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Laurel County, Kentucky
Laurel County Kentucky Courthouse.jpg
Laurel County courthouse in London
Map of Kentucky highlighting Laurel County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the U.S. highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded December 21, 1825
Named for Mountain laurel trees
Seat London
Largest city London
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

444 sq mi (1,150 km²)
434 sq mi (1,124 km²)
9.7 sq mi (25 km²), 2.2
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

62,613 increase
auto/sq mi (Expression error: Unrecognized word "auto"./km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website https://londonky.gov/

Laurel County is a county located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 62,613. Its county seat is London.[1] After a special election in January 2016 alcohol sales are permitted only in the city limits of London. The ordinance went into effect on March 27, 2016, 60 days after results of the election. Laurel County is included in the London, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[]

Laurel County, the 80th county to be organized in Kentucky, was established by an act of the general assembly, December 21, 1825, from parts of Rockcastle, Clay, Knox and Whitley Counties.[2] Laurel County was named from the Laurel River, noted for dense laurel thickets along its banks.[3]

Laurel County was the location of the Battle of Wildcat Mountain, a pivotal yet little known battle during the American Civil War that kept Confederate armies from advancing on Big Hill, a major stronghold during the war.

After a fire damaged the courthouse in 1958, a new structure was completed in 1961.[4]

The first Kentucky Fried Chicken was started in southern Laurel County by Colonel Harland Sanders just north of Corbin. Nowadays, visitors are welcomed to the original cafe and museum where they can eat at, tour, and learn about the start of the worldwide franchise. Due to the history of chicken in the county, The World Chicken Festival is celebrated every year in London, the county seat, drawing crowds of up to 250,000 people over the four-day festival.

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 434 square miles (1,120 km2) is land and 9.7 square miles (25 km2) (2.2%) is water.[5] Part of Laurel River Lake is in Laurel County.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected area[]

  • Daniel Boone National Forest (part)

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 2,206
1840 3,079 39.6%
1850 4,145 34.6%
1860 5,488 32.4%
1870 6,016 9.6%
1880 9,131 51.8%
1890 13,747 50.6%
1900 17,592 28.0%
1910 19,872 13.0%
1920 19,814 −0.3%
1930 21,109 6.5%
1940 25,640 21.5%
1950 25,797 0.6%
1960 24,901 −3.5%
1970 27,386 10.0%
1980 38,982 42.3%
1990 43,438 11.4%
2000 52,715 21.4%
2010 58,849 11.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2020[10]

As of the census of 2020, there were 62,613 people, 22,573 (2015-2019) households, and families residing in the county. The population density was 121 per square mile (47 /km2). There were 22,317 housing units at an average density of 51 per square mile (20 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.66% White, 1.63% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 0.55% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

As of the census of 2010, Laurel County was 97.00% White or European American, 0.3% Native American and 0.7% Black or African American.[11]

There were 20,353 households, out of which 35.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.60% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were non-families. 21.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.97.

The age distribution was 25.40% under 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,015, and the median income for a family was $31,318. Males had a median income of $27,965 versus $19,757 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,165. About 17.80% of families and 21.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.80% of those under age 18 and 20.10% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[]

Like all of the eastern Pennyroyal Plateau and adjacent parts of the Western and Eastern Coalfields, Laurel County was strongly pro-Union during the Civil War. Consequently, the county – in common with all adjacent areas – has been rock-ribbed Republican ever since. The only Democrats to receive forty percent of the county's vote since then have been Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880, Grover Cleveland in all of his 3 runs, Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1932 landslide and Lyndon Johnson during an equally large landslide in 1964, although with the Republican Party mortally divided Woodrow Wilson did obtain a nine-vote plurality in 1912.*

