Salyersville, Kentucky

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Salyersville is a city in and the county seat of Magoffin County, Kentucky, United States.[1] It is located on the Licking River. The population was 1,604 at the 2000 census.



In 1794 after the American Revolutionary War, the first European-American settlement was attempted by Archibald Prater, John Williams, Ebenezer Hanna, Clayton Cook, but they were driven out by Native Americans who had long inhabited the territory. The pioneer Americans returned six years later in 1800 and built the fort of Licking Station on a hill in the Horse Shoe Bend of the Licking River. This was just outside of present-day city limits.

As the town grew through the decades, it was given the name Adamsville for one of the town founders, "Uncle Billie" Adams. Adams owned extensive farm land, a hotel, a gristmill, a tannery and a blacksmith shop in the area. The area was settled mostly by independent subsistence farming families. Few were slaveholders in eastern Kentucky.

In 1860, Magoffin County was formed from parts of the surrounding Floyd, Johnson, and Morgan Counties. The name was chosen for the Kentucky State Governor at the time, Beriah Magoffin, who served from 1859 to 1862. On February 22, 1860, the city of Adamsville had an official name change to Salyersville for the legislator, Samuel Salyer, who sponsored the creation of Magoffin County.

During the American Civil War (1861–1865), Salyersville fell on hard times. Because of its location in the Upper South and history of settlement by migrants from Virginia, some residents sided with the Confederacy. Because few of the residents were slaveholders and had struggled for a political voice in the state, many were supporters of the Union. In 1864, Union forces defeated a Confederate raiding force at the Battle of Salyersville.

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