The Missouri, Kansas and Texas depot still stands in Greenville, and is one of the oldest surviving depots in the state of Texas. The upper part of the depot was an open air atrium. This part of the depot was damaged by a tornado in the 1950's and removed.
GREENVILLE, TEXAS (Hunt County). Greenville, the county seat of Hunt County, is a commercial and manufacturing center sixty miles northeast of Dallas on Interstate Highway 30. The community was established in 1846, the same year in which an act of the state legislature established Hunt County. The act authorized the use of the name Greenville for the county seat to honor Gen. Thomas J. Green.
The location of the town was decided by residents of the central portion of the new county, who, after ballots, chose a 640-acre site donated by McQuinney Howell Wright, a surveyor, land speculator, and early settler. The site of Greenville was "a great prairie covered with tall waving grass." The survey began on May 11, 1846, and auctions for town lots began on January 15, 1847. All but one of the lots in the four blocks facing the town's prospective square were sold.
The first county courthouse, a twenty-two foot log building, was raised shortly after the first auction; it was funded by the sales. Hunt County's population increased rapidly, but since most of the county's residents lived on farms Greenville grew slowly. A post office opened in 1847; it was the only one in the county until 1849. Greenville's first school opened in the county courthouse in 1847; by 1850 a one-room school building had been erected to house the Greenville Institute, a private primary school. Greenville incorporated on February 15, 1852.
The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Extensions Railway arrived in Greenville in the fall of 1880, constructed through from Whitewright in Grayson County, and the East Line and Red River Railroad arrived in February 1881, the Dallas and Greenville Railway in 1886, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway in 1887, and the Texas Midland line in 1896. Greenville thus became a rail town, encouraging cotton production in Hunt County and stimulating the development of associated commercial and financial institutions. By the mid-1880s Greenville was a leading cotton marketing location. Greenville's population was 3,000 by 1884.
By 1892 the city, described as the "principal city of
. . . one of the richest blackland counties" in the state,
reported a population of 5,000. Greenville also had a daily and
three weekly newspapers, two national banks, two opera houses,
and a number of manufacturing establishments, including an ice
factory, flour and feed mills, a cotton compress, and the machine
shops of the MKT railroad. The community shipped over $1 million
worth of cotton annually and supported 200 businesses.
Text from the Handbook of Texas Online