Stanford, Kentucky

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Stanford is a city in Lincoln County, Kentucky, United States. It is the one of the oldest settlements in Kentucky, having been founded in 1775. Its population was 3,430 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Lincoln County[1]. Stanford is part of the Danville Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Stanford was founded in 1775 by Benjamin Logan as Logan's Fort, alternately known as St. Asaph the name given it by Logan.[2] The site of the original fort is about one mile west of the courthouse at the center of town. The term "Fort Logan" is still used to this day to name local businesses, including the local Fort Logan Hospital. The main street of the town was built on what was originally a buffalo trail.[3]

The name Stanford may have been derived from "Standing Fort", which Fort Logan became known as in the late 1770s as it survived multiple attacks by native Americans. It may also have been named for Stamford, England.[2] Although it was one of the smaller forts in Kentucky, it never fell to native attacks. In 1781, the original fort settlement expanded as Benjamin Logan donated a parcel of his own land for the construction of a courthouse. The original county court met at Fort Harrod (now Harrodsburg), although by 1786 the town of Stanford received its charter, making it one of the first towns in Kentucky County, Virginia to receive a formal charter. In 1787 the first courthouse opened, built of logs. While it has been expanded and upgraded over time, the basic courthouse remains on the same site to this day. Unlike most county courthouses in Kentucky, it has never suffered a fire or other major loss of records. It has all its original records and archives dating to November 1789 making it one of the more complete archives of the history of Kentucky. Among its original land deeds kept on vellum are deeds granting land to Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton,

The first recorded church in Stanford was a Presbyterian church built in 1790, reflecting the staunch Presbyterian beliefs of the Logan family. The building still stands and is now part of the Harvey Helm Memorial Historic Library and Museum on Main Street. Other denominations, including Baptist and Methodist, were not established in the area until the 1830s. The current Presbyterian Church in Stanford has stood on the same site since around 1850.[3]

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