Greenville is home to Greenville College, a private Christian college.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13.5 km²), all of it land.
There were 2,019 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city the population was spread out with 15.9% under the age of 18, 18.1% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 143.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 152.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,650, and the median income for a family was $45,557. Males had a median income of $26,105 versus $20,889 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,326. About 8.8% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.
Greenville College was founded as Almira College in 1855. In 1941, college president H.J. Long "declared the founding of Almira and Greenville ran parallel, for both were founded on prayer."
On April 18, 1934, during the Great Depression, a group of 500 protesters marched to the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission to lodge complaints about the delivery of emergency supplies from the state and federal governments.
Ronald Reagan visited Greenville on the campaign trail in the 1980s and gave a speech on the courthouse lawn. Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois running for President, has also visited Greenville while campaigning. Women in Bond County could vote for the first time in 1914.
On November 21, 1915, the Liberty Bell passed through Greenville on its nationwide tour returning to Pennsylvania from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. After that trip, the Liberty Bell returned to Pennsylvania and will not be moved again.
On one of his tours across America in his motorhome, sportscaster John Madden stopped in Greenville and enjoyed his time at a truck stop so much that he declared it the "John Madden Hall of Fame." The truck stop has since been torn down.
Greenville Junior High, home of the Bluejays, and Greenville Elementary School, home of the Rockets, round out Greenville's local schools. As of the 2006 school year, Greenville Elementary was selected as a NASA Explorer school.
From 2004 to 2007, Greenville also had a private Christian school, Greenville Christian Academy, run by Smith Grove Baptist Church. However, the school closed due to lack of enrollment in May 2007. Other nearby private school alternatives are Vandalia Christian Academy and Mater Dei in Breese.
Notable businesses in the town include Nevco Scoreboards, the largest privately held manufacturer of scoreboards in the world. DeMoulin Bros. is one of the world's largest makers of band uniforms; the company's collections were visited by the magician David Copperfield. Other large employers include Carlisle-Syntec, Bass-Mollett Publishers, and Federal Correctional Institution Greenville, a federal prison.
In October 2006, Kansas-based Alternative Energy Sources Incorporated announced that they would locate an ethanol plant in Greenville. The plant will be built on 100 acres in the John W. Kelsey Business & Technology Park. Nevco announced in late 2006 that it would move its headquarters from its location on Harris Avenue to an area within the Kelsey Technology Park.
Greenville Regional Hospital, called Utlaut Memorial Hospital until 2005, has consistently been ranked by Solucient as one of the top 100 best small hospitals in the nation. Greenville also has an assisted living facility, the Glenwood.
The town's media includes "The Best Country in the Country," radio station WGEL, and the Greenville Advocate, a newspaper which is printed twice-weekly.
The Watson family operated a pharmacy in Greenville for over 125 years, since 1881; it was sold in 2006, but still maintains the name Watson's Drug Store. Greenville once had a silent movie theatre, the Lyric, and now has a first-run movie theatre, the Globe.
While Greenville once hosted three newspapers, The Item, The Sun, and The Advocate, it now has only the twice-weekly Advocate.
Greenville conducts the Bond County Fair every August; 2007's events took place August 1-7. In 2008, the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Moving Wall will be visiting Greenville to coincide with the fair activities.
Anti-boxing activist Manuel Velazquez retired in Greenville and died in 1994.
The Christian band Jars of Clay went to school and formed at Greenville College, which is noted for its Contemporary Christian music program. The popular alternative band Augustana also began at Greenville College.
Local resident Dr. Robert E. "Ish" Smith served as the president of the International Baseball Federation for 12 years (1981 to 1993) and the United States Baseball Federation for nine years (1981 to 1990). After he retired from the presidency of the IBA, he served as President of Greenville College.
A large stone and plaque (placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution) marks the place where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas made speeches while running for the United States Senate in 1858. The city is applying for a grant from the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to buy the property on South Fifth Street where Lincoln spoke to create a small Lincoln park. A statue dedicated to county veterans of the Civil War was dedicated on the courthouse lawn in 1903; the courthouse lawn has a Veterans' Memorial in honor of all county veterans.
The American Farm Heritage Museum, a museum which aims to preserve agricultural history, is being built in Greenville. The museum will feature exhibits of tractors and other farm-related memorabilia and held an Outhouse Festival and a Fall Festival in October 2006. In 2007, it held its third annual Heritage Days and was the largest Oliver Corp. equipment show in America in 2007, as the national Oliver show was held outside the US. In 2006, 500 tractors were on display for the event, and 5,000 people were in attendance. In 2008, the show will also be the site of the Cockshutt international equipment show.
Habitat for Humanity has a local Greenville chapter which has built four houses to date.
Many events are held by the hospital auxiliary to benefit Greenville Regional Hospital, including a book fair in June and a holiday bazaar in December, which has been held for 49 years.