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Mayfield, Kentucky
Graves County Courthouse and Confederate monument in 2018. The courthouse was severely damaged by the 2021 Western Kentucky tornado on December 10, 2021.
Graves County Courthouse and Confederate monument in 2018. The courthouse was severely damaged by the 2021 Western Kentucky tornado on December 10, 2021.
Location within Graves County and Kentucky
Location within Graves County and Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Graves
Established 1824
Incorporated 1846
Named for Mayfield Creek
 • Total 7.38 sq mi (19.11 km2)
 • Land 7.35 sq mi (19.03 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)
476 ft (145 m)
 • Total 10,017
 • Density 1,363.60/sq mi (526.50/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 270 & 364
FIPS code 21-50898
GNIS ID 497715

Mayfield is a home rule–class city and the county seat of Graves County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 10,017 as of the 2020 United States Census.


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.

1906 Broadway Looking West, Mayfield, Kentucky
1906 Broadway looking west, Mayfield, Kentucky

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.

On May 10, 2016, an EF3 tornado passed just north of the city limits. There were ten injuries.


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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 44
1860 556
1870 779 40.1%
1880 1,839 136.1%
1890 2,909 58.2%
1900 4,081 40.3%
1910 5,916 45.0%
1920 6,583 11.3%
1930 8,177 24.2%
1940 8,619 5.4%
1950 8,990 4.3%
1960 10,762 19.7%
1970 10,724 −0.4%
1980 10,705 −0.2%
1990 9,935 −7.2%
2000 10,349 4.2%
2010 10,024 −3.1%
2020 10,017 −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 10,017 people, 3,734 households, and 2,138 families residing in the city.

Racial composition
Race Persons Percent
White 6,386 63.75%
Hispanic or Latino 1,793 17.89%
Black or African American 1,205 12.03%
Asian 74 0.74%
Native American 19 0.19%
Multi-racial 540 5.39%


Mayfield was home to professional baseball's minor league Class D Kentucky–Illinois–Tennessee League (or KITTY League) Mayfield Pantsmakers (1922–24), Mayfield Clothiers (1936–38, 1946–55), and Mayfield Browns (1939–41).

The Clothiers were the first team to integrate the Kitty League when they employed African-American and Mayfield native Mickey Stubblefield as a pitcher during the 1952 season.


Mayfield City Hall (27568109527)
Mayfield City Hall (2018)

Mid-Continent University, formerly Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College, was located just north of Mayfield off U.S. Route 45. It closed after the spring 2014 term due to alleged financial (aid) mismanagement.

Mayfield Independent City School District was established on July 1, 1908, with the selection and meeting of its first Board Members, organized by Mr. W.J. Webb.

Mayfield High School has won 12 Kentucky High School Athletic Association football championships in classes A and AA in a total of 24 title game appearances. At the conclusion of the 2015 season Mayfield moved into fourth place nationally with 846 all-time wins. Mayfield High School mascot is "Cardinals".

The Graves County High School Co-Ed Cheerleading Team won the titles of National Champions in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 and State Champions in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, 2010, and 2012. Graves County High School mascot is "Eagles".

Mayfield has a lending library, the Graves County Public Library.

Notable people

  • Lucien Anderson, former United States representative
  • Lon Carter Barton, historian.
  • David Boaz, libertarian political thinker, VP Cato Institute
  • Andrew Boone, former United States representative
  • Billy Joe "Cornbread Red" Burge, billiards player.
  • Betsy Cook, singer, songwriter, musician
  • Randy Galloway, sports journalist and Texas radio personality
  • Rex Geveden, Chief Operating Officer of BWX Technologies.
  • Tripp Gibson, Major League Baseball umpire
  • Noble Jones Gregory, former United States representative
  • William Voris Gregory, former United States representative
  • Helen LaFrance, artist.
  • Bobbie Ann Mason, author
  • Kent Robbins, songwriter
  • Kevin Skinner, musician and America's Got Talent's 4th Season winner
  • Robert Burns Smith, third governor of Montana
  • Chuck Taylor, professional wrestler
  • Ellis Wilson, artist

Images for kids

See also

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