Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States
State, Territories, Counties, Cities, Towns & Post Offices
Transcribed by Jeana Gallagher and Sandy Stutzman
for the exclusive use of Genealogy Trails
PT is post town; PV is post village; PO is post office, PB is post borough, CH is court house, T is town
Kentucky, one of the United States, formerly a district of Virginia lies between 36°30' and 39°10' north latitude, and 80°35' and 82° longitude west from Greenwich; and is bounded north by Ohio river, which separates it from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, east by Virginia, south by Tennessee and west by Missouri. Its superficial area is 40,500 square miles.
Physical Aspect--Kentucky lies entirely in the valley of the Ohio, and is a part of an immense inclined plain, more or less broken in its surface, descending from Cumberland mountain to the river Ohio. The Cumberland range divides this state from Virginia on the southeast. Descending from the foot of this mountain toward the northwest, to the distance of 100 miles, the country is hilly and rather mountainous. This broken section includes at least one third part of the state, and extends from the Tennessee line to the river Ohio. A tract along this river, from 5 to 25 miles wide, is also broken and hilly, stretching through the whole length of the state. But these hills are gently rounded, and are fertile quite to their tops, having narrow valleys between them of great fertility. Along the margin of this stream there are rich alluvial bottoms, of an average width of a mile, subject to periodical inundation between the hilly tract on the Ohio and the mountainous country on the Virginia line and Green river there is a tract, 100 miles long and 50 miles broad, beautifully undulating, with a black and rich soil, which has been denominated the "garden of Kentucky." The whole state below the mountains rests on a bed of limestone, in general about eight feet below the surface. The rivers have worn deep channels into this calcareous bed, forming stupendous precipices, particularly on Kentucky river, where the banks in many places are 300 feet high.
Mammoth Cave--In the southwest part of the state, between Green and Cumberland rivers, are several wonderful caverns. The "Mammoth Cave" in Edmondson county, 130 miles from Lexington, near the road leading to Nashville, is some 9 or 10 miles in extent, with a great number of avenues and intricate windings. Most of those caves yield an inexhaustible supply of nitrate of lime. During the late war with Great Britain, 50 men were constantly employed in lixiviating the earth of the Mammoth Cave, to obtain the saltpeter it contained; and in about 3 years after the washed earth is said to have become as strongly impregnated with nitric acid as at first.
Mountains--The Cumberland range, before referred to, forms the southeast boundary of this state.
Rivers--The principle rivers are, the Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, Cumberland, Kentucky (Kutawa), Green, Licking, Salt, Rolling and Big Sandy.
Climate--The climate through most of the state is generally healthy. The winters are mild, and usually of only two or three months' duration. Spring and Autumn are delightfully pleasant. The extremes of season, however, are widened by the peculiar features of the country. The rivers in their descent have abraded the plains, and flow in deep chasms or vales, which receive the rays of the sun in various inclinations. In these situations the summers are hot and the winters mild.
Production Resources--The staple products of this state are, horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, wine, wax, sugar, tobacco, wool, cotton, hemp, flax, hay, lumber, wheat, barley, rye, oats, buckwheat, rice, potatoes, and Indian corn. Tobacco and hemp are the great staples of the state. Among the mineral resources are, iron, coal, salt and lime. The salt springs are numerous, and not only supply this state but a great part of Ohio and Tennessee, as well as other parts.
Manufactures--About half a million of dollars is invested in cotton and woolen manufactures in Kentucky, and about $200,000 in the manufacture of iron. Other principle manufactures are cordage, cotton bagging, hardware, tobacco, spirits &c. In 1850, the number of Manufacturing establishments in the state, producing $500 and over, each, annually was 3,471.
Railroads and Canals--The principal railroads at present in operation in Kentucky are, the Louisville and Frankfort, 65 miles, and the Frankfort and Lexington, 29 miles. Several important railroads are projected, which when completed will render easily accessible all the important points in the state.
Commerce--In common with other inland states, Kentucky has no direct foreign commerce, but ships mostly at New Orleans. The river trade of this state is considerable. About 15,000 tons of shipping is owned in the state.
Education--There are several collegiate institutions in Kentucky; St Joseph's, Centre, Augusta, Georgetown and Bacon colleges; and Louisville and Transylvania universities, to both of which law and medical schools are attached. There are also a theological institution at Covington and the Western Military college at Blue Lick Springs. There are also asylums for the blind, the deaf and dumb, and the insane. The state has a school fund of $1,300,000.
