Our history books tell us that the first name of Greenville was Buttsville, named for Captain Samuel Butts, a patriotic Georgian, who was killed at the Battle of Calabee in 1814.
But could the historians have been wrong? There was one man who could have answered that question, but he has been dead for well over a hundred years.
That man was Nathan Cook, Butler County’s Clerk of the County Court. One of his duties was to send in election results to the Secretary of State and Governor’s office.
He did this regularly, always punctual, and always listing from where he was writing. From March 1820 through 1821, the results were always sent from Fort Dale until the county seat was moved.
And then, in January 1822, a strange thing happened. Nathan Cook sent in election results from BUTLERVILLE!
And then he did the same thing the next month and thereafter. By the way, since Nathan Cook was also the Postmaster, it seems he surely would have known where he was at the time.
Yes, Butlerville! Since there was already a Butler County, and a town called Butler in Alabama, the settlers who had come here from Greenville, South Carolina, petitioned the legislature to change the name of our town.
And that’s how, on December 28, 1822, our town became Greenville, Alabama.
From The Files of the Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society.