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Boyd County, Kentucky
Boyd County Courthouse Kentucky
The Boyd County Courthouse in Catlettsburg, with a statue of John Milton Elliott
Motto: Where Coal Meets Iron
Map of Kentucky highlighting Boyd County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of USA KY
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1860
Named for Linn Boyd
Seat Catlettsburg
Largest city Ashland
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

161.82 sq mi (419 km²)
160.17 sq mi (415 km²)
1.65 sq mi (4 km²), 1.02%
 - (2010)
 - Density

311/sq mi (120/km²)
Congressional districts 4th, 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Boyd County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,542.[1] The county seat is Catlettsburg,[2] and its largest city is Ashland. The county was formed in 1860.[3] Its 160 square miles (410 km2) are found at the northeastern edge of the state near the Ohio River and Big Sandy River, nestled in the verdant rolling hills of Appalachia.

Boyd County is part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 287,702. New definitions from February 28, 2013 placed the population at 363,000.[4]

History Edit

Boyd County, established in 1860, was the 107th of 120 counties formed in the state of Kentucky and was established in 1860 from parts of surrounding Greenup, Carter, and Lawrence counties.[3] It was named for Linn Boyd of Paducah, former U.S. congressman, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who died in 1859 soon after being elected lieutenant governor of Kentucky.[5]

The earliest evidence of human habitation in Boyd County exists in the forms of numerous earthen mounds containing human skeletons and burial goods giving evidence that prehistoric Native Americans inhabited the area. A 1973 archeological find revealed a serpent-shaped mound built of rocks dating to 2000 BC and stretching for 900 feet (270 m) along a ridge parallel to the Big Sandy River south of Catlettsburg.

One of the early settlers in what is now Boyd County was Charles ("One-handed Charley") Smith, from Virginia. A veteran of the French and Indian War who had served under Col. George Washington in 1754, Smith received for that service roughly 400 acres (1.6 km2) around Chadwicks Creek, where he built a cabin in 1774. Smith died in 1776 and in 1797 this land passed to Alexander Catlett for whom the town of Catlettsburg is named.

The Poage family arrived from Staunton, Virginia, in October 1799 and formed Poage’s Landing, later renamed the city of Ashland.

The first courthouse built in 1861 was replaced in 1912.[6]


Members of the Poage family built the steam-powered Clinton iron furnace in 1832, the earliest industry in present-day Boyd County. A total of twenty-nine charcoal-fueled iron furnaces operated on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, seven of them in present-day Boyd County.

The Kentucky Iron, Coal and Manufacturing Company was incorporated on March 8, 1854, and it laid out the town of Ashland, then within Greenup County. The company purchased thousands of acres of coal, timber, and ore lands throughout the county. It invested US$210,000 in bonds of the Lexington & Big Sandy River Railroad Company, with the stipulation that the eastern division of that line extend into Ashland instead of ending, as originally planned, in Catlettsburg. The early presence of the railroad in Ashland was largely responsible for this city becoming the dominant municipality of the county.

Ashland furnace was sold to American Rolling Mill Company in 1921, which developed into Armco Steel Corporation. In 1963 Armco constructed the Amanda furnace, one of the largest blast furnaces in the world. Known today as AK Steel, the industry remains a major employer in northeastern Kentucky.

Ashland Oil, Inc., at one time the largest corporation headquartered in Kentucky, was started in 1924 at Leach Station, south of Catlettsburg, by Paul G. Blazer. Best known for their Valvoline Oil products, Ashland Oil relocated to Covington, Kentucky in 1999, merged with Marathon Oil, and sold its remaining petroleum shares to Marathon in 2005, dissolving their petroleum division. The original oil refinery, located in Catlettsburg, is still in operation today and is currently owned by Marathon Oil.

Calgon Carbon constructed the Big Sandy Plant in 1961 and it has since became the world's largest producer of granular activated carbon. The facility produces in excess of 100 million pounds of granular activated carbon annually.[7]

Alcohol salesEdit

Since 2007, Boyd County allows, with a permit, alcohol sales in restaurants that seat over 100 people and derive at least 70% of their income from food sales.[8] The one exception is city of Ashland, where all retail alcohol sales are allowed with a permit. This makes the county officially a limited county with a wet city. Prior to 2007, alcohol sale in all areas of Boyd County, with the exception of Ashland, was prohibited.

Geography Edit

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 161.82 square miles (419.1 km2), of which 160.17 square miles (414.8 km2) (or 98.98%) is land and 1.65 square miles (4.3 km2) (or 1.02%) is water.[9]

Adjacent countiesEdit

Education Edit

Colleges Edit

Ashland Community and Technical College, in Ashland, is one of 16 two-year, open-admissions colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Morehead State University also has a satellite campus located in Ashland.

Public school districts Edit

Private schools Edit

  • Holy Family. Holy Family is affiliated with the Holy Family Catholic Church and currently offers K-8 education.
  • Rose Hill Christian. Rose Hill is affiliated with the Rose Hill Baptist Church and offers K-12.
  • Calvary Christian School. Calvary Christian School is a ministry of Grassland Community Church and offers K-12.

Other schools Edit

Demographics Edit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 8,573
1880 12,165 41.9%
1890 14,033 15.4%
1900 18,834 34.2%
1910 23,444 24.5%
1920 29,281 24.9%
1930 43,849 49.8%
1940 45,938 4.8%
1950 49,949 8.7%
1960 52,163 4.4%
1970 52,376 0.4%
1980 55,513 6.0%
1990 51,150 −7.9%
2000 49,752 −2.7%
2010 49,542 −0.4%
Est. 2012 49,164 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
2012 Estimate[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 49,752 people, 20,010 households, and 14,107 families residing in the county. The population density was 311 per square mile (120 /km2). There were 21,976 housing units at an average density of 137 per square mile (53 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.97% White, 2.55% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 1.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 20,010 households out of which 28.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% were non-families. 26.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.86.

The age distribution was 21.80% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,749, and the median income for a family was $41,125. Males had a median income of $35,728 versus $22,591 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,212. About 11.50% of families and 15.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.40% of those under age 18 and 12.10% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructureEdit


Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland in Summit, unincorporated Boyd County,[13][14] 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Ashland.[15]

Communities Edit

Cities Edit

Census-designated places Edit

Unincorporated communities Edit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b "Boyd County". December 21, 1921. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Population statistics". 
  5. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 34. 
  6. ^ Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). "Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research". Ancestry Publishing. pp. 198. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Calgon Carbon Big Sandy Plant Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  8. ^ "All precincts but one vote yes". Ashland Independent. Retrieved May 23, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "FCI Ashland Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on February 1, 2011. "FCI ASHLAND FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION ST. ROUTE 716 ASHLAND, KY 41105."
  14. ^ "Admissions & Orientation (A&O) Handbook." Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland. 1 (1/51). Retrieved on February 1, 2011. "The Federal Correctional Institution of Ashland, Kentucky, is located five miles southwest of Ashland in Summit, Kentucky."
  15. ^ "FCI Ashland." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on February 1, 2011.

External linksEdit

Template:Eastern Mountain Coal Fields (Kentucky)

Coordinates: 38°22′N 82°41′W / 38.36, -82.69

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Boyd County, Kentucky. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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