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More on Greenville
back to : Communities & Maps

(Webmaster's note: This article is in two parts.)

Jefferson County Tidbits # 28  More on Old Greenville

Found this in some of the other WPA papers
     When this first county seat was established the choice lie between
Uniontown on Coles Creek, Villa Gayosa Settlement and the Green Settlement.
The Wests and Greens were politically prominent and succeeded in having the
County seat established where the town of Greenville was later built.  The
commissioners of Public Building appointed by the General Assembly were Wm.
Irvin, Thomas Green, Wm. Moss, Jacob Stampley and David Greenleaf.  
     At the time there were two stores near the propsed site, one was  on
Abijah Hunts property, and the other on the property of David Odom.  The
commissioners purchased two acres from the executors of David Odom for the erection
of Public Buildings.
     On the estabvlishment of the town Drury Brazeale, Henry E. Down,
Armstrong Ellis, Robert McKay and Robert Cox were appointed Trustees.
     A Post Office was established in 1802 and John Shaw was appointed
     The new town grew rapidly.  It had many business houses and several
taverns.  Rev. John G. Jones in his "History of Methodism in Mississippi"
wrote that it was a very wicked town, much given to horse racing, gambling and
worldly vices.
     Two young Methodists, Rev. John C. Johnson and  Rev. Thomas Owens, from
the nearby settlement of Spring nHill, enetered the Greenville Community and
proceeded to hold very moving revivals.  A congregation was organized there
with about sixty members and a church was built.  It continured functioning
until the County seat was moved to Fayette..  Twenty years later, about 1840,
the Belle Grove Methodist Church was built near the site of old Greenville.
      On January 4th, 1804, Odom's executors sold a lot on Main Street to Cato
West, David Snodgrass, John Stampley, Jonathan Jones and David Cooper for the
exclusive use as a meeting hgouse and burying ground. The denomination is not
mentioned but it is the thought that this was a Methodist Church and appears
in the old records as Coles Creek Church.
     Almost all of the business places and prominent people moved from
Uniontown and relocated in Greevnille.  Among them were John Girault, James
Bennett, Truly, Wm. Moss and members of the shackleford and Harrison families.
     During Greenville's prosperous days there were several large stores, a
tannery, cotton gin.  The streets were wide and each lot was an acre.

Can you stand a little more on Greenville ...  well, it will continue in
Tidbits # 29

Anebec (Ann Brown)

Jefferson County Tidbits # 29  Old Greenville continued.

    There were several courts held in Greenville at this time for the purpose
of meting out justice and regulating the Commonwealth.  Among the early courts
were the Orphans Court, the Probate County and the County Court.  There were
monthly sessions and all  types of misdemeanors, social problems and civil
questions were settled by one of these tribunes.  On the record books of the
county we find under the date of October 24th, 1814 a court order establishing
the following tavern rates "in and for the County of Jefferson".
Champagne per quart  $ 2.50        Madeira             per quart    $ 2.00
Port            per quart  $ 1.50        Claret & Sherry  per quart    $ 1.00
Rum                               .50        Whiskey .50
Peach Brandy                 .50        Cognac .75
Toddy, rum                      .37 1/2  Toddy whiskey .25
Toddy, Cognac                .50         Toddy, Brandy .50
Breakfast                        .37 1/2   Dinner .50
Supper                            .37 1/2   Lodging for night .12 1/2
Horse, per  day - 24 hrs    .75         Horse, over night only             .50
Horse feed                       .25                              

    Tavern licenses were assessed at the same term of court at $ 25.00 per
year plus $ 2.50 clerks fee.  According to the early tavern permits there were
several located at old Greenville.  In court records we find permits issued to
Seth Cock, Louis Cable and James Whitehead to keep taverns and "retail
spirituous liquers within the town of Greenville".  The town as wicked as Rev.
Jones would have us think seems some what verified by the  records of numerous
trespass and larceny suits before the courts.
     In the July 1811 term of court, Brooking Griffing brought suit against
Elizabeth Gordon chargin that on February 4th she "by force of arms broke into
and entered the house of said Griffing situated in the Town of Greenville by
wrenching open the door of the house, and for other injuries and wrongs to the
said Griffing "damages of $500.00 were asked.
      In the same session, "on complaint being made and proven that John
Huston and John Fitzmonger are in the habit of selling spirituous liquers to
negroes,  it is ordered that the license of Huston be suspended for the
balance of the time it was granted and that he be notified thereof". Location
of Huston's place of business was not given.  
     Many minor affairs came to the courts attention.  There was no Board of
Supervisors at that time and the court authorized such items as was recorded
in July 1820, where the clerk was allowed $15.00 for the purchase of a large
book for the use by the court and on half dozen chairs for the same.

I can't guarantee that this is the last that you will hear of Old Greenville.

Ann Brown


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