Greenville, Illinois

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Greenville is a city in Bond County, Illinois, United States, 46 miles (74 km) east of St. Louis. The population was 6,955 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Bond County.[1]

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



Greenville had it's first Federal Post Office built in 1819. Greenville 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.[2] 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.[2]

During the 1840s, some Bond County residents conducted slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.[3] Slaves were often spirited from Missouri, sometimes through Carlyle to Bond County.[3] Rev. John Leeper was able to disguise his Underground Railroad activities due to his milling business.[3] Dr. Henry Perrine practiced medicine near Greenville and helped with the secret railroad activities.[3] Rev. George Denny's house was found in the 1930s to conceal a secret chamber that had been used in the Railroad.[3]

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