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Richmond, Kentucky
Madison County courthouse, Richmond, with flags at half-staff in honor of Veterans Day (2007).
Madison County courthouse, Richmond, with flags at half-staff in honor of Veterans Day (2007).
Home Of Kentucky's Finest
"Justice, Education, Industry"
Location of Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky.
Location of Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky.
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Madison
Named for Richmond, Virginia
 • Type City Mayor/Manager
 • Total 20.57 sq mi (53.28 km2)
 • Land 20.32 sq mi (52.63 km2)
 • Water 0.25 sq mi (0.65 km2)
971 ft (296 m)
 • Total 34,585
 • Density 1,701.93/sq mi (657.12/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 859
FIPS code 21-65226
GNIS feature ID 2404614

Richmond is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is home to Eastern Kentucky University. In 2019, the population was 36,157. Richmond is the third-largest city in the Bluegrass region (after Louisville and Lexington) and the state's sixth-largest city. It is the eighth largest population center in Kentucky, when including metropolitan areas. The city serves as the center for work and shopping for south-central Kentucky. In addition, Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond-Berea, Kentucky Micropolitan Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.


The City of Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller from Virginia, a British American who had served with the rebels in the Revolutionary War. According to tradition, Miller was attracted to the area by the good spring water and friendly Native Americans. That year, the Kentucky legislature approved moving the county seat from Milford to land owned by Colonel Miller. The residents of Milford adamantly opposed the move, which led to a fist fight between Dave Kennedy (representing Milford) and William Kearly (representing Richmond). The county approved the move in March 1798. On July 4, 1798, the new town was named Richmond in honor of Miller's Virginia birthplace. Richmond was incorporated in 1809.

Kentucky was a border state during the Civil War and stayed in the Union. On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in the Battle of Richmond. Troops under Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the soldiers of Union General William Nelson. Out of Nelson's 6,500 men, only 1,200 escaped; the rest were all captured. One historian called this battle "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war."

In 1906, Eastern Kentucky State Normal School was founded in Richmond to train teachers. There were eleven members of the first graduating class in 1909. By 1922 it had expanded its curriculum to a four-year program and was established as a college. It added graduate-degree programs in 1935. In recognition of its academic departments and research, in 1965 the institution was renamed as Eastern Kentucky University.

In the late 1990s and through the first decade of the 21st century, Richmond had a commercial and residential boom related to other development in the Bluegrass Region. As of 2009, Richmond was Kentucky's seventh-largest city, moving up four places from ranking in the 2000 census as Kentucky's eleventh-largest city.


Richmond is located at 37°44′41″N 84°17′37″W / 37.74472°N 84.29361°W / 37.74472; -84.29361 (37.744720, -84.293562).

Richmond is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The Kentucky River comprises the northern border of Madison County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (50 km2), of which 19.1 square miles (49 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2)(0.73%) is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Richmond has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. Average Annual Rainfall is 45", which is spread fairly evenly throughout the year. Relative humidity % at Noon is in the upper 50%'s from April through October, and in the mid 70%'s at Noon November through February. The Average daily temperature is 36.6 Fahrenheit in January and 77.0 Fahrenheit in July. Maximum observed temperature on record is 108 Fahrenheit, and the minimum observed temperature is -24 Fahrenheit.<Geography of Kentucky, Dr. Joseph R. Schwendeman, Sr.>


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 110
1810 366 232.7%
1830 947
1840 822 −13.2%
1850 411 −50.0%
1860 845 105.6%
1870 1,629 92.8%
1880 2,909 78.6%
1890 5,073 74.4%
1900 4,653 −8.3%
1910 5,340 14.8%
1920 5,622 5.3%
1930 6,495 15.5%
1940 7,335 12.9%
1950 10,268 40.0%
1960 12,168 18.5%
1970 16,861 38.6%
1980 21,705 28.7%
1990 21,155 −2.5%
2000 27,152 28.3%
2010 31,364 15.5%
2020 34,585 10.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 27,152 people, 10,795 households, and 5,548 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,420.4 people per square mile (548.3/km2). There were 11,857 housing units at an average density of 620.3/sq mi (239.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.30% White, 8.27% African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.09% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.21% of the population.

There were 10,795 households, out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.6% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.78.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 17.5% under the age of 18, 31.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 13.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,533, and the median income for a family was $36,222. Males had a median income of $30,817 versus $22,053 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,815. About 16.6% of families and 25.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those aged 65 or over.


