Whitley County, Kentucky facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Whitley County, Kentucky
Seal of Whitley County, Kentucky
Map
Map of Kentucky highlighting Whitley County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the USA highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded January 17, 1818
Seat Williamsburg
Largest City Corbin
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

445 sq mi (1,153 km²)
438 sq mi (1,134 km²)
7.3 sq mi (19 km²), 1.6%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

35,637
81/sq mi (31/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: www.whitleycountyfiscalcourt.com
Named for: William Whitley

Whitley County is a county situated in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,637. The county seat is at Williamsburg, though the largest city is Corbin, and the county's District Court (a trial court of limited jurisdiction) sits in both cities.

Whitley County is included in the London, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Whitley County was created on January 17, 1818 from adjacent Knox County, Kentucky. In the years prior to its establishment as an independent county, many skirmishes were fought between native Indians and hunters and trappers in the area. The namesake of the county, Colonel William Whitley, is famous locally for fighting many of these battles within the area, safeguarding the Wilderness Road, as well as for his service in the War of 1812, where he was killed at the Battle of the Thames. The county seat, Williamsburg, is also named for Colonel Whitley, with the first court held at the home of the town's earliest resident, Samuel Cox.

Its rugged terrain, densely forested woodlands, and a history of conflict with local Indian tribes all combined to make for a very slow rate of growth in Whitley County. The development of the coal mining industry in the area towards the late 1800s spurred on population growth as poor families from neighboring states rushed into the county and led to the formation of Corbin, still the largest city in Whitley County.

North Corbin, just north of Whitley County is home to Sanders Cafe, which is the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was founded there by Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, in 1930.

Geography

Cumberland Falls, Whitley County, Kentucky
Cumberland Falls

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 445 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 438 square miles (1,130 km2) is land and 7.3 square miles (19 km2) (1.6%) is water.

Whitley County is located within the Cumberland Plateau of southeastern Kentucky, which is greatly overlapped by the broad Eastern Coal Field region of the state. Because of its location in the midst of Cumberland Mountains, elevations in the county range from 723 feet (220 m) to 2,220 feet (680 m) above sea level. 38,000 acres (150 km2) of western Whitley County are preserved within the Daniel Boone National Forest. Cumberland Falls, located in Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, is the site of the largest waterfall in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Both Daniel Boone Forest and Cumberland Falls State Park are operated by the Kentucky State Parks system, also located in the county. Two regionally significant waterways meander through the county, namely the Laurel and Cumberland river.

Geographic features

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Daniel Boone National Forest (part)

Transportation

Major highways

  • Interstate 75
  • U.S. Route 25W
  • Kentucky Route 11
  • Kentucky Route 26
  • Kentucky Route 90
  • Kentucky Route 92
  • Kentucky Route 312
  • Kentucky Route 904

Airport

  • KBYL, Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,340
1830 3,806 62.6%
1840 4,673 22.8%
1850 7,447 59.4%
1860 7,762 4.2%
1870 8,278 6.6%
1880 12,000 45.0%
1890 17,590 46.6%
1900 25,015 42.2%
1910 31,982 27.9%
1920 27,749 −13.2%
1930 29,730 7.1%
1940 33,186 11.6%
1950 31,940 −3.8%
1960 25,815 −19.2%
1970 24,145 −6.5%
1980 33,396 38.3%
1990 33,326 −0.2%
2000 35,865 7.6%
2010 35,637 −0.6%
Est. 2015 36,129 1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 35,865 people, 13,780 households, and 9,894 families residing in the county. The population density was 82 per square mile (32/km2). There were 15,288 housing units at an average density of 35 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.37% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.69% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

There were 13,780 households out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.90% were married couples living together, 13.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.01.

The age distribution was 25.80% under 18, 10.80% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $22,075, and the median income for a family was $27,871. Males had a median income of $26,518 versus $17,001 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,777. About 21.60% of families and 26.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.10% of those under age 18 and 19.00% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


Whitley County, Kentucky Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.