Breathitt County, Kentucky
|Breathitt County, Kentucky|
Breathitt County Kentucky Courthouse in Jackson, Kentucky
Location in the state of Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
|Named for||John Breathitt, Governor of Kentucky (1832–1834)|
495.29 sq mi (1,283 km²)
495.19 sq mi (1,283 km²)
0.09 sq mi (0 km²), 0.02%
14/sq mi (5/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Breathitt County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It was formed in 1839.The population was 13,878 in the 2010 Census. Its county seat is Jackson, Kentucky. The county is named for John Breathitt who was Governor of Kentucky from 1832 to 1834. Breathitt County is a prohibition or dry county.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 495.29 square miles (1,282.8 km2), of which 495.19 square miles (1,282.5 km2) (or 99.98%) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) (or 0.02%) is water.
Adjacent counties 
- Wolfe County (northwest)
- Magoffin County (northeast)
- Knott County (east)
- Perry County (southeast)
- Owsley County (southwest)
- Lee County (west)
Breathitt County was formed on February 8, 1839 from portions of Clay County, Estill County and Perry County. It was named after Governor John Breathitt. During World War I, Breathitt county attained national prominence by filling its quota of service men by volunteers. No men had to be drafted from Breathitt, the only county in U.S. with this record. During the war 3,912 men registered, 405 volunteered; of 324 called, 281 were inducted and 43 rejected. Kentuckians ranked among highest in nation in physical fitness. Currently, a Kentucky Historical Marker sits beside the old county court house lawn commemorating this achievement and is headlined, "Breathitt Volunteers". It is Kentucky Historical Marker #904. Military veterans of Breathitt county are also honored with a stone walls memorial. The memorial is erected beside the old county courthouse in downtown Jackson, Kentucky. The stone walls list all military service rendered by its citizens since the formation of Breathitt county. Kentucky state highway 15 in Breathitt county, is honorary named Breathitt county veterans highway by resolution of the county court.
Breathitt county shares a colorful political history also with political struggles between early leaders of the county. One such incident occurred at a polling place where a shoot-out had cost one or two voters their lives. The Democratic Party in Breathitt county has had influence in the county for a century, but in recent decades the Republican Party has had made a standing to voters of the county. US first ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson visited Breathitt county. Mrs. Roosevelt dedicated the old Breathitt county high school in Jackson. And Mrs. Johnson dedicated the current Breathitt high school gym on her tour of the county alone with the late Marie R. Turner, who was superintendent of the Breathitt county schools and political activist in Breathitt county. Women in Breathitt county have been more active in politics in recent memory with the late superintendent Marie R. Turner being a democratic activist. Betty Cornett, the first woman county judge-executive when her husband county judge-executive Robert E. Cornett died. Helen Combs was the first woman county magistrate from district #3 when her husband, magistrate J. W. Combs died and Combs ran for her own term. Rose Wolfe, became the first woman mayor for the city of Jackson, Kentucky. The late Seldon Short was a Republican activist for Breathitt County. The preacher from Vancleve, just north from Jackson; brought issues of Breathitt county to his party in the state and national levels of the Republican Party. The late Lester Smith, a former mayor of Jackson was a republician activist. The late democratic county judge-executive Nim Henson served more terms as county judge in memory and died in office. The local nursing home in Jackson is named in his honor. Many more political leaders of Breathitt county can be learned by visiting the Breathitt county museum in Jackson or the county court clerks office at the old courthouse in Jackson.
The first people of Breathitt county were Cherokee Indians living in the mountains in Breathitt county. The first "white" settlers were Irish, English, French or German decent. Relatives of Some of the notable last names that helped settle the county still exist, Allen, Bowling, Back, Cockrell, Combs, Campbell, Clemons, Deaton, Fletcher, Fugate, Haddix, Hargis, Hudson, Herald, Henson, Johnson, Mann, Miller, McIntosh, Neace, Noble, Napier, Russell, Sizemore, Smith, Turner, White. Breathitt county was a remote area with mountain trails and many creeks. Many people traveled by horseback and there were many little communities with country stores because depending where one lived, going to the county seat of Jackson could be a day trip or two. When state highway 15 came to Breathitt county, and county roads were graded by bulldozers; travel in the county began to be easier. By the 1970s, many parts of Breathitt county had roads where a car could travel up and down a mountain hollow or valley side.
