Main Births etc
Richmond, Kentucky
—  City  —
Madison County courthouse, Richmond, with flags at half-staff in honor of Veterans Day (2007).
Nickname(s): Home Of Kentucky's Finest
Motto: "The City That Works"
Location of Richmond, Kentucky
Coordinates: 37°44′41″N 84°17′37″W / 37.74472, -84.29361Coordinates: 37°44′41″N 84°17′37″W / 37.74472, -84.29361
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Madison
 • Type City Mayor/Manager
 • Mayor Jim Barnes
 • Manager Jimmy Howard
 • Total 19.3 sq mi (49.9 km2)
 • Land 19.1 sq mi (49.5 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 948 ft (289 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 31,364
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 40475-40476
Area code(s) 859
FIPS code 21-65226
GNIS feature ID 0501827

Richmond is a city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States.[1] It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population was 31,364 at the 2010 census.[2] Richmond is Kentucky's seventh-largest city (after Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Covington, and Hopkinsville), the third largest city in the Bluegrass region (after Louisville and Lexington), and the largest city between Lexington and Knoxville located along Interstate 75. Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond–Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.


The City of Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. According to tradition, Miller was attracted to the area by the good spring water and friendly Native Americans. That year, the Kentucky legislature approved moving the county seat from Milford to land owned by Colonel Miller. The residents of Milford adamantly opposed the move, which led to a fist fight between Dave Kennedy (representing Milford) and William Kearly (representing Richmond). Nevertheless, the county approved the move in March 1798. On July 4, 1798, the new town was named Richmond in honor of Miller's Virginia birthplace.[3]

On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in the Battle of Richmond. Troops under Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the soldiers of Union General William Nelson. Out of Nelson's 6,500 men, only 1,200 escaped; the rest were all captured.[4] One historian called this battle "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war." [5]

In 1906, Eastern Kentucky State Normal School was founded in Richmond to train teachers. There were eleven members of the first graduating class in 1909. It became a four-year college in 1922 and added graduate programs in 1935. In 1965, the institution was renamed Eastern Kentucky University.[6]

In the late 1990s and through the first decade of the 21st century, Richmond had a commercial and residential boom. Richmond is currently Kentucky's seventh-largest city, moving up four places from Kentucky's eleventh-largest city in the 2000 census.[7]


Public transportation[]

The Richmond Transit Service operates public buses for the City of Richmond at a rate of $1 per day or $7 for a ten day pass. In addition to service within the city the RTS runs a suburban commuter bus line from Berea to Richmond in addition to a commuter bus line between Lexington and Richmond.

Interstate highways[]

US Highways[]

  • US 25.svg US 25 is also known as Lexington Road, Main Street, and Berea Road.
  • US 421.svg US 421 runs concurrently with US 25 through Richmond; it is also known as the Battlefield Memorial Highway,

Kentucky State Highways[]

  • Elongated circle 169.svg KY 169 is also known locally as Tates Creek Road. The highway goes north to Lexington; a ferry service crosses the Kentucky River at the border of Madison County with Fayette County.
  • Elongated circle 52.svg KY 52 is known as either Irvine Road, leading east to Estill County, or Lancaster Road, when heading west to Garrard County.
  • Elongated circle 876.svg KY 876, also known as the Eastern By-Pass and as the Dr. Robert Martin By-Pass, circles Richmond and serves as a beltway for the city.


Richmond lies on the Cincinnati Southern Railway, which originally in 1880 linked Cincinnati, Lexington, Knoxville and Chattanooga, and, as of 2014, is part of the Norfolk Southern Railway.[8]


Richmond is located at 37°44′41″N 84°17′37″W / 37.74472, -84.29361 (37.744720, -84.293562).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (50 km2), of which 19.1 square miles (49 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2)(0.73%) is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Richmond has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[10]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 110
1810 366 232.7%
1830 947
1840 822 −13.2%
1850 411 −50.0%
1860 845 105.6%
1870 1,629 92.8%
1880 2,909 78.6%
1890 5,073 74.4%
1900 4,653 −8.3%
1910 5,340 14.8%
1920 5,622 5.3%
1930 6,495 15.5%
1940 7,335 12.9%
1950 10,268 40.0%
1960 12,168 18.5%
1970 16,861 38.6%
1980 21,705 28.7%
1990 21,183 −2.4%
2000 27,257 28.7%
2010 31,364 15.1%
U.S. Census[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 27,152 people, 10,795 households, and 5,548 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,420.4 people per square mile (548.3/km²). There were 11,857 housing units at an average density of 620.3/sq mi (239.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.30% White, 8.27% African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.09% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.21% of the population.

There were 10,795 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.6% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.78.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 31.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 13.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,533, and the median income for a family was $36,222. Males had a median income of $30,817 versus $22,053 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,815. About 16.6% of families and 25.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those age 65 or over.


