Russellville, Kentucky

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Not to be confused with the similarly-named cities of Russell in Greenup Co and Russell Springs in Russell Co.
Logan County courthouse in Russellville, Kentucky
Logan County courthouse in Russellville, Kentucky
Location in the state of Kentucky
Location in the state of Kentucky
Coordinates: 36°50′33″N 86°53′34″W / 36.84250°N 86.89278°W / 36.84250; -86.89278Coordinates: 36°50′33″N 86°53′34″W / 36.84250°N 86.89278°W / 36.84250; -86.89278
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Logan
Established 1810[1]
Incorporated 1840[1]
Named for a local landowner
 • Mayor Mark Stratton
 • Total 10.6 sq mi (27.6 km2)
 • Land 10.6 sq mi (27.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 594 ft (181 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,947
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Code 42276
Area code(s) 270 & 364
FIPS code 21-67512
GNIS feature ID 0502534

Russellville is a home rule-class city[2] in Logan County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county.[3] The population was 6,947 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census.


Now used as a residence, Russellville's Southern Deposit Bank was robbed by a gang of ex-Confederates in 1868.

Local historian Alex Finley claimed the area was first settled by Gasper Butcher c. 1780, but others have questioned this.[4] Although the area is known to have been called Big Boiling Spring, Gasper Butcher's Spring, and Butcher's Station, W.R. Jillson was unable to find written records of habitation before William Cook and his wife erected Cook's Cabin with eighteen-year-old William Stewart in 1790.[4][5] Also known as Cook's Station, the community – located about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the present city[4] – became Logan Court House when it was chosen to be the seat of the newly formed Logan County in 1792. Logan Court House moved west to its present location when it was laid off in 1795 on part of Gen. William Russell's 2,000-acre (810 ha) grant for his military service during the American Revolution. The town was renamed in his honor in 1798[4] and formally established by the state legislature on January 15, 1810.[1] It was incorporated as a city on February 19, 1840.[1]

In the early 19th century, the community was politically prominent and four homes in the city still stand which housed future governors of Kentucky: John Breathitt, James Morehead, John J. Crittenden, and Charles S. Morehead.[5]

During the Civil War, the Kentucky General Assembly declared its neutrality and declined to secede with the rest of the South, despite being a slave state. In 1862, 116 sympathizers of the rebellion from 43 counties met as the Russellville Convention and created a separate Confederate government for Kentucky.[5] George W. Johnson was elected as the state's governor. Despite de facto Union control over Kentucky, this shadow government was recognized and admitted by the Confederacy, the source of the thirteenth star on the Confederate flag.

After the war, Kentucky struggled with insurrections. A gang made up of the former Confederate guerrillas Cole Younger, George Shepard, and Oliver Shepard, along with Confederate veterans John Jarrett and Arthur McCoy, robbed the Nimrod Long Bank[5] or the Southern Deposit Bank[citation needed] in Russellville on March 20, 1868. The brothers Frank and Jesse James, who later led their own gang, may have participated in peripheral roles. Today a Russellville bank on the city square has a large mural depicting the robbery. A reenactment of the robbery (called a "play on horseback") is performed annually during the city's Tobacco and Heritage Festival.

Several downtown homes have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Russellville is located at 36°50′33″N 86°53′34″W / 36.84250°N 86.89278°W / 36.84250; -86.89278 (36.842601, -86.892661).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,272
1860 1,089 −14.4%
1870 1,843 69.2%
1880 2,058 11.7%
1890 2,258 9.7%
1900 2,591 14.7%
1910 3,111 20.1%
1920 3,124 0.4%
1930 3,297 5.5%
1940 3,983 20.8%
1950 4,529 13.7%
1960 5,861 29.4%
1970 6,456 10.2%
1980 7,520 16.5%
1990 7,454 −0.9%
2000 7,149 −4.1%
2010 6,947 −2.8%
U.S. Census Bureau[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 7,149 people, 3,064 households, and 1,973 families residing in the city. The population density was 672.1 people per square mile (259.4/km²). There were 3,458 housing units at an average density of 325.1 per square mile (125.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.64% White, 18.62% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.57% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.58% of the population.

There were 3,064 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 82.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,647, and the median income for a family was $31,448. Males had a median income of $27,529 versus $20,032 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,654. About 17.1% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.0% of those under age 18 and 20.4% of those age 65 or over.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Russellville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[9]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Russellville, Kentucky". Accessed 16 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Summary and Reference Guide to House Bill 331 City Classification Reform". Kentucky League of Cities. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b c d Rennick, Robert. Kentucky Place Names, p. 259. University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1987. Accessed 4 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d The Kentucky Encyclopedia, p. 790. "Russellville". University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1992. Accessed 4 October 2013.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Historical Census Data Retrieved on 2010-05-07
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Climate Summary for Russellville, Kentucky

External links[edit]