Grenville is proud of its Polish history, and it is one of the oldest white settlements in Day County. In June of 1877, Paul Kurkowski, Mathew Reszcznski, Mr. Kujawa and Mr. Hetka came from Appleton, MN, to evaluate the area. The first night, they camped at East Enemy Swim Lake with 20 Native Americans. They had a friendly meal with them and passed the peace pipe around three times.
However, it was not until two years later in the fall of 1879 that pioneers came and took up homesteads. Paul Kurkowski and Mathew Reszcznski returned with Joseph Gruba, Joseph Helwig and Stainlaus Helwig.
The winters were unusually severe in those years; their little homes were often covered entirely with snow. At times, they had to build tunnels in order to get to their barns. Joseph Gruba tried hard to induce other hardy men to settle in Dakota. Then, in 1880, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad built a line from Ortonville to Aberdeen, and the settlement increased. In March of 1882, families from Chicago, IL, arrived, followed by bands of pioneers in 1883 and 1885.
In 1890, Frank Dolney built a general store, and a blacksmith shop was started by Frank Parzhowski. Mike Mienlinski built the first shanty to live in. Tradition says Joseph Gruba named it Grenville because the country's somewhat hilly land, with green grass abounding on the hillsides. The name was deemed very appropriate.
The town was platted in 1914 and incorporated as a town in 1918. A step forward was made in Grenville in 1921 when Joseph Block started operating the dynamo electric plant. Electricity was promptly installed in the parish buildings.
The community was devastated by a couple of fires throughout the years, but Grenville citizens have always came together and rebuilt.
City of Grenville