Bell County, Kentucky

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Bell County, Kentucky
Bell County Kentucky Courthouse.jpg
Map of Kentucky highlighting Bell County
Location in the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
FoundedFebruary 5, 1867[1]
Named forJoshua Fry Bell
SeatPineville
Largest cityMiddlesboro
Area
 • Total361 sq mi (935 km2)
 • Land359 sq mi (930 km2)
 • Water2.1 sq mi (5 km2), 0.6%
Population
 • (2010)28,691
 • Density80/sq mi (30/km2)
Congressional district5th
Time zoneEastern: UTC−5/−4
Websitebellcounty.ky.gov/default.htm

Bell County is a county located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,691.[2] Its county seat is Pineville.[3] The county was formed in 1867, during the Reconstruction era from parts of Knox and Harlan counties[4] and augmented from Knox County in 1872.[5] The county is named for Joshua Fry Bell, a US Representative. It was originally called "Josh Bell", but on January 31, 1873, the Kentucky legislature shortened the name to "Bell",[5][1]

Bell County is considered a "Moist" county, a classification between dry and wet in terms of alcohol sales. The County changed to moist by a vote in September 2015, that approved alcohol-by-the-drink sales in Middlesboro, Kentucky. In a standard dry county, all sales of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Under ABC terminology, a limited county is an otherwise dry county in which at least one city has approved the sale of alcohol by the drink at restaurants that both seat a state-mandated number of diners and derive no more than 30% of their revenue from alcoholic beverages. In the case of Bell County, Pineville had voted to allow alcohol by the drink in restaurants that seat at least 100 diners.[6] This terminology was used to describe the area until the Middlesboro vote allowed retail sale of alcohol.[7]

The Middlesborough, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Bell County.

History

The Wilderness Road was constructed in the 1790s through what is now Bell County.[8]

Bell County was formed in 1867, from portions of Harlan and Knox counties. It was named for Joshua Fry Bell, an attorney and member of Congress. The county courthouse has been thrice destroyed. In 1914 and 1918, it was destroyed by fire and in 1977 nearly destroyed by flooding. The documents stored there were destroyed as well. The flood occurred in April 1977 and although it caused extensive damage, the historical courthouse survived with substantial water damage to the interior.

The community of "South America" (known as Frakes since the 1930s) in Bell County appears to have been established in the Spanish Era. Spain made land grants in Old Kentucky prior to English settlement. The community of South America links southeast Kentucky to an era of Indian herbal harvest and sales much like the Daniel Boone era in the state.[citation needed]

Bell County has one of the highest ratios of local peace officer deaths of any KY or U.S. county per capita, with 28 deputy sheriffs and 4 county sheriff's K-9 having been killed in the county's history.[9] There has been considerable violence related to the prohibition of alcohol and production of moonshine.

Bell County is the only Kentucky county hosting both a State Park (Pine Mountain State Park) and a National Monument (Cumberland Gap National Historical Park).[1]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 361 square miles (930 km2), of which 359 square miles (930 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.6%) is water.[10]

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18703,731
18806,05562.3%
189010,31270.3%
190015,70152.3%
191028,44781.2%
192033,98819.5%
193038,74714.0%
194043,81213.1%
195047,6028.7%
196035,336−25.8%
197031,121−11.9%
198034,33010.3%
199031,506−8.2%
200030,060−4.6%
201028,691−4.6%
Est. 201627,117[11]−5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 30,060 people, 12,004 households, and 8,522 families residing in the county. The population density was 83 per square mile (32/km2). There were 13,341 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.02% White, 2.40% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. 0.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,004 households out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.00% were married couples living together, 15.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.00% were non-families. 26.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.95.

