Lee County, Kentucky

Coordinates: 37°35′N 83°43′W / 37.59°N 83.72°W / 37.59; -83.72
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lee County
Lee County courthouse in Beattyville
Lee County courthouse in Beattyville
Map of Kentucky highlighting Lee County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°35′N 83°43′W / 37.59°N 83.72°W / 37.59; -83.72
Country United States
State Kentucky
Founded1870
Named forRobert E. Lee
SeatBeattyville
Largest cityBeattyville
Area
 • Total211 sq mi (550 km2)
 • Land209 sq mi (540 km2)
 • Water2.4 sq mi (6 km2)  1.1%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total7,395
 • Estimate 
(2022)
7,261 Decrease
 • Density35/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district5th
Websitewww.leecounty.ky.gov

Lee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 7,395.[1] Its county seat is Beattyville.[2] The county was formed in 1870 from parts of Breathitt, Estill, Owsley and Wolfe counties.[3] The county was named for Robert E. Lee.[4] The area of Kentucky where Lee County is located was a pro-union region of Kentucky[5] but the legislature that created the county was controlled by former Confederates. The town of Proctor, named for the Rev. Joseph Proctor, was the first county seat.[3] The first court was held on April 25, 1870, in the old Howerton House. The local economy at the time included coal mining, salt gathering, timber operations, and various commercial operations. It had a U.S. post office from 1843 until 1918.

The county seat, Beattyville, was first known as Taylor's Landing, as it was a ferry landing on the Kentucky River.[3] It was renamed to Beatty in 1850 after early settler Samuel Beatty. The town incorporated in 1872 as Beattyville and was chosen as the new county seat due to its location on the river, which aided transportation and trade.

Although Lee County had taverns in the 19th century,[6] it was a prohibition or dry county until 2019 when the county voted to go wet. The City of Beattyville and Lee County Fiscal Court established alcoholic sale rules for their jurisdictions including prohibiting sales of alcohol on Sunday.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 211 square miles (550 km2), of which 209 square miles (540 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) (1.1%) is water.[7]

Eastern Kentucky Coal Field[edit]

Lee County lies within the Eastern Coal Field region of Kentucky. The very rugged terrain essentially defines the area. Roughly half of the county lies within the Daniel Boone National Forest. Timber and coal remain economically significant, as do oil and gas. Harmful effects from unregulated strip mining and clear cut logging practices are still being corrected. The proliferation of kudzu, an invasive vine has proved difficult to address. However, the growing environmental movement and the developing tourism industry have created energy to take more action to control this pest.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18804,254
18906,20545.9%
19007,98828.7%
19109,53119.3%
192011,91825.0%
19309,729−18.4%
194010,86011.6%
19508,739−19.5%
19607,420−15.1%
19706,587−11.2%
19807,75417.7%
19907,422−4.3%
20007,9166.7%
20107,719−2.5%
20207,395−4.2%
2022 (est.)7,261[8]−1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2021[13]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 7,916 people, 2,985 households, and 2,122 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 per square mile (15/km2). There were 3,321 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.10% White, 3.79% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 0.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,985 households, out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.80% were married couples living together, 12.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.70% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 109.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $18,544, and the median income for a family was $24,918. Males had a median income of $25,930 versus $19,038 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,325. About 25.20% of families and 30.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.00% of those under age 18 and 22.90% of those age 65 or over.

Life expectancy[edit]

Of 3,142 counties in the United States in 2013, Lee County ranked no. 3,111 for the life expectancy of males and 2,989 for longevity of females. Males in Lee County lived an average of 68.5 years and females lived an average of 76.7 years compared to the national average for life expectancy of 76.5 for males and 81.2 for females. Moreover, the average life expectancy in Lee Country was stable for males and declined by 1.5 years for females between 1985 and 2013, compared to a national average for the same period of an increased life span of 5.5 years for men and 3.1 years for women. High rates of smoking and obesity, and a low level of physical activity appear to be contributing factors to the low life expectancy for both sexes.[15]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Lee County, Kentucky[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,273 81.15% 481 17.17% 47 1.68%
2016 2,151 80.65% 444 16.65% 72 2.70%
2012 1,977 75.37% 595 22.68% 51 1.94%
2008 1,978 71.33% 752 27.12% 43 1.55%
2004 2,018 69.11% 878 30.07% 24 0.82%
2000 1,893 68.49% 836 30.25% 35 1.27%
1996 1,302 51.63% 1,023 40.56% 197 7.81%
1992 1,617 51.20% 1,170 37.05% 371 11.75%
1988 1,588 61.31% 984 37.99% 18 0.69%
1984 1,862 70.53% 768 29.09% 10 0.38%
1980 1,650 60.53% 1,017 37.31% 59 2.16%
1976 1,449 56.54% 1,091 42.57% 23 0.90%
1972 1,629 68.22% 744 31.16% 15 0.63%
1968 1,339 58.27% 674 29.33% 285 12.40%
1964 1,162 45.69% 1,376 54.11% 5 0.20%
1960 2,012 67.74% 958 32.26% 0 0.00%
1956 1,774 65.32% 938 34.54% 4 0.15%
1952 1,572 58.70% 1,100 41.08% 6 0.22%
1948 1,233 52.62% 1,058 45.16% 52 2.22%
1944 1,468 57.57% 1,072 42.04% 10 0.39%
1940 1,866 53.39% 1,622 46.41% 7 0.20%
1936 1,812 55.69% 1,440 44.25% 2 0.06%
1932 1,628 45.17% 1,970 54.66% 6 0.17%
1928 2,005 63.91% 1,131 36.05% 1 0.03%
1924 1,348 49.25% 1,348 49.25% 41 1.50%
1920 1,856 59.56% 1,246 39.99% 14 0.45%
1916 1,135 58.48% 793 40.86% 13 0.67%
1912 570 33.37% 728 42.62% 410 24.00%
1908 1,171 59.47% 783 39.77% 15 0.76%
1904 879 61.68% 527 36.98% 19 1.33%
1900 857 56.79% 637 42.21% 15 0.99%
1896 881 59.09% 587 39.37% 23 1.54%
1892 565 51.98% 507 46.64% 15 1.38%
1888 514 54.22% 432 45.57% 2 0.21%
1884 410 51.57% 385 48.43% 0 0.00%
1880 418 51.41% 394 48.46% 1 0.12%

Economy[edit]

Lee County, Kentucky is often listed as one of the poorest counties in the United States. In 2014, 35 percent of its population lived in poverty and the median family income was $23,968 compared to 14.8 percent poor and a $53,482 median family income for the United States as a whole.[17]

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Lee County, Kentucky". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Kendrick, Debi (January 3, 2014). "Lee County Kentucky Genealogy". USGenNet.
  4. ^ "About Lee County, KY". Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  5. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 36.
  6. ^ Collins, Lewis (1877). History of Kentucky. p. 461.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  13. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ "Lee County, Kentucky" (PDF). Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "Lee County, Kentucky," https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045213/21129/embed/accessible; "United States" https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/INC110214/00, accessed 6 August 2016

37°35′N 83°43′W / 37.59°N 83.72°W / 37.59; -83.72