Spencer County, Kentucky

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Spencer County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Spencer County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1824
Named for Spier Spencer
Seat Taylorsville
Largest city Taylorsville
 • Total 192 sq mi (497 km2)
 • Land 187 sq mi (484 km2)
 • Water 5.0 sq mi (13 km2), 2.6%
 • (2010) 17,061
 • Density 91/sq mi (35/km²)
Congressional districts 2nd, 4th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.spencercountyky.gov

Spencer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,061.[1] Its county seat is Taylorsville.[2] The County was founded in 1824[3] and named for Spier Spencer.

Spencer County is part of the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY–IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Taylorsville Lake, located primarily within Spencer County, serves as a major economic resource for the area. Spencer was a dry county until 2009 when the county's residents voted to overturn the ban on alcohol sales. From 2000 to 2005, Spencer County ranked 19th out of all U.S. counties in percent growth, with a 33% increase.[4]


Spencer County was formed in January 1824, by the 32nd Kentucky General Assembly. The land that now makes up Spencer County was taken from Bullitt County, Shelby County, and Nelson County. Spencer County became Kentucky's 77th county. The county was named for Kentucky's Captain Spier Spencer, who fought and died in the Battle of Tippecanoe.[5]

Later that year, in December 1824, Taylorsville was made the county seat. In 1829, the city was incorporated.[6]

During the American Civil War, the courthouse at Taylorsville was burned by Confederate guerrillas in January 1865, but the county's records were saved.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 192 square miles (500 km2), of which 187 square miles (480 km2) is land and 5.0 square miles (13 km2) (2.6%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Graph of Spencer County population by Census
Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 6,812
1840 6,581 −3.4%
1850 6,842 4.0%
1860 6,188 −9.6%
1870 5,956 −3.7%
1880 7,040 18.2%
1890 6,760 −4.0%
1900 7,406 9.6%
1910 7,567 2.2%
1920 7,785 2.9%
1930 6,606 −15.1%
1940 6,757 2.3%
1950 6,157 −8.9%
1960 5,680 −7.7%
1970 5,488 −3.4%
1980 5,929 8.0%
1990 6,801 14.7%
2000 11,766 73.0%
2010 17,061 45.0%
Est. 2013 17,367 1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 11,766 people, 4,251 households, and 3,358 families residing in the county. The population density was 63 per square mile (24/km2). There were 4,555 housing units at an average density of 24 per square mile (9.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.50% White, 1.13% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 1.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,251 households out of which 38.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.90% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.00% were non-families. 17.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.00% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 33.50% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 101.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $47,042, and the median income for a family was $52,038. Males had a median income of $36,638 versus $24,196 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,848. About 7.70% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.90% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.


Until sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s, small 1-room schoolhouse type schools were scattered across the county for the elementary grades, with a single high school located in Taylorsville. As roads improved and the population increased, these were phased out. Eventually all elementary classes were held in the expanded building that housed the high school in Taylorsville. This building is now known as Taylorsville Elementary. The county continued to grow and the need for a new high school became apparent at the end of the 1970s. Ground was broken in the early 1980s at the site of the new school, just across Brashear's Creek on the north side of town, alongside the newly built highway KY 155/55N. The new high school actually housed grades 7 through 12, and opened in the fall of 1983. The class of 1989 was the first class to complete grades 7-12 in the new facility. By the end of the 1980s, the school had a small addition and during the 1990s a large addition that included a second gym was begun. The new addition was meant to house the middle school grades and give them more separation from the older grades. Until the early 2000s, there were only two public schools in the district: the elementary school (educating grades K-6) and the high school (educating grades 7-12). In 2000, a new elementary school was built, and the district split into a three-school system:

  • Spencer County Elementary, housing grades K-5
  • Taylorsville Elementary (TES), housing grades K-5, in the oldest facility, formerly the old High School
  • Spencer County Middle School, housing grades 6-8 in a new facility next to Spencer County Elementary School
  • Spencer County High School, housing grades 9-12

Due to the fast growth of the county, a new middle school was built in 2004-05, and a second elementary school took residence in what had been the middle school.[14]

As of 2009, there are five public schools in Spencer County.

  • Spencer County High School, located at 520 Taylorsville Road, has an estimated 38 teachers and 880 students. The school building was built in 1982-83. The current principal is Curt Haun.
  • Spencer County Middle School, located at 1263 Mount Washington Road adjacent to Spencer County Elementary School, has an estimated 45 teachers and 650 students. The school building was built in 2004-05. The current principal is Ed Downs.
  • Spencer County Elementary School, located at 1265 Mount Washington Road, has an estimated 52 teachers and 800+ students. The school building was built in 1999-2000. The current principal is Dale Kleinjan.
  • Taylorsville Elementary School, located at 206 Reasor Avenue, has an estimated 25 teachers and 490 students. The school building is the oldest in the district, having been built in 1938. The current principal is Chuck Abell.
  • Hillview Academy, located on Main Cross, has an 3 teachers and 48 students. The current principal is Bob Hafendorfer.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ http://www.kyenc.org/entry/s/SPENC02.html
  4. ^ U.S. Census Bureau
  5. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. p. 37. 
  6. ^ Spencer County History
  7. ^ KY:Historical Society - Historical Marker Database - Search for Markers
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ "Kentucky: Spencer County Public Schools - Home". Publicschools.spencercounty.ky.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°02′N 85°19′W / 38.03°N 85.32°W / 38.03; -85.32