The age distribution was 24.40% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $19,057, and the median income for a family was $23,818. Males had a median income of $24,521 versus $19,975 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,526. About 26.70% of families and 31.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.00% of those under age 18 and 21.80% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 79.9% 7,764 17.7% 1,720 2.4% 234
2012 75.2% 7,127 23.5% 2,224 1.4% 131
2008 69.6% 6,681 29.0% 2,782 1.4% 135
2004 61.1% 6,722 38.3% 4,210 0.6% 70
2000 52.6% 5,585 45.1% 4,787 2.3% 239
1996 39.1% 3,917 50.5% 5,058 10.3% 1,033
1992 38.9% 4,501 49.6% 5,745 11.5% 1,329
1988 51.5% 5,759 46.3% 5,182 2.3% 252
1984 55.9% 7,249 42.4% 5,490 1.7% 222
1980 45.0% 5,433 52.6% 6,362 2.4% 293
1976 48.0% 5,035 50.4% 5,284 1.6% 164
1972 66.1% 6,518 32.6% 3,219 1.3% 130
1968 47.7% 4,905 40.3% 4,138 12.0% 1,232
1964 37.3% 4,185 62.2% 6,979 0.6% 63
1960 56.8% 6,805 43.2% 5,181 0.0% 0
1956 60.3% 6,824 39.6% 4,477 0.2% 18
1952 54.9% 6,461 44.9% 5,276 0.2% 24
1948 42.4% 4,327 55.9% 5,708 1.7% 178
1944 50.9% 4,822 48.7% 4,616 0.4% 36
1940 45.5% 4,962 54.2% 5,910 0.3% 27
1936 43.7% 4,573 56.0% 5,853 0.3% 35
1932 46.0% 4,695 53.3% 5,440 0.8% 78
1928 71.8% 6,570 27.9% 2,551 0.3% 24
1924 68.0% 5,371 27.4% 2,166 4.6% 359
1920 74.2% 6,691 25.3% 2,277 0.5% 46
1916 69.7% 3,321 28.8% 1,373 1.5% 73
1912 29.7% 1,183 24.4% 970 45.9% 1,825

Education

Three public school districts operate in the county:

Bell County Schools

The largest of the three in enrollment and by far the largest in geographic scope.[18] The Bell County School District operates six mainstream K–8 "school centers", one alternative school, one high school, and a newly commissioned technology center built to replace the aging vocational center. It is located on the high school campus and the buildings are connected by an elevated, enclosed walkway. The new technology center is also slated to house the County Board of Education pending its move from their office in the city of Pineville building. Lone Jack High School (in Fourmile) and the old Bell County High School were consolidated into Bell County High School in the early 1980s.

Middlesboro Independent Schools

The second-largest of the three, with boundaries coinciding exactly with the corporate limits of Middlesboro.[19] The district operates one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school.[20] The two elementary schools are separate facilities that share the same campus design (both schools are designed in an "X" shape), and the middle and high schools are separate facilities on one campus on the west side of town. In recent years Middlesboro Independent Schools has leased the "X" shaped building formerly used as East End Intermediate to a local church.

Pineville Independent Schools

The county's smallest district; its boundaries generally, but do not exactly, follow the corporate limits of Pineville.[21] The district] operates elementary, middle, and high schools on the same campus.[22]

Communities

Cities

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Notable people

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bell County About Us
  2. 2.0 2.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. "Bell County, Kentucky" Genealogy Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Census Office. Tenth Census of the United Status (1880) I:62.
  6. "Kentucky Counties Wet/Dry Status as of 30 January 2013" (PDF). Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  7. "Yes wins moist vote - Middlesboro Daily News - middlesborodailynews.com". Middlesboro Daily News. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  8. Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Ancestry Publishing. p. 193. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  9. www.odmp.org Kentucky page
  10. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  11. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  12. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  13. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  14. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  15. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  16. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  18. Bell County Schools
  19. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1990). "Map of Middlesboro". Kentucky Department of Revenue. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2007. The map also bears a handwritten 1996 label, as the district boundary was signed off by the superintendents of the Bell County and Middlesboro districts. The Middlesboro district boundary is marked in black.
  20. Middlesboro District
  21. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (1989). "Map of Pineville". Kentucky Department of Revenue. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2007. The map also bears a handwritten 1996 label, as the district boundary was signed off by the superintendents of the Bell County and Pineville districts. The Pineville district boundary is marked in black.
  22. Pineville School District

External links

Coordinates: 36°44′N 83°40′W / 36.74°N 83.67°W / 36.74; -83.67