Morehead, Kentucky

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Morehead is a city of Rowan County, Kentucky, United States located along Interstate 64 and US 60, the historic Midland Trail. The population was 5,914 at the 2000 census. The city is named for Gov. James T. Morehead. It is the county seat of Rowan County[1]. Morehead State University is located here. It was also the focal point of the Rowan County War.



In the 1880s, Morehead became the central stage for a notorious conflict known as the Rowan County War (aka the Martin-Tolliver-Logan Feud). During a number of skirmishes for the next few years, at least 20 people were killed and possibly 100 were wounded. Beginning with an election-day barroom brawl, several gunfights took place in Morehead and the surrounding countryside. Eventually, a group led by Craig Tolliver seized political control of the town and installed allies in the county Sheriff's office and the county attorney's office as well as the office of town Marshal. Several members of the opposing faction were arrested on trumped-up charges, and some were killed with the faction in power falsely claiming they had resisted arrest. The conflict gained national attention and on two occasions the Governor sent troops to maintain order with little effect. Eventually a posse of as many as 100 individuals was organized and armed by Daniel Boone Logan with the tacit consent of Governor J. Proctor Knott and Governor-elect Simon Bolivar Buckner. In a dramatic two-hour gun battle that took place in the center of Morehead, several Tollivers, including Craig Tolliver were killed and the Tollivers' control of the county was broken. Two men were later held to trial for the murder of Craig Tolliver but were acquitted.[2][3]


According to the United States Census Bureau, Morehead has a total area of 9.3 square miles (24.0 km²).



As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 5914 people, households, and families residing in the city. The population density was 640.8 people per square mile (247.4/km²). There were 2,347 housing units at an average density of 254.3/sq mi (98.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.25% White, 2.57% African American, R0.15% Native American, 1.52% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.76% of the population.

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