March 17, 2007


Yes, that banner reads: "The blackest land, the whitest people."

Greenville, Texas, was named for Thomas J. Green, a general in the Texas Army in the war for independence from Mexico. He later became a member of the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Greenville, the county seat of Hunt County, is a commercial and manufacturing center sixty miles northeast of Dallas on Interstate Highway 30. The community was established in 1846. With the arrival of the railroad, Greenville's cotton industry flourished, and it became known as the "cotton capital of the world."

After driving for three hours through thick fog, I arrived in Greenville and parked on Lee Street, across from the Town House. Due to the early hour, I made a mental note: "Parked near green building in Greenville..." Hoped I wouldn't forget where I parked my car and get lost (it's happened).

The first of three beautiful Coca-Cola ghost signs.

This shows the fog receding from the rising sun. Signs of the construction occurring along Lee Street are evident (the traffic cones). Also, the Union Security Life Insurance ghost is interesting. Can you believe they ever had assets of $13 million? It is possible. And that must have looked like a lot of zeros back when that business was still going.

The former Picken's Motor Co.

The 1929 Hunt County Courthouse, Classical Revival to Art Deco transitional architecture. I've also seen it described as being an example of "Moderne" architectural style. Dedicated April 11, 1929 on 83rd anniversary of county creation.
Cadillac Hotel (the former Washington Hotel)

Lake Printing

White Star Laundry & Cleaners neon sign

Remnants of a Bull Durham ad

Neon sign on the Masonic Lodge/Temple building

Masonic Temple with the 1925 Stringer Mortuary Building on the left

Gargoyles on the 1925 Stringer Mortuary Building

"Rural Power" ghost sign on Masonic Temple

"LONE STAR Bail Bonds"

1901 Ende Building

Fog clearing on Lee Street

New and old neon on Lee Street

This building may have been either a hotel, a department store (because Fred Ende was involved in both) and might currently be home to some sort of lodge or fraternal order. Perhaps an old fire station?

Seaman-East Grocer Co.

I love this sign on the side of the Seaman-East Grocer Co. - "Watches, guns and guitars" - sounds like a great rock album title. The other panel appears to be selling plastic siding(?). Whatever it was, it: "Won't rot, peal or break. Stop painting forever! Lifetime guarantee."

Neon sign on the I.O.O.F. building

Looking down Johnson Street, I.O.O.F. on left, courthouse to the right

The next few are of J.P. "Punk" McNatt Motor Co. building. Unfortunately, the Internet has no record of J.P. "Punk" McNatt or his car dealership, nor does it offer any revelations about the origin of "Punk." Should one have purchased an automobile from a man who somehow earned that nickname?

Coca-Cola owned Greenville

Looking down Lee Street (heading back to my car at this point - green buidling in Greenville...). The Texan Theater in the distance.

Evidence of Greenville's former wealth - a S. H. Kress & Co. building

Odeneal Jewelry

The Texan Theater

Audrey Jean's neon sign

3rd Coca-Cola ghost

Green building in Greenville

¡Adios, Greenville!


Anonymous said...

Great photography. #6 is the Dr. Pepper Bottling Co., now a residence. #7 was to be the Interurban Depot but the InterUrban never made it to town. Courthouse is the prototype for the one in Travis County. #12 was the Knights of Pythias Hall upstairs and a savings and loan downstairs. Now occupied by CPAs. #28 Collins Brothers employed the first mortician in their first building. More to come.

Anonymous said...

More on Collins Brothers, originally a hardware and implement business with mortician. #29 was the International Order of Odd Fellows Building. We liked to join. The "Punk" McNatt building was a cadillac dealership, fascinating architecture from the post WWII time. It is on the site of the former jail, built so all could see from the courthouse square.

Unknown said...

Great pictures! My family moved to Greenville while the Coca-Cola bottling plant was still open and I have vivid memories of its place in my town's history.