Mercer County, Kentucky

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Mercer County
Mercer County Courthouse in Harrodsburg
Mercer County Courthouse in Harrodsburg
Map of Kentucky highlighting Mercer 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°48′N 84°53′W / 37.8°N 84.88°W / 37.8; -84.88
Country United States
State Kentucky
Founded1785
Named forHugh Mercer
SeatHarrodsburg
Largest cityHarrodsburg
Area
 • Total253 sq mi (660 km2)
 • Land249 sq mi (640 km2)
 • Water4.5 sq mi (12 km2)  1.8%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total22,641 Increase
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.mercercounty.ky.gov

Mercer County is a county located in the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Its county seat is Harrodsburg.[1] The county was formed from Lincoln County, Virginia in 1785[2] and is named for Revolutionary War General Hugh Mercer, who was killed at the Battle of Princeton in 1777.[3] It was formerly a prohibition or dry county.

History[edit]

Harrodsburg was the first city formally chartered in Kentucky County, the Virginia district that later became the 15th state. It was originally the county seat of Lincoln County when it was formed in 1780, but it became the seat of Mercer County when it was created.

Pleasant Hill, also known as Shakertown, is the site of a former Shaker community, active especially in the years before the American Civil War. It is a National Historic Landmark District, consisting of more than 30 historic buildings. The district also includes acres of farm and parkland.

During the Civil War, the county was divided in sentiment. Union control permitted the organization 2 Union regiments, the 19th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Infantry and the 11th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry. However, many county men also served in the Confederate Army. The 19th Kentucky Infantry (Union)was organized at Camp Harwood for a three-year enlistment commencing January 2, 1862, commanded Col. William J. Landram. Companies A, C, D, and F of the 11th Kentucky Cavalry (Union) were organized at Harrodsburg in July 1862. The remainder of the regiment was organized in Louisville, Kentucky, and mustered in for three years on September 26, 1862, under the Colonel Alexander W. Holeman. Following the Battle of Perryville, much of Harrodsburg and surrounding towns were converted into makeshift hospitals; 1600 sick and wounded Confederate soldiers were captured during a raid in Harrodsburg by the 9th Kentucky Cavalry on October 10, 1862. The city then remained under martial law for the remainder of the war.[citation needed]

The Louisville Southern Railroad reached Harrodsburg in 1888. Louisville Southern Railway's construction commenced in 1884 and ran from Louisville through Shelbyville and Lawrenceburg to Harrodsburg, which was reached in 1888. The rail yard and station were located at the corner of Office Street and Merimon Avenue. A spur was later constructed from the station to Burgin, where the Louisville Southern joined the Cincinnati Southern's Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway CNO&TP mainline which runs through the eastern part of the country from High Bridge of Kentucky to Burgin to Danville was opened in 1877. Now all run and operated by Norfolk Southern Railway.

Company D of the 192nd Tank Battalion, which took part in the World War II Battle of Bataan was from Harrodsburg.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles (660 km2), of which 249 square miles (640 km2) is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km2) (1.8%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
17907,091
18009,64636.0%
181012,63030.9%
182015,58723.4%
183017,69413.5%
184018,7205.8%
185014,067−24.9%
186013,701−2.6%
187013,144−4.1%
188014,1427.6%
189015,0346.3%
190014,426−4.0%
191014,063−2.5%
192014,7955.2%
193014,471−2.2%
194014,6291.1%
195014,6430.1%
196014,596−0.3%
197015,9609.3%
198019,01119.1%
199019,1480.7%
200020,8178.7%
201021,3312.5%
202022,6416.1%
2021 (est.)22,8500.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2021[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 20,817 people, 8,423 households, and 6,039 families residing in the county. The population density was 83 per square mile (32/km2). There were 9,289 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.00% White, 3.69% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. 1.27% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

There were 8,423 households, out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.30% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.93.

By age, 24.40% of the population was under 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% were 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was US$35,555, and the median income for a family was $43,121. Males had a median income of $33,657 versus $22,418 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,972. About 10.00% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.40% of those under age 18 and 12.00% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]

Law and government[edit]

County Judge/Executive
  • Milward Dedman
County Magistrates
  • Dennis Holiday
  • Tim Darland
  • Jackie Claycomb
  • Wayne Jackson
  • Ronnie Sims
  • Donald Webb
County Attorney
  • Ted Dean
County Coroner
  • Sonny Ransdell
Sheriff
  • Ernie Kelty
County Clerk
  • Chris Horn
Circuit Clerk
  • Alison Buchanan
District Court Judge
  • Jeff Dotson
Circuit Court Judge
  • Darren Peckler
Family Court Judge
  • Bruce Petrie
Jailer
  • Brett Chamberlin
United States presidential election results for Mercer County, Kentucky[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 8,506 72.48% 3,033 25.85% 196 1.67%
2016 7,740 73.12% 2,395 22.63% 450 4.25%
2012 6,820 68.62% 2,966 29.84% 153 1.54%
2008 6,781 67.41% 3,159 31.40% 120 1.19%
2004 6,745 67.26% 3,224 32.15% 59 0.59%
2000 5,362 62.12% 3,092 35.82% 178 2.06%
1996 3,264 44.82% 3,179 43.66% 839 11.52%
1992 3,211 41.96% 3,010 39.33% 1,432 18.71%
1988 3,904 57.05% 2,832 41.39% 107 1.56%
1984 4,592 63.88% 2,516 35.00% 81 1.13%
1980 3,275 46.99% 3,528 50.62% 167 2.40%
1976 2,451 40.91% 3,411 56.94% 129 2.15%
1972 3,575 66.08% 1,707 31.55% 128 2.37%
1968 2,432 43.07% 1,950 34.54% 1,264 22.39%
1964 1,732 32.57% 3,564 67.03% 21 0.39%
1960 3,569 56.81% 2,713 43.19% 0 0.00%
1956 3,168 53.23% 2,767 46.49% 17 0.29%
1952 2,545 47.91% 2,740 51.58% 27 0.51%
1948 1,599 35.97% 2,682 60.34% 164 3.69%
1944 2,039 39.62% 3,086 59.97% 21 0.41%
1940 1,845 33.73% 3,606 65.92% 19 0.35%
1936 2,161 36.97% 3,659 62.59% 26 0.44%
1932 1,950 33.94% 3,759 65.43% 36 0.63%
1928 3,462 61.76% 2,140 38.17% 4 0.07%
1924 2,715 49.62% 2,698 49.31% 59 1.08%
1920 2,786 43.25% 3,623 56.24% 33 0.51%
1916 1,531 41.84% 2,093 57.20% 35 0.96%
1912 889 27.00% 1,792 54.43% 611 18.56%


Local attractions[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

Education[edit]

School districts include:[13]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Collins, Lewis (1882). Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, Volume 2. Collins & Company. p. 26.
  3. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 36.
  4. ^ Life Magazine 1942
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  10. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Mercer County, KY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2022. - Text list - For more detailed boundaries of the independent school districts see: "Appendix B: Maps Of Independent School Districts In Operation In FY 2014-FY 2015 Using 2005 Tax District Boundaries – Burgin ISD" (PDF). Research Report No. 415 – Kentucky's Independent School Districts: A Primer. Frankfort, KY: Office of Education Accountability, Legislative Research Commission. September 15, 2015. p. 95 (PDF p. 109/174).
  14. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1963.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°48′N 84°53′W / 37.80°N 84.88°W / 37.80; -84.88