Breckinridge County, Kentucky

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Breckinridge County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It was formed in 1799. As of 2000, the population was 18,648. Its county seat is Hardinsburg, Kentucky.[1] The county is named for John Breckinridge (1760–1806), a former Kentucky Attorney General, state legislator, United States Senator, and United States Attorney General. Breckinridge is a prohibition or dry county, although on March 30, 2010, a referendum passed whereby Hardinsburg will become "moist".



The county was formed out of Hardin County by a 1799 enactment of the Kentucky General Assembly, but the first Fiscal Court did not meet until 1800.

In 1816, while future United States President Abraham Lincoln was seven years old, the Thomas Lincoln family spent a few weeks in Hardinsburg and occupied a small cabin near what is now the Kentucky FFA Leadership Training Camp in Hardinsburg. Local residents gave them a cow for milk. A few weeks later, the Lincolns left Kentucky through Breckinridge County by crossing the Ohio River at Cloverport, on a ferry operated by Jacob Weatherholt.

During the Civil War, Confederate guerrillas burned the local courthouse (the second such fire), but most of the records were saved. Sue Munday, a notorious Confederate outlaw, was arrested near Irvington and later hanged. The site of his execution is now noted by a historic marker in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

In the nineteenth century, the Victoria Coal mines were the first to produce coal oil, and Cloverport exported coal oil to Great Britain, where it was used to light Buckingham Palace.

United States Supreme Court Justice Wiley Blount Rutledge, who served on the court from 1943 to 1949, was born at Tar Springs in 1894.

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