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Franklin, Kentucky
Simpson County Courthouse in Franklin
Simpson County Courthouse in Franklin
Location of Franklin in Simpson County, Kentucky.
Location of Franklin in Simpson County, Kentucky.
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Simpson
Established November 2, 1820
 • Type City Commission
 • Total 14.86 sq mi (38.48 km2)
 • Land 14.75 sq mi (38.19 km2)
 • Water 0.11 sq mi (0.29 km2)
709 ft (216 m)
 • Total 10,176
 • Density 690.04/sq mi (266.43/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 270 & 364
FIPS code 21-28918
GNIS feature ID 0492443

Franklin is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Simpson County, Kentucky, United States. The county is located on the south central border of the state, and its population was 8,408 at the 2010 census.

Kentucky Downs, formerly known as Dueling Grounds Racetrack (owned by Corey Johnsen & Ray Reid), is located in Franklin on the Kentucky–Tennessee border. Kentucky Downs hosts the Kentucky Cup Turf Festival, a full card of world-class horse racing featuring four major turf stakes. Kentucky Downs also hosts year-round simulcasts for the Kentucky-Tennessee market.


Franklin was formally incorporated by the state assembly on November 2, 1820, on a 62-acre (250,000 m2) tract of land. This tract was purchased from William Hudspeth and was named for Benjamin Franklin. The post office was established on September 29, 1822, with Robert W. Simpson as postmaster.

On March 1, 1968, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash were married at the Methodist church in Franklin by Reverend Leslie Chapman.


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


Franklin is located at 36°43′21″N 86°34′39″W / 36.72250°N 86.57750°W / 36.72250; -86.57750 (36.722487, -86.577566).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 280
1860 828
1870 1,808 118.4%
1880 1,686 −6.7%
1890 2,324 37.8%
1900 2,166 −6.8%
1910 3,063 41.4%
1920 3,154 3.0%
1930 3,056 −3.1%
1940 3,940 28.9%
1950 4,343 10.2%
1960 5,329 22.7%
1970 6,553 23.0%
1980 7,738 18.1%
1990 7,607 −1.7%
2000 7,996 5.1%
2010 8,408 5.2%
2020 10,176 21.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,996 people, 3,251 households, and 2,174 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,074.7 people per square mile (415.0/km2). There were 3,609 housing units at an average density of 485.1 per square mile (187.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.99% White, 16.76% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.81% of the population.

There were 3,251 households, out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.2% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,001, and the median income for a family was $38,807. Males had a median income of $30,955 versus $21,783 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,467. About 10.9% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 18.1% of those age 65 or over.

Places of worship

The following churches are listed by name, with their denomination in parentheses.

  • Alpha Missionary Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Bethany Church of Christ (Churches of Christ)
  • Blackjack Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Calvary Assembly of God (Assemblies of God)
  • Calvary Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Cedar Grove Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Elevated Missionary Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Emmanuel Spiritual Healing Church (Nondenominational Christian)
  • Fairview Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Faith Baptist Church (Independent Baptist)
  • First Baptist Church Franklin (Southern Baptist)
  • Franklin Amish Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA)
  • Franklin Church of Christ (Churches of Christ)
  • Franklin Community of Faith Church of the Nazarene (Nazarene)
  • Franklin First United Methodist Church (United Methodist)
  • Franklin Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church (USA))
  • Franklin Seventh-day Adventist Church (Seventh-day Adventist)
  • Franklin United Pentecostal Church (United Pentecostal Church International)
  • Good News Fellowship Church (Fellowship of Christian Assemblies)
  • Greater Taylor Chapel (AME Church)
  • Harvesters Warehouse Pentecostal Church (Pentecostal)
  • Lake Spring Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • LifePoint Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Locust Grove Church of Christ (Churches of Christ)
  • Macedonia General Baptist Church (Baptist)
  • Middleton First Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Mount Zion Apostolic Church (Apostolic)
  • Pleasant View Baptist Church (Baptist)
  • Providence Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Roundpond Presbyterian Church (Nondenominational Presbyterian; formerly Presbyterian Church (USA))
  • Salmons General Baptist Church (Baptist)
  • Shady Grove Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Simpson Baptist Association (Southern Baptist)
  • South Franklin Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • St. Mary of the Woods Church (Roman Catholic)
  • Sulphur Spring Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)
  • Trinity Baptist Church (Southern Baptist)

Former places of worship

  • St. James Episcopal Church (Episcopal)
  • Zion Lutheran Church (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)

Points of interest

  • Kentucky Downs, formerly known as Dueling Grounds Racetrack (owned by Corey Johnsen & Ray Reid), is located right on the Kentucky–Tennessee border in Franklin. Kentucky Downs hosts the Kentucky Cup Turf Festival, a full card of world class racing featuring four major turf stakes. Kentucky Downs also hosts year-round simulcasts for the Kentucky-Tennessee market.

Simpson County Courthouse (Kentucky)


Public education in Franklin is administered by Simpson County School District, which operates Franklin Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School and Simpson Elementary School, Franklin-Simpson Middle School and Franklin-Simpson High School.

Franklin Mennonite Elementary School and Faith Baptist Academy are private institutions.

Franklin has a public library, the Goodnight Memorial Library.

Notable people

  • Joe Blanton (1980–), Major League Baseball pitcher, was raised in Franklin
  • Marty Brown (1965–), country singer-songwriter born in Maceo and moved to Franklin in 2004
  • Thomas Chisholm (1866-1960), Christian songwriter who wrote "Great is Thy Faithfulness", was born in Franklin
  • Carolyn Denning (1927–2016), pediatrician and pioneer in cystic fibrosis treatment, grew up in Franklin
  • James Earnest (1818–1900), member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Wisconsin State Senate, was born in Franklin
  • Brad M. Kelley (1956–), billionaire businessman, came from Franklin
  • Carolyn Conn Moore (1904–1986) of Franklin was elected as the first woman to serve in the Kentucky Senate in November 1949, after a special election to replace her husband, the late J. Lee Moore, after his death.
  • Kenny Perry (1960–), a PGA golfer, spent most of his childhood in Franklin. Today he operates a golf course there
  • Joker Phillips (1963–), pro football player, was born and raised in Franklin; he attended and played football at University of Kentucky. Current NFL coach
  • Annie Potts (1952–), actress (Ghostbusters, Pretty in Pink, Designing Women, and Young Sheldon), was raised in Franklin
  • Tony Randolph, member of the South Dakota House of Representatives
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