Published January 17, 2004
|Naming A Greene Countrie Towne|
The following article appeared in the 1985 souvenir program of the Greene Countrie Towne Festival.
how Greenfield got its name remains a mystery. Daniel Scott, in his 1858
History of Highland
County, tells us that when
McArthur camped at the town site in 1796, the habitually early riser
"arose while the others were
still sound asleep and
wandered a short distance from the camp. He came upon an old Indian woman
who was, with difficulty, carrying a fawn
which had recently been killed. He endeavored to secure by barter
a sufficient quantity of venison to
afford his men's breakfast. The squaw told him by signs that,
if he would carry the fawn to her wigwam, she would share it with him.
He threw the fawn over his shoulder and, guided by the squaw, proceeded
a short distance through the forest to an Indian encampment at a
point which can now be identified as South St. Here he found to his
amazement a natural meadow, enclosed on all sides by a dense forest in
which a herd of Indian ponies was grazing. This circumstance, when he
came to name the town, naturally suggested the name of Greenfield."
Other chroniclers have suggested that Greenfield was probably named for a village in Erie County, Pennsylvania, where McArthur had passed his boyhood days. Unfortunately, no atlas lists a Greenfield in that county.
However, Greenfield is not an uncommon name. More than a dozen Greenfields exist in the United States (once there were two in Ohio). The name may date back to a Yorkshire village near Manchester, England.
Most locals give little thought to the story behind Greenfield's name, but if a vote were taken, Daniel Scott's romantic story of Duncan McArthur and the beautiful meadow would no doubt be the winner. Click photo to enlarge.