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Marshall County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Marshall County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of USA KY
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1842
Named for John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1801–1835).
Seat Benton
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

340 sq mi (881 km²)
305 sq mi (790 km²)
35 sq mi (92 km²), 10.41%
 - (2000)
 - Density

99/sq mi (38/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Marshall County is located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 30,125. Its county seat is Benton6. The county is named for John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835. Until 2004, it was a prohibition or dry county, when residents of Calvert City voted to allow sales of liquor by the drink in restaurants. It is the only Purchase Region county to not border another state.

History Edit

The county was formed in 1842 from part of Calloway County. The first settlement was around 1818, when the area was bought from Native Americans as part of the Jackson Purchase. The county was named in honor of Chief Justice John Marshall who had died not long before the founding of the county.

From its settlement until the 1930s, the county was nearly completely agricultural. The creation of Kentucky Lake by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s brought tourism and industry to the county with resorts along the lake and chemical and manufacturing plants, mostly in the Calvert City area, attracted by the dam's cheap and plentiful electricity. The creation of the lake led to the destruction of two Marshall County towns, Birmingham, about six miles north of the present hamlet of Fairdealing, and Gilbertsville, which was at the present dam site. Gilbertsville was rebuilt somewhat to the west of its original location. Birmingham residents were dispersed. Gilbertsville was an incorporated town until the 1970s, when its charter was dissolved by public vote. Kentucky Lake (created by the impounding of the Tennessee River) and Barkley Lake (created through the impounding of the Cumberland River) make up one of the largest man-made bodies of water in the world.

Geography Edit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 881 km² (340 sq mi). 790 km² (305 sq mi) of it is land and 92 km² (35 sq mi) of it (10.41%) is water.

Adjacent counties Edit

Demographics Edit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 5,269
1860 6,982 32.5%
1870 9,455 35.4%
1880 9,647 2.0%
1890 11,287 17.0%
1900 13,692 21.3%
1910 15,771 15.2%
1920 15,215 −3.5%
1930 12,889 −15.3%
1940 16,602 28.8%
1950 13,387 −19.4%
1960 16,736 25.0%
1970 20,381 21.8%
1980 25,637 25.8%
1990 27,205 6.1%
2000 30,125 10.7%

As of the census² of 2000, there were 30,125 people, 12,412 households, and 8,998 families residing in the county. The population density was 38/km² (99/sq mi). There were 14,730 housing units at an average density of 19/km² (48/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 98.57% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,412 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.90% 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 2.83.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.80% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 17.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 96.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,573, and the median income for a family was $43,670. Males had a median income of $36,673 versus $21,941 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,069. About 6.60% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.60% of those under age 18 and 10.90% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns Edit

Annual Events Edit

On the first Monday of April, Benton holds its Tater Day. Originating in 1842 as a day for farmers to gather at the County seat to trade their agricultural goods, today Tater Day is a celebration that includes a festival and parade. Tater Day derives its name from the main items traded--sweet potato slips. Tater Day is the world's only celebration of the sweet potato.

On the fourth Sunday of each May, The Big Singing, an all-day sing-along program of Southern Harmony shape note gospel music is held at the county courthouse. While other major singings (for example, Sacred Harp Singings) still survive, The Big Singing, begun in 1884, is the only singing in the world to use the William Walker Southern Harmony system of shape-note singing. The Big Singing is also distinguished as the oldest continuously operating indigenous music festival in the United States.

Other annual events include Hardin Day and Aurora Country Festival, celebrated in the small towns of Hardin and Aurora. More recently, the area has become known for the annual Hot August Blues and Barbecue Festival and the Kentucky Lake Bluegrass Festival, held at Kenlake State Resort Park. Marshall County is also home to Jackson Purchase barbecue, a unique style that is found in the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky.

See also Edit

Resources Edit

Books Edit

  • Big Singing Day in Benton, Kentucky: A Study of the History, Ethnic Identity and Musical Style of Southern Harmony Singers, by Deborah Carlton Loftis, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kentucky, 1987. Review

External links Edit

Coordinates: 36°53′N 88°20′W / 36.88, -88.34

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