Mayfield, Kentucky

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Mayfield, Kentucky
Graves County Courthouse in 2008
Graves County Courthouse in 2008
Location of Mayfield, Kentucky
Location of Mayfield, Kentucky
Coordinates: 36°44′16″N 88°38′24″W / 36.73778°N 88.64000°W / 36.73778; -88.64000Coordinates: 36°44′16″N 88°38′24″W / 36.73778°N 88.64000°W / 36.73778; -88.64000
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Graves
Established 1824[1]
Incorporated 1846[1]
Named for Mayfield Creek[2]
 • Total 6.7 sq mi (17.3 km2)
 • Land 6.7 sq mi (17.3 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 476 ft (145 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,024
 • Density 1,496.1/sq mi (579.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 42066 [3]
Area code(s) 270 & 364
FIPS code 21-50898 [4]
GNIS feature ID 0497715 [5]

Mayfield is a 3rd-class city in Graves County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county.[6] The population was 10,024 as of the 2010 U.S. census.[7]


Mayfield is in the center of the Jackson Purchase, an eight-county region purchased by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson from the Chickasaw Indians in 1818. Mayfield was established as the county seat of Graves County in 1821, and the county was formally organized in 1823. John Anderson is thought to have been the first settler, arriving in 1819 at a location on Mayfield Creek about two and a half miles from the eventual site of Mayfield. In December 1821, he was appointed county court clerk and moved to the place that became Mayfield. According to Trabue Davis, the town received its name from a gambler named Mayfield who was kidnapped around 1817 from a racetrack near what became Hickman. He was carried to the site of what is now Mayfield, carved his name into a tree and died trying to escape. The creek in which he was said to have drowned was named Mayfield Creek, the source of the name for Anderson's town.[2]

1906 Broadway Looking West, Mayfield, Kentucky

The completion of the Memphis, New Orleans, and Northern Railroad in 1858 connected Mayfield to the larger world. Beginning with the establishment of the Mayfield Woolen Mills in 1860, the manufacture of clothing was a major industry in Mayfield for a century. The town was also a large market for loose-leaf tobacco.

During the Civil War, the Jackson Purchase including Mayfield was the area of strongest support for the Confederate cause. It has even been called "Kentucky's South Carolina".[8] On May 29, 1861, a group of Southern sympathizers from Kentucky and Tennessee met at the Graves County Courthouse to discuss the possibility of aligning the Purchase with West Tennessee. Most records of the event were lost, possibly in the 1887 fire that destroyed the courthouse. In 1907, Fulton County judge Herbert Carr declared in a speech that the Mayfield Convention adopted a resolution for secession and a historical marker in front of the courthouse also proclaims this as fact. However, the surviving records of the meeting, authored by a Union sympathizer, make no mention of this resolution, and historian Berry Craig opines that the convention believed the whole of Kentucky would eventually secede and make a resolution for the Purchase to break away unnecessary. Records do show that the convention adopted resolutions condemning President Abraham Lincoln for "waging a bloody and cruel war" against the South, urging Gov. Beriah Magoffin to resist Union forces and praising him for refusing to answer Lincoln's call for soldiers, and condemning the provision of "Lincoln guns" to Union sympathizers in Kentucky. The convention also nominated Henry Burnett to represent Kentucky's First District in Congress. The Mayfield Convention was a precursor to the later Russellville Convention, which formed the provisional Confederate government of Kentucky.[9]

Following the war, southern sympathies were manifested by the long dominance of the Democratic Party in local elections. During the Civil Rights Movement, the local schools integrated slowly but without violence. The "Mayfield Ten", ten black students from Dunbar High School, chose to register at the all-white Mayfield High School in 1956, and within two years the Dunbar school had closed.

In 2000, Mayfield was the site of the murder of Jessica Currin, a local resident. The case was finally solved nearly seven years later with the help of a local amateur investigator and a British journalist.

Board of Zoning controversy[edit]

On August 24, 2010 the Board of Zoning reversed the decision to allow a group of refugees to hold Islamic worship services in a local building. Dick Conner, who owns a flower shop adjacent to the proposed mosque, complained to the media that, "If the neighbor was a Baptist church it might be different". The five-member board of zoning adjustment, chaired by Austin Copeland, voted 4-0 with one board member, Roy D. Henley, absent due to jury duty. The board cited violations State Zoning Statute 100 in denying the permit.

