Greenville, MI


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Greenville is a city in Montcalm County of the U.S. state of Michigan. Portions of the county are associated with the Western region while others are more closely associated with the Central Michigan region. The population was 7,935 at the 2000 census. Greenville residents can commute to jobs in the nearby Grand Rapids metro area.
Greenville is named after its founder, John Green, who settled in the wilderness of the southwest part of the Montcalm County in 1844. John Green constructed a sawmill on the Flat River that is credited for attracting other settlers. The newly formed Green's Village attracted many people of Danish origin who followed another early Danish settler's positive letters home regarding the area. Because of the town's heritage, Greenville celebrates the Danish Festival every year on the third weekend of August. A post office was established on January 20, 1848, with Abel French as the first postmaster. John Green had the village platted in 1853 and it was a station on the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad. Greenville incorporated as a village in 1867 and as a city in 1871.
Hendrik Meijer, founder of Meijer's stores, moved to Greenville after immigrating to the USA from the Netherlands. He was initially a barber, but the Great Depression and lack of a proper grocery on his side of town led him to open his own store in 1934. Meijer's corporation now operates stores throughout the Midwest. Hendrik's son Fred Meijer, principal architect of the modern Meijer chain, is a native son.