Government--The legislative power is vested in a senate and house of representatives, which together are styled the general assembly. The senators are 38 in number, chosen by the people, from single districts, for four years. Representatives, 100 in number, are chosen by the people for two years. A governor and Lt governor are elected by the people for a term of four years. The governor is ineligible the immediately succeeding term. He may return a bill passed by the legislature, but a majority of the members elected to each house may pass the bill afterward and it then becomes a law notwithstanding his objections. The general election first Monday in August biennially. The state officers are elected by the people for a term of four years. The judicial power is vested in a court of appeals, circuit and country courts; the judges of each are elected by the people. Every free, white male citizen, 21 years of age or over, resident in the state two years, and in the county where he offers to vote one year, next preceding an election, may vote at such election. Elections by the people are viva voce.
Population--In 1790 was 73,077; in 1800 was 220,955; in 1810 was 406,511; in 1820 was 564,317; in 1830 was 687,917; in 1840 was 779,828 and in 1850 was 982,405. Number of Slaves in 1790 was 11,830; in 1800 was 40,343; in 1810 was 80,561; in 1820 was 126,372; in 1830 was 165,213; in 1840 was 182,258 and in 1850 was 210,981.
History--The first permanent settlement in Kentucky was made by Daniel Boone in 1775, though the country had been visited by John Finley, and others, as early as 1769. In 1777, the legislature of Virginia made it a county, and in 1782, a supreme court was established. In about the year 1776, the region south of Kentucky river was purchased of the Cherokees, who called their domain "Transylvania" (beyond the woods). In 1786, an act was passed by Congress, erecting the district of Kentucky into a new territory; but the separation from Virginia did not take place before 1792, when it was admitted into the Union as an independent state. The first constitution was adopted in 1790, which was superseded by a new one in 1799, and that by the present one in 1850. Motto of its seal, "United we stand, divided we fall."
1850 Counties of Kentucky
|County||Description||Area in sq miles||Courts held at||Pop in 1850|
|Allen||southern part, water by Big Barren branch of Green river||400||Scottsville||8,999|
|Anderson||central part, on west side of Kentucky river, drained by Salt river||170||Lawrenceburgh||6,260|
|Ballard||in western most part, on south side of Ohio river, crossed by Mayfield creek||375||Columbus||5,496|
|Barren||in southernly part||900||Glasgow||20,940|
|Boone||extreme north, south side of Ohio river||300||Burlington||11,125|
|Bourbon||northern part, between KY & Licking rivers||176||Paris||14,406|
|Boyle||central part, on SW side of Dick's river||175||Danville||9,116|
|Bracken||north boundary of PA, crossed by Susquehanna river||1,330||Towanda||42,829|
|Breathitt||east part, crossed by north fork of KY river||700||Breathitt||3.785|
|Breckenridge||northern boundary, on south side of Ohio river||760||Hardensburgh||10.593|
|Bullitt||northern part, on northeastern side of Salt river||300||Shepnerdsville||6,774|
|Butler||southwest part, crossed by Green river||570||Morgantown||5,754|
|Caldwell||southwest part, on east side of Tennessee river & crossed by Cumberland river||600||Princeton||13,048|
|Callaway||southern boundary, on west side of Tennessee river||600||Wadesborough||8,096|
|Campbell||north boundary, on southern side of Ohio river||260||Newport||13,127|
|Carroll||north boundary, south side of Ohio river||140||Carrollton||5,526|
|Carter||northeast boundary, west side of Big Sandy river||800||Grayson||6,241|
|Clarke||northeast part, north side of Kentucky river||300||Winchester||12,683|
|Crittenden||northwest boundry, east side of Ohio river||540||Marion||6,351|
|Cumberland||south boundary, crossed by Cumberland river||270||Burkesville||7,005|
|Daviess||northern boundary, Ohio & Green rivers||600||Owensborough||12,361|
|Edmonson||central part, crossed by Green river||250||Brownsville||4,088|
|Estill||eastern part, crossed by Kentucky river||864||Irvine||5,985|
|Fayette||northern part, Kentucky river on the south||275||Lexington||22,735|
|Fleming||north eastern part, Licking river on southwest side||570||Flemingsburgh||13,916|
