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Knottsville, Kentucky facts for kids

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Knottsville, Kentucky
Unincorporated community
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Daviess
Established 1836
Founded by Leonard Knott
 • Total 83.294 sq mi (215.73 km2)
 • Land 83.294 sq mi (215.73 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 568 ft (173 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 6,270
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 42366
Area code(s) 270
GNIS feature ID 497423

Knottsville is a small unincorporated community in eastern Daviess County, Kentucky. The first house was built by Leonard Knott in the fall of 1827, for which the town was named. It was laid out in 1836 by William R. Griffith and James Millay.


Leonard Knott was born in Nelson Co., Kentucky, as the son of James Knott and his wife. As a young man he moved to Daviess County, where he lived for a year in a small cabin on the Whitesville Road, and built in present-day Knottsville in 1827.

He married Mary M. Drury, by whom he had four children, James I., Mary E., Margaret A., and Mary E. The youngest daughter married John Haynes and lived in this precinct. Margaret married twice, first to John Melton, who died, and the next time to J.M. Hayden.

Knott was a lifelong Catholic and died in 1854. His descendants lived in the area for generations.

Early times

James Millay opened the first store. The town was officially named 'Knottsville' by Hon. Wm. R. Griffith while he was in the legislature, and it was laid out in 1836. The 1847 the Kentucky State Register placed two physicians in Knottsville. The first resident physician was Dr. Richard Lockhart.

The first school-house was built in 1854. It was a log cabin but was replaced by a neat frame building in 1857. The first school was taught by Powhattan Ellis, whose family came from Virginia. By the end of the 19th century, the town had two general stores, one drug store, one shoe shop, a blacksmith and wagon shop, two undertakers, one flouring mill, one saw and grist mill, and three tobacco factories.

St. William Catholic Church of Knottsville had the first public circulating library in Daviess County.


The early Catholic missionaries to the area were Fathers Charles Nerinx, Elisha J. Durbin, and Robert Abel. The first resident pastor was Fr. John Wathen in 1833. Many residents of Knottsville were a part of St. Lawrence Church until 1887. By that time the Knottsville area had grown to over 1000 people. Rev. Msgr. Thomas F. Gambon, Vicar General of the Diocese of Louisville, and Father John Sheridan, Dr. Drury, J.B. and H.T. Aud and W.S. Hazel, met to discuss the growing Catholic presence and the overcrowding at St. Lawrence Church. At this meeting, the Parish was divided. The area around St. Lawrence was incorporated into that parish and the new St. William congregation was founded on May 2, 1887.

The first pastor of St. William was Father James P. Cronin. He rented an old bar room located on the site where the present brick church office stands next to St. William Church, and celebrated the first mass in the parish there. Fr. Cronin lived in a house which adjoined the temporary church.

Adjoining lots were purchased and the foundation of the present brick church was laid in the fall of 1887. On May 27, 1888 the corner stone was laid by Right Reverend Bishop McCloskey. As the parish grew, the Women's Altar Society, Women's Guild, and Total Abstinence Society were organized. The Church was consecrated on May 30, 1898 by Bishop George Montgomery, a native of St. Lawrence, who became the Bishop of Los Angeles, California.

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