The community of Greene was first a postal area called, "Elm Springs" that was established in 1855 three miles southwest of the current town on Coldwater Creek. In 1871, the railroad selected a site on the east side of the Shell Rock River for a train depot and roundhouse, drawing the Elm Springs Post Office and community to that site. In 1871, the postal area name was changed from Elm Springs to Greene in honor of Judge George Greene president of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Minnesota railroad who, along with J. W. Traer and others, purchased the land for the new community. Judge Greene gave generously of land and money for the new town. In 1879, the Greene postal area was incorporated as The Town of Greene.