The city has numerous parks, the most prominent being Lake Reba Recreational Complex. Paradise Cove, the city's aquatic center, is located in the complex, along with Adventure Falls Miniature Golf and Batting Cages, separate regulation sports fields for football, soccer, baseball and softball; a horse shoe pit, and a playground.

view of Lake Reba in Richmond, Kentucky from the fishing dock.

The downtown business district includes many Victorian-style structures including the Glyndon Hotel.

The majority of the city's high rises are located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), which include the 20-story Commonwealth Hall, the 16-story Keene Hall, the 13-story Telford Hall, and two 12-story buildings, Todd and Dupree halls.

The 2,000-seat EKU Center for the Arts was completed in 2011 on Lancaster Avenue.


Richmond is served by the Madison County Public School System. In 1988 the Richmond Independent School District merged into the Madison County school district.

High schools

  • Model Laboratory School (Associated with Eastern Kentucky University)
  • Madison Central High School

Higher education

Public library

Richmond has a lending library, a branch of the Madison County Public Library.



Interstate 75 passes through western Richmond, and connects the city to Lexington in the north and Knoxville, Tennessee in the south. I-75 has three exits in the city: U.S. Route 25, State Route 876, and S.R. 2872.

Richmond is located on a concurrency with U.S. Route 25 and 421. The two routes run north to Lexington and diverge approximately five miles south of the city. U.S. 25 connects the city to Berea and Mount Vernon in the south. U.S. 421 connects to McKee in the south east.

State Route 52 connects to Lancaster in the west and Irvine in the east. State Route 169 heads northwest toward Nicholasville. State Route 388 runs north of the city to the north end of the county and Boonesborough. State Route 876 serves as a bypass around the business district of the city and heads west toward Kentucky Route 595, which continues to Round Hill and Kirksville. State Route 1156 heads northeast and connects with State Route 169 at Valley View. State Route 1986 runs northeast of Richmond to Union City and Doylesville. The U.S. 25 connector, signed as S.R. 2872 and commonly known as Duncannon Lane, connects I-75 to U.S. 25 south of the city. State Route 2881 connects at State Route 52 at Caleast, runs through southern Richmond, and heads south to Berea.


Central Kentucky Regional Airport is a public airport located in Madison County between Richmond and Berea. It consists of a 5,001 by 100 ft asphalt runway.


Foothills Express, operated by the Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, provides the Richmond Transit Service bus service within Richmond, the Big E Transit Service on the EKU campus, Madison County Connector service to Berea, and local and intercity demand-responsive transport.

Notable people

  • Daniel Boone (November 2, 1734 – September 26, 1820), born in Birdsboro, PA, he was an American pioneer who established Fort Boonesborough, in Madison County Kentucky along the Kentucky River
  • Squire Boone, brother of Daniel Boone
  • Kit Carson, pioneer frontiersman, born near Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky, but raised in Franklin, Missouri
  • Brutus J. Clay II, son of Cassius M. Clay and Minister to Switzerland
  • Cassius Marcellus Clay, planter, abolitionist and politician; Minister to Spain and Russia, a founder of the Republican Party
  • Earle Combs, New York Yankees player, Baseball Hall of Fame member; longtime resident of the area
  • David R. Francis, Mayor of St. Louis, Governor of Missouri and U.S. Secretary of the Interior; born in Richmond
  • Odon Guitar, brigadier general in the Union Missouri State Militia in the American Civil War
  • Leigh Ann Hester of the Kentucky Army National Guard, first woman in United States military history to be cited for valor in close quarters combat, for action near Salman Pak, Iraq on March 20, 2005; she is the first woman to receive the Silver Star Medal for valor in combat
  • Keen Johnson, editor of the Richmond Daily Register (1925–39); Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky (1935–39); Governor of Kentucky (1939–43); Undersecretary of Labor (1946–47); longtime resident of the area
  • James B. McCreary, United States Senator and two-term Governor of Kentucky
  • Samuel Freeman Miller, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Fiddlin' Doc Roberts (April 26, 1897 – August 4, 1978), old-time bluegrass fiddler
  • Jimmy Stokley (October 18, 1943 – August 13, 1985), lead singer, co-founder and member of the band Exile
  • Samuel Hanson Stone, Kentucky politician, born near Richmond
  • William J. Stone, Governor of Missouri, born near Richmond
  • Montez Sweat, NFL Defensive End (2019-)
  • Ken Upchurch, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from Wayne County; born in Richmond in 1969
  • Larry Warford, NFL offensive lineman (1991-)
  • John Reid Wolfskill, California pioneer

See also

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

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