Richmond is served by the Madison County School System.[13] Schools located in Richmond include:

Elementary schools[]

  • Daniel Boone
  • Glenn Marshall
  • Kirksville
  • Kit Carson
  • Mayfield
  • White Hall
  • Model Laboratory School
  • Waco Elementary

Middle schools[]

  • B. Michael Caudill Middle School
  • Clark-Moores Middle School
  • Madison Middle School
  • Model Laboratory School

High schools[]

  • Madison Central High School
  • Bellevue Education Center
  • Model Laboratory School

Private schools[]

  • St. Mark Catholic School (grades PreK to 8)
  • Bluegrass Christian School

Post-secondary education[]

  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • National College of Business & Technology

Law and government[]

Richmond operates under a council–manager government. The citizens elect a mayor and four city commissioners which form the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners is the legislative body of the city government and represents the interests of the citizens when applicable. The Board of Commissioners appoints a city manager who administers the day-to-day operations of the city.

The mayor is elected for a term of four years. Each city commissioner is elected for a term of two years. The term of the city manager is indefinite.


The city has numerous parks, the most prominent being Lake Reba Recreational Complex. Paradise Cove, the city's aquatic center, is located in the complex along with a horse shoe pit, putt-putt golf course, football field, soccer field, baseball and softball fields, and a playground.

view of Lake Reba in Richmond, Kentucky from the fishing dock.

The downtown business district consists of many Victorian style structures, including the Glyndon Hotel. The only high rise in the downtown area is Madison Towers.

The majority of the city's high rises are located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) which include the 20 story Commonwealth Hall, the 16 story Keene Hall, the 13 story Telford Hall, and two 12-story buildings, Todd and Dupree Halls.

The 2,000-seat EKU Center for the Arts was completed in 2011 on Lancaster Avenue. The center houses the only theater in central Kentucky with a “fly system” that allows quick changing of sets suitable for Broadway-type performances. Although it opened only recently, the performing arts center has already hosted several notable events, including Mannheim Steamroller, Garrison Keillor, Wynton Marsalis, “Riverdance,” Monty Python's “Spamalot,” the Munich Symphony Orchestra, The Temptations, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, and the popular NPR radio program, “Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!”[14]


The Richmond economy is supported by many diverse entities:[15]

  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD)
  • AGC - a North American flat glass manufacturer, subsidiary of Asahi Glass Co.
  • Sherwin-Williams



The Eastern Progress - weekly (Student publication of Eastern Kentucky University)[16]

The Richmond Register - daily (owned by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.)[17]

Radio stations[]

  • WEKY (1340 AM)
  • WCBR (1110 AM)
  • WEKU (88.9 FM)
  • WVLK-FM (101.5 FM)
  • WCYO-FM (100.7 FM)
  • WLKT-FM (104.5 FM)

Notable people[]

  • Kit Carson, born near Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky, but raised in Franklin, Missouri
  • Cassius Marcellus Clay, abolitionist and politician; Minister to Spain and Russia, a founder of the Republican Party
  • Brutus J. Clay II, son of Cassius M. Clay and Minister to Switzerland
  • Earle Combs, New York Yankees player, Baseball Hall of Fame member; longtime resident of the area and interred in the Richmond Cemetery.
  • Odon Guitar, a brigadier general in the Union Missouri State Militia in the American Civil War
  • Leigh Ann Hester of the Kentucky Army National Guard, first woman in United States military history to be cited for valor in close quarters combat, for action near Salman Pak, Iraq on March 20, 2005; she is the first female recipient of the Silver Star Medal for valor in combat
  • James B. McCreary, United States Senator and two-term Governor of Kentucky
  • Samuel Freeman Miller, United States Supreme Court Justice
  • Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, American old-time fiddler (April 26, 1897 - August 4, 1978)
  • Jimmy Stokley, singer and member of the band Exile (October 18, 1943 - August 13, 1985)
  • Samuel Hanson Stone, Kentucky politician, born near Richmond
  • Keen Johnson, editor of the Richmond Daily Register (1925–39); Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky (1935–39); Governor of Kentucky (1939–43); Undersecretary of Labor (1946–47); longtime resident of the area and interred in the Richmond Cemetery.
  • Robert Kirkman, is an American comic book writer best known for his work on The Walking Dead
  • Ken Upchurch, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from Wayne County; born in Richmond in 1969
  • John Reid Wolfskill, California pioneer

See also[]

  • Other places named Richmond


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  3. ^ Chamber of Commerce website, "City History", retrieved August 28, 2009.
  4. ^ The History Channel website. "This Day in History- August 30, 1862- The Battle of Richmond, Kentucky," retrieved August 28, 2009.
  5. ^ Foote, Shelby, The Civil War, A Narrative: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Random House, 1958, ISBN 0-394-49517-9
  6. ^ Eastern Kentucky University website, "About Eastern Kentucky University", retrieved August 28, 2009
  7. ^ US Census, "Kentucky by Place", retrieved July 28, 2010
  8. ^ Cincinnati Southern Railway historical note
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ Climate Summary for Richmond, Kentucky
  11. ^ url= Retrieved on 2010-12-4
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ Madison County Schools website, retrieved August 28,2 009.
  14. ^ url=
  15. ^ Richmond-Madison County Community Profile
  16. ^ "Eastern Kentucky University". The Eastern Progress. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  17. ^ Community Newspaper Holdings website

External links[]

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