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Johnson County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Johnson County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of USA KY
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1843
Named for Richard Mentor Johnson, Vice President of the United States (1837–1841)
Seat Paintsville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

264 sq mi (684 km²)
262 sq mi (677 km²)
2 sq mi (6 km²), 0.91%
 - (2000)
 - Density

90/sq mi (35/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Johnson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1843. As of 2000, the population was 23,445. Its county seat is Paintsville6. The county is named for Richard Mentor Johnson, War of 1812 general, United States Representative, Senator, and Vice President of the United States. Johnson is a prohibition or dry county.

Geography Edit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (as of 2000), the county has a total area of 684 km² (264 sq mi). 677 km² (262 sq mi) of it is land and 6 km² (2 sq mi) of it (0.91%) is water.[1]

Adjacent counties Edit

Demographics Edit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 3,873
1860 5,306 37.0%
1870 7,494 41.2%
1880 9,155 22.2%
1890 11,027 20.4%
1900 13,730 24.5%
1910 17,482 27.3%
1920 19,622 12.2%
1930 22,968 17.1%
1940 25,771 12.2%
1950 23,846 −7.5%
1960 19,748 −17.2%
1970 17,539 −11.2%
1980 24,432 39.3%
1990 23,248 −4.8%
2000 23,445 0.8%

As of the census² of 2000, there were 23,445 people, 9,103 households, and 6,863 families residing in the county. The population density was 35/km² (90/sq mi). There were 10,236 housing units at an average density of 15/km² (39/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 98.64% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,103 households out of which 34.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 11.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.60% were non-families. 22.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,911, and the median income for a family was $29,142. Males had a median income of $29,762 versus $20,136 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,051. About 21.70% of families and 26.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.50% of those under age 18 and 19.30% of those age 65 or over.[1]

Cities and towns Edit

Schools in Johnson County Edit

Johnson County is the home of several schools. These include: Porter Elementary, W.R. Castle Elementary, Meade Memorial Elementary, Highland Elementary, Flat Gap Elementary, Central Elementary, Our Lady of the Mountain School (K-8), Johnson County Christian School, Paintsville Independent Elementary, Johnson Co. Middle School, Paintsville Independent Middle School, Johnson Central High School, Johnson County Alternative School and Paintsville Independent High School.

Central Elementary was ranked top-performing elementary school in 5-6 statewide CTBS/CATS testing. Central Elementary was also the top-performing elementary school (based on national CTBS testing) in the Southeastern US.

Johnson County Middle School's academic team has won numerous State Governor's Cups. It won in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2007.. It won numerous State Quick Recall awards and its Future Problem Solving team has won State and International awards and acclaim.

Johnson Central High School performs well in various areas and are well known statewide for their academic, football, and basketball teams. Johnson Central High school is considered a "powerhouse" in the high school Quick Recall scene, starting with the 1994-1995 season. They are also noted as a well-performing national quiz bowl competitor. Their football team, coached by Jim Matney, in recent years, has been noted for their up-and-coming program and very successful seasons. In fact, the 2006 Season was a record one, having a 13-1 record. The basketball team is coached by Tommy McKenzie and played in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State basketball tournament. Johnson Central offers many clubs including STLP, FBLA, DECA, Beta, FFA, HOSA, SkillsUSA and FCCLA. Johnson Central is also home to a new Career Technology Center.

Paintsville High School, located in a separate independent school district, also has earned numerous sport and academic titles. Although much smaller than Johnson Central, the school has won boys' state championships in golf, baseball and basketball and made it to the finals of the state football playoffs. For many years, Paintsville High School ranked among the top 10 academic school districts in Kentucky.

Both the Johnson County Public and Paintsville Independent School Systems met all of the No Child Left Behind standards set by the national government.[2][3]

History Edit

Eastern KY around 1820

Eastern Kentucky around 1820. Future Johnson County is marked in red.

Formation Edit

In 1843, Johnson County was formed. The land now occupied by Johnson County was previously part of Floyd County. At that time, its county seat of Paintsville had already been a chartered city for nine years. Homes had been built in Paintsville as early as the 1810s.[4]

Most of the families at the beginning of Johnson County's formation were of Scottish, Irish, English, or German decent. May of them moved from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia following their participation in the Revolutionary War.

