Midway, Kentucky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Midway, Kentucky
East Main Street in Midway
East Main Street in Midway
Location of Midway in Woodford County, Kentucky.
Location of Midway in Woodford County, Kentucky.
Coordinates: 38°9′2″N 84°40′59″W / 38.15056°N 84.68306°W / 38.15056; -84.68306Coordinates: 38°9′2″N 84°40′59″W / 38.15056°N 84.68306°W / 38.15056; -84.68306
CountryUnited States
EstablishedJanuary 31, 1835
IncorporatedFebruary 7, 1846[1]
Named forits location relative to Frankfort and Lexington
 • MayorGrayson Vandegrift
 • Total1.1 sq mi (3 km2)
 • Land1.1 sq mi (3 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
827 ft (252 m)
 • Total1,641
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,484.3/sq mi (573.1/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)859
FIPS code21-52140
GNIS feature ID0498164
View looking west from intersection of Highway 62 and Main Street

Midway is a home rule-class city[3] in Woodford County, Kentucky, in the United States. Its population was 1,620 at the time of the year 2000 U.S. census. It is part of the Lexington-Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Racehorse Man o' War with Midway, Kentucky trainer Joseph Bryan Martin.

The town is home to a major thoroughbred race horse breeding operation, the Three Chimneys Farm. In 2003, faced with a declining downtown, a major streetscape renovation project began as part of Main Street Kentucky.[clarification needed] New period structures and lighting brought new life to the town.


Before its European exploration, the area around Midway was inhabited by the Mound Builders.[which?] Two large and several smaller American Indian mounds have been identified on nearby farms.[4]

The present city began as a small settlement known as Stevenson's at the time of its first post office in 1832.[5] On January 31, 1835, the local farmer John Francisco sold his 216.375-acre (87.564 ha) farm to the Lexington and Ohio Railroad for $6,491.25. The railroad then used the land to establish Kentucky's first railroad town, naming it Middleway for its location relative to Lexington and Frankfort, Kentucky.[5] (The town is also equidistant between Versailles and Georgetown.) The major streets of Midway were named in honor of the railroad's original officials.[4] It was renamed Midway in 1837.[5]

The town was home to the Midway Distilling Company, which continued legal operation during the Prohibition era. In 1920, during a robbery of the distillery, Benjamin Rodgers and Homer Nave were killed. A black man, Richard W. James, was arrested for the killings. He admitted to the robbery but denied shooting the men, and claimed that the facility's superintendent of bottling, Samuel Seay, had a deal with James and others to share the proceeds of the stolen liquor. James was convicted of murder, but one member of the jury refused to vote for his execution on religious grounds. On March 13, 1921, a mob took James from the county jail in Versailles, Kentucky and lynched him from a tree near Margaret College, about a half-mile from Versailles. No one from the mob was indicted and, when Gov. Edwin P. Morrow removed the sheriff from his post, local voters elected his wife to replace him.[6][7][8][9]


Midway is located in the northern section of Woodford County in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, an area with farms that produce tobacco, corn, soybeans, cattle, and horses. Midway is located at 38°9′2″N 84°40′59″W / 38.15056°N 84.68306°W / 38.15056; -84.68306 (38.150484, -84.683014).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20161,706[2]4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 1,620 people, 623 households, and 409 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,484.3 per square mile (573.1/km2). There were 672 housing units at an average density of 615.7 per square mile (237.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.81% White, 7.72% African American, 0.31% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.42% of the population.

There were 623 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.96.

21.0% of the population was under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 75.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $50,909, and the median income for a family was $60,326. Males had a median income of $35,795 versus $32,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,528. About 2.0% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.6% of those under age 18 and 14.2% of those age 65 or over.

Annual events[edit]

  • Francisco's Farm Arts Festival The focus of the event is the outdoor exhibition of juried fine art and fine craft, giving the opportunity to meet and purchase art from the creators themselves. It is located at the campus of Midway University, 512 E. Stephens St., Midway.[13]
  • Kentucky's bluegrass region, the Midway Fall Festival has been named one of Kentucky's top twenty festivals. The festival features crafts, food, demonstrators, entertainment and children's activities.[14]
  • Midway Independence Day Celebration is called "Sparks in the Park," at Walter Bradley Park, the city park.


Current schools

Defunct schools

  • Midway Elementary (Closed 1992, Succeeded by Northside Elementary)
  • Midway High School (Closed 1964, Succeeded by Woodford County High School)
  • Margaret College, a Catholic junior college for women.

Historic sites[edit]

Midway Historic District


Historic district[edit]

Many homes and businesses in Midway are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Items of additional interest[edit]

Zeralda James, mother of Frank and Jesse James, was born in the Black Horse Inn at the intersection of U.S. Route 62 and Old Frankfort Pike, where she lived with her father, who ran the tavern.[4]

Weisenberger Mill has been in the Weisenberger family for seven generations. It is the oldest continuously operating mill in Kentucky and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[16]

Legendary thoroughbred racehorse Man o' War, foaled at Nursery Stud Farm in nearby Fayette, County, was trained and first ridden by Midway native Joseph Bryan Martin, who is buried in Midway Cemetery.[17][better source needed]

Abraham Perry, an African-American thoroughbred horse trainer, was born in Midway. Perry trained Joe Cotton (horse), which won seven major titled races, including the Kentucky Derby, the Tennessee Derby, and the Coney Island Derby in 1885.[18][19]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Midway has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[20]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office "Midway, Kentucky". Accessed 23 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Summary and Reference Guide to House Bill 331 City Classification Reform" (PDF). Kentucky League of Cities. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Midway Kentucky: History". City of Midway. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  5. ^ a b c Rennick, Robert. Kentucky Place Names, p. 197. University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1987. Accessed 1 August 2013.
  6. ^ Officials Make Wide Search For Negro Killer Lexington Herald, October 9, 1920. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  7. ^ Second Victim of Distillery Battle Dies In Hospital Lexington Herald, October 10, 1920. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  8. ^ Woodford Sun: "Lynching Follows Hung Jury in Murder Trial". 17 March 1921. Accessed 11 August 2013.
  9. ^ Alleged Slayer Taken From Jail Sunday Morning Lexington Herald, March 13, 1921. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  13. ^ "Francisco's Farm Arts Festival". Francisco's Farm. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  14. ^ "37th Annual Midway Fall Festival". Midway Fall Festival. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  15. ^ https://midwayky.blogspot.com/2018/05/admitting-men-boosted-midway-univ-and.html
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference hist’ was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ "Joseph Bryan Martin". findagrave.com. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  18. ^ Katie Pratt and Carl Nathe (September 16, 2010). "UK Highlights African Americans in Equine". uknow.uky.edu. University of Kentucky. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  19. ^ Nicolas Martin. "Abraham Perry (1842-1908)". Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Midway, Kentucky Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  21. ^ http://www.startribune.com/tv-star-steve-zahn-may-save-the-world-but-saving-his-minnesota-cabin-comes-first/478333683/

External links[edit]