By Jessica Crabtree
The small community of Greenwood, Texas, sits just 17 miles outside of Decatur off Highway 51. As you drive the rural back roads of large tree canopies, you’re greeted by grazing cattle, horses, hay meadows and a welcome sign to Greenwood. The rural town was settled well back in the 1850s, serving as a supply hub for the surrounding farming communities. Once settled, as the story goes, two families were present, the Greenwoods and the Harts. When naming the town, they used Greenwood, and when naming the creek, it was called Hart Creek.
During its “hay-day,” Greenwood grew to a sizeable settlement that possessed two saloons, four grocery stores, a bank, newspaper, hotel, two drug stores, barber shop, blacksmith shop, cotton gin, and even a co-ed college.
Misfortune hushed the eventful rural town, decreasing the businesses and population. Three fires ravaged through Greenwood, plus the loss of their cotton gin resulted in the rural town’s demise. Today, however, a pulse can still be found right in the heart of what is left of Greenwood at the Greenwood Grocery and Grill. For the owner, Connie Pruett, the Greenwood Grocery and Grill isn’t just a successful business, it’s a part of history, her history.
“My daddy was a small time farmer. He retired from his dairy and went to raising stockers,” Pruett described. “I love it [Greenwood]. My roots are here, and I wouldn’t take anything for it.” Pruett was raised four miles outside of Greenwood, and she and her three siblings attended Decatur school. Her father Claude Robinson, came to the area by way of Oklahoma, met her mother, Nina England Robinson, and the two married in 1934.
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