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Butler County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Butler County
Butler County Courthouse in Morgantown
Butler County Courthouse in Morgantown
Map of Kentucky highlighting Butler County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Kentucky
Founded January 18, 1810
Named for Richard Butler
Seat Morgantown
Largest city Morgantown
 • Total 431 sq mi (1,120 km2)
 • Land 426 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Water 5.4 sq mi (14 km2)  1.2%%
 • Total 12,371 Decrease
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Butler County is a county located in the US state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 12,371. Its county seat is Morgantown. The county was formed in 1810, becoming Kentucky's 53rd county. Butler County is included in the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Numerous archaeological sites are located along the Green River in Butler County. A 1932 survey found nine sites, many of which were a group of shell mounds, including the Carlston Annis and DeWeese Shell Mounds.

The area now known as Butler County was first settled by the families of Richard C. Dellium and James Forgy, who founded a town called Berry's Lick. The first industry was salt-making.

On January 18, 1810, the Kentucky General Assembly created Butler County from portions of Logan and Ohio counties. The new county was named for Major General Richard Butler, who died at the Battle of the Wabash in 1791.

Butler County has one of only two Civil War monuments in Kentucky that honor the soldiers of both sides. The Confederate-Union Veterans' Monument in Morgantown, a zinc monument, was dedicated in 1907 on the Butler County Courthouse lawn.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 431 square miles (1,120 km2), of which 426 square miles (1,100 km2) is land and 5.4 square miles (14 km2) (1.2%) is water. It is part of the Western Coal Fields region of Kentucky.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 3,083
1830 3,058 −0.8%
1840 3,898 27.5%
1850 5,755 47.6%
1860 7,927 37.7%
1870 9,404 18.6%
1880 12,181 29.5%
1890 13,956 14.6%
1900 15,896 13.9%
1910 15,805 −0.6%
1920 15,197 −3.8%
1930 12,620 −17.0%
1940 14,371 13.9%
1950 11,309 −21.3%
1960 9,586 −15.2%
1970 9,723 1.4%
1980 11,064 13.8%
1990 11,245 1.6%
2000 13,010 15.7%
2010 12,690 −2.5%
2020 12,371 −2.5%
2021 (est.) 12,294 −3.1%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2021

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,010 people, 5,059 households, and 3,708 families residing in the county. The population density was 30 per square mile (12/km2). There were 5,815 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.88% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.60% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,059 households, out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.30% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.70% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.98.

The county population contained 25.30% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,405, and the median income for a family was $35,317. Males had a median income of $26,449 versus $19,894 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,617. About 13.10% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 22.50% of those age 65 or over.


For much of its history, Butler County's main line of transportation was the Green River. As railroads became more important economically, the county compensated by building a series of roads to major trade centers such as U.S. 231 connecting Beaver Dam with Owensboro. Green River was eventually closed to traffic after Woodbury's Lock and Dam Number 4 washed out in 1965 and Rochester's Lock and Dam Number 3 was abandoned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1980. Completion of the William H. Natcher Parkway (now I-165) linked the area to the national interstate system in 1970.


Sites and events of interest

Sites include:

  • Charles Black City Park - Helm Lane off Kentucky Route 70, Morgantown. It offers baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts; access free of charge. It is also the home to the Morgantown City Pool, which has a minimal charge for use.
  • Cedar Ridge Speedway, two miles west of Morgantown along KY 70, is a venue for local racing leagues.
  • Green River Museum, Woodbury
  • The Corner Market in Roundhill, Junction of State routes 70 and 185 on the Butler-Edmonson County line.
  • Big Reedy Christian Camp, D Simpson Road off KY 185, Reedyville.

Events include:

  • Green River Catfish Festival (annual event) - Charles Black City Park and various locations; late June/early July Features a carnival, various contests, concerts, and tournaments. A fireworks display on July 4 is also included.

Notable people

  • Claude C. Bloch (b. 1878 in Woodbury, d. 1967) – Admiral who commanded the local Naval District at Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack in 1941.
  • Keith Butler – baseball pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals (from Morgantown).
  • Thomas HinesConfederate spy during the Civil War, later a chief justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
  • Don J. Jenkins – Vietnam War soldier and Medal of Honor recipient (born in Quality)
  • John M. Moore – bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (born in Morgantown)
  • William S. Taylor – Governor of Kentucky 1899–1900 (born near Morgantown)
  • Pendleton Vandiver – fiddler and uncle of bluegrass musician Bill Monroe, who immortalized him in the song "Uncle Pen" and in the Country Boy music video for Ricky Skaggs
  • Maurice Thatcher – Assistant Attorney General of Kentucky, Governor of Panama, and U.S. Representative.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Butler (Kentucky) para niños

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