Beautiful green, hardwood trees were the inspiration for Greenwoods' name. The first settlers to the area were Samuel Hayward, Sr., Herman Bertholdt, and Henry Klein, Sr. Most of the early settlers were German, and the community is still largely made of up persons of German descent. The first settler came to the region in 1865.
Around 1890, a small log cabin housed the first school. Soon after, a log schoolhouse was built. It was replaced still later by a frame structure which burned around 1920.
The earliest school records are not available. However, in April 1894, Clara L. Clarke created a teacher's report showing the 23 pupils enrolled. They are:
A trail from the old state road through Greenwoods to Arthur Bay created a road through Greenwoods.
The Allgeyer mill was built about 1900 and continued in Greenwoods until 1926. The Pankratz Brothers ran a logging camp in 1908. In 1911 and 1912, Frank Pankratz logged and built a large mill, but operated it for just one season.
For about two years, Samuel C. Hayward, Sr. carried mail from Green Bay to Flat Rock, near Escanaba, in the summer over an old Indian trail along the shore of Green Bay; in the winter whenever the ice permitted, he used a horse and sleigh across the frozen surface of the bay. He enlisted for the Civil War and was part of Company F, 14th Wisconsin Regiment. After his discharge 18 months later, he returned to carrying the mail. In 1865, he was employed by the State of Michigan for the purpose of surveying the Bay de Noc Road from Menominee north through Birch Creek to Cedar River and Escanaba. He had an 80 acre homestead in Greenwoods. He built log building for his family which was the first home in that part of the country. This was done before the road was completed. Hayward's house was used as a relay house where the stage passengers would get their noon lunch and stagehands could change horses. The large sheds and corrals he built sheltered herds, or droves, of cattle, sheep and hogs over night. Sometimes the herders rested a second day before continuing their drive north.
Source: Menominee County Book for Schools, edited by Ethel Schuyler. Menominee, Michigan: Office of County School Commissioner, 1941.