Early History of Greensboro

The village of “Delight”, as Greensboro was initially known, was so named by the Mingo Indians in recognition of the rich farmland stretching along the banks of the Monongahela River.

As the Mingo Indians guarded their hunting grounds and their heritage, the first white men began to explore this area as early as 1752. Relations between the Indians and the white men began peacefully, but as the white men continued to infringe on the Indians land, fighting ensued as is remembered in the Corbly Family Massacre.

The first white settler of Delight was a lone explorer-trader, John Badolet, who was a close friend of John Minor, the leader of the first group to settle in the area presently known as Mapletown.

In the early 1780′s Elias Stone, a wealthy squire, bought Delight and divided it into streets and blocks.  The streets still carry the original names given them by Elias Stone.

On February 9th, 1790 the growing village was named Greensburgh in honor of the Revolutionary War Hero, Nathanael Greene.

Albert Gallatin, a partner in the Albert Gallatin Company, purchased lots in Greensburgh in 1795.  On a trip to Washington, D.C. he met a group of German glass blowers who were heading to Kentucky to form their own company.  He urged them to consider settling in Greensburgh.  The group settled in New Geneva  in 1790 and the plant operated there until 1805 when it moved to the northern section of Greensburgh, later called Old Glassworks.

By 1807 the quality of Glassworks Glass was recognized as superior throughout the country.  Old Glassworks did a booming business and prosperity filled the streets of Greensburgh.  Albert Gallatin sold his interest in the glass factory to the Kramers, who operated it until 1849.

Although the Glassworks Glass Factory closed in 1849, by 1859 the town, now known as Greensboro, was flourishing with 500 inhabitants.  Much of the success of the town was due to river trade and travel and other industries such as the  pottery business and the Tile Manufacturing Company which produced roof tile.  Souvenirs of both industries are still treasured by many residents in the form of Greensboro Crocks and roof tile with the inscription JBH-Patent 1871.

During this period many of the present churches in the community began to form in the following order:  the Greensburgh Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian , the Baptist, the Methodist, and the Catholic Church.  Most of these groups began by meeting for worship in a members home until actual buildings could be established.  The first church was built by the Presbyterians in 1823, but it burned and was not rebuilt until 1840.  The building of other churches followed.

It is apparent that many changes have taken place from the early days of “Delight” to present day Greensboro.  The glass factory, the pottery industry , the tile company and the coal mining industry have all disappeared.  Only the importance of the winding Monongahela River remains the same.  Residents of Greensboro, however,will agree that whatever the changes, Greensboro is still a “DELIGHT’.

Written by:Margaret Kramer and Janice Flynn
Taken from the Bi-Centennial Cookbook  (1981)