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Whitley County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Whitley County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of USA KY
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded January 17, 1818
Seat Williamsburg
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

445 sq mi (1,153 km²)
440 sq mi (1,140 km²)
5 sq mi (13 km²), 1.12%
 - (2000)
 - Density

82/sq mi (31/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Whitley County is a U.S. county located in the state of Kentucky. 2005 census projections list its population at 38,029[1]. The county seat is at Williamsburg6, though the largest city is Corbin. Whitley County is a limited dry county, meaning that sale of alcohol in the county is prohibited except in certain areas as voted on by the residents of the area. In the case of Whitley County, by the drink alcohol sales is permitted only in restaurants in the city of Corbin seating at least 100 diners and derive at least 70% of their total sales from food.

History Edit

Whitley County was created on January 17, 1818 from adjacent Knox County [2]. In the years prior to its establishment as an independent county, many skirmishes were fought between native Indians and hunters and trappers in the area. The namesake of the county, Colonel William Whitley, is famous locally for fighting many of these battles within area, eventually driving them out of southeastern Kentucky and safeguarding the Wilderness Road, as well as for his service in the War of 1812, where he died at the Battle of the Thames. The county seat was situated in Williamsburg (also named for Colonel Whitley, in 1882) from the beginning, with the first court held at the home of the town's first resident, Samuel Cox [3].

Its rugged terrain, densely forested woodlands, and a history of conflict with local Indian tribes all combined to make for a very slow rate of growth in Whitley County. The development of the coal mining industry in the area towards the late 1800s spurred on population growth as poor families from neighboring states rushed in to the county and led to the formation of Corbin, still the largest city in Whitley County.

Law and Government Edit

Whitley County, Kentucky Courthouse

Whitley County Courthouse in Williamsburg

The current elected officials of Whitley County are listed as follows[4]:

  • County Judge/Executive: Pat White, Jr.
  • County Magistrate: Roger Wells
  • County Magistrate: David Myers
  • County Magistrate: Joe Moses
  • County Magistrate: Mike Baird
  • County Attorney: Paul Winchester
  • County Coroner: Andy Croley
  • County Treasurer: Jeffrey Gray
  • Sheriff: Lawrence Hodge
  • County Surveyor: Robert Moses
  • Property Valuation Administrator: Ronnie Moses
  • County Clerk: Kay Schwartz
  • Circuit Clerk: Gary Barton

Geography Edit

Cumberland Falls, Whitley County, Kentucky

Cumberland Falls

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,153 km² (445 sq mi). 1,140 km² (440 sq mi) of it is land and 13 km² (5 sq mi) of it (1.12%) is water.

Whitley County is located within the Cumberland Plateau of southeastern Kentucky, which is greatly overlapped by the broad Eastern Coal Field region of the state. Because of its location in the midst of Cumberland Mountains, elevations in the county range from 723 to 2220 feet (220 to 677 m) above sea level[5]. 38,000 acres (150 km²) of western Whitley County are preserved within the Daniel Boone National Forest. Cumberland Falls, located in Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, is the site of the largest waterfall in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Both Daniel Boone Forest and Cumberland Falls State Park are operated by the Kentucky State Parks system, also located in the county. Two regionally significant waterways meander through the county, namely the Laurel and Cumberland river.

Geographic features Edit

Major Highways Edit

  • State highways
    • Kentucky Highway 11
    • Kentucky Highway 26
    • Kentucky Highway 90
    • Kentucky Highway 92
    • Kentucky Highway 312
    • Kentucky Highway 904
    • Kentucky Highway 1193

Adjacent counties Edit

Economy Edit

Whitley County's economy has always relied heavily on its natural resources, particularly coal and timber, as the area's heavily forested, mountainous terrain contains abundant sources of such material. Other resources worked in the area include iron, oil, and very small amounts of silver. Due to the rough territory created by the Cumberland Mountains, agriculture in the county has historically been quite stunted, although tobacco and corn are grown in some areas.

Demographics Edit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 2,340
1830 3,806 62.6%
1840 4,673 22.8%
1850 7,447 59.4%
1860 7,762 4.2%
1870 8,278 6.6%
1880 12,000 45.0%
1890 17,590 46.6%
1900 25,015 42.2%
1910 31,982 27.9%
1920 27,749 −13.2%
1930 29,730 7.1%
1940 33,186 11.6%
1950 31,940 −3.8%
1960 25,815 −19.2%
1970 24,145 −6.5%
1980 33,396 38.3%
1990 33,326 −0.2%
2000 35,865 7.6%

As of the census² of 2000, there were 35,865 people, 13,780 households, and 9,894 families residing in the county. The population density was 31/km² (82/sq mi). There were 15,288 housing units at an average density of 13/km² (35/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 98.37% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,780 households out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.90% were married couples living together, 13.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% 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 3.01.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 10.80% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $22,075, and the median income for a family was $27,871. Males had a median income of $26,518 versus $17,001 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,777. About 21.60% of families and 26.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.10% of those under age 18 and 19.00% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns Edit

Incorporated Edit

Other communities Edit

Colleges and universities Edit

The University of the Cumberlands (formerly known as Cumberland College), located in Williamsburg, is the largest private university in Kentucky, and the only private university in Whitley County. (Eastern Kentucky University has a branch campus in Corbin). The school's sports teams play on the NAIA level and provide college level sporting events for the local community.

Airport Edit

  • W38, Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport

See also Edit

External link Edit

Coordinates: 36°46′N 84°09′W / 36.76, -84.15

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