Greenville is the county seat of Darke County, Ohio. In late 1793, Anthony Wayne ordered the construction of a fortification at the site he named Greene Ville, named for his friend and comrade in the American Revolution, Nathanael Greene. Wayne's army was marching against the American Indians of the Ohio Country and was seeking revenge against them for the battle known to Anglo-American settlers as "St. Clair's Defeat", in 1791. The fortification was located roughly five miles north of Fort Jefferson. It had walls that were ten feet high, and the stockade enclosed roughly fifty acres of land. Wayne used Greene Ville as his winter encampment during the winter of 1793-1794 and as a staging area and supply depot for his campaign in 1794.
Following his victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794, Wayne worked from the fort to encourage American Indian peoples living along the Maumee River to negotiate. With such a sizable American force nearby and the failure of their British allies to assist them, many tribal chiefs made their way to Greene Ville seeking peace terms. The two sides formally signed the Treaty of Greenville on August 3, 1795, bringing a brief peace to the Ohio Country. As more white Americans moved into Ohio, some would violate the treaty's provisions and move onto land in northwestern Ohio reserved for the region's American Indians. Warfare quickly began again as a result.
The city of Greenville was officially founded in August 1808, although whites had lived in the vicinity for several years before this date. The town grew slowly, having only eight hundred inhabitants by 1840. In 1846, the town contained four churches, one newspaper office, one flour mill, and sixteen retail stores. Over the next three decades, Greenville grew rapidly. The city had 3,535 residents in 1880 and boasted five newspapers, three banks, and six churches. Many of the residents were of German ancestry. Several local businesses produced machinery, wagons, or lumber. Famous markswoman Annie Oakley once resided in Greenville.
During the twentieth century, Greenville served as the main metropolitan center of Darke County. Most of the county's residents worked as farmers, with Greenville's residents providing various services to their neighbors in the surrounding countryside. In 2000, Greenville was the largest city in the county with a population of 13,294 people.
- City Planning Commission, Greenville, Ohio. Comprehensive City Plan, Greenville, Ohio. Cincinnati, OH: n.p., 1945.
- Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes. Vol. II. Cincinnati, OH: C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1902.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.