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Greenville, Kentucky

The courthouse in Greenville.
The courthouse in Greenville.
Flag of Greenville
Location of Greenville within Kentucky.
Location of Greenville within Kentucky.
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Muhlenberg
Settled 1812
Incorporated 1848
Named for Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene
or nearby forests
 • Mayor Jan Yonts
 • Total 4.8 sq mi (12.4 km2)
 • Land 4.8 sq mi (12.4 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 525 ft (160 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 4,312
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Code 42345
Area code(s) 270 & 364
FIPS code 21-33022
GNIS feature ID 0493344

Greenville is a city in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county.[1] The population was 4,312 at the 2010 census.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Sites of interest 5
    • Thistle Cottage 5.1
    • Muhlenberg County Rail Trail 5.2
  • Notable people 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The town was settled in 1799 on an estate donated by local landowner William Campbell in order to establish a seat of government for a new county. Greenville was not established by the state assembly until 1812, however.[2] It was incorporated as a city in 1848.[3]

The city was probably named for the Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene,[4] although local lore holds it was named by Campbell's wife after the abundant forests seen from the town's hilltop location.[2]


Greenville is located at (37.207158, -87.176499).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12 km2), of which 4.8 square miles (12 km2) is land and 0.21% is water.


As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 4,398 people, 1,859 households, and 1,217 families residing in the city. The population density was 921.7 people per square mile (356.0/km²). There were 2,047 housing units at an average density of 429.0 per square mile (165.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.88% White, 8.75% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.30% of the population.

There were 1,859 households out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.75.

The age distribution was 19.1% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 24.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 77.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,521, and the median income for a family was $35,571. Males had a median income of $37,454 versus $18,375 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,708. About 14.2% of families and 19.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.1% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.


The 1987 Encyclopedia of Kentucky refers to Greenville as "the unofficial capital of the Black Belt", a reference to the area's production of coal and dark tobacco.[9]

Sites of interest

Thistle Cottage

The Duncan Cultural Center in Greenville, Kentucky

Thistle Cottage, formerly the Duncan Cultural Center, occupies the former home of William Graham Duncan on Cherry Street in Greenville. Constructed in 1912, the home was donated to the city of Greenville by Hamilton Richardson Duncan, Sr., the last of the Duncan family to reside there, in 1986. It became the Duncan Cultural Center a year later, but did not open to the public until 1989. The name was changed to Thistle Cottage (the name given to the house by William Duncan) in 2014.[10]

Today, the Center displays a number of artifacts related to the history and culture of Muhlenberg County, including a coal museum. It is also available for rent to host parties and other special events.

Muhlenberg County Rail Trail

A refurbished railcar from the Paducah and Louisville Railway along the Muhlenberg County Rail Trail

The Muhlenberg County Rail Trail is a paved trail following an old Paducah and Louisville railway route between Central City, Kentucky and Greenville that is open to pedestrian and non-motorized vehicle traffic. Kentucky's most extensive rail trail conversion to date, the Muhlenberg Rail Trail opened October 20, 2000 and was named "Trail of the Month" by the Rails to Trails Conservancy in May 2004.[11] A viewing platform and birding guide are available where the trail passes through a local wetland.[12] The Muhlenberg County Rails to Trails Committee has railbanked an additional 3 miles (4.8 km) of abandoned rail, possibly for a later extension into McLean County.[13]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b Rennick, Robert M. (1987). Kentucky Place Names. University Press of Kentucky. p. 126. Retrieved 28 Apr 2013. 
  3. ^ Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Greenville, Kentucky". Accessed 28 Jul 2013.
  4. ^ "History of Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky".
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  9. ^ "Dictionary of Places: Greenville". Encyclopedia of Kentucky.  
  10. ^ Duncan Cultural Center History
  11. ^ Trail of the Month - Muhlenberg County Rail Trail
  12. ^ Rails to Trails Conservancy - Muhlenberg County Rail Trail
  13. ^ Kentucky Rails to Trails Council - Muhlenberg County Rail Trail

External links

  • Greater Muhlenberg Chamber of Commerce
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