The City of Barbourville KY

Barbourville, the county seat of Knox in southeastern Kentucky, is found in the center of the county about the banks from the Cumberland River and bordered by Richland Creek. Positioned 33 miles north of Cumberland Gap and 15 miles southeast of Corbin, Kentucky, the town is the point where US 25E and KY 11 intersect. Identified by early travelers since the town about the huge bend from the Cumberland River, Barbourville is surrounded by hills on all sides, a natural fortress protecting the location from most unfortunate storms. After years of struggling with disastrous floods, the town is now protected by a enormous floodwall, which shields it from annual tides.

In 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker chosen a website about six miles southeast of the present place of Barbourville KY to build the first European settler’s house in Kentucky, a requirement by the state of Virginia for staking an insurance claim to the territory. Because Dr. Walker’s journal may be the initial written eye-witness description from the state, it may be argued that documented Kentucky history begins in Knox and her neighboring counties.

Barbourville was created as the county seat of Knox in 1800. The town’s fundamental street design follows rather closely the initial layout planned in 1801. Because of an uncommon continuity of generations of families who have lived in your community, Barbourville has usually enjoyed the main advantage of having in its midst elders prepared willing and able to tell the story of their frontier history and the area’s heroic beginnings. This wide appreciation of pioneer Kentucky manifests itself annually in autumn as Barbourville’s Daniel Boone Festival.

Through the nineteenth century, Barbourville was the biggest and most progressive city south of Richmond, Kentucky, also it was a significant stop for settlers and travelers who crossed the Cumberland Gap by using an expedition up the Wilderness Road. Within the late 1830s and throughout the 1840s the town exercised considerable affect on early state government. The Barbourville Debating Society ready the political careers of the governor of Missouri, a Supreme Court justice plus a founder of the state of Texas. Among the nicknames for Barbourville is “Home of Governors,” because of the several Knox Countians who served as other states’ commanders in chief, in addition to two governors of Kentucky, James D. Black and Flem D. Sampson.

In the opening months with the Civil War, Barbourville was the site in the initial armed skirmish between Rebel and Union forces inside the state of Kentucky and recorded the state’s first deaths in battle on both sides. At different points within the war, the city was occupied by each military forces, becoming temporary headquarters for Confederate General Kirby Smith in 1862 and hosting Union General U.S. Grant when he was evaluating the Wilderness Road as a possible invasion route in 1864.

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