Bardwell, Kentucky
Tiny church at Bardwell City Park
Location of Bardwell in Carlisle County, Kentucky.
Coordinates: 36°52′22″N 89°0′36″W / 36.87278°N 89.01000°W / 36.87278; -89.01000Coordinates: 36°52′22″N 89°0′36″W / 36.87278°N 89.01000°W / 36.87278; -89.01000
CountryUnited States
 • Total0.87 sq mi (2.24 km2)
 • Land0.86 sq mi (2.24 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
361 ft (110 m)
 • Total723
 • Estimate 
 • Density778.94/sq mi (300.60/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area codes270 & 364
FIPS code21-03664
GNIS feature ID0486336

Bardwell is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Carlisle County, Kentucky, United States.[3] The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1878.[4] The population was 723 at the 2010 census,[5] down from 799 in 2000.


A train arrives at Bardwell's Illinois Central station, circa 1910
A train arrives at Bardwell's Illinois Central station, circa 1910

Bardwell was founded in 1874 when a predecessor rail line of the Illinois Central Railroad was extended to that point. It may have initially been known as "Crittenden" after Governor John J. Crittenden, but that name was already in use elsewhere in the state, so the name was changed to "Bardwell." According to some sources, "Bardwell" was the name of a railroad superintendent whose name had been applied to a railroad construction camp near the town site. Other sources suggest the name was inspired by a "boarded well" at the camp.[6]

During their session of 1877–1878, the Kentucky General Assembly passed an act incorporating Bardwell. The original municipal boundaries consisted of a circle with a radius of 0.5 miles (0.80 km), centered on the local train station for the Illinois Central Railroad.[7]

Upon the creation of Carlisle County in 1886, the nearby city of Arlington was initially named the seat of the new county. Bardwell challenged this decision, however, and due to Bardwell's more central location, county officials agreed, and moved the seat to Bardwell.[8]


Bardwell is located northwest of the center of Carlisle County at 36°52′22″N 89°0′36″W / 36.87278°N 89.01000°W / 36.87278; -89.01000 (36.872690, -89.010026).[9] U.S. Routes 51 and 62 intersect in the northern part of the city. US 51 leads south 29 miles (47 km) to Fulton on the Tennessee line, while US 62 leads northeast 30 miles (48 km) to Paducah on the Ohio River. The two highways together lead northwest 8 miles (13 km) to Wickliffe on the Mississippi River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Bardwell has a total area of 0.89 square miles (2.3 km2), all of it land.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)673[2]−6.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 799 people, 367 households, and 229 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,335.8 people per square mile (514.2/km2). There were 425 housing units at an average density of 710.5 per square mile (273.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.62% White, 3.00% African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.63% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 2.75% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 367 households, out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.75.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 24.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,406, and the median income for a family was $25,500. Males had a median income of $24,028 versus $16,618 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,976. About 19.7% of families and 24.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.7% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

Donald Frank Hendrix (November 19,1959-November 15, 2020), outstanding pianist and organist who played for 5 governors, David Letterman, at Miss America and Miss Kentucky, and at First Christian Church, Murray, KY. He lost his life during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bardwell has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[12]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. ^ Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office of the Secretary of State. Land Office. "Bardwell, Kentucky". Accessed 15 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Bardwell city, Kentucky". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Rennick, Robert M. (28 August 2013). Kentucky Place Names. University Press of Kentucky. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8131-4401-6.
  7. ^ Lovey Rayburn. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Illinois Central Railroad Station and Freight Depot. National Park Service, 1976-06-01, 3.
  8. ^ Rennick, Robert M. (28 August 2013). Kentucky Place Names. University Press of Kentucky. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8131-4401-6.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Paris, Missouri