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The city is part of the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area. Greenville was laid out in 1819, and named for its green prairie land. The town was incorporated as a village in 1828, and reincorporated as a city on March 14, 1850. Greenville became an industrial center beginning with the founding of two paper mills by brothers David (1796-1872) and Andrew Erwin (1800-1876). In addition to their paper milling interests, they also operated gristmills powered by water from Twin Creek that were used to grind grain into flour for local farmers; these mills were later purchased by John Drennen who converted them into woolen textile factories known as Drennen Mills which operated until 1902 when they burned down under suspicious circumstances. By 1860 Greenville had become one of Ohio's largest producers of woolen goods.