Clark County, Kentucky

Clark County, Kentucky
Clark County, Kentucky
Clark County, Kentucky courthouse.jpg
Clark County Courthouse in Winchester, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Clark County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the U.S. highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1793
Named for George Rogers Clark (1752–1818), American Revolutionary War soldier.
Seat Winchester
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

255.16 sq mi (661 km²)
254.31 sq mi (659 km²)
0.85 sq mi (2 km²), 0.33%
 - (2010)
 - Density

130/sq mi (50/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Clark County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1793. The population was 35,613 in the 2010 Census. Its county seat is Winchester, Kentucky[1]. The county was created in 1792 from Bourbon and Fayette Counties and is named for Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark.

Clark County is part of the Lexington–Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Many pioneers traveled through nearby Fort Boonesborough (alternatively known as Fort Boonesboro) in Madison County, Kentucky, before establishing permanent settlement in Clark County. At least nineteen pioneer stations or settlements are believed to have been established in the area. Among these were Strode's Station (1779), near Winchester; McGee's Station (ca. 1780), near Becknerville; Holder's Station (1781), on Lower Howard's Creek; and Boyle's Station (ca. 1785), one mile west of Strode's Station. Among the early settlers were a group of forty Baptist families led by Capt. William Bush, who settled on Lower Howard's Creek in 1775. In 1793 the group erected the Old Stone Meeting House. Another pioneer group was the Tracy settlement, founders in the 1790s of a church building that survived well into the 20th century.

When the Indian threat ended, commercial and agricultural enterprises flourished. Facilities for loading flatboats sprang up along the Kentucky River and its tributaries. County farmers in the early 19th century began importing prime European livestock. Industries such as distilleries and mills thrived throughout the county until 1820, when they began to be concentrated around Winchester.

Clark County, Kentucky actually began as Bourbon County, Virginia in 1785, when it was created from Fayette County, Kentucky (previously also in Virginia). It comprised a much larger area than the present-day Bourbon County; the rest of its former territory is now divided among the following present-day Kentucky counties: Bracken, Boone, Campbell, Clark, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Greenup, Harrison, Kenton, Mason, Montgomery, Lewis, Nicholas, Pendleton, Powell, and Robertson. This Bourbon County is from which Bourbon whiskey evolved its name.

Among the residents of Clark County were Gov. Charles Scott (1808–12); Gov. James Clark (1836–39); Jane Lampton, the mother of Samuel Clemens; and the sculptor Joel T Hart.

During the Civil War, about 1,000 men from the county joined either the Confederate or Union army. In 1862 and again in 1864, Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate cavalry passed through the county.

The Elizabethtown, Lexington & Big Sandy Railroad reached Clark County in 1873, followed by the Kentucky Central in 1881, and the Kentucky Union (later abandoned) in 1883. The railroads helped make Winchester a transportation, commercial, and educational center, and gave rise to small service communities such as Hedges Station, six miles east of Winchester, and Ford, a once-prosperous mill town on the Kentucky River.

A number of agricultural changes occurred in the postbellum years through World War II. When Clark County shorthorn cattle were not able to compete with the vast numbers of western cattle being hauled to market by the railroads, several county fortunes were lost and many farmers turned towards burley tobacco as a substitute. Hemp, which was grown to make rope, suffered from foreign competition and vanished as a cash crop around World War I. The crop was brought back during World War II and a processing plant was built in the county. When the war ended, so did the revival of hemp.

In the 1950s and 1960s, industry began moving to the county, mostly around Winchester, aided by the completion of 1-64 and the Mountain Parkway, which by the mid-1960s formed a junction near Winchester. By 1986 manufacturing positions accounted for 25 percent of the employed labor force while another 25 percent was employed in other counties, many in nearby Fayette. The county remains a rich agricultural area, with farms occupying 95 percent of the land.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 255.16 square miles (660.9 km2), of which 254.31 square miles (658.7 km2) (or 99.67%) is land and 0.85 square miles (2.2 km2) (or 0.33%) is water.[2]The topography of the county is gently rolling. Tobacco is a major farm crop, and livestock are also raised there. Water sources include the Kentucky River, Red River, Lulbegrud Creek, and Boone's Creek.

Adjacent counties


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 7,653
1810 11,519 50.5%
1820 11,449 −0.6%
1830 13,051 14.0%
1840 10,802 −17.2%
1850 12,683 17.4%
1860 11,484 −9.5%
1870 10,882 −5.2%
1880 12,115 11.3%
1890 15,434 27.4%
1900 16,694 8.2%
1910 17,987 7.7%
1920 17,901 −0.5%
1930 17,640 −1.5%
1940 17,988 2.0%
1950 18,898 5.1%
1960 21,075 11.5%
1970 24,090 14.3%
1980 28,322 17.6%
1990 29,496 4.1%
2000 33,144 12.4%
2010 35,613 7.4%

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 33,144 people, 13,015 households, and 9,553 families residing in the county. The population density was 130 per square mile (50 /km2). There were 13,749 housing units at an average density of 54 per square mile (21 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.60% White, 4.77% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,015 households out of which 33.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.90% were married couples living together, 12.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.60% were non-families. 22.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.80% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,946, and the median income for a family was $45,647. Males had a median income of $35,774 versus $24,298 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,170. About 8.40% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 11.70% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

See also


External links

Coordinates: 37°58′N 84°09′W / 37.97°N 84.15°W / 37.97; -84.15

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