Graves County Courthouse (2008)
Location of Mayfield, Kentucky
|Named for||Mayfield Creek|
|• Total||6.92 sq mi (17.92 km2)|
|• Land||6.89 sq mi (17.85 km2)|
|• Water||0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)|
|Elevation||476 ft (145 m)|
|• Density||1,455/sq mi (561.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||270 & 364|
|GNIS feature ID||0497715|
Mayfield is in the center of the Jackson Purchase, an eight-county region purchased by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson from the Chickasaw people in 1818. Mayfield was established as the county seat of Graves County in 1821, and the county was formally organized in 1823. John Anderson is believed to have been the first settler, arriving in 1819 and building a log home on Mayfield Creek. In December 1821, Anderson was appointed county court clerk and moved about two and a half miles to the site that became Mayfield. According to Trabue Davis, the town's name originates indirectly from a gambler named Mayfield, who was kidnapped about 1817 at a racetrack near what is now Hickman. He was carried to the site of today's Mayfield, where he carved his name into a tree in hopes that someone would see it. He then tried to escape, but he drowned trying to cross what is now called Mayfield Creek. The future town got its name from the creek.
The completion of the Memphis, New Orleans, and Northern Railroad in 1858 connected Mayfield with the outside world. Beginning with the Mayfield Woolen Mills in 1860, manufacturing clothing became the main industry in Mayfield for the next hundred years. The town was also a major market for loose-leaf tobacco.
During the Civil War, the Jackson Purchase including Mayfield strongly supported the Confederate cause. The Jackson Purchase has even been called "Kentucky's South Carolina". On May 29, 1861, a group of Southern sympathizers from Kentucky and Tennessee met at the Graves County Courthouse to discuss the possibility of joining the Jackson Purchase to West Tennessee. Most records of the event are lost, probably due to an 1887 fire that destroyed the courthouse. In 1907, Fulton County judge Herbert Carr recalled that the Mayfield Convention adopted a resolution for secession, and a historical marker in front of the courthouse now proclaims this as fact. However, records of the meeting kept by a Union sympathizer do not mention any such resolution, and historian Berry Craig argues that the convention believed Kentucky would eventually secede and a resolution to break away was unnecessary. Surviving records do show that the convention adopted resolutions condemning President Abraham Lincoln for "waging a bloody and cruel war" against the South, urging Gov. Beriah Magoffin to resist Union forces and praising him for refusing to answer Lincoln's demand for soldiers. They also condemned the Federal government for providing "Lincoln guns" to Union sympathizers in eastern Kentucky. The convention nominated Henry Burnett to represent Kentucky's First District in Congress. The Mayfield Convention was followed by the Russellville Convention, which created the provisional Confederate government of Kentucky.
Following the war, these southern sympathies were demonstrated by the long dominance of the Democratic Party in local elections. During the Civil Rights Movement, the local schools were slow to integrate, but they finally did so without violence. The "Mayfield Ten", ten black students from the segregated Dunbar High School, were allowed to register at all-white Mayfield High School in 1956.
In 2000, Mayfield was shocked by the murder of Jessica Currin, a local resident. The case was finally closed nearly seven years later with the help of a local amateur investigator and a British journalist.
On May 10, 2016, an EF3 tornado passed just north of the city limits. There were ten injuries.
Board of Zoning controversy
On August 24, 2010 the Board of Zoning reversed its decision to allow a group of refugees to hold Islamic religious services in a local building. Dick Conner, who owns a flower shop adjacent to the proposed mosque, told the media, "If the neighbor was a Baptist church it might be different." However, the five-member board of zoning adjustment, chaired by Austin Copeland, voted 4-0 with one board member, Roy D. Henley, absent due to jury duty, citing violations of State Zoning Statute 100 as the grounds to deny the permit.
Later the same day, one of the Somali refugees was accused and charged with attempting to kidnap a teenage girl. The events surrounding the alleged incident met with sharp criticism, with local news agencies ignoring it as an attempt to belittle the character of the Muslims.
The building that had been used by the Somalis as a community center and mosque was abandoned after the ruling.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2), of which 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2), or 0.43%, is water.
The Purchase Parkway forms a bypass to the northwest of Mayfield, running along or close to the city limits. Access is from Exits 21 through 25. The parkway leads northeast 28 miles (45 km) to Interstate 24 near Kentucky Dam, and southwest 22 miles (35 km) to Fulton. U.S. Route 45 leads north from Mayfield 26 miles (42 km) to Paducah on the Ohio River and southwest to Fulton. Kentucky Route 80 leads southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Murray.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Mayfield has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,349 people, 4,358 households, and 2,667 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.8 people per square mile (598.2/km²). There were 4,907 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (283.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.57% White, 13.31% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 3.48% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 25.86% of the population. Recent years have seen a large influx of Amish residents nearby.
There were 4,358 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.
The age distribution was 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $20,400, and the median income for a family was $27,463. Males had a median income of $29,324 versus $18,575 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,327. About 23.4% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.4% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.
Despite being in a dry county (Graves), sales by the drink in restaurants of the city limits of Mayfield seating at least 100 diners and at the Mayfield Golf & Country Club are allowed. There are no Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages permitted, except at Mayfield Golf and Country Club.
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