|Floyd||eastern part, , crossed by west fork of Big Sandy river||1400||Prestonburgh||5,714|
|Franklin||northern part, crossed by Kentucky river||200||Frankfort||12,462|
|Fulton||southwest corner, Mississippi river on the west||blank||Hickman||4,446|
|Gallatin||northern boundary, Ohio river on northwest side||175||Warsaw||5,137|
|Garrard||central part, Kentucky river on north side||240||Lancaster||10,237|
|Greene||central part, crossed by Greene river||460||Greensburgh||9,060|
|Greenup||northeastern corner, Ohio river on north & northeast, Sandy river on southeast||768||Greenupsburgh||9,654|
|Hancock||northern boundary, Ohio river on northeast & northwest||200||Hawesville||3,853|
|Harlan||south eastern boundary, crossed by Cumberland river, Cumberland Mts form south eastern boundary & Laurel Ridge crossed northwest part||480||Mount Pleasant||4,268|
|Harrison||northern part, crossed by Licking river||356||Cynthiana||13,064|
|Hart||central part, crossed by Green river||432||Mumfordsville||9,093|
|Henderson||northwest part, Ohio river on north, Green river on east||725||Henderson||12,171|
|Henry||northern part, Kentucky river on northeast||260||Newcastle||11,442|
|Hickman||western boundary, Mississippi river on west||350||Clinton||4,791|
|Hopkins||western part, Green river on northeast||750||Madisonville||12, 441|
|Jefferson||northern part on Ohio river||504||Louisville||59,829|
|Jessamine||central part, Kentucky river on southwest||256||Nicholasville||10,249|
|Kenton||northern boundary on Ohio river||150||Independence||17,038|
|Knox||southeast part, crossed by Cumberland river||495||Barboursville||7,050|
|La Rue||no description||blank||blank||5,859|
|Laurel||toward southeast part||400||London||4,145|
|Lawrence||eastern boundary, Big Sandy river on east||650||blank||6,281|
|Lewis||northern boundary, Ohio river on north||375||Clarksburgh||7,202|
|Livingston||western boundary, crossed by Cumberland river, bound by the Mississippi river on west & Tennessee river on south||330||Salem||6,578|
|Madison||toward east part, Kentucky river on north||520||Richmond||15,727|
|Marshall||western part, Tennessee river on northeast||not listed||Benton||5,269|
|Mason||northern boundary, Ohio river on north||260||Washington||18,344|
|McCracken||northwestern boundary, Ohio river on the north, Tennessee river on northeast||200||Paducah||6,067|
|Mead||northern boundary, Ohio river on north||360||Brandenburgh||7,393|
|Mercer||central part, Kentucky river on northeast||350||Harrisburgh||17,067|
|Monroe||southern boundary, crossed by Cumberland river||375||Tompkinsville||7,756|
|Montgomery||toward northeast part||260||Mount Sterling||9,903|
|Morgan||eastern part, crossed by Licking river||890||West Liberty||7,620|
|Muhlenburgh||western part, Green river on northeast||490||Greenville||9,809|
|Nelson||toward north part||460||Bardstown||14,789|
|Nicholas||in northeast part, crossed by Licking river||350||Carlisle||10,361|
|Ohio||western part, Green river on southwest||576||Hartford||9,479|
|Oldham||northern boundary, Ohio river on northwest||220||Westport||7,629|
|Owen||north part, Kentucky river on southwest||320||Owenton||10,444|
|Owsley||eastern part, crossed by Kentucky river||blank||Booneville||3,774|
|Pendleton||northeast boundary, Ohio river on northeast, crossed by Licking river||450||Falmouth||6,774|
|Pike||east part, Big Sandy river on northeast||400||Piketon||5,365|
|Pulaski||southeast part, crossed by Cumberland river||800||Somerset||14,195|
|Rock Castle||toward southeast part||330||Mount Vernon||4,697|
|Russell||south part, crossed by Cumberland river||260||Jamestown||5,349|
|Spencer||toward northern part||260||Taylorville||6,842|
|Todd||on southwest boundary||612||Elkton||8,680|
|Trigg||on southern boundary, Tennessee river on west, crossed by Cumberland river||510||Cadiz||10,129|
|Trimble||on northwestern boundary, Ohio river on northwest||150||Bedford||5,963|
|Union||northwestern boundary, Ohio river on northwest||450||Morganfield||9,012|
|Warren||in southern part, crossed by Big Barren river||612||Bowling Green||15,123|
|Washington||in central part||475||Springfield||12,194|
|Wayne||on southern boundary, Cumberland river on north||570||Monticello||8,692|
|Whitley||south boundary, crossed by Cumberland river||600||Whitley Court House||7,447|
|Woodford||toward north part, Kentucky river on southwest||154||Versailles||12,423|