Later on the same day, one of the Somali refugees was accused and charged with attempting to kidnap a teenage girl. The events surrounding the alleged incident met with sharp criticism, with local news agencies ignoring it as an attempt to belittle the character of the Muslims, and thus reinforce the ruling of the zoning board.[10]

The building utilized by the Somali community as a community center and mosque was abandoned shortly after the ruling and now stands empty.


Mayfield is located at 36°44′16″N 88°38′24″W / 36.73778°N 88.64000°W / 36.73778; -88.64000 (36.737693, -88.640122).[11] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 556
1870 779 40.1%
1880 1,839 136.1%
1890 2,909 58.2%
1900 4,081 40.3%
1910 5,916 45.0%
1920 6,583 11.3%
1930 8,177 24.2%
1940 8,619 5.4%
1950 8,990 4.3%
1960 10,762 19.7%
1970 10,724 −0.4%
1980 10,705 −0.2%
1990 9,935 −7.2%
2000 10,349 4.2%
2010 10,024 −3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 10,349 people, 4,358 households, and 2,667 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.8 people per square mile (598.2/km²). There were 4,907 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (283.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.57% White, 13.31% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 3.48% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 25.86% of the population. Recent years have seen a large influx of Amish residents nearby.

There were 4,358 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.

The age distribution was 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,400, and the median income for a family was $27,463. Males had a median income of $29,324 versus $18,575 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,327. About 23.4% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.4% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.

Despite being in a dry county (Graves), sales by the drink in restaurants of the city limits of Mayfield seating at least 100 diners and at the Mayfield Golf & Country Club are allowed. There are no Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages permitted, except at Mayfield Golf and Country Club.


Local media in Mayfield includes the Mayfield Messenger, a five-day (Monday through Friday) daily newspaper. Radio stations WLLE-FM, WNGO-AM, and WYMC-AM are licensed to Mayfield.


Mayfield was home to the Class D "Kitty League" Mayfield Pantsmakers, Mayfield Clothiers, and Browns from the 1920s to the 1950s.[2]

In 2009, Mayfield will be the home of the new KIT League team, West Kentucky Mavericks. Despite being based in Mayfield, the team will not play any home games and will play all of its games as "away" games.


Mid-Continent University, formerly Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College, was located just north of Mayfield off U.S. Route 45. It closed after the Spring 2014 term due to alleged financial (aid) mismanagement.

Mayfield Independent City School District was established on July 1, 1908 with the selection and meeting of its first Board Members, organized by Mr. W.J. Webb.[12]

Mayfield High School has won nine Kentucky High School Athletic Association championships in classes A and AA in a total of 17 appearances, with historical winning competition against larger schools, including arch rival Paducah Tilghman, Franklin-Simpson, Murray and Hopkinsville. Both consolidation and population loss have altered Kentucky high school competition classes, but many traditional rivalries continue. Mayfield High School mascot is "Cardinals".

The Graves County High School Co-Ed Cheerleading Team won the titles of National Champions in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 and State Champions in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, 2010, and 2012. Graves County High School mascot is "Eagles.

Notable people[edit]

Robert C. McAlister - Lieutenant General, United States Army


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Mayfield has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[21]


  1. ^ a b Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Mayfield, Ky". Accessed 25 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b Davis, D. Trabue. Story of Mayfield Through a Century, 1823-1923.
  3. ^ United States Postal Service (2012). "USPS - Look Up a ZIP Code". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ United States Census. [1].
  8. ^ Craig, Barry. "Kentucky's South Carolina: The Secession Crisis of 1860–1861". Accessed 25 August 2013.
  9. ^ Craig, pp.339, 346–347, 352–353, 359–360
  10. ^ Kidnapping False
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b c The Political Graveyard
  14. ^ Lucien Anderson at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  15. ^ Andrew Boone at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  16. ^ Michael Foust, Obituary of LaVerne Butler, Baptist Press, December 21, 2010
  17. ^ Noble Jones Gregory at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  18. ^ 1995 answers by Mason to Kentucky high school students
  19. ^ Kent Robbins
  20. ^ "Montana Governor Robert Burns Smith". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  21. ^ Climate Summary for Mayfield, Kentucky
  • Craig, Berry F. (Autumn 2001). "The Jackson Purchase Considers Secession: The 1861 Mayfield Convention". The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 99 (4): pp. 339–361. 

External links[edit]