Delta Regional Airport, located in unincorporated Washington County,[10] northeast of downtown Greenville, serves the city and the Mississippi Delta region. Silver Airways provides commercial air service to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with a connecting stop in Tupelo, Mississippi.


U.S. Highway 82, U.S. Highway 61 and the Great River Road (Mississippi Highway 1) are the main transportation arteries through the Greenville area. U.S. Highway 82 is a major part of the Mississippi Delta's transportation network, as it connects to Interstate 55 and other major four-lane highways. In addition, the U.S. Highway 82 bypass is currently in construction providing a transportation route at the Southern end connecting at the new MS River Bridge and end near Leland. The four-lane Greenville Bridge, a $206 million cable-stayed span crossing the Mississippi River into Arkansas, opened in 2010, replacing the two-lane Benjamin G. Humphreys Bridge, which opened in 1940.


Most of Greenville is served by the Greenville Public School District, while a small portion of the city lies in the Western Line School District.

The private schools, Washington School and Greenville Christian School,[11] also serve the city; as well as the parochial schools, St. Joseph High School [12] and Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary [13] which are part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jackson.

The Greenville Higher Education Center offers non credit community courses and credit courses from Delta State University, Mississippi Delta Community College, and Mississippi Valley State University.[14]


The Greenville Bucks were a minor-league baseball team in the Cotton States League from 1922 to 1955.

The Greenville Bluesmen were an independent minor league professional baseball team from 1996-2001 in Greenville.

The Mississippi Miracles, formerly the Mississippi Stingers, were an American Basketball Association franchise from 2004-2006 in Greenville.

Greenville will become host to a mega sports complex for young athletes.

Notable people[]

Born in Greenville[]

  • Steve Azar, country singer.[15]
  • John Colbert, aka J Blackfoot, Soul singer with the Bar-Kays and Soul Children was born in Greenville.[16]
  • Bruce Blackman, composer/producer, founder of pop group Starbuck; wrote the hit song Moonlight Feels Right and produced 8 top 100 singles and 4 albums[17]
  • Eden Brent, blues boogie-woogie musician, composer, and performer
  • Jo Carr (1926–2007), born Bettye Jo Crisler in Greenville, became one of the first female Methodist ministers and church administrators in the South Plains of Texas. She was first an English professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock
  • Ross Davis, Negro league baseball player
  • Shelby Foote, author and historian
  • Robert T. Henry, World War II soldier and Medal of Honor recipient
  • Jim Henson, puppeteer
  • Corey Holmes, all-star Canadian Football League player and Mayor of Metcalfe, Mississippi
  • Lucy Somerville Howorth, feminist & New Deal Lawyer
  • Antonio Johnson, NFL player for the Indianapolis Colts
  • Germany Kent, model and media personality.
  • Sam Chu Lin, pioneering Chinese American journalist
  • John Ramsey Miller, writer and journalist
  • Greenville is the home town of the Percy family, including U.S. Senator Le Roy Percy and author William Alexander Percy who took charge of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 recovery effort and wrote Lanterns on the Levee about the Mississippi Delta. Walker Percy, another writer from the Percy family, spent most of his life in Alabama and Louisiana.
  • George Scott, MLB player for the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees
  • LaToya Thomas, former professional basketball player in the WNBA, first round draft pick of the Cleveland Rockers
  • Frank White, professional baseball player
  • Mary Wilson, singer, of The Supremes

Greenville related[]

  • Greenville is the home to the Delta Democrat Times, which was once under the direction of Pulitzer Prize winner Hodding Carter. Greenville also saw and was home to Hodding Carter III, a journalist during the civil rights movement and thereafter.
  • African-American bear hunter and sportsman Holt Collier is buried in Greenville. Collier was the guide for President Theodore Roosevelt on a bear hunt in Sharkey County and was instrumental in the birth of the teddy bear legend.[18] In January 2004 the Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge was established on Collier’s "historic hunting grounds" south of Greenville.[19]
  • Clarke Reed, Mississippi state Republican chairman from 1966 to 1976 and instrumental in the nomination of Gerald R. Ford, Jr., at the 1976 Republican National Convention, has resided in Greenville since 1950; he is a businessman and investor.[20]
  • Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker, an African-American trombonist, born in Newellton, Louisiana, lived in Greenville early in his career.

Sister cities[]

  • Germany Kronach, Germany 2006
  • Liberia Greenville, Liberia 2009

See also[]


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ Doe's Eat Place is located on Nelson Street. Cloues, Kacey. "Great Souther Getaways - Mississippi". Archived from the original on 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  4. ^ "Introducing the Mississippi Blues Trail". The Mississippi Blues Commission. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  5. ^ "Blues Matters! - Delta sites to be included on new blues trail". Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  6. ^ "Mississippi Blues Commission - Blues Trail". Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ "Greenville city, Mississippi." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  11. ^ Greenville Christian School website
  12. ^ St. Joseph High School website
  13. ^ Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School website
  14. ^ Greenville Higher Education Center website
  15. ^ "Steveazar". Steve Azer. Retrieved June 2014. 
  16. ^ "Stax star J Blackfoot Dies". The Commercial Appeal. 30 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Mississippi Musicians". Mississippi Writer & Musicians. Retrieved June 2014. 
  18. ^ Buchannan, Minor Ferris. "Holt Collier: Guiding Roosevelt through the Mississippi [Canebrake]." U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conservation Library
  19. ^ Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  20. ^ "Sid Salter, GOP pioneer Clarke Reed faces post-crash surgeries, June 25, 2010". DeSoto Times Tribune. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 

External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Greenville, Mississippi. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.