United States presidential election results for Laurel County, Kentucky[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 23,237 82.66% 4,475 15.92% 399 1.42%
2016 20,592 82.92% 3,440 13.85% 801 3.23%
2012 18,151 81.00% 3,905 17.43% 352 1.57%
2008 17,660 78.49% 4,618 20.52% 222 0.99%
2004 16,819 75.54% 5,297 23.79% 148 0.66%
2000 13,029 71.90% 4,856 26.80% 235 1.30%
1996 9,454 62.65% 4,306 28.54% 1,330 8.81%
1992 8,583 57.03% 4,560 30.30% 1,907 12.67%
1988 9,296 71.54% 3,620 27.86% 78 0.60%
1984 9,621 74.41% 3,267 25.27% 41 0.32%
1980 8,868 68.23% 3,969 30.54% 160 1.23%
1976 6,186 61.41% 3,813 37.85% 74 0.73%
1972 7,276 75.63% 2,274 23.64% 70 0.73%
1968 6,251 67.57% 1,756 18.98% 1,244 13.45%
1964 5,008 57.80% 3,633 41.93% 24 0.28%
1960 7,485 76.42% 2,309 23.58% 0 0.00%
1956 6,586 73.87% 2,316 25.98% 14 0.16%
1952 5,776 71.74% 2,263 28.11% 12 0.15%
1948 4,107 64.60% 2,187 34.40% 64 1.01%
1944 5,051 70.54% 2,104 29.39% 5 0.07%
1940 5,180 64.27% 2,860 35.48% 20 0.25%
1936 4,798 64.08% 2,677 35.76% 12 0.16%
1932 4,827 57.26% 3,569 42.34% 34 0.40%
1928 4,906 81.06% 1,141 18.85% 5 0.08%
1924 3,274 66.24% 1,451 29.35% 218 4.41%
1920 4,252 71.96% 1,621 27.43% 36 0.61%
1916 2,383 65.29% 1,171 32.08% 96 2.63%
1912 1,085 32.66% 1,094 32.93% 1,143 34.41%
1908 2,594 67.98% 1,165 30.53% 57 1.49%
1904 2,152 65.85% 1,050 32.13% 66 2.02%
1900 2,241 64.27% 1,198 34.36% 48 1.38%
1896 1,921 64.48% 969 32.53% 89 2.99%
1892 1,080 53.54% 832 41.25% 105 5.21%
1888 1,384 57.55% 975 40.54% 46 1.91%
1884 1,045 55.29% 824 43.60% 21 1.11%
1880 905 59.00% 622 40.55% 7 0.46%



Education[]

Two public school districts serve K-12 students in the county:

  • Laurel County School District — Operates one preschool, 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools.
  • East Bernstadt Independent School District — Operates a single K-8 school. High school students in the district may attend either high school in the Laurel County district.

Communities[]

City[]

Census-designated places[]

  • East Bernstadt
  • North Corbin

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Keavy
  • Lake

Notable residents[]

  • Nationally bestselling author Silas House was born and raised in Laurel County.
  • Former University of Kentucky basketball star Jeff Sheppard who briefly played in the NBA
  • 2000 ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Darrell Scott, who has written hit songs for the Dixie Chicks, Travis Tritt, Brad Paisley, Patty Loveless, and many others, was born in London.
  • Chera-Lyn Cook, the first from Southeast Kentucky to win the title of Miss Kentucky. Cook was talent winner and 4th runner-up to Miss America 1999.
  • Flem D. Sampson, the 42nd governor of the State of Kentucky is from Laurel County.

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Laurel County, Kentucky

Notes[]

References[]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  2. ^ "Laurel County". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. 2000. http://www.kyenc.org/entry/l/LAURE01.html. 
  3. ^ Collins, Lewis (1877). History of Kentucky. p. 458. ISBN 9780722249208. https://books.google.com/books?id=F5FQAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA458. 
  4. ^ Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Ancestry Publishing. pp. 266. ISBN 9780916489496. https://books.google.com/books?id=hAVlVS29NKIC&q=%22bell+county%22+1914+1918+1976&pg=PA266. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_21.txt. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/ky190090.txt. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  10. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/21/21125.html. 
  11. ^ "Laurel County, Kentucky". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/21/21125.html. 
  12. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 37°06′38″N 84°07′04″W / 37.11067, -84.1178


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