Harlan, Kentucky facts for kids

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Harlan, Kentucky
City
Harlan, Kentucky in 2015.
Harlan, Kentucky in 2015.
Location of Harlan, Kentucky
Location of Harlan, Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Harlan
Named for Its county
Area
 • Total 1.8 sq mi (4.5 km2)
 • Land 1.8 sq mi (4.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,191 ft (363 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,745
 • Density 969.5/sq mi (387.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 40831
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-34732
GNIS feature ID 0493746

Harlan is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Harlan County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 1,745 at the 2010 census.

Harlan is one of three Kentucky county seats to share its name with its county, the others being Greenup and Henderson.

History

Harlan County Kentucky Courthouse
The fifth and present courthouse of Harlan, Kentucky, built from 1918 to 1922.

Harlan was first settled by Samuel and Chloe Howard in 1796. Upon the founding of Harlan County (named for Kentucky pioneer Silas Harlan) in 1819, the Howards donated 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land to serve as the county seat. The community there was already known as Mount Pleasant, apparently owing to a nearby Indian mound. A post office was established on September 19, 1828, but called Harlan Court House due to another Mt. Pleasant preëmpting that name. During the Civil War, Confederate raiders under Gen. Humphrey Marshall occupied the town; the local postmaster renamed the community Spurlock after himself; and, in October 1863, the courthouse was burnt down in reprisal for the Union destruction of the courthouse in Lee County, Virginia. In 1865, the post office was renamed Harlan and, although the community was formally incorporated by the state assembly as Mount Pleasant in on April 15, 1884, the town was already usually called Harlan Court House or Harlan Town by its inhabitants. The city's terms of incorporation were amended to change the name to Harlan on March 13, 1912. One year before, the L&N had arrived in Harlan and prompted massive growth. The city had initially expanded east along Clover Fork; after World War II, it also expanded south along Martin's Fork.

Harlan is the site of a criminal case in which a man, Condy Dabney, was convicted in 1924 of murdering a person who was later found alive.

A flood in 1977 prompted federal aid that diverted Clover Fork into man-made tunnels under Ivy Hill in 1989. In the 1990s, a flood wall was also completed on the city's west side along the four-lane bypass U.S. Route 421.

Geography

Overlooking Flood Wall and Highway 421
A view of U.S. Route 421 from downtown; the flood wall and Harlan Independent Schools' athletic fields are also visible.

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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), all land.

Climate

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

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 361
1900 557 54.3%
1910 657 18.0%
1920 2,647 302.9%
1930 4,327 63.5%
1940 5,122 18.4%
1950 4,786 −6.6%
1960 4,177 −12.7%
1970 3,318 −20.6%
1980 3,024 −8.9%
1990 2,686 −11.2%
2000 2,081 −22.5%
2010 1,745 −16.1%
Est. 2015 1,639 −6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,081 people, 926 households, and 550 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,187.4 people per square mile (459.1/km²). There were 1,060 housing units at an average density of 604.8 per square mile (2.339/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.01% White, 7.02% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.86% Asian, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.62% of the population.

Harlan Poke Sallet 2015
Downtown Harlan during the annual Poke Sallet Festival.

There were 926 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.6% were non-families. 39.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $17,270, and the median income for a family was $29,135. Males had a median income of $37,500 versus $20,852 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,572. About 23.8% of families and 32.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.0% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.

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