Harlan, Kentucky

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Harlan is a city in Harlan County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,081 at the 2000 census and was estimated at 1,880 in 2007. It is the county seat of Harlan County.[1]



The settlement which became Harlan was first settled by Samuel and Chloe Howard in 1796, who allocated 12 acres (49,000 m2) of their land to become the county seat in 1812. They named the town Mount Pleasant when it was incorporated in 1876 due to the presence of a nearby Indian burial mound. It was renamed Harlan by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1912 since there was already a "Mount Pleasant" in the state.

Harlan is the site of a criminal case in which a man, Condy Dabney, was convicted in 1924 of murdering a person who was later found alive.[2]

In the 1980s a flood wall was completed on the city's west side and a four lane bypass for US 421 was completed. The additional flood protection allowed new commercial development.


Harlan is located at 36°50′29″N 83°19′12″W / 36.84139°N 83.32°W / 36.84139; -83.32 (36.841487, -83.320066)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.5 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,081 people, 926 households, and 550 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,187.4 people per square mile (459.1/km²). There were 1,060 housing units at an average density of 604.8/sq mi (233.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.01% White, 7.02% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.86% Asian, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.62% of the population.

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