Greenville County, South Carolina part of the USGenWeb



Among the prominent early settlers of the County and Village were the following: Baylis Earle, Col. Jno B. Earle, Gen. John Earle, Maj. Gowen, Judge Pendleton, Judge Jas Harrison, Hon. Elias Earle, Hon. Saml Earle, Col. Harry Wood, John Foster, Philemon Bradford, Judge Thomas Edwards, Gen. Blassingame, Capt Jeremiah Cleveland, Vardry McBee, Gov. B.F. Perry, Gov. J. Alston, Gov. Middleton, Chance W. Thompson, Hon Joel R. Poinsett, Judge Gantt, Prof. Dickson, Drl. Wm. Butler, Maj Thos Lowndes, Col. Jno Thomas, John Wickliff, Robt Maxwell, Jno Kilgore, Wm.Young, Squire Salmon, Wm. Goodlett, Maj. Benson, Col. Thurston, Saml. Townes, Col. G. Walker, Capt. Robt Anderson, Col. Wm. Toney.

In present generations, Greenville was the birthplace of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Noble Prize winner Charles Townes, and Civil Rights Leader Jesse Jackson.

The first brick Court House was built in 1826. The first frame house was built by Judge Pendelton on the Grove.
Col. Clevland and F.F. Beattie were the first successful merchants of the village.
Dr.Richard Harrison was the first practicing physician in the County. Col. Tandy Walker, Judge Earle and Capt. Wm. Choice were the first lawyers.  

The State Teachers' Association was organized in 1881 by a leading citizen, Hugh S. Thompson, elected State superintendent of education on the Hampton ticket in 1876. 

The first woman to serve as a mill president in South Carolina, and possibly in the United States, is Mrs. Mary Putnam Gridley. Her grandfather, George Putnam, bequeathed her in 1889 the old mill at Batesville, Greenville County, which had been established soon after 1816 by William Bates of Rhode Island. For 25 years Mrs. Gridley successfully operated the plant.

In February, 2005, Greenville County Council ended a 19-year chapter that had both split and united residents by creating a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The 7 to 5 vote of the council ended a long and often heated debate over adding this as a paid holiday for county employees.  

The Dark Corner. The infamous Dark Corner of upper Greenville County, located in the mountainous regions of Highlands and Glassy Mountain townships, was a haven for outlaws, Civil War deserters, and the center of the illegal distilling of whiskey and beer for generations. The treturious terrain made the area almost impossible to patrol by local law enforcers. Revenuers and lawmen made careers of patrolling the steep mountains and dark valleys searching for illegal moonshine stills and trying to apprehend those who sought refuse from the law.

The reputation of the Dark Corner is clouded by these tales of moonshiners, Revenuers, and Lawlessness, but the majority of inhabitants were hard working, dedicated individuals who stood by their beliefs. Incorrectly the Dark Corner is often thought to have derived it's name from these legends, but factually it is a political tag. Preceeding the War between the States, the states Rights Advocates attempted to gain support in the strongly Unionist Greenville County. Unionist Benjamin F. PERRY and his supporters held strong against States Rights groups, but support dwindled as the political climate changed. States Rights groups referred that area of the County with it's unyielding Unionist beliefs as the Dark Corner.