History of Greenwood timeline

1823

John B. Smock and brother Issac came from Mercer Co. Kentucky and settle near Madison Road and the Marion – Johnson County line. This was where they found the best water source.

1824

James Smock and family join his brothers and their settlement is named “Smocktown;” Madison State Road opens which links Madison, IN to Indianapolis.

1825

Smocktown becomes Greenfield; Smock family founds the Greenwood Presbyterian Church; Johnson County if formed and named after Judge John Johnson, one of the first justices of the state Supreme Court

1826

Greenwood Presbyterian Church is built. This is the first church in Johnson County and also serves as a school for six years

1828

First post office is established at what is now Madison Ave and Fry Rd. The first postmaster is James Smock

1829

Pleasant Township is formed out of White River Township in Johnson County

1833

Town of Greenfield officially becomes Greenwood in order to eliminate confusion with nearby Greenfield in Hancock County

1835

Mt. Auburn United Methodist Church is organized and builds “Old School Mud House” which serves as a school and church.

1840

Dr. Benjamin Noble, father of George T. Noble and Noah Noble (Indiana’s 5th governor) moves to Greenwood. Dr. Noble is the first physician to settle in Greenwood. Dr. Noble is later joined by Dr. William H Wishard, whose son, William N. Wishard, was the father of Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis.

1846

Town’s first general store is opened by James W. Parker. The store is located at what is now Madison Ave and Main St. Parker is credited with being the first merchant in Greenwood.

1847

Madison and Indianapolis railroads are completed and the first train travels through Greenwood in October.

1850

A.G. Searle establishes an iron foundry on Foundry Street (now Pearl Street), which closes in 1862

1855

Greenwood Steam Flour Mill is built by Henderson and Smith; This mill was destroyed by a fire in the early 20th century

1860

First banking institution is opened by Grafton Johnson

1864

Greenwood is incorporated as a town
A brick school is built on the present site of the Central School in Greenwood, this building is destroyed by fire in winter of 1865

1868

2 story brick school opens in Greenwood at site of old building that was burnt in the fire

1872

James T. Polk and wife Laura begin the JT Polk Canning Company in the kitchen of their home. “Polk’s Best” eventually becomes the largest cannery west of Baltimore and the town’s biggest employer

1878

J.T. Polk Co. opens its first factory

1886

J.T. Polk Co. moves its operations into a new four-story brick factory. The following year, the company erects a boarding house for employees and they begin manufacturing their own cans at a rate of 10,000cans a day

1888

Sumner Rose begins publishing Greenwood’s first newspaper, The Graphic

1890

Greenwood Mineral Water Association is formed; Mineral water is found at a depth of 1700 feet and a sanitarium is established

1892

Greenwood School expands

1893

Douglas Dahlins begins publishing Greenwood’s 2nd paper, The Era, when The Graphic moves to Ingalls, IN

1894

Greenwood gets its first telephone exchange

1898

Greenwood’s first park is built, Beech Park, just south of Beech Park Drive; the park was unpopular and closed within 4 years

1899

Greenwood & Franklin railway is completed linking Greenwood to Indianapolis.
Lora and Maggie Heck purchase holdings of the Greenwood Sanitarium Water Association as well as an adjoining 5-acre tract and erect a large hotel, which included mineral baths. The Greenwood Sanitarium attracted patients from throughout the Midwest

1900

Johns Swann purchases town paper and The Era becomes The Greenwood Era

1901

School house is rebuilt; the new building houses all 12 grades
Congress authorizes the establishment of the first Rural Routes from the Greenwood Post office. By this time there are 16 mail delivery routes operating out of Greenwood

1902

Greenwood Water Company completes construction of a water and light plant

1904

Greenwood Banking Co. is reorganizes and incorporated under the name, The First National Bank.

1905

Citizens Water and Light Company is formed by Dr. James A. Craig and John W. Henderson

1906

J.T. Polk Co.’s factory is destroyed by fire. It is rebuilt and resumes operation within a year
Isom Elementary School is built

1913

Citizens Water and Light Co. is sold to the Interstate Public Service Co., precursor of Public Service Indiana

1914

The Greenwood Era becomes The Greenwood News; Greenwood Sanitarium destroyed by fire and is not rebuilt

1918

Greenwood Building Association is formed; Dr. James A Craig is the first president

1920

James T. and Laura Polk Memorial Community House is dedicated

1928

Greenwood High School opens; 12 room building built south of the elementary school and faces Broadway.

1934

Following the 1933 Bank Holiday, Citizens National Bank and the First National Bank merge and form the National Bank of Greenwood

1940

Population of Greenwood reaches 2499

1942

Greenwood High School destroyed by fire

1945

Greenwood News merges with the Franklin Democrat and becomes the Johnson County News

1950

Population of Greenwood reaches 3051
6-room Jr/Sr High School is built

1954

12 room addition, library and gym are added to Greenwood High School

1957

New post office building opens

1959

Greenwood High School adds another 18 classrooms and a cafeteria

1960

Greenwood reaches 7169 and becomes a fifth-class city; Walter Burkhart is elected Greenwood’s first mayor;  Northeast Elementary School opens with 12 classrooms

1962

Southwest Elementary School opens with 12 classrooms

1964

W.B. “Mike” Myers becomes Greenwood’s 2nd mayor

1966

Greenwood Shopping Center is built by Atkinson & Co. on an 87-acre site and is expanded a year later

1968

Harold “Jack” Smith becomes Greenwood’s 3rd mayor

1970

Population reaches 11,740; A new $4.5 million Greenwood High School opens and the old school becomes Greenwood Middle School

1972

John O. Boner becomes the 4th Mayor

1976

Lawrence Myers becomes the 5th mayor

1977

Melvin Simon & Associates purchases the Greenwood Shopping Center from Atkinson & Co

1978

Valle Vista Golf Resort becomes privatized and renamed Valle Vista Country Club

1980

Vaino Grayam is the 6th mayor; Population reaches 19,781; Greenwood Shopping Center expands and is reopened as Greenwood Park Mall

1984

Jeanette Surina becomes the 7th mayor and first woman mayor; New post office, at Smith Valley Rd and US 31, opens

1986

Greenwood Gazette begins publication with a circulation of 14,000; Skyway Airport is purchased by the town and renamed Greenwood Municipal Airport

1990

Population reaches 26,265

1991

Margaret McGovern becomes the 8th mayor; 3 building municipal facility adjacent to City Hall is named after Mayor Surina and becomes Surina Square.

1993

Greater Greenwood Business Journal begins publication

1994

Population reaches 29.425

1995

Charles E. Henderson becomes the 9th mayor; Mayor McGovern appoints a 15 member council to promote fine arts activities in Greenwood

Today

Population over 48,000