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Hartford, Kentucky
Ohio County Courthouse in Hartford
Ohio County Courthouse in Hartford
Location of Hartford in Ohio County, Kentucky.
Location of Hartford in Ohio County, Kentucky.
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Ohio
Settled Fort Hartford, 1790
Incorporated Hartford, 1808
Named for a deer crossing in the Rough River
 • Total 2.86 sq mi (7.40 km2)
 • Land 2.84 sq mi (7.35 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
417 ft (127 m)
 • Total 2,668
 • Density 940.43/sq mi (363.10/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 270 & 364
FIPS code 21-35020
GNIS feature ID 0493841

Hartford is a home rule-class city in Ohio County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 2,672 at the 2010 census.

The former two-year Hartford College existed on East Union Street at the site of the current Ohio County School Board administrative office.


Hartford is located at 37°27′1″N 86°54′7″W / 37.45028°N 86.90194°W / 37.45028; -86.90194 (37.450415, -86.902026).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), all land.


The town was initially part of a 4000-acre grant from Virginia to Gabriel Madison. The area was surveyed in 1782 and settled before 1790. Fort Hartford (also known as Hartford Station) grew up around the head of navigation on the Rough River. It initially faced Indian attacks but was named the seat of Ohio County the year after its formation in 1798 in exchange for a grant of land from Mr. Madison. The post office was established as Hartford Court House in 1801 and the settlement was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1808.

The town's second courthouse was burned during the Civil War by Confederate Gen. Hylan B. Lyon on December 20, 1864.

The town was finally connected to the L&N network in 1909.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 74
1810 110 48.6%
1830 242
1840 309 27.7%
1850 495 60.2%
1870 511
1880 624 22.1%
1890 740 18.6%
1900 785 6.1%
1910 976 24.3%
1920 980 0.4%
1930 1,106 12.9%
1940 1,385 25.2%
1950 1,564 12.9%
1960 1,618 3.5%
1970 1,868 15.5%
1980 2,512 34.5%
1990 2,532 0.8%
2000 2,571 1.5%
2010 2,672 3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,571 people, 1,079 households, and 684 families residing in the city. The population density was 989.5 people per square mile (381.8/km2). There were 1,165 housing units at an average density of 448.4 per square mile (173.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.81% White, 1.40% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.23% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.86% of the population.

There were 1,079 households, out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.1% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,958, and the median income for a family was $32,083. Males had a median income of $31,020 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,542. About 11.8% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 23.1% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

  • Louise Alexander – dancer
  • Charles Courtney Curran (1861–1942), an American painter born in Hartford, particularly known for his depiction of women in various settings. Curran studied at both the Fine Arts Academy of Cincinnati, the New York National Academy of Design, and the Academia Jullian in Paris and died in New York City.
  • James and Virgil Earp – brothers of Old West lawman Wyatt Earp
  • William Smeathers – well known frontiersman, Smeathers served on first grand jury of Court of Quarter Sessions at Hartford, 1803; credited as the first settler of Yellow Banks, now Owensboro and cited on Kentucky historical marker #1548 in Hartford.


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


Hartford has a lending library, the Ohio County Public Library.

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