Side 1The Camellia City
Mr. J. Glenn Stanley, an ardent camellia enthusiast, dreamed of Greenville becoming "The Camellia City" and loyally promoted this slogan as editor of The Greenville Advocate. The city's first Camellia Show was held at his antebellum Henry-Beeland-Stanley home in 1937. City officials, civic groups, garden clubs and individuals joined Mr. Glenn's campaign by planting camellias in abundance. Local gardeners including Stanley, Steindorff, Beeland, Jernigan, Stabler, Ryan, Hendrick, Thagard, Langford and Fox began propagating camellias. Eleven Greenville varieties are registered with the American Camellia Society. In 1938, the Greenville City Council adopted the Camellia Japonica as the Official City Flower. State Representative Lamont Glass of Greenville was instrumental in the beautiful camellia being declared the Official State Flower by Act of the Alabama Legislature on Aug. 26, 1959. The 50th anniversary of the camellia as the State Flower was celebrated in 2009. Camellias of all varieties are evident throughout the city as Greenville carries on its heritage as "The Camellia City".
County Seat of Butler County
Named by early settlers who emigrated from South Carolina, Greenville was established as the county seat in 1821. Settlers traveling along the Old Federal Road were attracted by the area's abundant natural resources and strategic location, major factors that have continued to shape Greenville's commercial, agricultural and recreational activities. In Butler County, the Federal Road followed Bartram's Trail, an ancient Indian path traveled by naturalist William Bartram in 1775. Early Greenville residents included Dunklin, Herbert, Cook, Bolling, Judge, Parmer, Caldwell, Black, Pickens, Graydon, Burnett, Hutchinson, Jones and Waters. The railroad was completed in 1861, enabling establishment of a Confederate Hospital. Greenville flourished in the 1870s and 1880s. By 1900, the town had thriving businesses, a streetcar line, electricity, telephone service, opera house, several colleges and many active churches. Greenville has maintained its historic integrity with hundreds of homes and buildings on the national and state landmarks registers, including the Ritz Theatre, restored to its 1930s Art Deco splendor. Named "Best Small Town in America" in 2001, Greenville's small town atmosphere continues to be important to its culture.