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Monticello, Kentucky
Wayne County courthouse in Monticello
Wayne County courthouse in Monticello
"Houseboat Manufacturing Capital of the World"
Location of Monticello in Wayne County, Kentucky
Location of Monticello in Wayne County, Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Wayne
Incorporated 1801
Named for Pres. Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home
 • Total 6.13 sq mi (15.88 km2)
 • Land 6.09 sq mi (15.77 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
922 ft (281 m)
 • Total 5,753
 • Density 944.66/sq mi (364.76/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-53130
GNIS feature ID 0498514

Monticello is a home rule-class city in Wayne County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 6,188 at the time of the 2010 U.S. census.

Monticello claims to be "The Houseboat Capital of the World" as there are numerous houseboat manufacturers in the city. The city is located along Lake Cumberland. Its economy is built on serving the recreational and tourist traffic to the lake.


Monticello is located at 36°50′17″N 84°51′0″W / 36.83806°N 84.85000°W / 36.83806; -84.85000 (36.838194, -84.850022). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 37
1830 205
1840 142 −30.7%
1880 354
1890 413 16.7%
1900 546 32.2%
1910 1,338 145.1%
1920 1,514 13.2%
1930 1,503 −0.7%
1940 1,733 15.3%
1950 2,934 69.3%
1960 2,940 0.2%
1970 3,618 23.1%
1980 5,677 56.9%
1990 5,357 −5.6%
2000 5,981 11.6%
2010 6,188 3.5%
2020 5,753 −7.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,981 people, 2,508 households, and 1,635 families residing in the city. The population density was 984.3 people per square mile (379.8/km2). There were 2,730 housing units at an average density of 449.3 per square mile (173.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.63% White, 2.42% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 1.34% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.96% of the population.

There were 2,508 households, out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $17,423, and the median income for a family was $24,460. Males had a median income of $28,638 versus $19,259 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,855. About 29.2% of families and 34.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.9% of those under age 18 and 35.4% of those age 65 or over.


As of June 30, 2013 it is served by Wayne County Schools.

The first recorded school in Wayne County was opened about 1800 by Robert Ferrill, a well-educated wheelwright who had a few good books. Monticello's first school was opened in 1807 by Rodes Garth, who taught "Roman history, the Scriptures, orthography, and pronunciation." In 1819, Yale graduate John S. Frisbie began a school with Michael Huffaker as the first teacher of record. The Monticello Academy was established in 1830 with John Lankford as the headmaster, followed by Professor Mullins, and later William Burton.

In 1843, under the guidance of Commissioners Micajah Phillips, John Rousseau, Martin Beaty, and Francis Goddard, the county voted and ratified to organize into common school districts.

The first examiners for receiving a teaching certificate were physician Jonathan S. Frisbie, lawyer John Lankford, and teacher Littleton Beard.

By 1842 there were 16 school houses in Wayne County, three listed within several miles of Monticello.

Teachers at these schools before the Civil War include Amanda McGee, William and Thomas Simpson, Joseph Ballou, and Marcellus Baugh.

In these early schools, textbooks were scarce, but included Dilworth's Spelling Book, Murray's English Reader and English Grammar, Noble Butler's Goodrich Readers and Grammar, and the McGuffey's Readers.

The first school superintendent of Wayne County was Robert McBeath, a "member of a family noted for their intellectual qualities." His son, Tom McBeath, moved on to be President of Florida State University.

In 1866, following the Civil War, the Kendrick Academy opened in Monticello with Milton Elliott as principal. Teachers in Monticello in the 1860s and 70s include Marion Huffaker, Marshall Stone, and Ala Shearer. Ones in the 1880s and 90s include Lucy and Amanda Taylor, Sallie and Eula Kendrick, Emma Kelley, Fount Cooper, William Sandusky, Tobias Huffaker, and Mollie Denny, who became the Wayne county superintendent.

In 1879, a girls' school was opened by Roxie Buchanan, followed by William Bradshaw, and in 1885 W.T. Chaffin opened Classical High School with teachers T. Leigh Thompson, T. C. Job, and Georgia Brock; and in about 1890 added kindergarten and primary schools with teachers Ms. Oakley and Graves. Successive principals at the school up until the close of the nineteenth century were W. T. Chafin, T. Leigh Thompson, Professor H. C. Jones, Hayden Grubbs, Professor Chafin again, and finally Mr. Ballard.

From 1905 until 2013 Monticello had Monticello Independent Schools, its own school district independent of the surrounding Wayne County Schools.

Vocational education

Wayne County Vocational School has served students of Wayne County since 1971. The school has had many name changes over the years and is currently named Wayne County Area Technology Center (ATC). Wayne County ATC is managed by the Office of Career and Technical Education. The school serves secondary students enrolled in Wayne County High School. Programs include Health Science, Welding, Carpentry, Machine Tool, Automotive, Industrial Maintenance and Business.

Monticello has a lending library, the Wayne County Public Library.

Notable people

  • Dick Burnett, folk musician
  • Shelby Moore Cullom, United States Senator, Congressman, and Governor from Illinois
  • Kevin Denney, country music artist
  • Martin Massengale, President of the University of Nebraska System (1989-1994)
  • Louise Slaughter, US Congresswoman
  • Sara Beth Gregory, member Kentucky House of Representatives and Kentucky Senate
  • Mark Cole, member Virginia House of Delegates
  • Walter Dee Huddleston, US Senator
  • Ken Upchurch, member Kentucky House of Representatives

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Monticello (Kentucky) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Notable Hispanic authors
Gustavo Gac-Artigas
Lucia M. Gonzalez
Meg Medina
R. J. Palacio
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