Frankfort, seat of justice of Franklin Co, and capital of the state of Kentucky. Situated on a circular bend, on the north side of Kentucky river, 60 miles from its entrance into the Ohio, and 452 miles from Washington. The river here winds through deep limestone banks, which afford a level site for the town, and for South Frankfort, on the opposite side with which it is connected by a bridge. Behind the town, the plain rises several hundred feet into a table-land, from which appears a magnificent prospect of the river, and a wide extent of country. Frankfort is a well built village, with neat and solid dwellings, of brick or white marble. Of this material, which the limestone region along the river furnishes in great plenty and excellence, the state house is constructed, a splendid building, with a portico supported by Ionic pillars at the front, and a lighted cupola upon the roof. There are also a penitentiary, courthouse, churches, banks &c. The citizens of Frankfort display the accustomed intelligent hospitality which is a characteristic of Kentuckians. The manufactures of the town are considerable, and steamboats ascending to this point with high water, carry on a trade with the valleys of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The Lexington and Ohio railroad, between Lexington and Louisville, 92 miles long, communicates with Frankfort.
The population in 1810 was 1,099; in 1820 was 1,679; in 1830 was 1,680; in 1840 was 1,917 and in 1850 was 4,372
A city, seat of justice of Fayette Co, KY, 24 miles southeast of Frankfort, situated on a branch of Elkhorn river, 70 miles from Louisville, and 515 miles from Washington. It is the oldest town in the state, and was formerly the capital. It has many handsome paved streets, Main street being 75 feet wide and 1½ miles in length. The noble shade trees that border the streets, give it a pleasing appearance. A large public square adorns the centre of the place, which is surrounded by stately private mansions. The public building are a courthouse, Masonic hall, jail, state lunatic asylum, and the halls of the Transylvania university, together with several churches and academics, and the hospitality and intelligence of its citizens, and render it a desirable southern residence.
Population: in 1820 was 5,283; in 1830 was 6,408; in 1840 was 6,984; and in 1850_____.
City, the seat of justice of Jefferson Co, KY, the commercial metropolis of the western states is situated on the Ohio river, at the head of uninterrupted steamboat navigation, except when the river is high. Here the Ohio descends by rapids over a limestone ledge, forming a barrier to navigation, which is now surmounted by a canal from below the city to a point above the falls. From the water, the ground rises gently and with undulations, affording a fine site, and a magnificent and varied prospect of the river, and its islands, forming rapids, pleasant villages, and fertile shores. The city is intersected by broad and pleasant streets, parallel with the river, crossed at right angles by other streets and alleys. Beargrass creek, passing through the upper part of the town, falls into the Ohio, above the rapids, and is spanned by bridges. The public buildings are numerous, and commensurate with the importance and prosperity of Louisville, including banks, churches, hospitals, jails, a city hall and court house, medical institute and other benevolent, scientific and educational establishments. The Medical Institute at Louisville, is a very important institution, founded in 1837, with six professors, and about 250 students. The Kentucky Historical Society, has a considerable library with numerous manuscripts.
This city may be regarded as one of the great magazines for provisions in the west. It is the market of a vast agricultural region, extending through Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and trades extensively with the whole valleys of the Mississippi and the Ohio. Manufactures of numerous kinds are also prosecuted with the great enterprise and success. It is supplied by an aqueduct with pure and abundant water, and is brilliantly illuminated with gas. Louisville is the terminus of the Lexington and Ohio railroad, and the port of a large number of steamboats from New Orleans, St Louis, and other places in the great valley of the west
Population: in 1778 was 30; in 1800 was 600; in 1810 was 1,357; in 1820 was 4,012; in 1830 was 10,352; in 1840 was 21,210 and in 1850 was 43,194.