Barbourville, Kentucky

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Barbourville, Kentucky
Knox County Courthouse in Barbourville
Knox County Courthouse in Barbourville
Location of Barbourville, Kentucky
Location of Barbourville, Kentucky
Coordinates: 36°51′40″N 83°52′46″W / 36.86111°N 83.87944°W / 36.86111; -83.87944Coordinates: 36°51′40″N 83°52′46″W / 36.86111°N 83.87944°W / 36.86111; -83.87944
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Knox
 • Total 3.5 sq mi (9.0 km2)
 • Land 3.5 sq mi (9.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 981 ft (299 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 3,589
 • Density 1,027.4/sq mi (396.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 40906
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-03574
GNIS feature ID 0486329

Barbourville is a 4th-class city in Knox County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 3,589 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Knox County.[1] The city was formally established by the state assembly in 1812. It was incorporated in 1854 and then reïncorporated in 1856.[2]

Union College and the Appalachian Children's Home are located in Barbourville.


Barbourville is located at 36°51′40″N 83°52′46″W / 36.86111°N 83.87944°W / 36.86111; -83.87944 (36.861027, -83.879550)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 230
1870 438 90.4%
1880 250 −42.9%
1890 1,162 364.8%
1900 1,010 −13.1%
1910 1,633 61.7%
1920 1,877 14.9%
1930 2,380 26.8%
1940 2,420 1.7%
1950 2,926 20.9%
1960 3,211 9.7%
1970 3,549 10.5%
1980 3,333 −6.1%
1990 3,658 9.8%
2000 3,589 −1.9%
2010 3,159 −12.0%
U.S. Census Bureau[4]
Abner Mine near Barbourville, 1940. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott.

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 3,165 people, 1,211 households, and 662 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,027.4 people per square mile (397.1/km²). There were 1,646 housing units at an average density of 471.2 per square mile (182.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.40% White, 3.23% African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.

There were 1,211 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.9% were married couples living together, 19.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 37.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 15.7% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 82.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $13,297, and the median income for a family was $20,762. Males had a median income of $31,775 versus $18,102 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,485. About 32.6% of families and 38.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.4% of those under age 18 and 30.5% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

Each year in early October, Barbourville hosts the Daniel Boone Festival commemorating the American pioneer Daniel Boone who explored the area in 1775. The festival features open air concerts, carnival attractions, a beauty pageant, a parade, and other events. Starting in 2005, the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association began sponsoring the Springtime Redbud Festival. The first celebration was at Pine Mountain State Park, near Barbourville, but the celebration is now held on the campus of Union College. The Redbud Festival, in April, began as a quilting workshop and now includes other crafts including storytelling, art shows, dulcimer workshops, and a cooking school.


Schools in Barbourville are part of the Barbourville Independent School District. Larry E. Warren is the Superintendent of Schools.[6][7]

For the 2011-2012 school year, there were approximately seven hundred students enrolled.[6]

Located in Barbourville, but independent from the Barbourville Independent School District, the Knox Appalachian School was founded in 2004 as a joint venture with the Appalachian Children's Home and the Knox County Board of Education.

The Knox Appalachian School is a public school serving the needs of the children committed to the Appalachian Children’s Home. The school has 5 certified public school teachers and a Title One Coordinator.[8]

Notable people[edit]

Further reading[edit]

For a depiction of early Barbourville see: Michael A. Ross, “Hill Country Doctor: The Early Life and Career of Supreme Court Justice Samuel F. Miller in Kentucky, 1816-1849,” The Filson History Quarterly, Vol. 71 (October 1997): 430-462.

Photo's of Barbourville, Kentucky with GEO tags and Map


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Barbourville, Kentucky". Accessed 15 Jul 2013.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ Historical Census Data Retrieved on 2010-06-21
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ a b "Barborville Independent Schools". Barborville Independent Schools. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  7. ^ Cheves, John (January 4, 2014). "Tale of two Kentucky schools: Barbourville gets $8,362 per student; Anchorage gets $19,927". Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington: The McClatchy Company). 
  8. ^ "Knox Appalachian School". Knox Appalachian School. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  9. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External links[edit]