For approximately the first twenty-five years, Johnson County and Paintsville struggled along. Roads and highways were nonexistent. Mail and supplies reached Johnson County from the Bluegrass region by means of horseback and steamboat. Years later, stage coaches began to connect eastern Kentucky and Johnson County to the bluegrass region and the rest of civilization.[5]

Civil War era Edit

As Johnson County and its county seat had begun to thrive, in 1860 the Civil War became a disrupter. Like other border areas, brothers fought against brothers, tearing families apart. Johnson County was not only part of a border state during the Civil War, but it was a border county as well.

Sometime between 1860-1862, the Fiscal Court enacted a county ordinance that neither the Union or Confederate flags were to be flown within the county. This was repealed quickly, following Colonel James Garfield's Union brigade marching through Paintsville on their way to defeat the Confederate cavalry at the Battle of Middle Creek in Floyd County.[5]

John C. C. Mayo Edit

Following the Civil War, Thomas Jefferson Mayo moved to Paintsville to fulfill a need role as a gifted and talented teacher. He fathered John C. C. Mayo, an important figure in the development of eastern Kentucky. John Mayo assisted in the development of Paintsville, and as a result, its parent, Johnson County. He helped to bring about the development of banks, churches, streets, public utilities and railroad transportation.

John C C Mayo procession

The funeral procession of John C.C. Mayo through Paintsville in Johnson County, 1914.

Coal was important for Johnson County and the rest of eastern Kentucky even before the Civil War, but its development was quickly halted at the start of the war. The financing was slow to returning to the coal industry in eastern Kentucky and development in Johnson County was limited because of this inhibitor. Mayo was invaluable to Johnson County's growth, as he opened up the coal fields of eastern Kentucky to the industrialized north which spurred the development of railroads in the area.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway first opened its Paintsville depot on September 1, 1904, following 25 years of work connecting it to Lawrence County. Following the development of the railroad, tens of thousands of tons of coal were being transported out of eastern Kentucky by 1910.

Mayo went on to be a political lobbyist, and eastern Kentucky's only member of the Democratic National Committee. He had influence in electing Kentucky's governors, members of Congress and the election of President Woodrow Wilson.

He died on May 11, 1914, after becoming fatally ill following a trip to Europe. During his life, he built a historic mansion in Paintsville which has become known as simply "Mayo Mansion".[5] [6]

Apple Festival Edit

In the same year as Mayo's death (1914), the first county fair was held in Paintsville, where the first Apple King was also crowned.

In 1962, Johnson County hosted the first Kentucky Apple Festival[5], which has been held annually in Paintsville since. The streets of downtown Paintsville are closed to vehicular traffic and festivities to include live music and entertainment are held.

Famous residents Edit

  • Loretta Lynn, country singer, raised here. The title song on her 2004 album, Van Lear Rose, references her Johnson County upbringing.
  • Crystal Gayle, country singer and younger sister of Loretta Lynn.
  • Jenny Wiley, held captive by native Americans.
  • John C. C. Mayo, visionary and entrepreneur, assisted in bringing railroad service to eastern Kentucky.

References Edit

  1. ^ a b US Census Bureau. "Johnson County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau" (HTML). Retrieved 06 Jun 2007. 
  2. ^ SchoolMatters (2006). "Paintsville High School, Kentucky Public School - Overview" (HTML). Retrieved 06 Jun 2007. 
  3. ^ SchoolMatters (2006). "Johnson Central High School, Kentucky Public School - Overview" (HTML). Retrieved 06 Jun 2007. 
  4. ^ Wells, J.K. (1992) (Hardcover). The Gathering of the Trades People: The Early and Pre-History of Paintsville and Johnson County, Kentucky. pp. 98 pages. ISBN B0006EZ726. 
  5. ^ a b c d Johnson County Historical Society. "Overview of Paintsville and Johnson County History" (HTML). Retrieved 05 Jun 2007. 
  6. ^ Johnson County Historical Society. "John C. C. Mayo" (HTML). Retrieved 05 Jun 2007. 

See also Edit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°50′N 82°50′W / 37.84, -82.83

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Johnson 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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