A section of Greenville was laid out in 1819 by Thomas Bean and William Scott on the west bank of the Shenango River, but the town grew after Joseph Keck plotted both sides of the river in 1826. Greenville was incorporated in 1838. The Shenango River waterpower was harnessed for flour mills, providing a service for the earliest Scots-Irish and German farmers. From the mid-1820s to the 1850s, a series of red brick houses and frame commercial buildings signals the construction of the Beaver and Lake Erie Canal through town. In 1873, a devastating fire destroyed most of the commercial buildings on the east bank of the Shenango River, but the area was quickly rebuilt. This sequence of events is exemplified by the brick Packard's Building (177–181 Main Street), which has an older core (1857–1858) with a nine-bay facade of cast-iron arches and a cornice with colorful rosettes, dentils, and paired brackets that was added in 1873. A commercial district of two-story, mostly brick buildings occupies Main Street between N. Mercer and Water streets. Housing in and around Greenville employs Greek Revival elements, reflecting styles popular in Connecticut and the Western Reserve of Ohio.
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