Washington County, Kentucky

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Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2000, the population was 10,916. Its county seat is Springfield. The county is named for George Washington. Washington County was the first county formed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky when it reached statehood.[1] The center of population of Kentucky is located in Washington County, in the city of Willisburg.[2]

The county is dry, meaning that the sale of alcohol is prohibited, but contains the wet city of Springfield, where retail alcohol sales are allowed. This makes Washington County a moist county. Three wineries also operate in the county and are licensed to sell to the public despite lying in otherwise dry territory.[3] Jacob Beam, founder of Jim Beam whiskey, sold his first barrel of whiskey in Washington County.[4]

The Washington County Courthouse, completed in 1816, is the oldest courthouse still in use in Kentucky.

A significant county court record is the marriage bond of President Abraham Lincoln's parents, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks.[5] The bond is dated June 10, 1806; the day before the marriage in the small community of Beechland on the Little Beech River. The marriage return was signed by Jesse Head, the Methodist preacher who performed the ceremony, and dates the marriage to June 12, 1806.



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 302 square miles (782 km2), of which 301 square miles (780 km2) is land and 1 square mile (3 km2) is water.

Adjacent Counties


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