Clark County, Kentucky

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Clark County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1793. As of 2000, the population was 33,144. Its county seat is Winchester, Kentucky[1]. The county was created in 1792 from Bourbon and Fayette Counties and is named for Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark.

Clark County is part of the Lexington–Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Many pioneers traveled through nearby Fort Boonesborough (alternatively known as Fort Boonesboro) in Madison County, Kentucky, before establishing permanent settlement in Clark County. At least nineteen pioneer stations or settlements are believed to have been established in the area. Among these were Strode's Station (1779), near Winchester; McGee's Station (ca. 1780), near Becknerville; Holder's Station (1781), on Lower Howard's Creek; and Boyle's Station (ca. 1785), one mile west of Strode's Station. Among the early settlers were a group of forty Baptist families led by Capt. William Bush, who settled on Lower Howard's Creek in 1775. In 1793 the group erected the Old Stone Meeting House. Another pioneer group was the Tracy settlement, founders in the 1790s of a church building that survived well into the 20th century.

When the Indian threat ended, commercial and agricultural enterprises flourished. Facilities for loading flatboats sprang up along the Kentucky River and its tributaries. County farmers in the early 19th century began importing prime European livestock. Industries such as distilleries and mills thrived throughout the county until 1820, when they began to be concentrated around Winchester.

Clark County, Kentucky actually began as Bourbon County, Virginia in 1785, when it was created from Fayette County, Kentucky (previously also in Virginia). It comprised a much larger area than the present-day Bourbon County; the rest of its former territory is now divided among the following present-day Kentucky counties: Bracken, Boone, Campbell, Clark, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Greenup, Harrison, Kenton, Mason, Montgomery, Lewis, Nicholas, Pendleton, Powell, and Robertson. This Bourbon County is from which Bourbon whiskey evolved its name.

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