About This Place
Greenwood is a city in and the county seat of Leflore County, Mississippi, United States, located at the eastern edge of the Mississippi Delta approximately 96 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi, and 130 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. The population was 15,205 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Greenwood Micropolitan Statistical Area. The Tallahatchie River and the Yalobusha River meet at Greenwood to form the Yazoo River.
The flood plain of the Mississippi River has long been an area rich in vegetation and wildlife, feeding off the Mississippi and its numerous tributaries. Long before Europeans migrated to America, the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations settled in the Delta's marsh and swampland. In 1830 the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed by Choctaw Chief Greenwood Leflore, opening the swampland to European settlers.
The first settlement on the banks of the Yazoo River was a trading post founded by John Williams in 1830 and known as Williams Landing. The settlement quickly blossomed, and in 1844 was incorporated as "Greenwood," named after Chief Greenwood Leflore. Growing into a strong cotton market, the key to the city's success was based on its strategic location in the heart of the Delta; on the easternmost point of the alluvial plain and astride the Tallahatchie River and the Yazoo River. The city served as a shipping point to New Orleans, Louisiana, Vicksburg, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri. Greenwood continued to prosper until the latter part of the American Civil War. The end of the Civil War in the mid-1860s and the following years of reconstruction severely diminished the cotton industry and crippled the city's previously thriving economy.