Timber and coal mining have been the two most natural resources that brought jobs and grew the county's economy. Timber industry was vibrant until the late 1960s when coal mining began to bring in more money and more men went to coal mining. After the late 1980s, the coal mining boom in Breathitt county slowed to where coal mining families looked other places to find work. Currently, both industries are still sluggish in the Breathitt county area.
Breathitt county has many mountain walking trails and an Elk viewing area. The city of Jackson has a small park in town called the Lester Smith Park and the other two parks in Jackson is the Kiwanis Park and Douthitt Park. At Crockettsville (near Buckhorn) is a yearly festival that raises money for a children's home. Country singers from all around come and sing. The Honey festival in downtown Jackson is on labor day weekend in September. And a new fair called the Breathitt Heritage Fair is in October with Douthitt Park hosting booths and singing events. Notes: Cherokee links to southeast Kentucky and Breathitt County continue. Various communities of the county, including Canoe and Elkatawa and Lost Creek and others have strong Indian and Cherokee connections. source: cherokeeempire.bravehost.com
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 16,100 people, 6,170 households, and 4,541 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 per square mile (12 /km2). There were 6,812 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.69% White, 0.39% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,170 households, out of which 34.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.00% were married couples living together, 14.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county the population was spread out, with 25.50% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $19,155, and the median income for a family was $23,721. Males had a median income of $26,208 versus $20,613 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,044. About 28.10% of families and 33.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.90% of those under age 18 and 26.80% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns 
- Lost Creek
- Hayes Branch
- Fugates Fork
- Nix Branch
- South Fork
- Rose Branch
- Smith Branch
- Turners Creek
- War Creek
- Morris Fork
Jackson Independent Schools 
Jackson Independent Schools is a school district that educates students inside and outside the city limits of Jackson, Kentucky.
- Jackson City School - a single K-12 facility.
Breathitt County Schools 
Breathitt County Schools is another school district with an array of schools within the city limits of Jackson, Kentucky and throughout the county.
- Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School – Jackson, Kentucky
- Highland-Turner Elementary School – Booneville – Turkey, Kentucky
- Rousseau Elementary School – Rousseau, Kentucky
- Marie Roberts-Caney Elementary School – Lost Creek, Kentucky
- Eugene Sebastian Middle School – Jackson, Kentucky
- Breathitt County High School – Jackson, Kentucky
Private Schools 
- Mount Carmel School – Vancleve, Kentucky
- Oakdale Christian Academy – Jackson, Kentucky
- Riverside Christian School – Lost Creek, Kentucky
Higher Education 
- Lees College Campus of Hazard Community and Technical College (part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System) – Jackson, Kentucky
- Kentucky Mountain Bible College – Vancleve, Kentucky
- Morehead State University Jackson campus – Jackson, Kentucky
Breathitt Area Technology Center 
The Breathitt Area Technology Center serves both the Jackson Independent and the Breathitt County school districts. The school is located in Jackson, Kentucky on the campus of Breathitt County High School. The school is operated by the state of Kentucky. While most of the funding comes from the state, much of the equipment is purchased with federal Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act funds, which are aimed at advancing technical education.
The focus of the school is that of technical education. The Breathitt ATC offers the following technical programs:
- Automotive Technology
- Construction Technology
- Electrical Technology
- Health Sciences
- Office Technology
UK Robinson Station 
The community of Quicksand is the location for the University of Kentucky Robinson Station. This agriculture research facility is a pivotal asset in Breathitt County, furthering the scientific studies in the areas of agriculture and forestry.
See also 
- Dry counties
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Breathitt County, Kentucky
- Robinson Forest
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- The Kentucky Highlands Project
- The Breathitt County Museum - Provides a wealth of information on the rich history of Breathitt County.
- UK Robinson Station
- http://www.breathittcounty.com - hundreds of photos and articles about Breathitt County
- Breathitt County Public Schools
- Breathitt Area Technology Center